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Copyright, 1897, 


The Chicago Record Co. 

°*? "7 PREFACE. 

An unknown number of men have decided to seek for- 
tune in the Klondike country. At this moment, thou- 
sands of them have their eyes fixed on the gold placer 
mines in the Yukon district. There exists a widespread, 
insistent demand for information which will enable the 
prospective gold-seekers to arrange their gold-seeking 
plans in detail. That information will be found between 
the covers of this book. 

THE CHICAGO RECORD has undertaken to as- 
semble all the facts, figures, and knowledge obtainable 
about the gold-bearing lands in Alaska and the British 
Yukon district. It has drawn upon its immense resources 
to the fullest extent, and has spared neither pains nor 
money to gather the sorely needed information which 
thousands of men are demanding. 

In "Klondike: The Chicago Record's Book for Gold- 
Seekers," every known practical and contemplated route 
to all the gold fields in the north is fully, comprehensively 
and minutely described, with maps and tables of distances 
which are absolutely reliable. Everything which a gold- 
seeker should know that can be placed in type is con- 
tained in this book. THE CHICAGO RECORD is 
particularly well-equipped for gathering this large 
amount of information. It was the first newspaper in 

viii PREFACE. 

the United States to send a staff correspondent to the 
gold fields, and his letter describing the great Klondike 
"strike" was the first announcement in this country of the 

It has been publishing the most reliable news of the 
gold fields under the arctic circle for two years. It had 
in hand a large amount of information, and what it need- 
ed to make this book complete came over the wires. 

Many of the illustrations in this book are copied from 
photographs taken by a staff correspondent of THE 
CHICAGO RECORD, and will be found in no other 

The gold-seeker may take this book with him as a 
guide. It also can be placed in the home library, for its 
pages have a distinct educational value. 




































Chapter XVIII 









Chapter XXIII- 

Chapter XXIV- 




-Where the Gold Is Found, 15 

-How to Get to the Klondike, - - - - 20 

-The Gold-Seeker's Outfit, 50 

-The Yukon and its Branches, - - - 65 

-Capital Required by Gold-Seekers, - 94 

-Hints for Prospectors and Miners, - 108 

-United States Mining Laws, ... - 135 

-Canadian Mining Laws, 149 

-Richness of the Placer Mines, - - - 162 

-Pan Values of Paying Claims, - - - 176 

-The "Back Door" Route, 189 

—International Boundary Dispute, - - 213 

-Cold Winters and Short Summers, - - 228 

-Professor Spurr"s Report, 237 

-Mail Service in the Klondike, - - - 257 

-Life in Dawson City, 266 

-Ogilvie's Report on the Yukon District, 287 

-Gold History of Alaska, - 298 

-The Hudson's Bay Company, - - - - 307 

-Eli Gage's Yukon Journey, 318 

-The World's Gold Product, 342 

-A Model Indian Town, - 363 

-Game in the Klondike Country, - - - - 373 

-Knew Yukon District Years Ago, - - - 381 

-History of Alaska, 391 




Klondike Gold Field 14 

"All Water" Route 28, 29 

"Overland" Route 36, 37 

Takou River Route 44 

Stikeen River Route 45 

Yukon River and its Branches 80, 81 

"Back Door " Routes 198,199 

Copper River Gold Field 240 


Chilkoot Pass. Frontispiece 2 

Miles Canyon Rapids 22 

Wharf at Seattle 59 

Juneau 60 

Starting at Head Waters 70 

Work at Night - 92 

Placer Gold Claim, Miller's Creek - - 101 

Circle City - " 102 

Northwest Mounted Police ----- 112 

Section of a Klondike Placer Claim - - - 129 

Miner's Pan, Cradle, Long Tom and Pump - 130 

Halt in Chilkoot Pass ----- 148 

Steamer " Arctic " Yukon River - - - 157 

Scene on Forty Mile Creek ----- 158 

View Across the Yukon ------ 1G8 

Miles Canyon -------- 177 



Alaska Steamer "Excelsior" 178 

Snow Storm in the Mountains - - - - . iss 

Dog Train ---......_ 2 io 

Sluicing 220 

Dawson City 230 

Forty Mile Creek and Town - 250 

The First Pan -------- 260 

Prospectors Striking a New Creek - 270 

An Alaska Glacier -------- 280 

Lake Bennett --------- 290 

Saw Mill on the Yukon 299 

Sitka - 300 

Fort Cudahy 310 

Steamboat on the Yukon 320 

Unalaska 330 

Treadwell Gold Mills ------- 340 

Sitka Harbor - - 350 

A Cache on the Yukon - - - 360 

Pack Horses to the Pass - 370 

Mission on the Yukon River 388 







HE Klondike placer mines are located 
in the Northwest territory of British 
America, just east of the Alaskan 
border line, and about 2,200 miles 
from the mouth of the Yukon river. 
The Klondike is a stream which en- 
ters the Yukon about two miles from 
Dawson City, which is about 170 
miles from Circle City. The Klon- 
dike is about 140 miles in length, running in a westerly 
direction, and the gold-bearing creeks, where the richest 
deposits have been found, run into the Klondike from a 
southerly direction. 

Two and a half miles up the Klondike, from its conflu- 
ence with the Yukon river, is Bonanza creek, which has 
several small tributaries. Twelve miles from where the 
Bonanza creek enters the Klondike, and running ap- 


proximately parallel with the Yukon, is El Dorado creek, 
which is from twelve to fifteen miles in length. About 
seven miles further up Bonanza creek is Gold Bottom 
creek, and several miles beyond is Adams creek, and 
still nearer the source of Bonanza creek are smaller 
streams, all gold bearing. Some twelve miles up the 
Klondike is Bear creek, with its tributaries; twelve miles 
beyond Hunker creek empties into the Klondike, and 
about the same distance from there, up the Klondike, is 
Too Much Gold creek. The richest finds have been made 
principally on the Bonanza and El Dorado, but rich 
strikes have been reported on all the creeks named. 

Prospectors have found rich deposits on Indian river, 
which empties into the Yukon about fifty miles below 
the Klondike. Indian river runs in a southwesterly di- 
rection, and running out of Indian creek is Quartz creek, 
a well-explored stream about fifty miles from the con- 
fluence of Indian creek and the Yukon. About six miles 
from the mouth of Quartz creek, extending in a north- 
erly direction to the range of hills which separates the 
delta of Indian creek from that of the Klondike, is First 
Left Hand fork; eight miles beyond is Kettleson fork. 
From the opposite side and running in an opposite direc- 
tion out of Quartz creek, and about five miles from its 
mouth, is Phil creek. From the latest reports these 
creeks are being prospected extensively, and good finds 
have been made. 

All of these rivers and creeks contain gold, and it is be- 
lieved that over 500 claims will be located in Indian creek 
alone. Further south yet lies the head of several 
branches of Stewart river, on which some prospecting 
has been done and good indications found, but the want 
of provisions prevented development. Gold has been 
found in several of the streams joining Pelly river, and 


also all along the Hootalinqua. In the line of these finds 
farther south is the Cassiar gold field in British Colum- 
bia; so the presumption is that in the territory along 
the easterly watershed of the Yukon is a gold- 
bearing belt of indefinite width, and upward of three 
hundred miles long, exclusive of the British Columbia 
part of it. On the westerly side of the Yukon prospect- 
ing has been done on a creek a short distance above 
Selkirk with a fair amount of success, and on a large 
creek some thirty or forty miles below Selkirk fair pros- 
pects have been found. But, as before remarked, the 
difficulty of getting supplies here prevents any exten- 
sive or extended prospecting. 

The gold streak is anywhere from eight to thirty feet 
from surface and is reached by sinking a shaft from two 
to three feet wide and six feet long down to the pay 
streak and then drifting under ground along the pay 
streak. Sinking this shaft and working the pay streak 
is made difficult from the fact that from the surface to 
the deepest depth that has yet been reached the ground 
is always frozen, and a process of firing, in order to thaw 
out the ground, is employed. A brush and wood fire is 
built in the bottom of the shaft, which, burning all night, 
thaws out the ground from eight to fourteen inches. The 
gravel is shoveled out during the day and the operation 
repeated until the required depth is reached. The aver- 
age progress in the shaft is from eight to fourteen inches 
per day. When the pay streak is reached the miners drift 
under the ground, which does not have to be supported 
by timbers on account of its being frozen. The fire in 
thawing out the pay streak generates a noxious gas, 
which, after the fire has burned out, must be expelled 
before work can be done. This is accomplished by the 
use of bellows, fans and other devices. A machine, how- 


ever, is being manufactured in Seattle that is expected 
to expel these gases speedily. 

The process of "placer" mining in Alaska is about as 
follows: After clearing all the coarse gravel and stone 
off a patch of ground, the miner lifts a little of the finer 
gravel or sand in his pan, which is a broad, shallow 
dish, made of strong sheet iron or copper; he then puts 
in water enough to fill the pan, and gives a few rapid 
whirls and shakes; this tends to bring the gold to the 
bottom, on account of its greater specific gravity. 

The dish is then shaken and held in such a way that 
the gravel and sand are gradually washed out, care being 
taken as the process nears completion to avoid letting 
out the finer and heavier parts that have settled to the 
bottom. Finally all that is left in the pan is whatever 
gold may have been in the dish and some black sand, 
which almost invariably accompanies it. 

This black sand is nothing but pulverized magnetic 
iron ore. Should the gold thus found be fine, the con- 
tents of the pan are thrown into a barrel containing water 
and a pound or two of mercury. As soon as the gold 
comes in contact with the mercury it combines with it 
and forms an amalgam. 

The process is continued until enough amalgam has 
been formed to pay for "roasting" or "firing." It is 
then squeezed through a buckskin bag, all the mercury 
that comes through the bag being put back into the bar- 
rel to serve again, and what remains in the bag is placed 
in a retort, if the miner has one, or, if not, on a shovel, 
and heated until nearly all the mercury is vaporized. 
The gold then remains in a lump with some mercury still 
held in combination with it. 

This is called the "pan" or "hand" method, and is 
never, on account of its slowness and laboriousness, con- 


tinued for any length of time when it is possible to pro- 
cure a "rocker," or to make and work sluices. 

A "rocker" is simply a box about three feet long and 
two wide, made in two parts, the top part being shal- 
low, with a heavy sheet-iron bottom, which is punched 
full of quarter-inch holes. The other part of the box is 
fitted with an inclined shelf about midway in its depth, 
which is six or eight inches lower at one end than at 
the other. Over this is placed a piece of heavy woolen 
blanket. The whole is then mounted on two rockers, 
much resembling those of an ordinary cradle, and when 
in use they are placed on two blocks of wood so that the 
whole may be readily rocked. 

After the miner has selected his claim, he looks for the 
most convenient place to set up his "rocker," which must 
be near a good supply of water. Then he proceeds to 
clear away all the stones and coarse gravel, gathering 
the finer gravel and sand in a heap near the "rocker." 
The shallow box on top is filled with this, and with one 
hand the miner rocks it, while with the other he ladles 
in water. 

The finer matter with the gold falls through the holes 
on to the blanket, which checks its progress, and holds 
the fine particles of gold, while the sand and other matter 
pass over it to the bottom of the box, which is sloped 
so that what comes through is washed downward and 
finally out of the box. 

Across the bottom of the box are fixed thin slats, be- 
hind which some mercury is placed to catch any particles 
of gold which may escape the blanket. If the gold is 
nuggety, the large nuggets are found in the upper box, 
their weight detaining them until all the lighter stuff 
has passed through, and the smaller ones are held by a 
deeper slat at the outward end of the bottom of the 

i— i 





out, thus enabling the miner to work advantageously and 
profitably the year round. This method has been found 
very satisfactory in places where the pay streak is at any 
great depth from the surface. In 'this way the complaint 
is overcome which has been so commonly advanced by 
the miners and others that in the Yukon region several 
months in the year are lost in idleness. 

Winter usually sets in very soon after the middle of 
September and continues until the beginning of June, 
and is decidedly cold. The mercury frequently falls to 
60 degrees below zero, but in the interior there is so 
little humidity in the atmosphere that the cold is more 
easily endured than on the coast. In the absence of ther- 
mometers miners, it is said, leave their mercury out all 
night. When they find it frozen in the morning they con- 
clude it is too cold to work, and stay at home. The tem- 
perature runs to great extremes in summer as well as 
in winter. It is quite a common thing for the thermome- 
ter to register 100 degrees in the shade. 

Gold dust passes current at $17 an ounce, though 
actually of the value *«£ $16.50 an ounce. 





MER MARIS, who was sent into Alaska 
in 1896 by the CHICAGO RECORD, 
and who now is on his way to the Klon- 
dike fields, made the trip through the 
Chilkoot pass. He describes the va- 
rious routes to the Klondike as fol- 
lows : 

There are three principal ways of go- 
ing to the Klondike gold fields. One 
is an all-water route from Seattle by way of the mouth of 
the Yukon. It is a fifteen days' voyage from Seattle to 
St. Michael. One goes straight out into the Pacific to- 
ward Japan for 1,800 miles. Then one turns through Uni- 
mak pass to the Aleutian islands, and touches for a day 
at the port of Dutch Harbor. Thence one sails away to 
the north across Bering sea and past the seal islands, 800 
miles farther, to the port of St. Michael. 

This is a transfer point, and the end of the ocean 
voyage. At St. Michael, after a wait of anywhere from 
a day to two weeks, granting that the river is open, one 
may go aboard a flat-bottomed river steamer for another 
fifteen or twenty days' voyage up the Yukon. 

If one should arrive at St. Michael as early as Aug. 
25 he would have pretty good assurance of reaching the 
mines before cold weather closed river navigation, but 
arriving later than that his chances would be good for 
either wintering on the desolate little island of St. Mi- 
chael or traveling by foot and dog-sled the 1,900 miles 


to the mines after the river had frozen into a safe high- 

The distance from Seattle to Dawson City by way of 
St. Michael and the Yukon river according to the figures 
of the Alaska commercial company is 4,720 miles, as fol- 


Seattle to St. Michael 3,000 

St. Michael to Kutlik 100 

Kutlik to Andreafski 125 

Andreafski to Holy Cross 145 

Holy Cross to Koserefsky 5 

Koserefsky to Anvik 75 

Anvik to Nulato 225 

Nulato to Novikakat 145 

Novikakat to Tanana 80 

Tanana to Fort Yukon 450 

Fort Yukon to Circle City 80 

Circle City to Forty-Mile 240 

Forty-Mile to Dawson City 52 

Distance from Seattle 4,722 

The other way of getting to the mines, commonly 
called the Juneau route, is much more direct, but it is 
broken by various methods of transportation. The first 
stage is a four days' trip from Seattle up the coast 900 
miles to Juneau. This is the principal Alaskan port, a 
town of 5,000 inhabitants, and a very good outfitting 
point, as prices are but little higher than at the cities 
of Puget sound. Everything that a miner needs can 
be procured there in ordinary times, although such a 
rush as is expected might exhaust the resources of the 

From Juneau there is yet another short stage by salt 
water — 100 miles a little west of north, to the head of the 
Lynn canal, a long, narrow inlet. The landing at the 


head of the inlet is called Dyea, and has a trading post, 
where the things that one inevitably has overlooked in 
the first outfitting may be purchased. There is also at 
Dyea a village of 200 or 300 Chilkoot Indians, who make 
their living by packing miners' outfits over Chilkoot pass, 
a portage of from twenty to thirty-two miles, according 
to which one of the chain of small lakes one chooses to 
begin fresh-water navigation. 

The Indians have competition for a part of the dis- 
tance, at least in packing goods over this portage. Some 
white contractors have trains of pack-horses that are 
used on the first twelve miles of the distance. During 
the last two seasons prices for transporting supplies from 
Dyea to Lake Bennett, which latter place is usually 
made the beginning of Yukon navigation, have varied 
from 5 cents a pound to 16 cents. In the event of there 
being 1,000 or 2,000 men at the pass at one time, the 
present service would be inadequate, and prices for pack- 
ing, no doubt, would go to an extortionate figure. Nat- 
urally, this would oblige the majority of gold-seekers to 
do their own packing. A thousand pounds of goods could 
only be considered a fair outfit for one man, and if the 
man had to carry it himself, it would take him no less 
than a month to do it. 

The next thing, after getting safely over the pass, is 
to build a boat. Four men who are handy with tools can 
take the standing spruce, saw out lumber and build a 
boat large enough to carry them and their 4,000 pounds 
of provisions all in a week. It should be a good, staunch 
boat, for there are storms to be encountered on the lakes, 
and rapids, moreover, that would shake a frail craft to 
pieces. The boat should have a sail that could be raised 
and lowered conveniently. 

With boat built one starts from the head of Lake Ben- 




nett on the last stage of the trip — a sail of 600 miles 
down stream (not counting lakes) to Dawson City, at 
the mouth of the Klondike. With fair weather, at the 
evening of the second day one reaches Miles canyon, 
the beginning of the worst piece of water on the trip. 
The voyager has passed through Lake Bennett and 
Takish and Marsh lakes. At the head of Miles canyon 
begins three miles of indescribably rough water, which 
terminates in White Horse rapids. 

During the rush of gold hunters it is probable there 
will be men at Miles canyon who will make a business 
of taking boats through the rapids, and unless one is 
an experienced river man it is economy to pay a few dol- 
lars for such service, rather than to take the greater 
chances of losing an outfit. 

After the rapids comes Lake LeBarge, a beautiful 
sheet of water thirty-five miles long, and in this connec- 
tion a suggestion is desirable. Near the foot of the lake, 
on the left side, is a creek coming in which marks a good 
game country. A year ago and in previous seasons 
moose were plentiful there, and in the rugged mountains 
nearer the head of the lake there always have been good 
hunting grounds for mountain sheep. A delay of a week 
either in this locality or almost any of the small streams 
that flow into the succeeding 200 miles of river, for the 
purpose of laying in a good supply of fresh meat, is 
worth considering. Moose meat that can be preserved 
until cold weather sets in will sell for a fancy price. 

The first trading post and settlement of white men 
to be encountered on the river is at Fort Selkirk, oppo- 
site the mouth of Pelly river. Thence it is a little more 
than a day's run down to Sixty Mile, and it takes less 
than a day to go from Sixty Mile to Dawson City. 

There is another suggestion to consider before arriv- 


ing at Sixty Mile. All along that part of the river are 
many timbered islands, covered with tall, straight spruce. 
With such an influx of prospectors as is expected at 
Dawson City before winter begins building logs will be 
in great demand. Cabin logs ten inches in diameter and 
twenty feet long, sold at Circle City last year, in the raft, 
at $3 each. With an increased demand, and with better 
mines, the prices at Dawson City may be much higher. 
Four men can handle easily a raft of 500 or 600 such 
logs. Getting them out would be a matter of only a week 
or two. 

The distance from Seattle, via the Chilkoot pass route, 
according to figures made by the Northern Pacific rail- 
way, is as follows: 

Miles. Miles. 

Seattle to Juneau 899 

* Juneau to Dyea 96 

Dyea to Lake Lindeman 28 

Across Lake Lindeman 6 

Portage, Lindeman to Lake Bennett 1^ 

Across Lake Bennett to Cariboo Crossing. 30 

Across Tagish lake 19 

Six-Mile river to Marsh lake 6 

Across Marsh lake 20 

Fifty-Mile river from Marsh lake to Lake 

LeBarge 50 

Across Lake LeBarge 31 

Thirty-Mile river to Hootalinqua river. . . 30 
Down Hootalinqua and Lewes rivers to 

Fort Selkirk 187 

Fort Selkirk down the Yukon to Dawson 

City 195 — 

Total distance from Dyea to Dawson 

City 6o3i 

Distance from Seattle i>598i 

♦If steamers, however, go direct to Dyea this distance 
would be shortened perhaps 20 miles. 


What is known as the "Back Door" route to the Klon- 
dike, and sometimes called the Hudson Bay company's 
route, is by way of St. Paul to Edmonton, Northwest 
territory, on the Canadian Pacific railroad. It is said 
that prospectors will be able to enter the Klondike dis- 
trict much earlier in the year if they take this route. The 
Back Door route starts from St. Paul and Minneapolis 
by way of the Soo line and the Canadian Pacific, and 
is all rail as far as Edmonton. A stage line runs to Atha- 
basca Landing on the Athabasca river, forty miles away. 
There the fortune hunter must provide himself with a 
canoe and head due north. 

The Athabasca current will carry him into Athabasca 
lake, and finally into Great Slave lake, whence the Mac- 
kenzie river flows. From the mouth of the Mackenzie 
the Peel river must be taken south, and then by portage 
the Rocky mountain range is crossed. Just across the 
range the Stewart river opens the way to the Klondike 
route. The distance is given by the Hudson's Bay com- 
pany as 1,882 miles, as follows: 


Edmonton to Athabasca Landing 40 

To Fort McMurray 240 

Fort Chippewyan 185 

Smith Landing 102 

Fort Smith 16 

Fort Resolution 194 

Fort Providence 168 

Fort Simpson 161 

Fort Wrigley 136 

Fort Norman 184 

Fort Good Hope 174 

Fort Macpherson 282 

Total ., 1,882 


It is claimed that there are but two portages, the first 
forty miles from Edmonton to Athabasca Landing and 
the second is a sixteen miles' trip at Smith Landing. 
This last portage, however, is easy to make, for the Hud- 
son's Bay company has built a tramway which can be 
used. There are four or five other portages on the route, 
according to the Canadian Pacific officials, all of which 
are a few hundred yards in length. 

The Back Door route is the old Hudson Bay trunk 
line, which was traveled by Sir John Franklin in 1825, 
and almost constantly used by the Indians and trappers 
ever since. It is down grade all the way. The Hudson's 
Bay company has small freight steamers plying wherever 
the water is of any depth. It is said that able-bodied 
men can make the trip from Edmonton to Fort Mac- 
pherson in fifty to sixty days. If they reach the mouth 
of the Mackenzie and find the Peel river frozen over they 
have the option of dog trains, and it is claimed that the 
use of the pack train cuts the difficulties of the Alaskan 
route in half. A. H. Heming of Montreal, who accom- 
panied Casper Whitney, when Whitney made his ex- 
plorations in the Barren lands, is authority for this state- 

"A party of three men with a canoe should reach Fort 
Macpherson easily in from fifty to sixty days, provided 
they are able-bodied young fellows with experience in that 
sort of travel. They will need to take canoes from here, 
unless they propose to hire Indians with large birch bark 
canoes to carry them. Birch bark canoes can be secured 
of any size up to the big ones manned by ten Indians 
that carry three tons. But birch barks are not reliable 
unless Indians are taken along to doctor them and keep 
them from getting water-logged. The Hudson's Bay com- 




pany will also contract to take freight northward on 
their steamers until the close of navigation." 

The rush through Chilkoot pass this year has con- 
gested that "thoroughfare" and has caused many people 
to look around for other ways for getting through the 
mountain ranges into the country where the head waters 
of the Yukon can be reached. The first regularly organ- 
ized prospecting expedition which started for the Yukon 
in 1880 went through Chilkoot pass, and since then it 
has been looked upon as the only available one. The 
people of Juneau have been very partial to the Chilkoot 
pass, because all persons going by that route must pass 
through their city both going and coming. This perhaps 
has had something to do with the importance which Chil- 
koot pass has attained as a gateway to the Yukon coun- 
try. Now, however, that the rush for the gold fields is 
on, with a prospect of a jam at Chilkoot pass next spring, 
the necessity has arisen for the investigation of other 
ways of breaking through the barrier of mountains. 

One of the ways recommended is known as the Takou 
route. The entrance to this inlet is ten or twelve miles 
south of Juneau, and is navigable for the largest ocean 
vessel a distance of eighteen miles to the mouth of the 
Takou river. This river is navigable by canoe at all 
stages of the water for a distance of fifty-three miles to 
Nakinah river, where land travel has to begin. A dis- 
tance of seventy miles must be traversed before Lake 
Teslin — one of the chain of lakes which form the head 
waters of the Yukon — is reached. From here the Yukon 
can be reached by boat with comparative ease. The total 
distance from Juneau to Lake Teslin is 150 miles. 

The Yukon river is not navigable for steamers of light 
draught, except during freshets, which last about a month 
and usually occur in June. Indians say the river is open 


from May to the middle of September for canoes carry- 
ing from two to four tons of freight. The wind during 
the summer is from the southwest and sails are used on 
the canoe, which greatly assists in working up against 
a four-mile current. At the end of the fourth day the 
mouth of the Nakinah river is reached. From here to 
Lake Teslin the journey must be made on foot. The 
course is up this stream until Katune creek is reached, 
four or five miles. Then the course is in a northeast direc- 
tion over a low range of mountains, forming a beautiful 
and undulating country. According to the Indians, the 
snow in winter only falls here to a depth of from 1 8 to 24 
inches. The vegetation in summer is luxuriant and 
thousands of head of stock could subsist. The country 
all the way from the inlet abounds with game, such as 
cariboo, deer, ground-hog, grouse, etc. The rivers and 
small lakes are alive with fish. Several varieties of ber- 
ries were also found in great quantities. 

On both sides of the Takou river up to the Nakinah 
the country is quite level, being bottom land, and with 
little expense a good wagon road, or, for that matter, a 
railroad, could be constructed. From Nakinah river un- 
til Teslin lake is reached there is no place over which a 
horse with a 200-lb, pack could not travel. The country 
traversed is generally dry. A few swamps are encoun- 
tered, but no difficulty is found in getting around them. 
With a wagon road or even a trail the head of canoe navi- 
gation on the Takou to Lake Teslin, according to In- 
dians, the thousands of people who are on their way to 
the Klondike could reach their destination without any 
delays or stoppages, and could take along almost any 
kind of an outfit. The steamers running north would call 
in at Takou inlet where a fleet of large canoes would take 
passengers to the head of navigation, and from there by 


trail to Lake Teslin and thence down the Yukon. This 
route would require not over twenty days' time to reach 
Klondike after leaving Puget sound. 

Distances from Seattle to Dawson City over the Takou 

route approximate: 


Seattle to Juneau 899 

Juneau to Takou inlet 12 

Takou inlet to mouth of Takou river 18 

Takou river to Nakinah river 53 

Nakinah river to Lake Teslin (overland) 70 

Teslin lake to Dawson City, through Teslin lake, 
Hootalinqua river, Lewes river and Yukon river. 598 

Juneau to Dawson City 1,650 

Another route recommended is by way of the Stikeen 
river, Telegraph creek and Lake Teslin to the Yukon. 
The Canadian government has decided to make a large 
grant for opening up an all-Canadian route to the Yukon 
by the Stikeen river, Telegraph creek and Lake Teslin. 
The trail has already been cut through from Telegraph 
creek to Lake Teslin, a distance of 150 miles. A. E. 
Mills, one of the party who worked on the trail, says, 
with the money proposed to be spent by the government 
this will be the best and easiest route to the Yukon, and 
the one that will be generally used next spring. The 
practicability of this route is best explained by Mr. Mills' 
account of the party's trip from Wrangel to Lake Teslin. 
He says: 

"We left Fort Wrangel on May 17, and after a pleas- 
ant run up the Stikeen river 140 miles on a steamer we 
reached Telegraph creek. On the 23d of May we left 
to commence operations by following up Dease lake 
trail to Tahltan bridge, and then turning to the left up 
Tahltan river on the old Hudson Bay trail to a place 


called Jimtown, where we camped. From this point we 
proposed to run over the level highland, thereby mak- 
ing a more direct route to the lake, but found that route 
would be impracticable on account of the snow, a large 
quantity being on the ground at the time, so that route 
was abandoned, and then it was decided to cut a new 
trail from Telegraph creek straight across on the left of 
Tahltan river, crossing the west fork about fifteen miles 
from Telegraph and five miles farther on connecting with 
the old Hudson Bay trail, making a saving of about twen- 
ty miles between the points mentioned. 

"The old trail was cleared of all obstructions and fol- 
lowed to the old Hudson bay post, where some log build- 
ings still stand. It is here that the only hill of any ac- 
count was encountered, that being about three miles of 
heavy grade. However, I am sure this can be remedied 
by cutting a new trail around the hill, following the 
creek. The country in general is very open, and what 
timber there is is very small and scrubby. A good deal 
of swamp land is found and it is very mossy in places, 
but with some corduroy and ditching or draining a fine 
trail would be the result, and I believe it would be the 
best route to the Yukon. The trail runs through a val- 
ley from five to twenty miles wide, which is very level 
with the exception of the hill mentioned and a few 
gulches, on which we made good grades and got over 

"About thirty miles this side of Lake Teslin we reached 
the summit, where waters run north. I may say the head- 
waters of the Yukon commence from this point. A great 
number of lakes were found. The last fifteen miles was 
as good bottom as any found on the trail. Here we 
found a large river running into the lake, which I sup- 
pose is formed by the lakes mentioned and the surround- 

scale of miles 

i t-i B ' 1. 




ing watershed. The lake was reached and we were within 
eight or ten days of Klondike, with smooth water and no 

"When the government grant is expended on the trail 
the trip could be made in twelve or fifteen days with a 
pack train from Telegraph creek, at per pound, say, 12 
cents, and could leave by the middle of May in ordinary 
seasons and by the time the destination would be reached 
the ice would be out of the lakes. One very important 
feature of the trail is that abundant grass is to be found 
all the way." 

Approximate distances from Seattle to Dawson City 

over the Stikeen route : 


Seattle to Fort Wrangel 75° 

From Fort Wrangel up Stikeen river to Telegraph 

creek I 5° 

Telegraph creek to Teslin lake (overland) 150 

Teslin lake to Dawson City, through Teslin lake, 

Hootalinqua river, Lewes river and Yukon river. 598 

Total distance from Seattle to Dawson City 1,648 

One party of gold seekers followed the Stikeen route. 
A member of the party, Albert D. Gray, of Grand Rapids, 
Mich., describes the route fully. As the Stikeen route is 
to be developed and improved by the Canadian govern- 
ment, Air. Gray's detailed description is of considerable 
value. He said: 

"From Seattle we went to Fort Wrangel, 140 miles 
this side of Juneau, and there we took the 150-ton steamer 
Alaskan, which plies on the Stikeen river. The Stikeen 
river is very broad at some points and at others where 
it runs through canyons it narrows down to 100 feet or 
so, just room enough for the steamer to pass between 
the steep, rocky walls. Rapids were numerous, and fre- 


quently the crew would have to go ashore and 'line' the 
steamer through a narrow rapid, where the water ran 
so swiftly that it made us dizzy; when nearing a bit of 
water of this kind the propeller was never used. After 
shutting down the machinery, lines would be attached 
to a steam capstan on the deck of the steamer. The ends 
of these lines then were made fast to trees on either side 
of the river, and by means of the steam capstan the boat 
was warped along cautiously until open water was 

"The weather was not so cold as we looked for, just 
bracing; the trail along the Stikeen follows the left bank 
of the river almost to the confluence of the Iskoot river, 
where it crosses the Stikeen, following the left bank of the 
Iskoot to Telegraph creek. At that point the trail trends 
to the west and north as far as the Tahlian river, following 
that course over a great flat plateau until the foot of Tes- 
lin, or Allen's, lake is reached. Telegraph creek is, as 
far as the Stikeen river, navigable. 

"There were three others besides Chappell and myself 
in the party which reached Telegraph creek on the Alas- 
kan. At the creek six white men and two Stick Indians 
joined our party. We hired the Indians to act as guides 
as far as the Cassiar gold diggings near Diese lake, sev- 
enty-two miles to the north of Telegraph creek. We 
started for Diese lake afoot, packing our provisions and 
supplies, of which we had an abundance, on thirteen 
horses. On this journey we made about six miles every 
twenty-four hours, going into camp whenever we felt 
like it. 

"At the Cassiar diggings we found a few Chinamen 
working placers, but they made only a bare living, so 
our party after looking over the ground decided not to 
stay there. We concluded to push on for Lake Teslin, 


which is about 140 miles to the north of Cassiar. Previous 
to that time some white men had been as far on that 
route as the Koukitchie lakes, seventy-five miles beyond 
Telegraph creek, but we blazed the trail from that point 
on to Lake Teslin and through to the Yukon river. It 
is probable that we made some deviations from what 
is now the known route. The tramp to Lake Teslin was 
not so very difficult, considering that we were in a coun- 
try never before trodden by the foot of a civilized man. 
We had some trouble with rivers and creeks, and had 
to cut down trees and lay bridges across Nahlin river and 
Beebe creek. It is a comparatively safe and easy jour- 
ney, nevertheless. 

"On the 19th day of July we reached Lake Teslin. It 
is one of the most beautiful bodies of waters on the Amer- 
ican continent. Its dimensions are about 130 miles long 
by an average of three and one-half miles wide. When 
we were there the ground was free of snow and vegeta- 
tion was abundant. We remained in the vicinity of Lake 
Teslin some two or three weeks, when Chappell and I 
decided to leave the others and try to find our way to 
the Yukon river. Before setting out we prospected up 
the Nisulatine river, but found no gold. Upon leaving 
the lake my friend and I followed the Hootalinqua or 
Teslin river, a fine stream about 120 miles in length, 
toward the Klondike country. It flows into the Yukon 
just above the Klondike district, where it and Thirty- 
Mile or Lewes river join in practically forming the Yu- 
kon. Here all the trails into that country meet together 
in a great canyon in Seminow hills. Thirty-Mile river 
drains the lakes about Dyea pass. 

"After leaving the mouth of the Hootalinqua we fol- 
lowed the Yukon slowly into Dawson City, which we 
reached on the 12th of October." 




EXT to a supply of ready cash a man who 
has designs upon the placer mines of 
the Klondike region will need at least 
one year's supply of food, clothing and 
working materials. This is the advice 
which is given by all who have returned 
from the scene of the great gold strikes. 
The miners and prospectors who have 
been to Alaska insist that no man 
should think of going to that country for the purpose of 
prospecting for gold without at least one year's supply 
of provisions and with a cash capital of at least $500 to 

Many of those who rushed for the Klondike this year 
failed to take this advice, and as a consequence large 
numbers were turned back by the Northwestern mounted 
police at the very gateway. Hundreds of lists of "essen- 
tials" have been made up by men who are experienced 
Alaska prospectors and miners. An analysis of twenty 
so-called practical lists indicates that the list makers had 
largely consulted their individual preferences as to the 
quantity and quality of certain kinds of rough and ready 

This analysis shows that the man who has lived in 
Alaska among the gold-bearing creeks for anywhere 
from one to ten years figures that an adequate supply 
of food per day per man varies from four and a half to 
five and a half pounds. This would bring the actual 
food supply for one year for each person to fully 1,600 


pounds. Highly carbonaceous food should predomi- 
nate; stimulants of alcoholic character should be avoided. 

One pound of tea is equal to seven pounds of coffee 
for drinking purposes; three-quarters of an ounce of 
saccharin (this concentrated sweet can be obtained from 
druggists) is equal to twenty-five pounds of sugar, so 
that three ounces of saccharin is equal to ioo pounds of 
sugar. Citric acid is a remedy for scurvy. 

"Jack Carr," the famous Yukon mail carrier, has given 
a list for an outfit which, he says, will last one man one 
year in the Klondike district. This list follows: 

Flour, pounds 400 

Cornmeal, pounds 50 

Rolled oats, pounds 50 

Rice, pounds 35 

Beans, pounds 100 

Candles, pounds 40 

Sugar, granulated, pounds 100 

Baking powder, pounds 8 

Bacon, pounds 200 

Soda, pounds 2 

Yeast cakes (6 in package) packages 6 

Salt, pounds 15 

Pepper, pounds 1 

Mustard, pounds -J 

Ginger, pounds 

Apples, evaporated, pounds 25 

Peaches, evaporated, pounds 25 

Apricots, evaporated, pounds 25 

Fish, pounds 25 

Pitted plums, pounds 10 

Raisins, pounds 10 

Onions, evaporated, pounds 50 

Potatoes, evaporated, pounds 50 

Coffee, pounds 24 

Tea, pounds 5 

Milk, condensed, dozen 4 

Soap, laundry, bars 5 



Matches, packages 60 

Soup vegetables, pounds 15 

Butter, sealed, cans 25 

Tobacco, at discretion 

Stove, steel 

Gold pan 

Granite buckets, 1 nest of 3 


Plates (tin) 

Knives and forks, each 

Spoons — tea, 1 ; table 2 


Coffee pot 

Pick and handle 

Saw, hand 

Saw, whip 


Shovels, -| spring 2 

Nails, pounds 20 

Files 3 


Ax and handle 

Chisels, 3 sizes 3 

Butcher knife 



Jack plane 


Yukon sleigh 

Lash rope, ^-inch, feet 60 

Rope, -J-inch, feet 150 

Pitch, pounds 15 

Oakum, pounds 10 

Frying pans 2 

Woolen clothes. 

Boots and shoes. 


If one is not going to build a boat, the oakum, pitch 
and tools can be dispensed with. In summer a sled is 
not necessary. Those going on a steamer by way of 


St. Michael are recommended to take plenty of deli- 
cacies, costing little, but greatly appreciated. Above all, 
the caution is given, "take plenty." 

The Northern Pacific railroad company has made up 
a list of supplies necessary for one man for one year for 
the Klondike mining outfit and the cost of the same at 
Seattle and Tacoma. The passenger officials of the road 
say that this list can be relied upon as containing every- 
thing that is needed: 

Bacon, pounds 150 

Flour, pounds 400 

Rolled oats, pounds 25 

Beans, pounds 125 

Tea, pounds 10 

Coffee, pounds 10 

Sugar, pounds 25 

Dried potatoes, pounds 25 

Dried onions, pounds 2 

Salt, pounds 15 

Pepper, pounds 1 

Dried fruits, pounds 75 

Baking powder, pounds 8 

Soda, pounds 2 

Evaporated vinegar, pounds -£ 

Compressed soup, ounces 12 

Soap, cakes 9 

Mustard, cans 1 

Matches (for four men), tins 1 

Stove for four men. 

Gold pan for each. 

Set granite buckets. 

Large bucket. 

Knife, fork, spoon, cup and plate. 

Frying pan. 

Coffee and tea pot. 

Scythe stone. 

Two picks and one shovel. 

One whipsaw. 

Pack strap. 


Two axes for four men and one extra handle. 

Six 8-inch files and two taper files for party. 

Drawing knife, brace and bits, jack plane and hammer, 
for party. 

200 feet three-eighths-inch rope. 

8 pounds of pitch and five pounds of oakum for four 

Nails, five pounds each of 6, 8, 10 and 12-penny, for 
four men. 

Tent, 10x12 feet, for four. 

Canvas for wrapping. 

Two oil blankets to each boat. 

5 yards mosquito netting for each man. 

3 suits heavy underwear. 

1 heavy mackinaw coat. 

2 pairs heavy mackinaw trousers. 
1 heavy rubber-lined coat. 

1 dozen heavy wool socks. 

-J dozen heavy wool mittens. 

2 heavy overshirts. 

2 pairs heavy snagproof rubber boots. 
2 pairs shoes. 

4 pairs blankets (for two men). 
4 towels. 

2 pairs overalls. 
1 suit oil clothing. 

Besides these things each man procures a small assort- 
ment of medicines, and each is provided with several 
changes of summer clothing. 

The foregoing outfit costs in round figures as follows: 

Groceries $ 40.00 

Clothing 50.00 

Hardware 50.00 

Total $140.00 

The outfits purchased in Seattle by twenty experienced 
miners on their way to the Klondike are regarded as 
models by miners and prospectors who have returned 
from that region. The twenty men first divided them- 


selves into five parties of four men each, intending to 
have a boat for each party as well as a tent, and various 
smaller articles. The main items of their outfits are as 
follows, the items, when not otherwise mentioned, being 
for one man: 

Bacon, pounds 1 5° 

Flour, pounds 250 

Rolled oats, pounds 25 

Beans, pounds 100 

Tea, pounds 10 

CofTee, pounds 10 

Sugar, pounds 4° 

Dried potatoes, pounds 25 

Dried onions, pounds 2 

Salt, pounds 10 

Pepper, pounds 1 

Dried fruits, pounds 75 

Baking powder, pounds 4 

Soda, pounds 2 

Evaporated vinegar, pounds J 

Compressed soup, ounces 12 

Soap, cakes 9 

Mustard, cans 1 

Matches (for four men), tins 1 

Rice, pounds 4° 

Stove for four men. 

Gold pan for each. 

Set granite buckets. 

Large bucket. 

Knife, fork, spoon, cup and plate. 

Frying pan. 

CofTee and tea pot. 

Scythe stone. 

Two picks and one shovel. 

One whipsaw . 

Pack strap. 

Two axes for four men and one extra handle. 

Six 8-inch files and two taper files for party. 

Drawing knife, brace and bits, jack plane and hammer, 
for party. 


200 feet 3-8-inch rope. 

8 pounds of pitch and five pounds of oakum for four 

Nails, five pounds each of 6, 8, 10 and 12-penny, for 
four men. 

Shoemaker's thread. 

Shoemaker's awl. 

Gum for patching gum boots. 

Tent, 10x12 feet, for four. 

Canvas for wrapping. 

Two oil blankets to each boat. 

5 yards mosquito netting for each man. 

3 suits heavy underwear. 

1 heavy mackinaw coat. 

2 pairs heavy mackinaw trousers. 
•| dozen heavy wool socks. 

•J dozen heavy wool mittens. 

2 heavy overshirts. 

2 pairs heavy snagproof rubber boots. 

2 pairs shoes. 

3 pairs blankets (for two men). 

4 towels. 

2 pairs overalls. 

1 suit oil clothing. 

2 rubber blankets. 

Besides these things each man procures a small as- 
sortment of medicines, and each is provided with several 
changes of summer clothing. 

Here is a list of medicines for four men: 

25c worth cascara sagrada bark. 

1 bottle good whisky. 

3 boxes carbolic salve. 
1 bottle arnica. 

The above outfit cost in round figures as follows: 

Groceries $ 4 - 00 

Clothing 5°-°° 

Hardware 5°-°° 

Total $140.00 


Fare to Dyea and incidentals brought the expense of 
these twenty prospectors up to about $175 each. They 
believe that they are very well supplied for a year's stay 
in the land of the midnight sun. 

It will be noticed that the lists made up by the twenty 
miners and the list of the Northern Pacific railroad are 
identical in many respects, indicating that the miners 
based their estimates upon the estimate made by the rail- 
road company. The miners made up their lists, however, 
after numerous consultations with returned miners in 
Seattle, and, as a result, made up a lighter pack. 

A Seattle outfitting house, which has been in the busi- 
ness for a number of years, made out the following 
"standard" list of clothing, which the proprietor of the 
establishment said would weigh 140 pounds, and would 
be necessary, if the miner wanted to be really comfortable 
in the Klondike regions: 

Seattle Forty Mile 

price. price. 

Four suits wool underclothes $20.00 $80.00 

Two heavy sweaters „ 10.00 30.00 

Two "mackinaws" or Havre shirts. .. . 20.00 60.00 

Four pairs caribou mittens 8.00 20.00 

Two fur caps 10.00 20.00 

Two fur robes 90.00 200.00 

Three pairs blankets 25.00 100.00 

Three pairs overalls 3.00 25.00 

Four pairs moccasins 15.00 20.00 

One cape, with hood, "parkie" 15.00 30.00 

Four heavy wool shirts I5-00 45.00 

Three pairs rubber boots 15.00 75-00 

Twelve pairs wool stockings 30.00 100.00 

Totals . . $276.00 $805.00 

This outfitting establishment has adopted the following 


list of supplies suitable for six months for one man on 
the Klondike: 

Weight Cost in Cost at 

Outfit. (lbs.) Seattle. Forty Mile. 

Beans ioo $2.50 $10.00 

Baking powder 10 5.00 20.00 

Bacon 100 I5-00 55>oo 

Butter 50 15.00 60.00 

Coffee 25 7.50 35.00 

Flour 400 11.00 75-00 

Fruit (dried) 100 5.00 40.00 

Lard 40 4.00 25.00 

Matches 5 6.00 15.00 

Milk (condensed) 25 5.00 50.00 

Pepper 3 .75 5.00 

Potatoes (dried) 100 5.00 30.00 

Rice 20 1.00 10.00 

Salt 10 1. 00 5.00 

Stove and utensils no 90.00 400.00 

Pick, shovel, ax, hatchet, 

etc 20 15.00 125.00 

Tea 25 8.00 40.00 

Totals IJ43 $196.75 $1,000.00 

The lists of supplies are intended as a guide for those 
who desire to make the trip to the Klondike overland, 
that is, through one of the several passes which will lead 
to the Lewes and Yukon river routes. The steamboats 
that run up the Yukon river to St. Michael are operated 
by companies who have store houses in Circle City, Fort 
Cudahy, Forty Mile, Dawson City and other points. 
These transportation and trading companies will not 
carry the "grub" supply for their passengers, so that pros- 
pectors who take the Yukon river route will not be able 
to purchase their food supply before they start. 

While it is probable that gold seekers will be able to 
save some money by purchasing their supplies at home if 



they are east of the Rocky mountains, it will be the better 
policy to purchase supplies in San Francisco, Seattle, 
Portland, Victoria or from whatever port the start is 
made. In those cities everything that will be required 
can be obtained, and the outfitting establishments and 
stores will pack the goods in a way which experience has 
proved to be the best. 

Omer Maris, of the CHICAGO RECORD, who has 
made the trip overland and also down the Yukon, sent 
the following suggestion regarding boats from Seattle 
just before he sailed for Dyea Aug. 2, for the benefit of 
those who intend to go overland: 

'The greatest demand for any particular thing is for 
boats. People, to save time in getting down the river, 
should take their boats with them. A half dozen 
carpenters or planing-mill establishments have caught 
the idea and are working night and day turning out 
knockdown boats. One that will carry a ton costs about 
$18 and weighs about 200 pounds. It is taken apart 
with no pieces more than six or seven feet long and 
packed for shipping. The demand is so good for these 
boats that the builders are several days behind with their 
orders. The principal objection to them is that the In- 
dians and packers dislike to contract to carry them over 
the mountains on account of their awkward shape. One 
builder has now worked out a model for a galvanized iron 
boat that can be carried in sections fitting together like 
a "nest" of custard dishes and can be put together with 
small bolts. As a suggestion to those coming from the 
cast, I would say that a canvas folding boat that will carry 
two tons and is constructed on good lines would be very 
available for the Yukon. A keel, mast and some addi- 
tional bracing could be added after reaching the interior." 
One of the miners who returned from the Yukon dis- 


trict after five years in that country had this word of advice 
to give to tenderfeet: 

"Very rarely is sufficient importance attached to the 
medical chest, which should have a place in every pros- 
pector's pack. In case of emergency, drugs and ap- 
pliances for the relief of pain are invaluable. A supply 
of citric acid should be carried for the relief of scurvy. 
The astringent property of the lime or lemon is due to 
this acid. A few drops mixed with water and sugar 
makes excellent lemonade. The drug store can furnish 
saccharin tablets in place of sugar; three-quarters of an 
ounce of this concentrated sweet is equal to twenty-five 
pounds of sugar. It will be easily seen what a saving 
this would effect. An hundred pounds of sugar at 5J 
cents per pound would be $5.50. Add to this 22 cents 
per pound for packing over the summit at Dyea, and the 
total cost is $27.50, besides the room it would take. Sac- 
charin costs but $1.50 an ounce, and the three ounces, 
equal to 100 pounds of sugar, would cost but $4.50, the 
cost of packing being nominal for such small bulk. 

"Some preparation for the reception of the myriads of 
mosquitoes is also necessary. 

'The following articles would each be found of use, to 
be purchased in quantities according to the judgment of 
the individual: Liniment for sprains and cold on the 
lungs, tincture of iron to enrich the blood, extract of Ja- 
maica ginger, laudanum, vaseline, carbolic ointment, 
salts, cough tablets, mustard and adhesive plasters, sur- 
geon's lint, bandages, liver pills, powder for bleeding, ab- 
sorbent cotton, surgeon's sponge, needles and silk, qui- 
nine capsules and toothache drops." 

All supplies are subject to a tariff tax by the Canadian 
government, and if this policy is continued, gold seekers 


must be prepared to pay the Canadian customs officials 
an entry tax as follows: 

Shovels and spades, picks, etc., 25 per cent. 

Horses, 20 per cent. 

Axes, hatchets and adzes, 25 per cent. 

Baking powder, 6 cents per pound. 

Bed comforters, 32^ per cent. 

Blankets, 5 cents per pound and 25 per cent. 

Boats and ships' sails, 25 per cent. 

Rubber boots, 25 per cent. 

Boots and shoes, 25 per cent. 

Breadstuffs, viz., grain, flour and meal of all kinds, 20 
per cent. 

Butter, 4 cents per pound. 

Candles, 28 per cent. 

Cartridges and ammunition, 30 per cent. 

Cheese, 3 cents per pound. 

Cigars and cigarettes, $2 per pound and 26 per cent. 

Clothing — Socks, 10 cents per dozen pairs and 35 per 

Knitted goods of every description, 35 per cent. 

Ready-made goods, partially of wool, 30 per cent. 

Waterproof clothing, 35 per cent. 

Coffee, condensed, 30 per cent; roasted, 2 cents per 
pound and 10 per cent; substitutes, 2 cents per pound; 
extracts, 3 cents per pound. 

Condensed milk, 3 cents per pound. 

Cotton knitted goods, 35 per cent. 

Crowbars, 35 per cent. 

Cutlery, 35 per cent. 

Dogs, 20 per cent. 

Drugs, 20 per cent. 

Duck, from 20 to 30 per cent. 

Earthenware, 30 per cent. 

Edge tools, 35 per cent. 

Fire arms, 20 per cent. 

Fishhooks and lines, 25 per cent. 

Flour, wheat, 75 cents per barrel; rye, 50 cents per 

Fruits, dried, 25 per cent. 


Fruits, prunes, raisins, currants, i cent per pound. 
Fruits, jellies, jams, preserves, 3 cents per pound. 
Fur caps, muffs, capes, coats, 25 per cent. 
Furniture, 30 per cent. 
Galvanized iron or tinware, 30 per cent. 
Guns, 20 per cent. 
Hardware, 32J per cent. 
Harness and saddlery., 30 per cent. 
Jerseys, knitted, 35 per cent. 
Lard, 2 cents per pound. 
Linen clothing, 32^ per cent. 
Maps and charts, 20 per cent. 

Meats, canned, 25 per cent; in barrel, 2 cents per 

Oatmeal, 20 per cent. 

Oiled cloth, 30 per cent. 

Pipes, 35 per cent. 

Pork, in barrel, 2 cents a pound. 

Potatoes, 15 cents a bushel. 

Potted meats, 25 per cent. 

Powder, mining and blasting, 2 cents a pound. 

Rice, 1 1-4 cents a pound. 

Sacks or bags, 20 per cent. 

Sawmills, portable, 30 per cent. 

Sugar, 64-100 cents a pound. 

Surgical instruments, 15 per cent. 

Tents, 32^ per cent. 

Tobacco, 42 cents per pound and \2\ per cent. 




EFORE William Ogilvie, the famous 
explorer and the Dominion land sur- 
veyor of the Department of the In- 
terior of the Canadian government, 
surveyed the entire distance from 
Dyea to the crossing of the interna- 
tional boundary line and the Yukon 
river, the information respecting the 
Yukon district was derived from hearsay and unreliable 
sources. Mr. Ogilvie is regarded as the best informed 
man in the world in regard to this district, which has 
become famous the world over since gold was struck on 
the Klondike. He has embodied a fund of information 
of the utmost value to prospectors in his report, which 
is just off the presses of the government printing bureau 
at Ottawa, Ontario. 

His surveys of the Yukon and its tributaries were 
made for the purpose of giving to the Canadian govern- 
ment the information needed for taking up the question 
of improving the navigability of those rivers. As gold 
has been found in almost all of the creeks, streams and 
rivers named by Mr. Ogilvie in his valuable report, it is 
reprinted in these pages for the purpose of giving miners 
and prospectors authentic information derived from an 
official source. It is as follows: 

"For the purpose of navigation a description of the 
Lewes river begins at the head of Lake Bennett. Above 
that point, and between it and Lake Lindeman, there 


is only about three-quarters of a mile of river, which 
is not more than fifty or sixty yards wide, and two or 
three feet deep, and it is so swift and rough that naviga- 
tion is out of the question. 

"Lake Lindeman is about five miles long and a half 
mile wide. It is deep enough for all ordinary purposes. 
Lake Bennett is twenty-six and a quarter miles long, for 
the upper fourteen of which it is about half a mile wide. 
About midway in its length an arm comes in from the 
west, which Schwatka appears to have mistaken for a 
river, and named Wheaton river. This arm is wider than 
the other arm down to that point, and is reported by In- 
dians to be longer and heading in a glacier which lies 
in the pass at the head of Chilkoot inlet. This arm is, 
as far as is seen, surrounded by high mountains, ap- 
parently much higher than those on the arm we traveled 
down. Below the junction of the two arms the lake is 
about one and a half miles wide, with deep water. Above 
the forks the water of the east branch is muddy. This is 
caused by the streams from the numerous glaciers on 
the head of the tributaries of Lake Lindeman. 

"A stream which flows into Lake Bennett at the south- 
west corner is also very dirty, and has shoaled quite a 
large portion of the lake at its mouth. The beach at 
the lower end of this lake is comparatively flat and the 
water shoal. A deep, wide valley extends northwards 
from the north end of the lake, apparently reaching to 
the canyon, or a short distance above it. This may have 
been originally a course for the waters of the river. The 
bottom of the valley is wide and sandy, and covered with 
scrubby timber, principally poplar and pitch pine. The 
waters of the lake empty at the extreme northeast angle 
through a channel not more than ioo yards wide, which 
soon expands into what Schwatka called Lake Nares 


(the connecting waters between Lake Bennett and Tagish 
lake constitute what is now called Caribou crossing). 
Through this narrow channel there is quite a current, 
and more than seven feet of water, as a six-foot paddle 
and a foot of arm added to its length did not reach the 

"The hills at the upper end of Lake Lindeman rise 
abruptly from the water's edge. At the lower end they 
are neither so steep nor so high. Lake Nares is only 
two and a half miles long, and its greatest width is about 
a mile; it is not deep, but is navigable for boats drawing 
five or six feet of water; it is separated from Lake Ben- 
nett by a shallow, sandy point of not more than 200 yards 
in length. No streams of any consequence empty into 
either of these lakes. A small river flows into Lake Ben- 
nett on the west side, a short distance north of the fork, 
and another at the extreme northwest angle, but neither 
of them is of any consequence in a navigable sense. 

"Lake Nares flows through a narrow curved channel 
into Bove lake (Schwatka). This channel is not more 
than 600 or 700 yards long, and the water in it appears 
to be sufficiently deep for boats that could navigate the 
lake. The land between the lakes along this channel is 
low, swampy and covered with willows, and at the stage 
in which I saw it, did not rise more than three feet above 
the water. The hills on the southwest side slope up 
easily, and are not high; on the north side the deep 
valley already referred to borders it; and on the east 
side the mountains rise abruptly from the lake shore. 

"Bove lake (called Tagish lake by Dr. Dawson) is 
about a mile wide for the first two miles of its length, 
when it is joined by what the miners have called Windy 
arm. One of the Tagish Indians informed me they 
called it Takone lake. Here the lake expands to a width 


of about two miles for a distance of some three miles, 
when it suddenly narrows to about half a mile for a dis- 
tance of a little over a mile, after which it widens again 
to about a mile and a half or more. 

'Ten miles from the head of the lake it is joined by 
the Taku arm from the south. This arm must be of con- 
siderable length, as it can be seen for a long distance, 
and its valley can be traced through the mountains much 
farther than the lake itself can be seen. It is apparently 
over a mile wide at its mouth or junction. 

"Dr. Dawson includes Bove lake and these two arms 
under the common name of Tagish lake. This is much 
more simple and comprehensive than the various names 
given them by travelers. These waters collectively are 
the fishing and hunting grounds of the Tagish Indians, 
and as they are really one body of water, there is no rea- 
son why they should not be all included under one 

"From the junction with the Taku arm to the north 
end of the lake the distance is about six miles, the 
greater part being over two miles wide. The west side 
is very flat and shallow, so much so that it was impos- 
sible in many places to get our canoes to the shore, and 
quite a distance out in the lake there was not more than 
five feet of water. The members of my party who were 
in charge of the boat and outfit went down the east side 
of the lake and reported the depth about the same as I 
found on the west side, with many large rocks. They 
passed through it in the night in a rain storm, and were 
much alarmed for the safety of the boat and provisions. 
It would appear that this part of the lake requires some 
improvement to make it in keeping with the rest of the 
water system with which it is connected. 

"Where the river debouches from it, it is about 150 













yards wide, and for a short distance not more than five 
or six feet deep. The depth is, however, soon increased 
to ten feet or more, and so continues down to what 
Schwatka calls Marsh lake. The miners call it Mud 
lake, but on this name they do not appear to be agreed, 
many of them calling the lower part of the Tagish or 
Bove lake 'Mud lake,' on account of its shallowness 
and flat, muddy shores, as seen along the west side, the 
side nearly always traveled, as it is more sheltered from 
the prevailing southerly winds. The term 'Mud lake* 
is, however, not applicable to this lake, as only a com- 
paratively small part of it is shallow or muddy; and it 
is nearly as inapplicable to Marsh lake, as the latter is 
not markedly muddy along the west side, and from the 
appearance of the east shore one would not judge it to 
be so, as the banks appear to be high and gravelly. 

"Marsh lake is a little over nineteen miles long, and 
averages about two miles in width. I tried to determine 
the width of it as I went along with my survey, by taking 
azimuths of points on the eastern shore from different 
stations of the survey; but in only one case did I succeed, 
as there were no prominent marks on that shore which 
could be identified from more than one place. The 
piece of river connecting Tagish and Marsh lakes is 
about five miles long, and averages 150 to 200 yards in 
width, and, as already mentioned, is deep, except for a 
short distance at the head. On it are situated the only 
Indian houses to be found in the interior with any pre- 
tention to skill in construction. 

"The Lewes river, where it leaves Marsh lake, is 
about 200 yards wide, and averages this width as far as 
the canyon. I did not try to find bottom anywhere as I 
went along, except where I had reason to think it shallow, 
and there I always tried with my paddle. I did not any- 


where find bottom with this, which shows that there is 
no part of this stretch of the river with less than six feet 
of water at medium height, at which stage it appeared 
to me the river was at that time. 

"From the head of Lake Bennett to the canyon the cor- 
rected distance is ninety-five miles, all of which is navi- 
gable for boats drawing five feet or more. Add to this 
the westerly arm of Lake Bennett, and the Takone or 
Windy arm of Takish lake, each about fifteen miles in 
length, and the Taku arm of the latter lake, of unknown 
length, but probably not less than thirty miles, and we 
have a stretch of water of upwards of one hundred miles 
in length, all easily navigable; and, as has been pointed 
out, easily connected with Taiya inlet through the White 


"No streams of any importance enter any of these 
lakes so far as I know. A river, called by Schwatka 
'McClintock river,' enters Marsh lake at the lower end 
from the east. It occupies a large valley, as seen from 
the westerly side of the lake, but the stream is apparently 
unimportant. Another small stream, apparently only a 
creek, enters the southeast angle of the lake. It is not 
probable that any stream coming from the east side of 
the lake is of importance, as the strip of country between 
the Lewes and Teslintoo is not more than thirty or forty 
miles in width at this point. 

"The Taku arm of Tagish lake is, so far, with the ex- 
ception of reports from Indians, unknown ; but it is equal- 
ly improbable that any river of importance enters it, as 
it is so near the source of the waters flowing northwards. 
However, this is a question that can only be decided by 
a proper exploration. The canyon I have already de- 
scribed, and will only add that it is five-eighths of a mile 


long, about ioo feet wide, with perpendicular banks of 
basaltic rock from 60 to 100 feet high. 

"Below the canyon proper there is a stretch of rapids 
for about a mile ; then about half a mile of smooth water, 
following which are the White Horse rapids, which are 
three-eighths of a mile long, and unsafe for boats. The 
total fall in the canyon and succeeding rapids was meas- 
ured and found to be 32 feet. Were it ever necessary to 
make this part of the river navigable it will be no easy 
task to overcome the obstacles at this point; but a tram 
or railway could, with very little difficulty, be constructed 
along the east side of the river past the canyon. 

"For some distance below the White Horse rapids the 
current is swift and the river wide, with many gravel 
bars. The reach between these rapids and Lake Le Barge, 
a distance of twenty-seven and a half miles, is all 
smooth water, with a strong current. The average width 
is about 150 yards. There is no impediment to naviga- 
tion other than the swift current, and this is no stronger 
than on the lower part of the river, which is already navi- 
gated; nor is it worse than on the Saskatchewan and 
Red rivers in the more eastern part of our territory. 

"About midway in this stretch the Tahkeena river (the 
Tahkeena was formerly much used by the Chilkat In- 
dians as a means of reaching the interior, but never by 
the miners, owing to the distance from the sea to its 
head) joins the Lewes. This river is, apparently, about 
half the size of the latter. Its waters are muddy, indicat- 
ing its passage through a clayey district. I got some 
indefinite information about this river from an Indian 
who happened to meet me just below its mouth, but I 
could not readily make him understand me, and his re- 
plies were a compound of Chinook, Tagish, and signs, 
and therefore largely unintelligible. From what I could 


understand with any certainty, the river was easy to de- 
scend, there being no bad rapids, and it came out of a 
lake much larger than any I had yet passed. 

"Lake Le Barge is thirty-one miles long. In the upper 
thirteen it varies from three to four miles in width; it 
then narrows to about two miles for a distance of seven 
miles; when it begins to widen again, and gradually ex- 
pands to about two and a half or three miles, the lower 
six miles of it maintaining the latter width. The survey 
was carried along the western shore, and while so en- 
gaged I determined the width of the upper wide part by 
triangulation at two points, the width of the narrow mid- 
dle part at three points, and the width of the lower part 
at three points. Dr. Dawson on his way out made a 
track survey of the eastern shore. The western shore 
is irregular in many places, being indented by large bays, 
especially at the upper and lower ends. These bays are, 
as a rule, shallow, more especially those at the lower end. 

"Just above where the lake narrows in the middle there 
is a large island. It is three and a half miles long and 
about half a mile in width. It is shown on Schwatka's 
map as a peninsula, and called by him Ritchtofen rocks. 
How he came to think it a peninsula I cannot understand, 
as it is well out in the lake ; the nearest point of it to the 
western shore is upwards of half a mile distant, and the 
extreme width of the lake here is not more than five 
miles, which includes the depth of the deepest bays on 
the western side. It is therefore difficult to understand 
that he did not see it as an island. The upper half of 
this island is gravelly, and does not rise very high above 
the lake. The lower end is rocky and high, the rock be- 
ing of a bright red color. At the lower end of the lake 
there is a large valley extending northward, which has 


evidently at one time been the outlet of the lake. Dr. 
Dawson has noted it and its peculiarities. 

"The width of the Lewes river as it leaves the lake is 
the same as at its entrance, about 200 yards. Its waters 
when I was there were murky. This is caused by the 
action of the waves on the shore along the lower end of 
the lake. The water at the upper end and at the middle 
of the lake is quite clear, so much so that the bottom 
can be distinctly seen at a depth of six or seven feet. 
The wind blow 7 s almost constantly down this lake, and 
in a high wind it gets very rough. The miners complain 
of much detention owing to this cause, and certainly I 
cannot complain of a lack of wind while I was on the lake. 
This lake was named after one Mike Le Barge, who was 
engaged by the Western Union telegraph company, ex- 
ploring the river and adjacent country for the purpose 
of connecting Europe and America by telegraph through 
British Columbia, and Alaska, and across Bering strait 
to Asia, and thence to Europe. 

"After leaving Lake Le Barge the river, for a distance 
of about five miles, preserves a generally uniform width 
and an easy current of about four miles per hour. It 
then makes a short turn round a low gravel point, and 
flows in exactly the opposite of its general course for a 
mile, when it again turns sharply to its general direction. 

"The Teslintoo was so called by Dr. Dawson — this, 
according to information obtained by him, being the In- 
dian name. It is called by the miners 'Hootalinkwa,' 
or Hootalinqua, and was called by Schwatka, who ap- 
pears to have bestowed no other attention to it, the New- 
berry, although it is apparently much larger than the 
Lewes. (The limited amount of prospecting that has 
been done on the Teslintoo is said to be very satisfactory, 
fine gold having been found in all parts of the river. The 


lack of supplies is the great drawback to its development, 
and this will not be overcome to any great extent until 
by some means heavy freight can be brought over the 
coast range to the head of the river. Indeed, owing to 
the difficulties attending access and transportation, the 
great drawback to the entire Yukon district at present 
is the want of heavy mining machinery and the scarcity 
of supplies. The government being aware of the require- 
ments and possibilities of the country has undertaken the 
task of making preliminary surveys for trails and rail- 
roads, and no doubt in the near future the avenue for 
better and quicker transportation facilities will be opened 

'The water of the Teslintoo is of a dark brown 
color, similar in appearance to the Ottawa river water, 
and a little turbid. Notwithstanding the difference of 
volume of discharge, the Teslintoo changes completely 
the character of the river below the junction, and a 
person coming up the river would, at the forks, unhesi- 
tatingly pronounce the Teslintoo the main stream. The 
water of the Lewes is blue in color, and at the time I 
speak of was somewhat dirty — not enough so, however, 
to prevent one seeing to a depth of two or three feet. 

"At the junction of the Lewes and Teslintoo I met two 
or three families of the Indians who hunt in the vicinity. 
One of them could speak a little Chinook. He told me 
the river was easy to ascend, and presented the same 
appearance eight days' journey up as at the mouth; then 
a lake was reached, which took one day to cross, the 
river was then followed again for half a day to another 
lake, which took two days to traverse; into this lake 
emptied a stream which they used as a highway to the 
coast, passing by way of the Taku river. He said it 
took four days when they had loads to carry, from the 


head of canoe navigation on the Teslintoo to salt water 
on the Taku inlet, but when they come light they take 
only one to two days. 

"If their time intervals are approximately accurate, 
they mean that there are about 200 miles of good river 
to the first lake, as they ought easily to make 25 miles 
a day on the river as I saw it. The lake takes one day to 
traverse, and is at least 25 miles long, followed by say 12 
of river, which brings us to the large lake, which takes 
two days to cross, say 50 or 60 miles more — in all about 
292 miles — say 300 to the head of canoe navigation; 
while the distance from the head of Lake Bennett to the 
junction is only 188. Assuming the course of the Tes- 
lintoo to be nearly south (it is a little to the east of it), 
and throwing out every fourth mile for bends, the re- 
mainder gives us an arc three degrees and a quarter of 
latitude, which deducted from 6o° 40', the latitude of the 
junction, gives us 58 25', or nearly the latitude of Ju- 

"I afterwards met T. Boswell, his brother, and another 
miner, who had spent most of the summer on the river 
prospecting, and from them I gathered the following: 
The distance to the first, and only lake they saw, they put 
at 175 miles, and the lake itself they call at least 150 miles 
long, and it took them four days to row in a light boat 
from end to end. The portage to the sea they did not 
appear to know anything about, but describe a large bay 
on the east side of the lake, into which a river of con- 
siderable size entered. This river occupies a wide valley, 
surrounded by high mountains. They thought this river 
must head near Liard river. This account differs ma- 
terially from that given by the Indian, and to put them 
on their guard, I told them what he had told me, but 
they still persisted in their story, which I find differs a 


good deal from the account they gave Dr. Dawson, as 
incorporated in his report. 

"Between the Teslintoo and the Big Salmon, so called 
by the miners, or D'Abbadie by Schwatka, the distance 
is thirty-three and a half miles, in which the Lewes pre- 
serves a generally uniform width and current. For a 
few miles below the Teslintoo it is a little over the or- 
dinary width, but then contracts to about 200 yards, 
which it maintains with little variation. The current is 
generally from four to five miles per hour. The Big Sal- 
mon I found to be about 100 yards wide near the mouth, 
the depth not more than four or five feet, and the current, 
so far as could be seen, sluggish. 

"Just below the Big Salmon the Lewes takes a bend 
of nearly a right angle. Its course from the junction 
with the Tehkeena to this point is generally a little east 
of north; at this point it turns to nearly west for some 
distance. Its course between here and its confluence with 
the Pelly is northwest, and, I may add, it preserves this 
general direction down to the confluence with the Porcu- 
pine. Thirty-six and a quarter miles below the Big Sal- 
mon, the Little Salmon — the Daly of Schwatka — enters 
the Lewes. This river is about sixty yards wide at the 
mouth, and not more than two or three feet in depth. 
The water is clear and of a brownish hue; there is not 
much current at the mouth, nor as far as can be seen up 
the stream. It is said that some miners have prospected 
this stream, but I could learn nothing definite about it. 

"Lewes river makes a turn here to the southwest, and 
runs in that direction six miles, when it again turns to the 
northwest for seven miles, and then makes a short, sharp 
turn to the south and west around a low, sandy point, 
which will at some day in the near future be cut through 
by the current, which will shorten the river three or four 





This is a continuation of the Map on opposite page. 


miles. Eight miles below Little Salmon river a large 
rock called the Eagle's Nest, stands up in a gravel slope 
on the easterly bank of the river. It rises about five 
hundred feet above the river, and is composed of a light 
gray stone. Thirty-two miles below Eagle's Nest rock 
Nordenskiold river enters from the west. It is an unim- 
portant stream, being not more than 120 feet wide at the 
mouth, and only a few inches deep. The valley, as far 
as can be seen, is not extensive, and being very crooked 
it is hard to tell what its general direction is. The Lewes, 
between the Little Salmon and the Nordenskiold, con- 
tains a width of from 200 to 300 yards, with an occasional 
expansion where there are islands. It is serpentine in its 
course most of the way, and where the Nordenskiold joins 
it is very crooked, running several times under a hill, 
named by Schwatka Tantalus Butte, and in other places 
leaving it, for a distance of eight miles. The distance 
across from point to point is only half a mile. 

"Below this to Five Finger rapids, so called from the 
fact that five large masses of rock stand in mid-channel, 
the river assumes its ordinary straightness and width, 
with a current from four to five miles per hour. I do 
not think the rapids will prove anything more than a 
slight obstruction in the navigation of the river. A boat 
of ordinary power would probably have to help herself 
up with windlass and line in high water. Below the 
rapids, for about two miles, the current is strong — prob- 
ably six miles per hour — but the water seems to be deep 
enough for any boat that is likely to navigate it. Six 
miles below this the Rink rapids are situated. They are 
of no great importance, the westerly half of the stream 
only being obstructed. The easterly half is not in any 
way affected, the current being smooth and the water 


"Below Five Finger rapids about two miles a small 
stream enters from the east. It is called by Dr. Dawson 
Tatshun river. It is not more than thirty or forty feet 
wide at the mouth, and contains only a little brownish 
water. Between Five Finger rapids and Pelly river, 58J 
miles, no streams of any importance enter the Lewes ; in 
fact, with the exception of the Tatshun, it may be said 
that none at all enter. About a mile below Rink rapids 
the river spreads out into a lake-like expanse, with many 
islands; this continues for about three miles, when it 
contracts to something like the usual width; but bars 
and small islands are very numerous all the way to Pelly 
river. About five miles above Pelly river there is another 
lake-like expanse filled with islands. The river here for 
three or four miles is nearly a mile wide, and so numerous 
and close are the islands that it is impossible to tell, when 
floating among them, where the shores of the river are. 
The current, too, is swift, leaving one to suppose the 
water shallow; but I think even here a channel deep 
enough for such boats as will navigate this part of the 
river can be found. Schwatka named this group of is- 
lands Tngersoll Islands.' 

"About a mile below the Pelly the Lewes is about half 
a mile wide, and here, too, there are many islands, but 
not in groups as at Ingersoll islands. About a mile be- 
low the Pelly, just at the ruins of Fort Selkirk, the Yukon 
was found to be 565 yards wide; about two-thirds being 
ten feet deep, with a current of about four and three-quar- 
ters miles per hour; the remaining third was more than 
half taken up by a bar, and the current between it and 
the south shore was very slack. Pelly river at its mouth 
is about 200 yards wide, and continues this width as far 
up as could be seen. 

"Tust here for a short distance the course of the Yukon 


is nearly west, and on the south side, about a mile below 
the mouth of the Lewes, stands all that remains of the 
only trading post ever built by white men in the district. 
This post was established by Robert Campbell, for the 
Hudson Bay company in the summer of 1848. Indians 
pillaged the place and set fire to it, leaving nothing but 
the remains of the two chimneys, which are still stand- 
ing. This raid and capture took place on the first of Au- 
gust, 1852. Below Fort Selkirk the Yukon river is from 
500 to 600 yards broad and maintains this width down 
to White river, a distance of ninety-six miles. Islands are 
numerous, so much so that there are very few parts of 
the river where there are not one or more in sight. Bars 
are also numerous, but almost all are composed of 
gravel, so that navigators will not have to complain of 
shifting sand-bars. The current, as a general thing, is 
not so rapid as in the upper part of the river, averaging 
about four miles per hour. The depth in the main chan- 
nel was always found to be more than six feet. 

"From Pelly river to within 12 miles of White river 
the general course of the river is a little north of west; 
it then turns to the north, and the general course as far 
as the site of Fort Reliance is due north. White river 
enters the main river from the west. At the mouth it is 
about 200 yards wide, but a great part of it is filled with 
ever-shifting sand-bars, the main volume of water being 
confined to a channel not more than 100 yards in width. 
The current is very strong, certainly not less than eight 
miles per hour. The color of the water bears witness to 
this, as it is much the muddiest of any I have ever seen. 
Between White and Stewart rivers, ten miles, the river 
spreads out to a mile and upwards in width, and is a maze 
of islands and bars. The survey was carried down the 
easterly shore and many of the channels passed through 


barely afforded water enough to float the canoes. The 
main channel is along the westerly shore, down which 
the large boat went, and the crew reported plenty of 

Stewart river enters from the east in the middle of 
a wide valley, with low hills on both sides, rising on 
the north side in steps or terraces to distant hills of 
considerable height. The river half a mile or so above 
the mouth, is 200 yards in width. The current is slack 
and the water shallow and clear, but dark colored. While 
at the mouth I was fortunate enough to meet a miner 
who had spent the whole summer of 1887 on the river 
and its branches prospecting and exploring. He gave 
me a good deal of information, of which I give a sum- 
mary. He is a native of New Brunswick, Alexander 
MacDonald by name, and has spent some years mining 
in other places, but was very reticent about what he 
had made or found. Sixty or seventy miles up the 
Stewart a large creek enters from the south which he 
called Rosebud creek or river, and thirty or forty miles 
farther up a considerable stream flows from the north- 
east, which appears to be Beaver river, as marked on the 
map of that part of the country. 

''From the head of this stream he floated down on a 
raft, taking five days to do so. He estimated his progress 
at forty or fifty miles each day, which gives a length 
of from 200 to 250 miles. This is probably an over- 
estimate, unless the stream is very crooked, which, he 
stated, was not the case. As much of his time would be 
taken up in prospecting I should call thirty miles or less 
a closer estimate of his progress. This river is from 
fifty to eighty yards wide and was never more than four 
or five feet deep, often being not more than two or three; 
the current, he said, was not at all swift. Above the 


mouth of this stream the main river is from ioo to 130 
yards wide, with an even current and clear water. Sixty 
or seventy miles above the last-mentioned branch an- 
other branch joins, which is possibly the main river. 
At the head of it he found a lake nearly thirty miles long 
and averaging a mile and a half in width, which he 
called Mayhew lake. 

"Thirty miles or so above the forks on the other 
branch there are falls, which MacDonald estimated to 
be from 100 to 200 feet in height. MacDonald went on 
past the falls to the head of this branch and found ter- 
raced gravel hills to the west and north. He crossed 
them to the north and found a river flowing north- 
ward. On this he embarked on a raft and floated down 
it for a day or two, thinking it would turn to the west and 
join the Stewart, but finding it still continuing north, 
and requiring too much volume to be any of the branches 
he had seen while passing up the Stewart, he returned 
to the point of his departure, and after prospecting 
among the hills around the head of the river, he started 
westward, crossing a high range of mountains com- 
posed principally of shales, with many thin seams of 
what he called quartz, ranging from one to six inches in 
thickness. On the west side of this range he found a 
river flowing out of what he called Mayhew lake, and 
crossing this got to the head of Beaver river, which he 
descended as before mentioned. It is probable the 
river flowing northwards, on which he made a journey 
and returned, was a branch of Peel river. Judging from 
all I could learn it is probable a light draft steamboat 
could navigate nearly all of Stewart river and its tribu- 

"From Stewart river to the site of Fort Reliance, sev- 
enty-three and one-quarter miles, the Yukon is broad 


and full of islands. The average width is between a half 
and three-quarters of a mile, but there are many expan- 
sions where it is over a mile in breadth; however, in 
these places it cannot be said that the waterway is wider 
than at other parts of the river, the islands being so large 
and numerous. In this reach no streams of any impor- 
tance enter. About thirteen miles below Stewart river 
a large valley joins that of the river, but the stream occu- 
pying it is only a large creek. This agrees in position 
with what has been called Sixtv Mile creek, which was 
supposed to be about that distance above Fort Reli- 
ance, but it does not agree with descriptions which I re- 
ceived of it; moreover as Sixty Mile creek is known to 
be a stream of considerable length this stream would 
not answer the description. 

"Twenty-two and a half miles from Stewart river an- 
other and larger creek enters from the same side; it 
agreed with the description of Sixty Mile creek and I 
have so marked it on my map. This stream is of no 
importance except for what mineral wealth may be found 
on it. Six and a half miles above Fort Reliance the 
Thron-Diuck river of the Indians (Deer river of Schwat- 
ka, the Klondike) enters from the east. It is a small 
river, about forty yards wide at the mouth, and shal- 
low; the water is clear and transparent, and of beautiful 
blue color. Dawson City is situated at the mouth of 
the Thron-Diuck, and although it was located only a 
few months ago it is the scene of great activity. Very 
rich deposits of gold have lately been found on Bonanza 
creek and other affluents of the Thron-Diuck. 

"Twelve and a half miles below Fort Reliance, the 
Chandindu, as named by Schwatka, enters from the east. 
It is thirty to forty yards wide at the mouth, very shal- 
low, and for half a mile up is one continuous rapid. Be- 


tween Fort Reliance and Forty Mile river (called Cone 
Hill river by Schwatka) the Yukon assumes its normal 
appearance, having fewer islands and being narrowed, 
averaging four to six hundred yards wide, and the cur- 
rent being more regular. This stretch is forty-six miles 
long, but was estimated by the traders as forty, from 
which the Forty Mile river took its name. 

"Forty Mile town site is situated on the south side of 
the Forty Mile river at its junction with the Yukon. 
The Alaska Commercial company has a station here 
which was for many years in charge of L. N. McQues- 
tion; there are also several blacksmith shops, restau- 
rants, billiard halls, bakeries, opera-house, and so on. 
Rather more than half a mile below Forty Mile town 
site the town of Cudahy was founded on the north side of 
Forty Mile river in the summer of 1892. It is named 
after a well-known member of the North American 
Transportation and Trading company. The company 
has erected a saw mill and some large warehouses. Fort 
Constantine was established here immediately upon the 
arrival of the mounted police detachment in the latter 
part of July, 1895. 

"Forty Mile river joins the main river from the west. 
Its general course, as far up as the international boun- 
dary line, a distance of twenty-three miles, is southwest; 
after this it runs nearer south. Forty Mile river is 100 
to 150 yards wide at the mouth, and the current is gen- 
erally strong, with many small rapids. Eight miles up 
is the so-called canyon; it is hardly entitled to that dis- 
tinctive name, being simply a crooked contraction of the 
river with steep rocky banks, and on the north side there 
is plenty of room to walk along the beach. The length 
of this canyon is about a mile. Above it the river up to 
the boundary line is generally smooth, with swift cur- 


rent and an occasional ripple. The amount of water 
discharged by this river is considerable; but there is no 
prospect of navigation, it being so swift and broken by 
many small rapids. 

"From Forty Mile river to the boundary line the 
Yukon preserves the same general character as between 
Fort Reliance and Forty Mile; the greatest width being 
about half a mile and the least about a quarter. Fifteen 
miles below Forty Mile river a large mass of rock stands 
on the east bank. This was named by Schwatka 'Ro- 
quette Rock,' but it is known to the traders as 'Old 
Woman Rock;' a similar mass, on the west side of the 
river, being known as 'Old Man Rock.' 

"From Stewart river to the mouth of the Yukon is 
about 1,650 miles, and the only difficult place in all this 
distance is the part near the confluence with the Porcu- 
pine, which has evidently been a lake in past ages, but 
is now filled with islands; the current here is swift and 
the channels generally narrow, rendering navigation diffi- 

Approximate distances to Fort Cudahy,, compiled by 
William Ogilvie, land surveyor of the Dominion of 

Via St. Michael. 


San Francisco to Dutch Harbor 2,400 

Seattle or Victoria to Dutch Harbor 2,000 

Dutch Harbor to St. Michael 750 

St. Michael to Cudahy 1,600 

Via Taiya (Dyea) Pass. 

Victoria to Taiya (Dyea) 1,000 

Taiya to Cudahy 650 



Via Stikine (Stikeen) River. 

Victoria to Wrangel 750 

Wrangel to Telegraph creek 150 

Telegraph creek to Teslin lake 150 

Teslin lake to Cudahy 650 

Distances from Head of Taiya Inlet. 

Head of canoe navigation, Taiya river 5.90 

Forks of Taiya river 8.38 

Summit of Taiya pass 1 47^ > 

Landing at Lake Lindeman 23.06 

Foot of Lake Lindeman 27.49 

Head of Lake Bennett 28.09 

Boundary line B. C. and N. W. T. (Lat. 6o°) 38.09 

Foot of Lake Bennett 53- 8 5 

Foot of Caribou crossing (Lake Nares) 56.44 

Foot of Tagish lake 73.25 

Head of Marsh lake 78.15 

Foot of Marsh lake 97- 21 

Head of canyon 122.94 

Foot of canyon 123.56 

Head of White Horse rapids 124.95 

Foot of White Horse rapids 125.33 

Talikerna river I 39-9 2 

Head of Lake LeBarge !53- 7 

Foot of Lake LeBarge 184.22 

Teslintoo river 215.88 

Big Salmon river 285.54 

Five Finger rapids 344-83 

Pelly river 403.29 

White river 499-H 

Stewart river 508.91 

Sixty-Mile creek 530.41 

Dawson City 575-7° 

Fort Reliance 582.20 

Forty-Mile river 627.08 

Boundary line - . ,667.43 




ANY MEN have been fired with an 
eager desire to go to the Klondike 
regions because the gold in that coun- 

^%^!p^h tr y * s f° un d m the "poor man's mine," 

that is, in placer deposits. Placer 
mines are called "tenderfoot mines'' 
and "poor man's" mines because they 
are worked with comparatively inex- 
pensive appliances which can be carried around by the 
prospector. With a pick, shovel and pan alone the pros- 
pector is able to extract the gold from the pay dirt. The 
stones that have come down from the upper Yukon 
basin indicate that the mines on the El Dorado, Bonanza 
and other gold-bearing creeks of the Klondike are, in all 
respects, "poor men's mine." But although the mines 
themselves are open to every man who has a pair of 
strong arms, a pick, a shovel and a pan, something more 
than determination and a pair of legs is required to get 
to the mines from any place in the United States. The 
way is long and transportation charges are heavy. 

All sorts of estimates have been made as to the amount 
of ready cash a man must have to buy his outfit and pay 
his passage to the Klondike country. Men "who have 
been there" insist that a gold-seeker is a fool to start out 
from civilization without enough money in his pocket 
to give him at least a working capital of $300 when he 
arrives at the diggings. Others put the figure at $500. 
The majority of returned Klondikers say that the pros- 


pector must figure on at least two years' work in the gold 
fields, and must make all preparations looking to the 
possibility of utter failure ; that is, he must have enough 
money, not only to buy his outfit and provide for trans- 
portation, but to pay his living expenses in the gold 
country for at least two years, and have enough money 
left to buy a "return ticket." There is this to comfort 
the gold-seeker, however. All authorities agree in the 
prediction that the men who go north in the spring of 
1898 not only will have a much easier road to travel, 
but will not be faced with the probability of privations 
and suffering due to a lack of food and clothing in the 
storehouses of trading companies. 

The monopoly held by the two large transportation 
companies which operate on the Yukon river from St. 
Michael to the head of navigation has been broken. In- 
dependent companies have been formed for the purpose 
of competing for the business of handling passengers and 
freight on the Yukon and other navigable rivers of Alas- 
ka and the Northwest territory. This means that the cost 
of transportation per passenger will be reduced, and that 
the river steamers will carry freight for prospectors and 
miners, and that a larger stock of provisions and goods 
of all kinds needed in that country will be carried at all 

The fare from Seattle to any point on the Yukon river 
was $200 this year (1897). This included 200 pounds of 
baggage, meals and berth, but did not include the trans- 
portation of anything over 200 pounds per passenger. 
The company making this rate is in the trading as well 
as the transportation business, and wanted to sell the 
gold-seekers their outfits and stocks of provisions from 
the company's storehouses at Circle City and other places 
along the Yukon. In a circular issued by this company 


the prospector was advised to have at least $500 capital 
upon arrival at his destination, and to make his plans to 
stay one year at least. This price of $200 carried the 
gold-seeker from Seattle to St. Michael and up the Yukon 
river to Dawson City. 

One of the independent companies which is advertised 
to start into the Yukon district next spring announces 
that for $600 it will take a man from Seattle or San Fran- 
cisco to Dawson City or any other mining center in the 
Yukon district and keep him in food for one year. The 
$600, however, after the prospector once arrives on the 
ground, does not include cooking nor shelter after reach- 
ing the Yukon. In short, the man who intends to take 
the all-water route, that is, from San Francisco or Seattle 
or Victoria, B. C, up the Yukon by way of St. Michael, 
must be prepared to pay $200 to $250 for transportation 
of himself and 200 pounds of baggage, and to spend 
anywhere from $250 to $500 for his outfit and his stock 
of provisions and yet have at least $300 for a "rainy day" 
capital. In other words, in order to get to the "poor 
man's mines" the gold-seeker should have an available 
capital of from $750 to $1,000. It is believed that $700 
is the least amount that a man can start out with, and the 
amount may run as high up as the pocket-book will 


A San Francisco steamship company advertises that it 
will carry passengers from San Francisco to the Klon- 
dike by way of St. Michael and the Yukon river for $300, 
including 150 pounds of baggage, and will also carry ex- 
tra supplies not exceeding 1,000 pounds a passenger for 
10 cents a pound. 

The price of an outfit in Dawson City, Circle City, and 
Fort Cudahy and Forty Mile is given all the way from 
$500 to $1,000. This includes a year's supply of food 


and clothing and prospecting and mining outfit, and is 
based on an advance of three times the cost of a like out- 
fit in Seattle. The lowest estimate given on an outfit 
was $90, in Seattle. This only included enough provis- 
ions to get a man to Dawson City by the overland route. 
The cost of outfits, as made up in Chicago, Seattle, San 
Francisco and other points in the United States, includ- 
ing clothing, groceries, hardware, armament and camp- 
ing outfit, ranges from $185 to $275; to this, however, 
must be added the duty charged by the Canadian authori- 
ties, the average of wdiich is nearly 25 per cent, so that 
25 per cent should be added to the cost of an outfit. (See 
chapter on gold-seekers' outfit.) 

The overland, or the Chilkoot pass, route by way of 
Dyea is the one that was taken by the greatest number 
of gold-seekers this year, because they were able to carry 
a large amount of provisions (which they were not per- 
mitted to take with them on the Yukon river route), and 
because they were told that by taking this overland route 
they could get to Dawson City inside of 30 days. The 
steamer passage from Seattle for Juneau and Dyea cost, 
to Juneau $25 per cabin and $15 for steerage; to Dyea 
$40 cabin, $25 steerage. The fare included berth and 
meals and free baggage to the amount of 150 pounds. 
Excess baggage was carried for 10 cents a pound, and 
freight for $10 a ton. 

This was the cheapest of the transportation charges 
from Seattle to Dyea made during the rush. The demand 
made on the steamship companies by excited gold-seek- 
ers sent tickets way above par, and premiums of $100 
were paid. None of the steamship companies will give 
an advance notice of their rates of fare for next spring, 
but as every boat that would sail or float was pressed into 
service this year, it is probable that many good boats will 


be put into commission next spring, and competition will 
hold rates level. It is estimated that nearly 6,000 people 
went from the Pacific seaports to Dyea during the rush, 
and the boats were overcrowded. This naturally brought 
an increase in all charges. 

It is announced that some of the steamship companies 
are making arrangements to transport baggage and out- 
fits over the Chilkoot pass to the head of Lake Lindeman. 
If this is done the cost of portage over the pass to the 
head of navigation of the Yukon will be much less next 
spring than it was this year. All sorts of prices were 
demanded by the Indians and packers, for they had the 
gold-seekers at their mercy. 

Under date of July 30, William J. Jones, a special cor- 
respondent of the CHICAGO RECORD, writing from 
Juneau, said that the rate over the Dyea route, under 
normal conditions, was $17 a 100 pounds, but that it was 
certain to be advanced to 30 or 40 cents a pound in a week 
or two, and that it would be impossible for the Indians 
and packers to take care of the rush. This prediction was 
verified before ten days by the reports that came back 
from Dyea. Several thousand gold-seekers were held at 
Dyea waiting for an opportunity to cross the pass with 
their outfits and stocks of provisions, and portage prices 
had gone up almost "out of sight." 

If this rush is repeated next spring the gold-seekers 
must be prepared to go down into their pockets to pay 
big premiums for carrying their outfits over the several 
passes to Lake Lindeman. Undoubtedly pack horses and 
mules will be substituted in a large measure for Indians 
next year, and numerous plans are on foot to improve 
the trail. The cost of the journey from Lake Lindeman 
to the gold diggings is generally regarded as an unknown 
quantity. Many men will carry and haul their provisions 


themselves, building rafts and boats to go down the river. 
Others, better provided with ready cash, will buy boats 
at Lake Lindeman or will take boats with them from 
Seattle or San Francisco, and will employ Indians to 
manage the boats and act as guides, cooks and general 

It is claimed that miners can go from Chicago to the 
Klondike by way of the "back door" route, that is, up 
the Athabasca and Mackenzie rivers to the Peel river 
and then across the divide into the Yukon country, for 
$150. A. H. H. Heming, of Montreal, the artist who 
accompanied Caspar Whitney in his trip to the "Barren 
Land," says, on the authority of the Hudson's Bay com- 
pany officials, that all that is needed for the "back door" 
route are a good constitution, some experience in boat- 
ing and camping, and about $150. Mr. Heming advises 
gold-seekers to travel in parties of three, and to purchase 
a good canoe for about $35 in Chicago or St. Paul. The 
freight on the canoe to Edmonton, the end of the railroad 
route, will be $23; cost of food at Edmonton for three 
men for two months, consisting of pork, flour, tea and 
baking powder, $35 ; total for three men from Chicago to 
Fort McPherson, provided they travel second-class on 
the Canadian Pacific railroad, will be $15245 a man. 

Thus if three men "chip in" $200 each they would have 
a margin of over $140 for purchasing tools and for trans- 
portation from Fort McPherson to the Klondike. Parties 
should consist of three men each, as this is the crew of a 
canoe on the Mackenzie river. It will take 600 pounds 
of food to carry three men over the route, and passengers 
on the Canadian Pacific railroad are entitled to carry 
600 pounds of baggage. The tourist sleeper from St. 
Paul to Calgary, the point on the Canadian Pacific where 
the spur leads to Edmonton, will cost $4. 


Although any local ticket agent can give the railroad 
rates to the Pacific coast points, the following list is given 
as a suggestion for the purpose of including everything 
in the estimate of cost to go from "home" to the Klon- 
dike country. The railroad rates from principal points 
are as follows: 

New England points, practically the same as Boston 
rates (get difference between Boston and New England 
points from local agents); Boston to San Francisco — 
first-class, $92; second-class, $79; sleepers, $20.50; tour- 
ist car, $8; meals in dining car or at stations according to 
route; baggage allowed, 150 pounds; excess baggage, 
$11 per 100 pounds; time from Boston to San Francisco, 
5 days and nights. 

Boston to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria, 
B. C. — first-class, $83.50; second-class, $69.75; sleeper, 
$21; tourist car, $7.50; meals in dining car or at stations 
according to route; baggage allowed, 150 pounds; ex- 
cess baggage, $10.50 to $11.50 per 100 pounds. 

Note: The above rates are over the standard or first- 
class lines to Chicago. If a differential or second-class 
road is taken the first-class fare will be $3 less than given 
above, and second-class fare $2. 

New York to San Francisco — first-class, $82.50; sec- 
ond-class, $72.50; sleeper, $25.50; tourist car, $11. Meals 
in dining car or at stations, according to route; baggage 
allowed, 150 pounds; excess baggage, $11 per 100 
pounds; time from New York to San Francisco, 5 days 
and 5 nights. 

New York to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Vic- 
toria, B. C. — first-class, $81.50; second-class, $69.75; 
sleeper, $20.50; tourist car, $10; meals in dining car or 
at stations, according to route; baggage allowed, 150 
pounds; excess baggage, $10.50 to $11 per 100 pounds. 
























i— t 



Time from New York to Seattle and Portland, 99 hours; 
Vancouver, 105 hours; Victoria, III hours. 

Note : Above fares are on first-class lines to Chicago. 
If second-class road is taken, first-class fare will be $3 
less and second-class fare $2 less than the above rates. 

Buffalo to San Francisco — first-class, $76; second- 
class, $62.50; sleeper, $18; tourist car, $8; meals in bag- 
gage car or in stations, according to route; baggage al- 
lowed, 150 pounds; excess baggage, $10.35 P er I0 ° 
pounds. Time from Buffalo to San Francisco, 44 days 
and 4 nights. 

Buffalo to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria, 
B. C— first-class, $75; second-class, $62; sleeper, $18; 
tourist car, $8; meals in dining car or at stations, accord- 
ing to route; baggage allowed, 150 pounds; excess bag- 
gage, $10.35 P er I0 ° pounds. Time from Buffalo to Se- 
attle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria, B. C, from 5 
to 6 days and nights. 

Chicago to San Francisco— first-class, $62.50; second- 
class, $52.50; sleeper, $20.50; tourist sleeper, $8; meals 
in dining car or at stations, according to route from $1 
to 50 cents each; baggage allowed, 150 pounds; excess 
baggage, $8.70 per 100 pounds. Time from Chicago to 
San Francisco, 4 days and 4 nights. 

Chicago to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria, 
B. C— first-class, $61.50; second-class, $51.50; sleeper, 
$15.50; tourist, $7; meals in dining car or at stations, 
according to route; baggage allowed, 150 pounds; excess 
baggage, $8.60 per 100 pounds. Time from Chicago to 
Seattle and Portland, 85 hours; Vancouver, 91 hours; 

Victoria, 97 hours. 

Omaha to San Francisco— first-class, $50; second- 
class, $40; sleeper, $13; tourist car, $5; meals in dining 
car or at stations, according to route; baggage allowed, 


150 pounds; excess baggage, $7.20 per 100 pounds. Time 
from Omaha to San Francisco, 4 days and 3 nights. 

Omaha to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria, 
B. C. — first-class, $50; second-class, $40; sleeper, $13; 
tourist car, $5 ; meals in dining car or at stations, accord- 
ing to route, average 75 cents each; baggage allowed, 150 
pounds; excess baggage, $7.20 per 100 pounds. Time 
from Omaha to Seattle and Portland, 65 hours; Van- 
couver, 71 hours; Victoria, yy hours. 

Denver to San Francisco — first-class, $45; second- 
class, $35; sleeper, $11; tourist car, $4; meals in dining 
car or at stations, according to routes, average 75 cents 
each; baggage allowed, 150 pounds; excess baggage, 
$6.60 per 100 pounds. Time from Denver to San Fran- 
cisco, 3 days and 2 nights. 

Denver to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria, 
B. C. — first-class, $45; second-class, $35; sleeper, $11; 
tourist car, $4; meals in dining car or at stations, accord- 
ing to route, average 75 cents each; baggage allowed, 150 
pounds; excess baggage, $6.60 per 100 pounds. Time 
from Denver to Seattle and Portland, 64 hours; Van- 
couver, 70 hours ; Victoria, j6 hours. 

Minneapolis and St. Paul to San Francisco — first-class, 
$57.90; second-class, $47.90; sleeper, $13.50; tourist car, 
$5 ; meals in dining car or at stations, according to route ; 
baggage allowed, 150 pounds; excess baggage, $7.20 per 
100 pounds. Time from St. Paul and Minneapolis to 
San Francisco, 4 days and 3 nights. 

Minneapolis and St. Paul to Seattle, Portland, Van- 
couver and Victoria, B. C. — first-class, $50; second-class, 
$40; sleeper, $13.50; tourist car, $5; meals in dining car 
or at stations, according to route; baggage allowed, 150 
pounds; excess baggage, $7.20 per hundred pounds. 
Time from Minneapolis and St. Paul to Seattle and Port- 


land, 63 hours ; Vancouver, 69 hours ; Victoria, 75 hours. 

New Orleans to San Francisco — first-class, $57.50; 
second-class, $47.50; sleeper, $13; tourist sleeper, $5; 
meals at stations, 75 cents each; excess baggage, $8.10 
per 100 pounds. Time from New Orleans to San Fran- 
cisco, 4 days and 4 nights. 

New Orleans to Seattle and Portland — first-class, 
$70.30; second-class, $52.50; sleeper, $18; tourist sleep- 
er, $6.50; meals in station, 75 cents; excess baggage, 
$10.30 per hundred pounds. Time, 5 days and 5 nights. 
The fare from New Orleans to Victoria, B. C. — first-class, 
$74.80; second-class, $55.50; excess baggage, $10.85 P er 
100 pounds; sleepers and so forth, same as to Seattle. 

For purposes of getting up an estimate of the expense 
of railroad fare, the following rates are added: 

To San Francisco from Baltimore and Washington — 
first-class, $78.50; second-class, $55; from Louisville, 
first-class, $64.10; second-class, $54.10; from Memphis, 
first-class, $57.50; second-class, $47.50; from Nashville, 
first-class, $60.35; second-class, $50.35; from Atlanta, 
first-class, $63.35 ; second-class, $53.35; from Charleston, 
first-class, $73.75; second-class, $63.75; from Philadel- 
phia, first-class, $90.25; no second-class; from Pittsburg, 
first-class, $73.25 ; second-class, $61 ; from Cincinnati, 
first-class, $66.50; second-class, $56.50. 

To Seattle and Portland from Washington and Balti- 
more — first-class, $78.50; second-class, $65; from Louis- 
ville, first-class, $65.50; second-class, $55.50; from Mem- 
phis, first-class, $62; second-class, $52; from Nashville, 
first-class, $67; second-class, $54; from Atlanta, first- 
class, $74.50; second-class, $60; from Charleston, first- 
class, $77.50; second-class, $67.50; from Philadelphia, 
first-class, $79.75; second-class, $67.25; from Pittsburg, 


first-class, $73.25; second-class, $61; from Cincinnati, 
first-class, $66.50; second-class, $56.50. 

Passengers from Baltimore and Washington cannot 
get tourists' sleepers until they reach Chicago or St. 

By the "back door' route gold-seekers will leave Chi- 
cago and go to St. Paul on any of the Chicago and St. 
Paul lines, and at St. Paul take the Canadian Pacific for 
Edmonton; first-class fare from Chicago to Edmonton, 
$63.75; second-class, $59.45. Tourist sleeper from St. 
Paul, $4. 

No one should venture to set out for the Alaska dig- 
gings without a "pardner." The word must not be con- 
founded with partner. Partner has a smart, business-like 
sound. It is precisely defined by law, and though it may 
by courtesy involve something of special favor, its equi- 
ties at last rest upon the decisions of courts without re- 
gard to sentiment. But a "pardner" glories in sentiment. 
He expects to give his mate all that the law requires and 
call that only a beginning. Men may be chums in easy, 
prosperous times, says the St. Louis Globe-Dem- 
ocrat, but it is not until they pass together through 
a succession of dangers and hardships that they 
can become "pardners." Congeniality and implicit confi- 
dence are at the base of a "pardnership;" and for better 
or for worse the two men stand as one under all vicissi- 
tudes, doubling each other's joys and dividing sorrows 
and failures. If one falls by the way the other gives him 
more than the devotion of a brother. 

Gold mining eventually is a business conducted by 
large capital, but placer diggings afford an opening to 
any one who can stake and work a claim. The two "pard- 
ners" begin operations on the ground floor, share their 
discoveries, tent together, and cook for each other. Their 


qualities and traits are complimentary. "Pardners" are 
closer than messmates in the army or navy. The soldier 
or sailor is under the care of a bountiful provider. His 
food, clothes and shelter are furnished by the govern- 
ment, and his comings and goings are regulated by 
orders. "Pardners," on the other hand, must skirmish 
together from the start for subsistence and plans of oper- 
ation. They fight the battle of life for two under hazard- 
ous conditions, far from families and friends, satisfied, 
for the time being, with bare necessities. Under such 
a test "pardners" are forged as steel is forged. 

The literature of California is full of the "pardner" 
atmosphere. Bret Harte's tales would be tame without 
it. But "pardners" in that state, except as gray-beard 
survivors, are scarce now. They will be revived in 
Alaska, and experience far greater trials than they ever 
knew in the first Pacific commonwealth. Freezing and 
starvation were unknown in California. It is not likely 
that the mining camps in Alaska will permit any one to 
starve, but they have a regulation for shipping those lack- 
ing means or resources out of the country. In a com- 
munity of "pardners" a high sense of general humanity 
will prevail, but there must be prudence as to feeding 
drones during the long season when the lines of supply 
are interrupted. Alaska will furnish a great growth of 
friendship, with the "pardner" as its top flower. No man 
can utterly fail there who has a good "pardner," and is 
one. Among the glaciers and the frozen moss, where a 
blossom has never opened to the light, the lines of Holmes 
will take on a new beauty, teaching that "friendship is 
the breathing rose that sweets in every fold." 






LONDIKE GOLD is found all the 
way through a frozen deposit of sand, 
gravel and earth from twenty to twen- 
ty-five feet thick, resting on bed rock. 
This bed rock is said to be shale; depth 
unknown. A claim on El Dorado 
creek, a tributary of the Klondike, 
which paid its owner very handsome- 
ly, is 80 feet from rimrock to rimrock, 
with a frontage of 500 feet on the creek. After going 
through the soil and muck on the surface of the ground, 
a bed of gravel mixed with sand sixteen feet thick is 
found. This rests upon a four-foot bed of fine and coarse 
gravel, which in turn rests on a stratum of fine gravel a 
foot and a half thick which tops a stratum, one and one- 
half feet of fine black sand. 

This black sand rests on bed rock, and is the "pay 
dirt" of the Klondike. The 16-foot bed of gravel mixed 
with sand paid the miner from 50 cents to $2 a pan ; the 
4-foot bed of coarse gravel paid him from $2 to $5 a pan. 
The stratum of fine gravel beneath paid $1.25 a pan, and 
pay dirt yielded all the way from $5 to $50 a ton. The 
ground above bed rock is frozen, making it necessary 
to resort to "firing" to soften the gravel and sand so chat 
it can be lifted to the top. This is the character of the 
placer mines of the Klondike. 

But it is reported that every paying claim on the Klon- 


dike is taken. This means that many men who intend to 
go to the gold country in the far north in the spring of 
1898 must "prospect'' other places. The following pages 
are intended as a simple guide to "tenderfeet," or as they 
are called in the Klondike country "chechacos." Ex- 
perienced prospectors and miners have little use for 
guides of any kind, but there are thousands of men who 
will see gold in the dirt for the first time in their lives 
when they see it in Alaska or the Northwest territories. 

In prospecting a country for mineral, two men can do 
better than one. A "pardner" is a great help to an ex- 
perienced miner even though the "pardner" himself 
doesn't know the difference between gold dust and iron 
pyrites — the "fool's gold." To a "tenderfoot," a "pard- 
ner" is absolutely necessary, even though the "pardner" 
himself is another "tenderfoot," for two men are better 
than one under almost any combination of circumstances. 

Gold found in placer mines is free or native gold 
brought down from the "mother lode" by the action of 
running water or by the glaciers, which ages ago passed 
over the land. For this reason, in prospecting a country 
for mineral wealth, the sands and rocks of river beds, 
in dry creeks and gulches, and at the bottom of valleys 
should be searched and examined systematically and 

The prospector should observe the characteristics of 
loose rocks, found in ravines and gulches; in eddies or 
dry water holes where heavy matter is left during 
freshets, which are of frequent occurrence in a moun- 
tainous country; for holes, channels and fissures in solid 
rock, over which a stream runs or has run. 

If the bed of a river flowing through an open country, 
yields fine gold dust, it will probably yield larger dust or 
grains nearer the mountains or hills from which it flows; 


if the bed of this river yields grains of gold, the tributar- 
ies near the source probably will yield nuggets, for the 
heavy particles will sink and be caught in the beds of 
streams and rivers first. Sometimes the richest deposits 
are found where the current has been broken by a change 
of descent or direction. 

In a stream which is known to be gold bearing the 
prospector will do well to take notice of abrupt turns. If 
one side of the stream is a cliff and the other a gentle 
slope the latter may be found to be rich in gold deposits. 
Sometimes where there are several bends with slopes op- 
posite cliffs, the slopes will likely give up gold. 

The end of a mountain chain offers a likely site for al- 
luvial diggings. 

When alluvial ground is made up with rather loose 
gravel, mixed with boulders or lumps of rock, the gold, 
with other heavy substances, will be found underneath 
the bulk of the coarse deposits, either next to or near b^d 
rock, or mixed with clay. Thus it is wise to examine the 
earthy matter just over the bed rock. If clay is likely to 
contain gold it should be washed carefully. 

If the flow of water in a stream hinders digging op- 
eration, "back trenches' 1 should be cut so that the water 
may flow through them, thus diverting the stream from 
the site of operation. This will lay the bed bare and the 
prospectors can easily remove large rocks or boulders 
looking for nuggets and wash the finer gravel with run- 
ning water. 

To detect free or native gold in rock, sand or gravel, the 
samples should be examined by means of a magnifying 
glass if the eye is insufficient. The particles of gold, if 
present, in the free state generally will be distinct enough 
whether wet or dry to be distinguished from discolored 
mica, iron or copper pyrites. 



j , r/z>tr,rr- e ,> 



In whatever direction it is looked at gold presents the 
same color, and this is a guiding test to the prospector. 

A gold grain picked out from a rock or selected from 
sand or gravel can be flattened out by a hammer, and can 
be cut in slices. 

Those materials most likely to be mistaken for gold are 
reduced to powder when pounded. 

Iron pyrites is too hard to be cut with a knife ; copper 
pyrites when pounded makes a greenish powder. 

Pyrites ore when heated, smells of sulphur. 

Mica when discolored, is frequently mistaken for gold 
when discovered by the "tenderfoot;" but it is not easily 
cut and has a colorless streak and can thus be easily dis- 
tinguished from gold. 

It is much easier to distinguish pure or metallic gold in 
alluvial deposits than it is to certainly recognize it in rock. 
Gold frequently occurs as a fine powder, which even the 
magnifying glass will be unable to distinguish, and also 
the grains, because of the presence of sulphur or arsenic, 
may be coated with a film which makes them unrecogniz- 
able to the eye ; even making the gold incapable of amal- 
gamation with mercury until the material has been 
roasted or put through some process. The prospector 
in the Yukon district, however, will have little trouble in 
recognizing gold when he sees it, for it appears that the 
gold is large grained and easily distinguished. 

In addition to his "grub pack," the prospector must 
provide himself with the few appliances necessary to 
wash out the gold. He should have a shovel, hammer, 
pick and pan or horn spoon. The pan and horn spoon, 
and method of using them, are described hereafter. The 
hammer is used when prospecting for mineral veins or 
deposits other than alluvial. 

The presence of free gold in alluvial deposits, that is 



in matter washed or carried down from higher ground, 
does not necessarily mean that auriferous lodes (gold 
bearing rock or quartz) are in the immediate vicinity, 
but the chances are in favor of lodes being found on ele- 
vations of land near the alluvial deposit. 

It would be well, then, for the prospector who has 
found a "placer mine," to examine neighboring eleva- 

In searching for mineral veins, the general geological 
features of the country should be studied. If any roads 
are cut through, it would be well to study the character 
of the exposed sections. Sides of valleys, landslides, 
cliffs and sections cut through by water afford means to 
determine the character of the stratification. 

If the prospector finds stones or gravel in a valley 
which he believes are "likely" to go with gold, he should 
follow up the valley, gulch or river bed until he no longei 
finds such stones. Then he should search the hill sides 
for the mother lode. 

Common sense is a good guide for a prospector, and 
when common sense suggests that "drifts' 1 would form 
naturally, he may come across "out crops" in the steep 
sides of gulleys and on ridges. 

An examination of the loose or "float" rocks on the 
sides of a hill or elevation often will enable the prospector 
to make a good "guess" of the nature of an underground 
lode. The prospector then, in climbing hills, should look 
"all ways" for signs of veins, constantly keeping an out- 
look for the kind of rock which is known to form the 
matrix (mineral associated with ore in a lode) of a min- 
eral vein. 

The matrices chiefly are quartz, fluor spar and calc 
spar; chiefly quartz. 

Quartz, at or near the surface of a lode, often is a 


stained brown, yellow, purple, or other color, due to 
decomposed iron or copper pyrites, and frequently is 
honey-combed. Quartz scratches glass, but is not 
scratched by a file or knife blade. It is nearly pure 


Fluor spar is purple, at times yellow, white, green or 
blue. It is soft. When heated in a dark place it gives 
out a phosphorescent glow. 

Calc spar is transparent or translucent. It effervesces 
when acted on by an acid. 

As quartz is nearly always the matrix of mineral veins, 
the prospector should look for it. 

Gold bearing quartz which has broken away from the 
lode, is generally honey-combed, and as gold withstands 
weather, the yellow specks may be seen in the cells once 
filled with iron or copper pyrites, which have been 
"washed out" in the course of years of exposure to the 
elements, leaving nothing behind but stains. 

One of the best "surface" indications of a gold bearing 
lode, is honey-combed rock, brown with iron oxide. 

Having traced the brown stained, honey-combed rock 
up the hill to the rock from which it was broken, the 
prospector should dig a trench at right angles, if possible, 
to the lode, that he may examine its character; the nature 
of the vein; the non-metallic rock material in the lode; to 
find the upper or hanging wall, and the lower or foot- 
wall, and to ascertain the direction or "strike" of the 


He also should sink a "prospecting" shaft a few feet be- 
low the bottom of his trench, to be certain of the inclina- 
tion of the lode. 

The probable direction of the lode ascertained, the 
prospector can sink other shafts higher up or lower down 


on the hill, or the other side of the valley, to test the 
continuity of the vein. 

If it is possible to take specimens of the ore to an assay 
office, it is best to do so, as much labor might be wasted 
on low grade ore which, to the eye, looks promising. 

But in out-of-the-way places, it is difficult to find 
assayers. It is possible, however, for the prospector to 
find, with approximate certainty, the value of his find if 
the metal in the ore is free gold. 

Hammer a quantity of the ore with water, until the ore 
is reduced to powder, add mercury to the powder; 
about one ounce of mercury to eight pounds of ore. If 
possible add a little cyanide of potassium. Grind the 
whole mass until the gold and mercury form an amal- 
gam. Then pour in some water, and when the amalgam 
has settled to the bottom, pour off the lighter material, 
collect the amalgam, and squeeze it through a buckskin 
or canvas bag. Place the mass left in the bag on a shovel 
and hold the shovel over a fire. The heat will drive the 
mercury out, leaving the gold behind ; then the prospector 
can "guess" the value of his find. 

Having found his gold mine, placer or lode, and being 
satisfied that- it is worth holding and working, the pros- 
pector should "locate" and "file" his claim. 

If the "find" is on Canadian soil, he must proceed ac- 
cording to the rules and regulations laid down by the 
Canadian authorities. (See Canadian mining laws in this 

If the placer or lode is in Alaska, the regulations of the 
United States land office department must be observed. 
These regulations are based on the United States 
"mineral laws." (See United States mining laws in this 
book.) The process is as follows: 

A correct survey of the claim must be made under 


authority of the survey-general of the state or territory 
in which the claim lies. 

The survey must show with accuracy the exterior 
boundaries of the claim. 

Boundaries must be distinctly marked by monuments 
on the ground. 

Four plats and one copy of the original field notes, in 
each case, will be prepared by the surveyor-general; one 
plat and the original field notes, to be retained in the 
office of the surveyor-general; one copy of the plat to be 
given the claimant for posting upon the claim, one plat 
and a copy of the field notes to be given the claimant for 
filing with the proper register, to be finally transmitted by 
that officer, with other papers in the case, to this office, 
and one plat to be sent by the surveyor-general to the 
register of the proper land district to be retained on his 
files for future reference. 

The claimant must post a copy of the plat of the survey 
in a conspicuous place upon the claim, together with 
notice of his intention to apply for a patent. 

This notice must give the date of posting, the name of 
the claimant, the name of the claim, mine, or lode; the 
mining district and county; whether the location is of 
record, and, if so, where the record may be found; the 
number of feet claimed along the vein, and the presumed 
direction thereof; the number of feet claimed on the lode 
in each direction from the point of discovery, or other 
well-defined place on the claim ; the name or names of ad- 
joining claimants on the same or other lodes; or, if none 
adjoin, the names of the nearest claims, etc. 

After posting the plat and notice upon the premises, 
the claimant must file with the proper register and re- 
ceiver a copy of such plat, and the field notes of survey of 
the claim, accompanied by the affidavit of at least two 


credible witnesses, that such plat and notice are posted 
conspicuously upon the claim, giving the date and place 
of such posting; a copy of the notice so posted to be at- 
tached to, and form a part of the affidavit. 

Accompanying the field notes so filed must be the 
sworn statement of the claimant, that he has the posses- 
sory right to the premises therein described, in virtue of 
a compliance by himself (and by his grantors, if he claims 
by purchase) with the mining rules, regulations, and cus- 
toms of the mining district, state or territory in which the 
claim lies, and with the mining laws of congress; such 
sworn statement to narrate briefly, but as clearly as 
possible, the facts constituting such compliance, the 
origin of his possession, and the basis of his claim to a 

This affidavit should be supported by appropriate evi- 
dence from the mining recorder's office as to his posses- 
sory right, as follows, viz.: Where he claims to be the 
locator, or a locator in company with others who have 
since conveyed their interest in the location to him, a full, 
true, and correct copy of such location should be fur- 
nished, as the same appears upon the mining records; 
such copy to be attested by the seal of the recorder, or if 
he has no seal, then he should make oath to the same be- 
ing correct, as shown by his records. Where the appli- 
cant claims only as a purchaser for valuable considera- 
tion, a copy of the location record must be filed under 
seal or upon oath as aforesaid, with an abstract of title 
from the proper recorder, under seal or oath as aforesaid, 
brought down as near as practicable to date of filing the 
application, tracing the right of possession by a continu- 
ous chain of conveyances from the original locators to the 
applicant, also certifying that no conveyances affecting 
the title to the claim in question appear of record in his 


office other than those set forth in the accompanying ab- 

In the event of the mining records in any case having 
been destroyed by fire or otherwise lost, affidavit of the 
fact should be made, and secondary evidence of posses- 
sory title will be received, which may consist of the 
affidavit of the claimant, supported by those of any other 
parties cognizant of the facts relative to his location, oc- 
cupancy, possession, improvement, etc.; and in such case 
of lost records, any deeds, certificates of location or pur- 
chase, or other evidence which may be in the claimant's 
possession and tend to establish his claim, should be filed. 

Upon the receipt of these papers the register will, at 
the expense of the claimant (who must furnish the agree- 
ment of the publisher to hold applicant for patent alone 
responsible for charges of publication), publish a notice 
of such application for the period of sixty days in a news- 
paper published nearest to the claim, and will post a copy 
of such notice in his office for the same period. When a 
notice is published in a weekly newspaper ten consecutive 
insertions are necessary; when in a daily newspaper the 
notice must appear in each issue for sixty-one consecu- 
tive issues, the first day of issue being excluded in esti- 
mating the period of sixty days. 

The notices so published and posted must be as full 
and complete as possible, and embrace all the data given 
in the notice posted upon the claim. 

Too much care cannot be exercised in the preparation 
of these notices, inasmuch as upon their accuracy and 
completeness will depend, in a great measure, the reg- 
ularity and validity of the whole proceeding. 

The claimant, either at the time of filing these papers 
with the register or at any time during the sixty days' 
publication, is required to file a certificate of the surveyor- 


general that not less than $500 worth of labor has been 
expended or improvements made upon the claim by the 
applicant or his grantors ; that the plat filed by the claim- 
ant is correct; that the field notes of the survey, as filed, 
furnish such an accurate description of the claim as will, 
if incorporated into a patent, serve to fully identify the 
premises, and that such reference is made therein to 
natural objects or permanent monuments as will per- 
petuate and fix the locus thereof. 

After the sixty days' period of newspaper publication 
has expired, the claimant will furnish from the office of 
publication a sworn statement that the notice was pub- 
lished for the statutory period, giving the first and last 
day of such publication, and his own affidavit showing 
that the plat and notice aforesaid remained conspicuously 
posted upon the claim sought to be patented during said 
sixty days' publication, giving the dates. 

Upon the filing of this affidavit the register will, if no 
adverse claim was filed in his office during the period of 
publication, permit the claimant to pay for the land ac- 
cording to the area given in the plat and field notes of 
survey aforesaid, at the rate of $5 for each acre, and $5 
for each fractional part of an acre, the receiver issuing the 
usual duplicate receipt therefor. The claimant will also 
make a sworn statement of all charges and fees paid by 
him for publication and surveys, together with all fees 
and money paid the register and receiver of the land 
office; after which the whole matter will be forwarded to 
the commissioner of the general land office and a patent 
issued thereon if found regular. 

The gold digger's "pan" resembles a frying pan minus 
the handle. It is generally circular in form, from 10 to 
14 inches in diameter at the bottom, flaring out at the top 
to a diameter three or four inches wider. The sides are 


about five inches deep. The pans are made of copper, 
pressed steel, sheet iron or stout tin-plate, preferably 
pressed steel or copper. 

In using the pans a quantity of the dirt to be washed, 
say two shovelfuls, is placed in the pan. The pan 
should not be filled more than two-thirds of its capacity. 
The pan with its contents is then immersed in water either 
in a hole or a stream of such a depth that the miner can 
easily reach the pan with his hand while it rests on the 
bottom. The mass in the pan is stirred up with both 
hands so that every particle of it may become thoroughly 
mixed with the water and disintegrated. 

When the dirt has become thoroughly soaked and 
softened by the water so that it is a thin pasty mass, the 
pan is taken in both hands, one on either side, and a little 
inside of its greatest diameter, that is to say about half 
way up from the bottom to the top. Then without tak- 
ing it from the water it is held in the hand not quite level, 
but tipped somewhat away from the person. 

When in this position it is shaken so as to allow the 
water to disengage all the light earthy particles and carry 
them away. When this has been done there will be left 
in the pan gold dust, gold nuggets, heavy sand, lumps of 
clay and gravel stone. The gravel stones generally ac- 
cumulate on the surface and can be picked off by hand 
and thrown aside. The lumps of clay should be crumbled 
and reduced by rubbing and "mashing," so as to be 
carried off by the water the next time the pan is placed in 
the water. 

This operation, simple as it appears, really requires 
considerable skill, which only can come by practice. A 
neat turn of the wrist, and a certain oscillating motion so 
as to give somewhat of a whirlpool effect to the water in 
the pan are required to cause the muddy matter to escape 


in driblets over the depressed edge of the pan without 
sending the lighter portions of the gold after them. Fre- 
quently the prospector washes out his gold by pouring 
in water on top of the dirt in his pan, and then shaking it 
so that the muddy material drips down on to the ground. 
But old prospectors say that the best results can be ob- 
tained by panning under water. 

At last nothing remains in the pan but the gold dust, 
with usually some heavy black sand and a little earthy 
matter. A careful washing in plenty of clean water will 
remove the earthy matter completely ; but the heavy iron 
sand cannot be got rid of without the use of a magnet, 
mercury or blowing. 

Few prospectors, however, carry magnets around with 
them. If the gold dust is very fine and mercury is ob- 
tainable, it is a good plan to put a couple of pounds of 
mercury in a bucket of water, and pour in the mixed gold 
dust and black sand. The gold will amagamate with the 
mercury, and can be secured afterwards by squeezing the 
amalgam through buckskin. 

A process which proved very effective is heating the 
gold and sand on a shovel until the mass is perfectly dry. 
The sand then is blown away from the gold, and by care- 
fully regulating the force of the blast, either from the 
breath of the operator or from a small pair of bellows, all 
of the sand can be blown away, leaving the gold behind. 

The horn-spoon is a very simple contrivance used in 
some places by prospectors instead of a pan. It is made 
by cutting a piece obliquely out of a large ox horn, so as 
to give a length of from 8 to 10 inches, with an opening 
about 3 inches across. The horn is then scraped down 
to a suitable thickness. In selecting the horn for this 
purpose it is best to use one that is black at one end, as 
the gold can be seen more readily against a black surface, 


The horn-spoon is a most useful contrivance, for it is 
light and durable and will not take on grease, which 
would prevent perfect contact of the water on its surface. 

The pan is used where the water supply is insufficient 
for a cradle. This apparatus is so called because it bears 
in its outward form a resemblance to an ordinary nursery 
cradle. It rests on a pair of rockers, and is made to 
oscillate just as a cradle is rocked. The cradle generally 
is about 40 inches long, 20 inches wide and the back end 
rises to the height of 15 inches to 2 feet. The sideboards 
of the cradle slope down from the height of the back 
board to about a couple of inches at the mouth. 

A movable riddle, or hopper, 20 inches square and 6 
inches deep, with a bottom of sheet iron perforated closely 
with holes one-half inch in diameter, fits neatly and 
snugly in the top of the cradle. Below the grating an 
apron made of canvas, duck, a piece of blanket, or some 
other suitable material, depending upon the material 
which the prospector has at hand, is stretched on a frame 
work. The apron or curtain slopes down from the mouth 
of the cradle towards the bottom of the back board, and 
rests on fillets nailed on the sideboards. 

On the bottom of the cradle 2 pieces of wood are nailed 
from one side to the other, called riffle-bars, each about 
three-quarters of an inch high. One riffie-bar is nailed 
about the middle of the cradle and the other near the 
outer edge. The whole apparatus stands on rockers, 
which are cut in a crescent shape, so that the cradle will 
rock from side to side. 

In practice the pay dirt is thrown into the riddle. If 
the miner is working alone he pours water over the dirt 
with one hand and rocks his apparatus with the other. 
Generally, however, miners work in pairs; one pours and 
the other rocks. The rocking stirs up the pay dirt in the 


riddle and the disintegrated mass drops through the holes 
at the bottom of the riddle, and falling on the apron, is 
carried to the back end of the cradle and thence along the 
floor, the water carrying it over the riffle-bars and out of 
the mouth. 

The cradle is placed so that the hopper end is 
about 2-} inches higher than the mouth end. Almost 
all pay dirt contains gravel and stone of various sizes. 
Those which are small enough to pass through the holes 
in the riddle will drop through. The larger ones, which 
are retained in the riddle, must be picked out by hand and 
thrown aside, without, however, stopping the rocking of 
the cradle. It is a good thing to leave the small gravel 
which has dropped through, to remain on the floor of the 
cradle, because they will help the process of breaking up 
the earthy matter found in the gravel. When the hopper 
has become filled with stones, and all washed clean, they 
are tipped out and carefully examined for any nuggets of 
gold that may be mixed up with them. A certain pro- 
portion of very fine gold dust will be caught and held by 
the hairs and fibers of the cloth in the apron, and larger 
particles of gold will collect behind the riffle-bars on the 
bed of the cradle. 

Two or three times a day, depending of course upon 
the nature and richness of the pay dirt, the cradle must 
be cleaned up. The hopper is taken out so that the apron 
can be withdrawn. The apron is then washed in a bucket 
or some other receptacle containing clean water. This 
will dislodge the gold dust held in the fiber or hair of the 
apron, and it can be recovered from the bottom of the 
vessel. The gold and other material which has been 
caught by the riffle-bars are scraped out with an iron 

The scrapings are put in a pan, and the gold then is 


panned out. As water weighs much more than the pay 
dirt to the bucket, the pay dirt generally is brought to 
the place where the water is, where it is not possible to let 
the water flow to the pay dirt by gravity. The cradle 
should be set far enough back from the source of the 
water supply so as to provide sufficient fall and outlet for 
the "pailings." A little pit or well sometimes is dug to 
serve as a reservoir near at hand for the miner to ladle out 
his water. If it is possible, water should be conveyed to 
the hopper through a trough, made by two boards nailed 
together "V" shaped. One man working alone can wash 
from i to 3 cubic yards of pay dirt a day, depending upon 
the clayey nature of the dirt. It is better, however, for 
two men to work together, as they can do more than twice 
the work of one man. 

Cradling is neither economical nor expeditious. Much 
fine gold is lost by its use, but it is cheap, requires little 
water and is portable. It is not advisable to use mercury 
in the cradle. The "long torn" is an improvement on 
the cradle. It consists of two troughs or boxes. A Cali- 
fornian "torn" is about 12 feet long, 20 inches wide at the 
upper end, and 30 inches wide at the mouth. It is sup- 
ported on stones or logs, and is worked by two to four 
men, according to the nature of the pay dirt and the 
supply of water. The apparatus is used only where water 
can be brought to it, so that a constant flow is secured. 

The spout or water trough leads the water into the 
upper box or "torn" proper. The lower end of this box 
is cut off obliquely, and the mouth is stopped by a sheet 
of iron perforated closely with holes about a half inch in 
diameter. The "torn" slants on an angle so that the 
upper or spout end is 12 inches higher than the lower or 
grating end. The riffle-box, which like the "torn" is 
made of rough plank, is placed so that the mass of water, 


sand, fine gravel, clay, and gold falls into its upper end 
through the perforations in the grating. 

From 5 to 7 riffle-bars are nailed on the bottom of the 
riffle-box, and the box is placed on an incline sufficient to 
allow the water passing over it to carry off the light 
earthy and clayey materials, leaving the gold encased in 
the line mud which will form on the bottom. In some 
cases a little mercury is placed behind the riffle-bars to as- 
sist in holding the gold, and occasionally a series of blan- 
ket aprons are used to catch the fine gold that will go 
through with the tailings. 

The stream of water flows continuously. The dirt is 
thrown into the "torn" or upper trough by one man, while 
his partner stirs it about with a square edged shovel or a 
blunt pronged fork. The floor of the "torn" is covered 
with sheet-iron, tin, or any sheet metal which may be at 
hand, to save wear and tear of the floor. The grating- 
prevents the heavy stones and gravel from passing 
through. The "long toms" are cleaned up periodically, 
and the gold or amalgam, in case mercury is used, is 
panned out. 

Sluices can be used only where there is an abundant 
supply of water. Sluices are of two kinds ; the box-sluice, 
which is raised above the surface necessitating the rais- 
ing of pay dirt into them; the ground sluice, which is 
generally sunk below the surface. The box-sluice is a 
long wooden trough or a series of troughs, varying from 
50 feet to several thousand feet in length. The width is 
never less than 12 inches, nor more than 60 inches; 
generally 16 to 18 inches. The height of the sides varies 
from 8 to 12 inches. 

A sluice is made up in sections, each from 12 to 14 feet 
long. Each section is built of one and an inch rough 
plank, and one end is made wider than the other so that 


the sections can be fitted or telescoped into each other 
as a stovepipe is made up. The troughs rest on trestles 
and are down grade all the way from pay dirt. The slant 
or incline varies from 8 to 18 inches for every running 
foot of trough. A fall of 8 inches is called an "8-inch 
grade," 10 inches a io-inch grade. The shorter the sluice 
the smaller the grade should be, as there is more danger 
or fine gold being lost in a short than in a long sluice. 

The nature of the ground, the supply of water and the 
character of the material in which the gold is found must 
determine the grade of the sluice. If the clay ;? tough 
and balls easily, the grade should be steep. In general 
it may be said the steeper the grade the more quickly the 
dirt is dissolved in the water. But at the same time the 
force of the water is more likely to carry away the fine 

Ordinary pay dirt generally is completely dissolved 
in a moderately low grade sluice in the first 200 feet of 
flow. Any extra length added to this is useful only to 
catch the finer gold. In such case this length is of a 
much lower grade, that is, less slanting than the working 
part of the sluice. When the incline of a sluice is slight 
gold is easily caught, and much of it will be caught on the 
smooth floor of the sluice without the aid of riffle-bars. 
Where there are plenty of stones, a number of them may 
be placed at the mouth of each section of a sluice to pre- 
vent the bottom from bein^ "run bare." 

Generally, however, a false bottom is used in the sluice, 
designed not only to catch, but to save the wear and tear 
on the floor of the sluice itself. In California false bot- 
toms are made of riffle-bars, which run lengthwise with 
the sluice about 6 feet long, 3 to 7 inches wide and 2 to 4 
inches thick; 2 sets for each length of sluice. They are 


kept in place by cross-pieces, which wedge them down 
against the side of the trough. 

The false bottoms are not nailed down to the sluice as 
they must be removed at every cleaning up. The gold 
and other heavy material fall through this false floor sink- 
ing through the lighter material to the box floor. A 
modification of the false bottom is the block and zig-zag 
riffles. False bottoms generally wear away in a week 
or less if there is a great quantity of pebbles and boulders 
in the pay dirt. 

Where such material is handled it is best to use block 
riffles. The wood for block riffles is cut across the grain 
so that the fibers stand upright in the sluice box, as in the 
tree. Zig-zag riffles consist of bars which are nailed to 
the bottom of the sluice at an angle of 45 degrees to the 
side, reaching diagonally across to within an inch of the 
other side. Such gold and heavy materials as are not 
completely caught in this zig-zag course are caught with 
a supplemental stretch of ordinary longitudinal riffles. 

A ground sluice is nothing more nor less than a gutter 
or ditch excavated in the ground, and it is only used when 
lumber cannot be obtained for making a board sluice or 
when the amount of water available is not sufficient for 
a continuous supply for a box sluice. It sometimes 
happens that a heavy fall of rain will furnish a head of 
water for a short time, but not long enough to pay for 
building a box sluice. Under such conditions the miner 
resorts to the ground sluice, provided he has enough 
fall and outlet for the tailings. 

A ground sluice will use up 6 times as much water as a 
box sluice to do the same amount of work. The gutter 
is formed partly by taking the stream through it, assisted 
by loosening the earth with a pick; when the gutter is 
made the pay dirt is eitHer washed into it by the stream it- 


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Gold-washing Tom. 

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self or carried by the miners. If the miner is fortunate 
enough to have a hard and uneven bed rock for the bot- 
tom of his ground sluice, the rough floor will be enough, 
in itself, to hold the gold, but boulders and heavy stones, 
too large to be moved by the water, can be thrown in hap- 
hazard on the bottom of the ground sluice to take the 
place of riffle-bars. Of course no mercury is used. 

The process of cleaning up a ground sluice is started by 
diverting the water from the channel. Then the gold 
with its sand is collected and is panned out or else washed 
through a cradle or a "long torn," or a short box-sluice. 

Riffle-bars, boulders and blankets will catch a large 
percentage of gold in pay dirt ; probably all of the heavy 
part of gold, but a large amount of fine gold would es- 
cape were it not for the use of mercury. Mercury acts 
upon gold as a magnet does upon iron. Mercury in the 
presence of gold forms an amalgam. It is used in sluices 
in various ways. When zig-zag riffle-bars are used, a 
vessel containing quicksilver is placed near the head 
of the sluice. A tiny hole in the vessel permits the mer- 
cury to escape in minute portions. It trickles down from 
riffle to riffle, overtakes the gold and forms an amalgam, 
which is caught in the longitudinal riffles near the end of 
the sluices. 

In the ordinary sluice, where the riffle-bars are placed 
lengthwise, mercury is poured in at the head of the sluice 
about two hours after the washing is started. The mer- 
cury finds its way down slowly, but remains generally 
in the upper boxes. On this account small portions are 
introduced at intervals lower down; the amount being in- 
creased according to the amount of fine gold present. 

Where the gold is exceedingly fine copper plates are 
used. A plate will measure 3 feet wide and 6 feet long, 
and sometimes the stream is divided and carried over 


several plates. The plate is placed nearly level and at a 
good distance from the head of the sluice, as it is used 
only for catching the finest gold dust. A sheet-iron 
screen, perforated with slits one-half inch long and a 
sixteenth of an inch wide, is placed in front of the copper 
plate, so that only the finest particles of gold will pass 
over the plate. 

The copper is amalgamated as follows: A weak nitric 
acid is washed over the upper surface, and then some 
mercury, which has been treated with dilute nitric acid to 
form a little nitrate of mercury, is applied on the surface 
of the copper. If this amalgamation is well performed 
once it need not be repeated, as it will only require some 
fresh mercury to be dropped on it as fast as the gold con- 
verts it into amalgam. The flow of water should be slow 
and shallow so that every bit of gold can come in con- 
tact with the face of the plate. 

Sometimes a newly amalgamated plate becomes coated 
with a green slime (due to the formation of subsalts of 
copper), and then is incapable of absorbing the gold. 
This slime must be scraped off carefully, and the scraped 
spots must be rubbed with fresh mercury. To remove 
the amalgam, the plate is taken up and heated to a degree 
which will make the copper plate uncomfortably warm. 
This will soften and loosen the amalgam, which then can 
be easily scraped off. The copper is then allowed to cool 
and again is rubbed with a little ordinary mercury. The 
copper should not be less than one-sixteenth of an inch 
thick, and as the mercury makes it brittle as glass it must 
be handled with considerable care. 

The process of cleaning of gold, mercury and amalgam 
caught in a sluice is as follows: Cleaning up generally 
is effected after every 6 or 7 days' run. The miner, when 
he is ready to clean up, stops feeding in pay dirt, but lets 


the water run through the sluice boxes until it comes out 
in a clear stream. Beginning at the head of the sluice the 
first 5 or 6 sets of riffle-bars are lifted out of the boxes. 
Some of the dirt will be dislodged. This is washed down 
into the next set of boxes and the mass of heavy gold, and 
black sand and clay, or other materials caught in the first 
set of boxes, is scraped out with a spoon. The next sets 
then are treated the same way and so on until the end of 
the sluice. 

The amalgam and mercury taken out are placed in a 
buckskin or canvas bag:, where it is subjected to pres- 
sure; either squeezed between the hands or placed under 
a weight. The excess of mercury will be forced through 
the pores of buckskin or canvas into a vessel placed be- 
neath to catch it. The amalgam remaining is sponge- 
like in texture and is largely pure gold. The gold is 
separated from the amalgam and the mercury by plac- 
ing the amalgam in a retort and subjecting it to the heat. 

The California pump was used with great success by 
placer miners in the golden state. It is what might be 
called a chain pump. A rectangular box io inches wide 
and 3 inches high inside measurement, and from io to 30 
feet long, is traversed by an endless flexible belt or band 
of canvas. On one side of the belt pieces of wood, just 
enough smaller than the inside of the box to permit clear- 
ance, are nailed to the canvas. At the lower end of the 
box, which dipped into the water, is a roller around which 
the belt passes. At the upper end the belt passes around 
a second roller or drum, which is made to revolve by a 

The faces of the blocks, which are called buckets or 
suckers, are covered with leather which projects some- 
what beyond the edges of the wood. In operation the 
miner causes the drum at the upper end of the box to re- 


volve. This puts the canvas belt in motion and the 
buckets, catching the water of the stream, carry it up 
through the water-box, emptying it out into the reservoir 
or cradle, "long torn" or short box-sluice. Such pumps 
are exceedingly useful where the gold-bearing earth is 
high up on the banks of a ravine or in the side of a gulch. 





LAND district of Alaska was created 
jiL =tJ by act of congress May 17, 1884, and 

the land commissioner was made ex- 
officio register of the land office; and 
the marshal of the district was made 
ex-officio surveyor-general of the 
district. That portion of the act pro- 
viding a civil government in Alaska, 
which is of direct interest to gold seekers in Alaska, reads 
as follows: 

"Sec. 8. That the said district of Alaska is hereby cre- 
ated a land district, and a United States land office for 
said district is hereby located at Sitka. The commissioner 
provided for by this act to reside at Sitka shall be ex-offi- 
cio register of said land office, and the clerk provided for 
by this act shall be ex-officio receiver of public moneys, 
and the marshal provided for by this act shall be ex-officio 
surveyor-general of said district, and the laws of the 
United States relating to mining claims, and the rights 
incident thereto, shall, from and after the passage of this 
act, be in full force and effect in said district, under the 
administration thereof herein provided for, subject to 
such regulations as may be made by the secretary of the 
interior, approved by the president: Provided, That the 
Indians or other persons in said district shall not be dis- 
turbed in the possession of any lands actually in their use 
or occupation or now claimed by them, but the terms 
under which such persons may acquire title to such lands 


is reserved for future legislation by congress: And pro- 
vided further, That parties who have located mines or 
mineral privileges therein under the laws of the United 
States applicable to the public domain, or who have oc- 
cupied and improved or exercised acts of ownership over 
such claims, shall not be disturbed therein, but shall be 
allowed to perfect their title to such claims by payment 
as aforesaid: And provided also, That the land not ex- 
ceeding six hundred and forty acres at any station now 
occupied as missionary stations among the Indian tribes 
in said section, with the improvements thereon erected 
by or for such societies, shall be continued in the occu- 
pancy of the several religious societies to which said mis- 
sionary stations respectively belong until action by 
congress. But nothing contained in this act shall be con- 
strued to put in force in said district the general laws of 
the United States." 

Land office regulations providing for the administra- 
tion of the mining laws, as prescribed by the regulations 
of the land office, will be adopted for and extended to 
Alaska as far as applicable. 

Under section 2318 of the United States law, all lands, 
valuable for minerals, are reserved from sale, except as 
otherwise expressly directed by law. 

License to explore, occupy and purchase mineral lands 
is authorized as follows: 

"Sec. 2319. All valuable mineral deposits in lands be- 
longing to the United States, both surveyed and unsur- 
veyed, are hereby declared to be free and open to explora- 
tion and purchase, and the lands in which they are found 
to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the United 
States and those who have declared their intention to be- 
come such, under regulations prescribed by law, and ac- 
cording to the 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." 

Locators must show proof of citizenship or an inten- 
tion to become citizens. This may be done as provided 
in the following section: 

"Sec. 2321. Proof of citizenship, under this chapter, 
may consist, in the case of an individual, of his own affi- 
davit thereof; in the case of an association of persons 
unincorporated, of the affidavit of their authorized agent, 
made on his own knowledge, or upon information and be- 
lief; and in the case of a corporation organized under the 
laws of the United States, or' of any state or territory 
thereof, by the filing of a certified copy of their charter or 
certificate of incorporation." 

The Supreme Court of the United States has defined 
the term "placer claim" as "Ground within defined boun- 
daries which contains mineral in its earth, sand or gravel ; 
ground that includes valuable deposits not in place, that 
is, not fixed in rock, but which are in a loose state, and 
may in most cases be collected by washing or amalgama- 
tion without milling." 

The section relating to "placer claims" defines "placer" 
as follows: 

"Section 2329. Claims usually called 'placer,' including 
all forms of deposits, excepting veins of quartz, or other 
rock in place, shall be subject to entry and patent, under 
like circumstances and conditions, and upon similar pro- 
ceedings, as are provided for vein or lode claims; but 
where the lands have been previously surveyed by the 
United States, the entry in its exterior limits shall con- 
form to the legal subdivisions of the public lands." 

In locating "placer claims" the law provides that no 
location of such claim upon surveyed ground shall in- 
clude more than twentv acres for each individual claim- 


ant. The Supreme Court, however, has held that one 
individual can hold as many locations as he can purchase 
and rely upon his possessory title; that a separate patent 
for each location is unnecessary. The United States law 
relating to placer claims reads as follows: 

"Section 2329. Claims usually called 'placer,' including 
ing all forms of deposit, excepting veins of quartz, or 
other rock in place, shall be subject to entry and patent, 
under like circumstances and conditions, and upon sim- 
ilar proceedings, as are provided for vein or lode claims; 
but where the lands have been previously surveyed by 
the United States, the entry in its exterior limits shall 
conform to the legal subdivisions of the public lands." 

"Section 2330. Legal subdivisions of forty acres may 
be subdivided into ten-acre tracts ; and two or more per- 
sons, or associations of persons, having contiguous 
claims of any size, although such claims may be less than 
ten acres each, may make joint entry thereof; but no 
location of a placer-claim, made after the ninth day of 
July, eighteen hundred and seventy, shall exceed one 
hundred and sixty acres for any one person or associa- 
tion . of persons, which location shall conform to the 
United States surveys; and nothing in this section con- 
tained shall defeat or impair any bona fide pre-emption 
or homestead claim upon agricultural lands, or author- 
ize the sale of the improvements of any bona fide settler 
to any purchaser." 

"Section 2331. Where placer-claims are upon sur- 
veyed lands, and conform to legal subdivisions, no further 
survey or plat shall be required, and all placer-mining 
claims located after the tenth day of May, eighteen hun- 
dred and seventy-two, shall conform as near as prac- 
ticable with the United States system of public-land sur- 
veys, and the rectangular subdivisions of such surveys, 


and no such location shall include more than twenty acres 
for each individual claimant; but where placer-claims 
can not be conformed to legal subdivisions, survey and 
plat shall be made as on unsurveyed lands; and where 
by the segregation of mineral lands in any legal subdi- 
vision a quantity of agricultural land less than forty acres 
remains, such fractional portions of agricultural land may 
be entered by any party qualified by law, for homestead 
or pre-emption purposes." 

The following section relates to the application for a 
patent for lode and placer claims: 

"Section 2335. A patent for any land claimed and 
located for valuable deposits may be obtained in the fol- 
lowing manner: Any person, association, or corporation 
authorized to locate a claim under this chapter, having 
claimed and located a piece of land for such purposes, 
who has, or have, complied with the terms of this chap- 
ter, may file in the proper land-office an application for 
a patent, under oath, showing such compliance, together 
with a plat and field-notes of the claim or claims in com- 
mon, made by or under the direction of the United States 
surveyor-general, showing accurately the boundaries of 
the claim or claims, which shall be distinctly marked by 
monuments on the ground, and shall post a copy of such 
plat, together with a notice of such application for a 
patent, in a conspicuous place on the land embraced in 
such plat previous to the filing of the application for a 
patent, and shall file an affidavit of at least two persons 
that such notice has been duly posted, and shall file a 
copy of the notice in such land office, and shall thereupon 
be entitled to a patent for the land in the manner follow- 
ing: The register of the land office, upon the filing of 
such application, plat, field notes, notices, and affidavits, 
shall publish a notice that such application has been 


made, for the period of sixty days, in a newspaper to be 
by him designated as published nearest to such claim; 
and he shall also post such notice in his office for the 
same period. The claimant at the time of riling this 
application, or at any time thereafter, within the sixty 
days of publication, shall file with the register a certifi- 
cate of the United States surveyor-general that five hun- 
dred dollars' worth of labor has been expended or im- 
provements made upon the claim by himself or grantors; 
that the plat is correct, with such further description by 
such reference to natural objects or permanent monu- 
ments as shall identify the claim, and furnish an accurate 
description, to be incorporated in the patent. At the 
expiration of the sixty days of publication the claimant 
shall file his affidavit, showing that the plat and notice 
have been posted in a conspicuous place on the claim dur- 
ing such period of publication. If no adverse claim shall 
have been filed with the register and the receiver of the 
proper land-office at the expiration of the sixty days of 
publication, it shall be assumed that the applicant is 
entitled to a patent, upon the payment to the proper offi- 
cer of five dollars per acre, and that no adverse claim 
exists; and thereafter no objection from third parties 
to the issuance of a patent shall be heard, except it be 
shown that the applicant has failed to comply with the 
terms of this chapter." 

Locators on placer claims which contain lodes are 
brought within the provisions of the following section: 

"Section 2333. Where the same person, association, 
or corporation is in possession of a placer claim, and also 
a vein or lode included within the boundaries thereof, 
application shall be made for a patent for the placer claim, 
with the statement that it includes such vein or lode, and 
in such case a patent shall issue for a placer claim, sub- 


ject to the provisions of this chapter, including such vein 
or lode, upon the payment of five dollars per acre for 
such vein or lode claim, and twenty-five feet of surface 
on each side thereof. The remainder of the placer claim, 
or any placer claim not embracing any vein or lode claim, 
shall be paid for at the rate of two dollars and fifty cents 
per acre, together with all costs of proceedings; and 
where a vein or lode, such as is described in section 
2320 is known to exist within the boundaries of a placer 
claim, an application for a patent for such placer claim 
which does not include an application for the vein or lode 
claim shall be construed as a conclusive declaration that 
the claimant of the placer claim has no right of possession 
of the vein or lode claim; but where the existence of a 
vein or lode in a placer claim is not known, a patent 
for the placer claim shall convey all valuable mineral and 
other deposits within the boundaries thereof." 

The land office regulations relating to placer claims 
containing lodes read as follows: 

"Applicants for patent to a placer claim who are also 
in possession of a known vein or lode included therein 
must state in their application that the placer includes 
such vein or lode. The published and posted notices 
must also include such statement. If veins or lodes lying 
within a placer location are owned by other parties the 
fact should be distinctly stated in the application for 
patent and in all the notices. But in all cases whether 
the lode is claimed or excluded, it must be surveyed and 
marked upon the plat; the field notes and plat giving the 
area of the lode claim or claims and the area of the placer 
separately. It should be remembered that an application 
which omits or includes an application for a known vein 
or lode therein, must be construed as a conclusive decla- 
ration that the applicant has no right of possession to 


the vein or lode. Where there is no known lode or vein 
the fact must appear by the affidavit of two or more wit- 

The section of the United States law relating to "lode" 
claims reads as follows: 

"Section 2320. Mining claims upon veins or lodes of 
quartz or other rock in place, bearing gold, silver, cinna- 
bar, lead, tin, copper, or other valuable deposits here- 
tofore located, shall be governed as to length along the 
vein or lode by the customs, regulations, and laws in force 
at the date of their location. A mining claim located 
after the tenth day of May, eighteen hundred and seventy- 
two, whether located by one or more persons, may equal, 
but shall not exceed one thousand five hundred feet in 
length along the vein or lode; but no location of a mining 
claim shall be made until the discovery of the vein or lode 
within the limits of the claim located. Xo claim shall 
extend more than three hundred feet on each side of the 
middle of the vein at the surface, nor shall any claim be 
limited by any mining regulation to less than twenty-five 
feet on each side of the middle of the vein at the surface, 
except where adverse rights existing on the tenth day of 
May, eighteen hundred and seventy-two, render such lim- 
itation necessary. The end lines of each claim shall be 
parallel to each other." 

"Section 2322. The locators of all mining locations 
heretofore made or which shall hereafter be made, on any 
mineral vein, lode, or ledge, situated on the public do- 
main, their heirs and assigns, where no adverse claim 
exists on the tenth day of May, eighteen hundred and 
seventy-two, so long as they comply with the laws of 
the United States, and with state, territorial, and local 
regulations not in conflict with the laws of the United 
States governing their possessory title, shall have the 


exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all 
the surface included within the lines of their loca- 
tions, and of all veins, lodes, and ledges through- 
out their entire depth, the top or apex of which 
lies inside of such surface lines extended downward ver- 
tically, although such veins, lodes, or ledges may so far 
depart from a perpendicular in their course downward 
as to extend outside the vertical side lines of such surface 
locations. But their right of possession to such outside 
parts of such veins or ledges shall be confined to such 
portions thereof as lie between vertical planes drawn 
downward as above described, through the end lines of 
their locations, so continued in their own direction that 
such planes will intersect such exterior parts of such veins 
or ledges. And nothing in this section shall authorize the 
locator or possessor of a vein or lode which extends in 
its downward course beyond the vertical lines of his claim 
to enter upon the surface of a claim owned or possessed 
by another." 

The United States law permits miners of each mining 
district to make regulations governing location, manner 
of recording, etc., so long as the rules and regulations 
do not conflict with the federal statutes. The section sfiv- 
ing this permission reads as follows: 

"Section 2324. The miners of each mining district 
may make regulations not in conflict with the laws of the 
United States, or with the laws of the state or territory in 
which the district is situated, governing the location, 
manner of recording, amount of work necessary to hold 
possession of a mining claim, subject to the following 
requirements: The location must be distinctly marked 
on the ground, so that its boundaries can be readily 
traced. All records of mining claims hereafter made shall 
contain the name or names of the locators, the date of 


the location, and such a description of the claim or claims 
located by reference to some natural object or perma- 
nent monument as will identify the claim. On each claim 
located after the tenth day of May, eighteen hundred and 
seventy-two, and until a patent has been issued therefor, 
not less than one hundred dollars' worth of labor shall 
be performed or improvements made during each year. 
On all claims located prior to the tenth day of May, 
eighteen hundred and seventy-two, ten dollars' worth 
of labor shall be performed or improvements made 
by the tenth day of June, eighteen hundred and 
seventy-four, and each year thereafter, for each one 
hundred feet in length along the vein, until a patent 
has been issued therefor; but where such claims 
are held in common, such expenditure may be made 
upon any one claim; and upon a failure to comply 
with these conditions, the claim or mine upon which such 
failure occurred shall be opened to relocation in the same 
manner as if no location of the same had ever been made; 
Provided, that the original locators, their heirs, assigns, 
or legal representatives, have not resumed work upon the 
claim after failure and before such location. Upon the 
failure of any one of several co-owners to contribute his 
proportion of the expenditures required hereby, the co- 
owners who have performed the labor or made the im- 
provements may, at the expiration of the year, give such 
delinquent co-owner personal notice in writing or notice 
by publication in the newspaper published nearest the 
claim, for at least once a week for ninety days, and if at 
the expiration of ninety days after such notice in writing 
or by publication such delinquent should fail or refuse 
to contribute his proportion of the expenditure required 
by this section, his interest in the claim shall become the 
property of his co-owners, who have made the expendi- 


Other sections of the United States law relating to 
mines and mining are as follows: 

"Section 2323. Where a tunnel is run for the develop- 
ment of a vein or lode or for the discovery of mines, the 
owners of such tunnel shall have the right of possession 
of all veins or lodes within three thousand feet from the 
face of such tunnel on the line thereof, not previously 
known to exist, discovered in such tunnel, to the same 
extent as if discovered from the surface ; and locations on 
the line of such tunnels of veins or lodes, not appearing 
on the surface, made by other parties after the com- 
mencement of the tunnel, and while the same is being 
prosecuted with reasonable diligence, shall be invalid; 
but failure to prosecute the work on the tunnel for six 
months shall be considered as an abandonment of the 
right to all undiscovered veins on the line of such tunnel." 

"Section 2332. Where such person or association, 
they and their grantors, have held and worked their 
claims for a period equal to the time prescribed by the 
statute of limitations for mining claims of the state or 
territory where the same may be situated, evidence of 
such possession and working of the claims for such period 
shall be sufficient to establish a right to a patent thereto 
under this chapter, in the absence of any adverse claim; 
but nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to impair 
any lien which may have attached in any way whatever 
to any mining claim or property thereto attached prior 
to the issuance of a patent." 

"Section 2326. Where an adverse claim is filed dur- 
ing the period of publication, it shall be upon oath of the 
person or persons making the same, and shall show the 
nature, boundaries, and extent of such adverse claim, and 
all proceedings, except the publication of notice and mak- 
ing and filing of the affidavit thereof, shall be stayed 


until the controversy shall have been settled or decided 
by a court of competent jurisdiction, or the adverse 
claim waived. It shall be the duty of the adverse claim- 
ant, within thirty days after filing his claim, to com- 
mence proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction, 
to determine the question of the right of possession, and 
prosecute the same with reasonable diligence to final 
judgment; and a failure so to do shall be a waiver of his 
adverse claim. After such judgment shall have been ren- 
dered the party entitled to the possession of the claim, 
or any portion thereof, may, without giving further no- 
tice, file a certified copy of the judgment-roll with the 
register of the land office, together with the certificate 
of the surveyor general that the requisite amount of labor 
has been expended or improvements made thereon, and 
the description required in other cases, and shall pay to 
the receiver five dollars per acre for his claim, together 
with the proper fees, whereupon the whole proceedings 
and the judgment-roll shall be certified by the register to 
the commissioner of the general land office, and a patent 
shall issue thereon for the claim, or such portion thereof 
as the applicant shall appear, from the decision of the 
court, to rightly possess. If it appears from the decision 
of the court that several parties are entitled to separate 
and different portions of the claim, each party may pay for 
his portion of the claim with the proper fees and file the 
certificate and description by the surveyor general, where- 
upon the register shall certify the proceedings and judg- 
ment-roll to the commissioner of the general land office, 
as in the preceding case, and patents shall issue to the 
several parties according to their respective rights. Noth- 
ing herein contained shall be construed to prevent the 
alienation of a title conveyed by a patent for a mining 
claim to any person whatever." 






I— I 









INERS in the Klondike region must 
pay the Canadian government an en- 
try fee of $15 for the first year, and 
an annual fee of $100 for each of the 
following years. No miner will re- 
ceive a grant for more than one min- 
ing claim in the same locality, but 
the same miner may hold any num- 
ber of claims by purchase. 

The Dominion government pro- 
poses to charge a royalty for the use of its land by gold 
miners. This royalty will amount to 10 per cent on all 
amounts taken out of any one claim up to $500 a week, 
and over that output 20 per cent. The royalty will be 
collected on gold taken from streams already being 
worked, but in regard to all future discoveries, the govern- 
ment proposes that upon every river and creek where 
mining locations shall be staked out, every alternate claim 
shall be the property of the crown. 

The regulations governing placer mining along the 
Yukon river and its tributaries in the Northwest terri- 
tory, adopted by the Canadian government, are as fol- 
lows : 


BAR DIGGINGS shall mean any part of a river over 

which the 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 
1 8, 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. Both sides so 
squared shall measure at least four inches across the face. 
It shall also mean any stump or tree cut off and squared 
or faced to the above height and size. 

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. 


FIRST— Bar diggings: A strip of land ioo feet wide 
at high watermark and thence extending along into the 
river to its lowest water level. 

SECOND— 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 at high watermark 
shall be legibly marked with the name of the miner and 
the date upon which the claim is staked. 

THIRD — Dry diggings shall be ioo 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 which the claim was staked. 

FOURTH— Creek and river claims shall be 500 feet 
long, measured in direction of the general course of the 
stream, and shall extend in width from base to base of 
the hill or bench on each side, but when the hill 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 boun- 
daries 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. 

Note. — The regulation relating to the length of a 
claim was amended Aug. 8, by the dominion government; 
the new regulation limits the length of a claim to 100 
feet, running along the stream. 

FIFTH — Bench claims shall be 100 feet square. 

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

SEVENTH — 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 lo- 
cality shall have previously been worked at a different 

EIGHTH — The forms of application for a grant for 
placer mining and the grant of the same shall be those 
contained in forms "H" and "I" in the schedule hereto. 

NINTH — A claim shall be recorded with the gold com- 
missioner 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 extra day shall 
be allowed for making such record for every additional 
ten miles and fraction thereof. 

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

ELEVENTH — Entry shall not be granted for a claim 
which has not been staked by the applicant in person, in 
the manner specified in these regulations. An affidavit 
that the claim was staked out by the applicant shall be 
embodied in form "H" of the schedule hereto. 

TWELFTH — An entry fee of $15 shall be charged the 
first year and an annual fee of $100 for each of the follow- 
ing years. This provision shall apply to the locations for 
which entries have already been granted. 

THIRTEENTH— After the recording of a claim, the 
removal of any post by the holder thereof, or any person 
acting in his behalf, for the purpose of changing the boun- 
daries of his claim, shall act as a forfeiture of the claim. 

FOURTEENTH— 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. 

FIFTEENTH— 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, pro- 
vided such agreement be registered with the gold com- 
missioner and a fee of $5 paid for each registration. 

SIXTEENTH — Any miner or miners may sell, mort- 
gage, or dispose of his or their claims, provided such dis- 
posal be registered with, and a fee of $2 paid to the gold 
commissioner, who shall thereupon give the assignee a 
certificate in form "J" in the schedule hereto. 

SEVENTEENTH — 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 there- 
from; 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 
regulations in that behalf. 

EIGHTEENTH — 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 neces- 
sary for the due working thereof, and shall be entitled to 
drain his own claim free of charge. 

NINETEENTH— A claim shall be deemed to be aban- 
doned and open to occupation and entry by any per- 
son when the same shall have remained unworked on 
working days by the grantee thereof or by some person 


on his behalf for the space of seventy-two hours, unless 
sickness or other reasonable cause may be shown to the 
satisfaction of the gold commissioner, or unless the gran- 
tee is absent on leave given by the commissioner, and the 
gold commissioner, upon obtaining evidence satisfactory 
to himself that this provision is not being complied with, 
may cancel the entry given for a claim. 

TWENTIETH — 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. 

TWENTY-FIRST— If the occupier of the lands has 
not received a patent therefor, 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 therefor, or will be credited to him on account 
of payment for land. 

TWENTY-SECOND— 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 agent, 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 occupant shall be entitled. The notice mentioned in 
this section shall be according to form to be obtained 
upon application from the gold commissioner for the dis- 
trict in which the lands in question lie, and shall, when 
practicable, be personally served on such owner or his 
agent, if known, or occupant, and after reasonable efforts 
have been made to effect personal service without sue- 


cess, then suoh notice shall be served upon the owner or 
agent within a period to be fixed by the gold commis- 
sioner before the expiration of the time limited in such 
notice. If the proprietor refuses or declines to appoint 
an arbitrator, or when, for any other reason, no arbitrator 
is appointed by the proprietor in the time limited there- 
for in the notice provided by this section, the gold com- 
missioner for the district in which the lands in question 
lie shall, on being satisfied by affidavit that such notice 
has come to the knowledge of such owner, agent or oc- 
cupant, or that such owner, agent or occupant, willfully 
evades the service of such notice, or cannot be found, and 
that reasonable efforts have been made to effect such ser- 
vice, and that the notice was left at the last place of 
abode of such owner, agent or occupant, appoint an ar- 
bitrator on his behalf. 

TWENTY-THIRD— (a) All arbitrators appointed un- 
der the authority of these regulations shall be sworn be- 
fore a justice of the peace to the impartial discharge of the 
duties assigned to them, and they shall forthwith proceed 
to estimate the reasonable damages which the owner or 
occupant of such lands according to their several interests 
therein shall sustain by reason of such prospecting and 
mining operations. 

(b) In estimating such damages the arbitrators shall 
determine the value of the land, irrespectively of any en- 
hancement thereof from the existence of mineral therein. 

(c) In case such arbitrators cannot agree they may select 
a third arbitrator, and when the two arbitrators cannot 
agree upon a third arbitrator, the gold commissioner for 
the district in which the lands in question lie shall select 
such third arbitrator. 

(d) The award of any two such arbitrators made in 


writing shall be final, and shall be filed with the gold com- 
missioner for the district in which the lands lie. 

If any cases arise for which no provision is made in 
these regulations, the provisions of the regulations gov- 
erning the disposal of mineral lands other than coal lands 
approved by his excellency the governor in council on 
the 9th of November, 1889, shall apply. 


Form ' k J." 

Department of the Interior. 

Agency 18. . . . 

This is to certify that (B. C.) has (or have) filed an as- 
signment in due form dated 18. . . . 

and accompanied by a registration fee of two dollars, of 

the grant to (A. B.) of 

of the right to mine in 

(insert description of claim) for 

one year from 18 ... . 

This certificate entitles the said 

(B. C.) to all rights and privileges of the said 

(A. B.) in respect of the claim assigned, that is to say, the 
exclusive right of entry upon the said claim for the miner- 
like working thereof and the construction of a residence 
thereon, and the exclusive right to all proceeds there- 
from for the remaining portion of the year for which 

said claim was granted to the said 

(A. B.), that is to say, until the 18. . . . 

The said (B. C.) shall be en- 
titled to the use of so much of the water naturally flowing 

^LH''^v'''' , ^' l 'l«l' , V ,l ' , »^''''M t, ''! rt ''<*li*'p«<ts 



>— i 






('• I 


through or past his (or their) claim, and not already law- 
fully appropriated, as shall be necessary for the due work- 
ing thereof, and to drain the claim free of charge. 

This grant does not convey to the said 

(B. C) any surface rights in said claim 

or any rights of ownership in the soil covered by the said 
claim, and the said grant shall lapse and be forfeited un- 
less the claim is continually and in good faith worked 
by the said (B. C.) or his (or their) associates. 

The rights hereby granted are those laid down in the 
Dominion Mining Regulations, and are subject to all 
provisions of the said regulations whether the same are 
expressed herein or not. 

Gold Commissioner. 



I, (or we) of hereby apply 

under the Dominion Mining Regulations for grant of a 
claim for placer mining as defined in the said regulations 

in (here describe locality) 

and I (or we) solemnly swear: 

First — That I (or we) am (or are) to the best of my 
(or our) knowledge and belief, the first discoverer (or dis- 
coverers) of the said deposit, or 

Second — That the said claim was previously granted 
to (here name the last grantee), but has re- 
mained unworked by the said grantee for not less than 


Third — That I (or we) am (or are) unaware that the 
land is other than vacant Dominion lands. 

Fourth — That I (or we) did on the day 

of mark out on the ground in accordance 

in every particular with the provisions of the mining 
regulations for the Yukon river and its tributaries, the 
claim for which I (or we) make this application, and that 
in so doing I (or we) did not encroach on any other claim 
or mining location previously laid out by any other per- 

Fifth — That the said claim contains as nearly as I (or 

we) could measure or estimate an area of 

square feet, and that the description (and sketch, if any) 
of this date hereto attached signed by me (or us) sets (or 
set) forth in detail to the best of my (or our) knowledge 
and ability its position, form and dimensions. 

Sixth — That I (or we) make this application in good 
faith to acquire the claim for the sole purpose of mining, 
prosecuted by myself (or us), or by myself and associates, 
or by my (or our) assigns. 

Sworn before me 
At this ?day of 

Io. . . . 



Form "1." 

Department of the Interior. 

Agency 18. . . . 

In consideration of the payment of the fee prescribed 
by clause 12 of the mining regulations of the Yukon river 


and its tributaries by (A. B.) 

accompanying his (or their) application No 

dated 18. . . . for a mining claim 

in (here insert description of local- 
ity), the minister of the interior hereby grants to the said 

(A. B.) for the term of one 

year from the date hereof the exclusive right of entry 
upon the claim (here describe in detail the claim). 

Granted — For the miner-like working thereof and the 
construction of a residence thereon, and the exclusive 
right to all the proceeds derived therefrom. That the 

said (A. B.) shall be entitled to 

the use of so much water naturally flowing through or 
past his (or their) claim and not already lawfully appro- 
priated as shall be necessary for the due working thereof, 
and to drain his (or their) claim free of charge. 

This grant does not convey to the said 

(A. B.) any surface right in the said claim or any right of 
ownership in the soil covered by the said claim, and the 
said grant shall lapse and be forfeited unless the claim is 
continuously and in good faith worked by the said 
(A. B.) or his (or their) asso- 

The rights hereby granted are those laid down in the 
aforesaid mining regulations and no more, and are sub- 
ject to all the provisions of the said regulations, whether 
the same are expressed herein or not. 

Gold Commissioner. 





IILLIAM D. JOHNS of Chicago, a 
special correspondent of the CHI- 
CAGO RECORD, who has been in 
Alaska for two years, was at Circle 
City, Alaska, when the news of the 
gold strike of the Klondike reached 
the miners of that town. His letter, 
detailing the richness of the field, and 
telling of the hardships and successes 
of the prospectors, was the first letter from a newspaper 
correspondent to reach the outside world. It was 
brought to San Francisco by the Excelsior, the vessel 
which brought the first of the returning and successful 
miners home. It was as follows: 

''Fourteen miles from Dawson City, twelve miles up 
Bonanza creek, which empties into the Klondike river 
one and one-half miles from the Yukon, gold was dis- 
covered by 'Siwash' George Carmack and his two In- 
dian brothers-in-law last August. The credit for the dis- 
covery really belongs to the Indians. A stampede from 
Circle City, Forty Mile and other camps was the result 
of this find, but few had much faith in the new region 
even after they were on the ground, and in spite of the 
rich prospects on the surface it was generally regarded 
as a 'grub-stake' strike on which any one might succeed 
in getting a winter outfit. 

"A little later, however, the prospects found on the river 
called forth the half-skeptical remark that if it goes 


down it is the greatest thing on earth.' Then a few- 
began to believe in the new diggings, but many old 
miners even yet would not stake ont claims, thinking 
the creek too wide for gold. A number of side gulches 
along the Bonanza were staked, among them El Dorado, 
which was rich in gravel near the mouth. But so little 
faith was manifested in the region that claim holders 
could not get 'grub' from the stores in exchange for 
their prospects. There was a general fear that these 
might be only 'skim diggings/ 

"In December bed rock was reached on No. 14 El Dora- 
do and fabulously rich pay dirt was found. Then more 
holes went down in a hurry. Everywhere were discov- 
ered prospects on bed rock ranging from $5 to $150 to 
the pan. The gold was nearly all coarse. Still the great- 
ness of the strike was not realized. Some of the best 
claims were sold by their owners for a few hundreds or a 
few thousands. Drifting was carried on by the usual 
winter process of ''burning," and the pay dirt taken out 
as rapidly as possible under the difficulties of intense 

'Tans as rich as $500 were discovered, and nuggets con- 
taining gold worth as high as $235 were brought to light. 
Claims jumped up enormously in price, but still many 
men sold for a small part of the value of their holdings. 
They seemed wholly unable to realize their good for- 
tune. Doubts were still expressed about the dumps hold- 
ing out to the prospects. 

"Then the test — sluicing — came in the spring when the 
ice melted and the water ran down from the hills. Then 
the wildest hopes of the toiling miners were realized. 
Despite the lateness of commencing work and the 
scarcity of men about $1,500,000 was taken out of El 
Dorado alone. On some of the richer claims men who 


secured ground to work on shares — 50 per cent — cleared 
$5,000 to $10,000 apiece in from thirty days' to two 
months' drifting. As high as $150,000 was drifted out 
of one claim, the other sums being less. From seventy- 
five feet of ground on Nos. 25 and 26, El Dorado, $112,- 
000 was taken, or $1,500 per running foot, and the pay 
not cross-cut, for it frequently runs from vein to vein, 
being in places 150 feet wide. 

"Ground has sold here this spring for over $1,000 a 
running foot, or at the rate of $500,000 for a claim of 
500 feet. Men on whose judgment reliance can be placed 
and who base their opinion on what their own ground 
and that of others has yielded, tell me that there are 
claims here from which over $1,000,000 will come. Last 
winter men on 'lays' (percentage) left 50-cent dirt 
because they had better in sight and only a limited time 
before spring to get out ore. Owing to the large number 
of the men on lays' the production of almost every claim 
is known, and no overstatement is possible, since so 
many are interested in the amount of gold produced. As 
soon as sluicing was fairly under way the price of claims 
jumped again and but few would sell. It might almost 
be said that no one would part with a claim on El Dorado. 

"On Bonanza, where the pay, except on a few claims, 
is not as rich as on El Dorado, owners who had looked 
in vain for the $5, $10 and $150 pans, which were plen- 
tiful on the rival creek, were disgusted with their moder- 
ate gains and were willing to sell. Thus many claims 
having 20 to 50 cent dirt and three to seven feet of it 
were sold. On the boat which takes this letter down 
the Yukon will be many men, some of them having been 
in this country only a few months when the strike was 
made, who will take with them to the mint from $10,000 


to $500,000, the result either of working the ground or 
of selling out. 

"The men who sold were paid almost entirely out of 
their own ground, the men who bought taking the dumps 
and these, when sluiced, paying for the claims and leav- 
ing a handsome margin for the purchasers. In some 
instances enough gold was rocked out to make a first 
payment on the claims before sluicing was possible. 
Many of these men, to my personal knowledge, had 
neither money nor credit to get 'grub' last fall. 

"But those chances are of the past; let no one imagine 
that they still exist. Claims are held by their owners 
now up in the hundreds of thousands, and those of less 
desirable quality are dear in proportion. To get a bar- 
gain in a claim is impossible at this stage of the fever 
here. One might as well stand on State street now and 
think of getting the Palmer house lot at a low rate, be- 
cause at some time in the past it was sold for a song. 
The value of claims is now clearly known. Most of 
them have passed into second hands, the present owners 
paying for them in many cases $20,000, $30,000 or $50,- 
000, and holding and working them as straight business 

"That there will be other fields of gold in other creeks 
is likely, but as El Dorado is one of those strikes that 
are made only once in about a quarter of a century, it is 
extremely unlikely that another will be found in this 
region. As the capacity of the river steamers is limited, 
and is likely to be taxed to the utmost this year to supply 
the necessities of those now here, or already coming in, 
with the rigors of the arctic winter before them, and 
no provisions, and after September no way of getting 
out where they may be had, those thinking of coming 
here, attracted by the marvelous richness of the strike, 


cannot be too strongly cautioned against making the at- 
tempt this season. They can gain nothing, and may 
suffer much. 

"The Klondike is a stream emptying into the Yukon, 
eighty miles above the boundary line of Alaska, in the 
British Northwest territory. It is supposed to be about 
125 miles long, heading in the Rockies, and is a rapid 
river running in a northerly direction. Bonanza :reek, 
coming in one and one-half miles up from the mouth, is 
twenty-five miles long, and heads at the Dome, a big 
bold hill, as do a number of lesser creeks. It runs south- 
westerly. El Dorado comes in twelve miles up, and is 
seven miles long, running in the same general direction 
as does Bonanza. 

"The pay on Bonanza is good from the 6o's below 
the point of discovery, where one claim has 20 and 25 
cent dirt, with the pay 125 feet wide, up to No. 43 
above, claim No. 41 being very rich. Gold on Bonanza 
is finer than that on El Dorado. There is not a blank up 
to No. 38, and there are some good claims above that 
number. The richest claims are in the middle of the 
gulch, the gold there being coarse, with lots of nuggets. 
This, with the fractions of claims, makes nearly twenty 
miles of paying ground. 

"In addition there are a number of side gulches on 
which good prospects have been discovered. Bonanza 
district, it is estimated, is likely to produce not less than 
$50,000,000 in gold, and this is believed to be an under- 
estimate than otherwise. Hunker creek empties into the 
Klondike twelve miles up and is twenty miles long. In 
places $2 and $3 to the pan on bedrock have been found, 
and the indications are that it will prove a rich-paying 


"Gold Bottom, a fork, and Last Chance, a side gulch, 






show up equally well for a considerable distance. These 
comprise, with Bear creek, which comes into the Klon- 
dike between Bonanza and Hunker, the extent of terri- 
tory of which anything certain is known. Quartz creek 
and Indian creek are reached from the heads of Bonanza 
and Hunker and they have also some prospects. The 
country rock is slate and mica schist. Many of the nug- 
gets are full of quartz. Iron rock is found with them, 
and pieces of stratified rock containing iron are found 
showing plainly on their sides the matrices of gold nug- 
gets. Some fair gold-bearing quartz has been discovered, 
but no rich, free gold-bearing rock in place. The mineral 
belt seems to run northeast and southwest, if one may 
judge from the creeks, and to be about ten miles wide. 
It seems to parallel the main range of mountains about 
ioo miles distant from it. 

"There are both summer and winter diggings on all the 
creeks, as some of the claims are capable of being both 
drifted and sluiced. Some summer drifting is also done. 
Wages, owing to the scarcity of men last winter, were $15 
a day at the diggings, but they are likely to fall very soon. 
The price of flour at Dawson City last winter was $1 a 
pound, and this spring the trading companies advanced 
their prices in some cases 50 per cent. Canned meats 
were sold at 75 cents a can. 

"Meals were charged for at the rate of $1.50 apiece. 
Whisky was the same old price — 50 cents a drink. Lum- 
ber, when it can be had, is $130 a thousand feet. The 
price for sawing at the mills is $100 a thousand feet, the 
logs being furnished by the purchaser. Beds or lodgings 
are not to be had. If you can't find a place in some tent 
where you may sleep you may try the saloon floors, of 
which places there are a number. Good river-front lots 
in the center of the town may be purchased at from 


$3,000 to $5,000 each. These same lots sold last fall at 
$5 apiece. 

"The richness and extent of the diggings are such that 
if they were in any place less inaccessible than this, doubt- 
less the stampede to them would be tremendous, but a 
great influx of gold-hunters at this time would be a 
calamity. The Canadian government has sent in another 
detachment of police and also a judge and a gold com- 
missioner, who, with the customs officer, constitute the 
governing force. Owing to the impossibility of escape 
from the country such of the criminal element as has 
come in thus far is very quiet and peaceable. 

"Outside of a little stealing of provisions and similar 
petty offenses there is no crime. There are but a few 
places where supplies can be had in all this vast coun- 
try, and any offender is certain therefore of being caught 
and punished. Though gold has been sitting around in 
the cabins for months in lard pails, baking-powder cans, 
old boot legs and buckets, no thefts have been com- 

"What the country needs above all things is communi- 
cation with the outside world. If the government at 
Washington would make some arrangement whereby 
the Canadians could get a port of entry on the disputed 
part of the coast it would be a great boon to Alaska 
as well as to this part of the Northwest territory. Most 
of the men who 'hit it' are Americans, whose gold will 
go to San Francisco and the United States. Because of 
the lack of adequate communication with the civilized 
world the miners are in constant fear lest supplies should 
give out. 

"Many articles can be had but for a limited time after 
the arrival of a steamer, and those who are not fortunate 
enough to get a supply at that time must do without for 


weeks and months, no matter how much gold they may 
have to make purchases with. The scarcity may be 
one of provisions, window sashes or gum boots, but al- 
ways there is a scarcity here of some important article. 

"Generally there is never enough of anything, and only 
the opening up of communication with the coast by some 
other route than the mouth of the Yukon offers any pros- 
pect of adequate relief. If the Canadians had a port of 
entry they would have commerce coming down the river 
from the direction of Juneau, and the country would 
not be dependent upon the scanty supplies coming 1,900 
miles up the Yukon from Bering sea." 

Since this letter was written reports from Dawson City 
indicate that the "rush" to the gold diggings has glut- 
ted the labor market and day labor is quoted at low 
figures. It is reported that wages range from $2 to $3 
a day. 

One of the "most meaty" letters that have come from 
the Yukon was written by Arthur Perry, a well-known 
and reliable Seattle man, who is now at Dawson City. 
It is dated Dawson City, June 18, and reads in full as fol- 
lows : 

"The first discovery of gold on the Klondike was made 
the middle of August, 1896, by George Carmack on a 
creek emptying into the Klondike from the south, called 
by the Indians Bonanza. He found $1.60 to the pan on 
a high rim, and after making the find known at Forty 
Mile went back with two Indians and took out $1,400 in 
three weeks with three sluice boxes. The creek was soon 
staked from one end to the other and all the small gulches 
were also staked and recorded. About Sept. 10 a man 
of the name of Whipple prospected a creek emptying 
into Bonanza on No. 7, above discovery, and named it 
Whipple creek. He shortly afterwards sold out and the 


miners renamed it El Dorado. Prospects as high as $4 to 
the pan were found early in the fall. Many of the old 
miners from Forty Mile went there and would not stake, 
saying the willows did not lean the right way and the 
water did not taste right, and that it was a moose pasture, 
it being wide and flat. Both creeks were staked princi- 
pally by 'chechacoes' (new men in the country), and early 
as they could get provisions, about 250 men went there 
and commenced prospecting by sinking holes to the 
depth of from 9 to 24 feet, doing so by burning down, as 
the ground was frozen solid to bed rock. Nov. 23 a man 
of the name of Louis Rhodes located on No. 21, above on 
Bonanza, got as high as $65.30 to the pan. 

"This was the first big pan of any importance, and the 
news spread up and down the creek like wildfire. This 
news reached Circle City, 300 miles farther down the 
Yukon river, but nobody would believe it. Soon after 
large pans were found on both Bonanza and El Dorado, 
and each creek was trying to outrival the other, until a 
man of the name of Clarence Berry got $100 to the pan. 
From that time on El Dorado held a high position. Many 
claims from the mouth up for a distance of three miles 
got large pans — until they reached as high as $280. 

"About March 15, 1897, I reached the diggings from 
Circle City, having hauled my sled the whole distance 
without a dog. The importance of the new strike had 
become too significant to be overlooked, and about 300 
men from Circle City undertook the journey in midwin- 
ter. Such an exodus was never known before in the 
history of the Yukon, but not a man lost his life, although 
several had their faces and toes nipped at times. Even 
some of the most resolute and dissolute women made the 
journey in safety. Fancy prices were paid for dogs by 
those who were able to purchase, and as high as $175 and 


even $200 were paid for good dogs. Almost any kind of 
a dog was worth $50 and $75 each. 

"When I first reached the new camp I was invited by 
the butcher boys — Murph Thorp of Juneau and George 
Stewart from Stuck Valley, Wash. — to go down in their 
shaft and pick a pan of dirt, as they had just struck the 
rich streak. To my surprise it was $282.50. In fourteen 
pans of dirt they took out $1,565 right in the bottom of 
the shaft, which was 4 by 8 feet. 

"March 20 Clarence Berry took out over $300 to the 
pan. Jimmy MacLanie took out over $200 to the pan; 
Frank Phiscater took out $135 to the pan. The four 
boys from Nanaimo took as high as $125 to the pan. 
They were the first men to get a hole down to bedrock 
on El Dorado and found good pay. They had Nos. 14 
and 15. 

"In fact, big pans were being taken on nearly every 
claim on the creek, until $100 and $200 pans were com- 
mon. April 13 Clarence Berry took in one pan 39 ounces 
— $495 — and in two days panned out over $1,200. April 
14 we heard some boys on No. 30 El Dorado had struck 
it rich and taken out $800 in one pan. This was the ban- 
ner pan of the creek, and Charles Myers, who had the 
ground on a lay, told me that if he had wanted to pick the 
dirt he could have taken 100 ounces just as easy. 

"Jimmy MacLanie took out $11,000 during the winter 
just in prospecting the dirt. Clarence Berry and his part- 
ner, Anton Strander, panned out about the same in the 
same manner. Mrs. Berry used to go down to the dumps 
every day and get dirt and carry it to the shanty and pan 
it herself. She has over $6,000 taken out in that man- 

"Mr. Lippy, from Seattle, has a rich claim and his wife 
has a sack of nuggets alone of $6,000 that she has picked 


up on the dumps. When the dumps were washed in the 
spring the dirt yielded better than was expected. Four 
boys on a lay, No. 2 El Dorado, took out $49,000 in two 
months. Frank Phiscater, who owned the ground and 
had some men hired, cleaned up $94,000 for the winter. 
Mr. Lippy, so I am told, has cleaned up for the winter 
$54,000. Louis Rhodes, No. 21 Bonanza, has cleaned 
up $40,000. Clarence Berry and Anton Strander have 
cleaned up $130,000 for the winter. 

"Enclosed are the names of some of the bovs who 
are going out on this boat, with the approximate 
amounts : 

Ben Wall, Swede, Tacoma $50,000 

William Carlson, Swede, Tacoma 50,000 

Wm. Sloan, Englishman, Nanaimo 50,000 

John Wilkerson, English, Nanaimo 50,000 

Jim Clemens, American, California 50,000 

Frank Keller, American^ California 35,ooo 

Sam Collej, Icelander 25,000 

Stewart and Hollenshead, California 45,000 

Charles Myers and partner, Arizona 22,000 

Johnny Marks, Englishman 10,000 

Alex Orr, Englishman 10,000 

Fred Price, American, Seattle 15,000 

Fred Latisceura, Frenchman 10,000 

Tim Bell, American - 31,000 

William Hayes, Irish-American 35>ooo 

Dick McNulty, Irish-American 20,000 

Jake Halterman, American 14,000 

Johnson and Olson, Swedes 20,000 

Neil McArthur, Scotchman 50,000 

Charles Anderson, Swede 25,000 

Joe Morris, Canadian 15,000 

Hank Peterson, Swede 12,000 

"There are a great many more going out with from 
$3,000 to $10,000 that I do not know. This is probably 
the richest placer ever known in the world. They took it 


out so fast and so much of it that they did not have time 
to weigh it with gold scales. They took steelyards and 
all the syrup cans were rilled. It looks as if my time 
would come about the time I am ready to die. 

"One man received word that his wife and little girl 
had died since he came in here, and now he is going out 
with $25,000. 

"Another man was here waiting for the boat to go 
home, and died yesterday with heart disease, having in 
his possession $17,000. Stranger things than fiction hap- 
pen here every day." 




ORROBORATIVE evidence, which has 
come in since the steamer "Enterprise" 
brought back the first of the men who 
had "struck it rich" in' the Klondike, 
shows that their reports were not exag- 
gerated. The "Alaska Miner," of July 17, 
contains a long article on the Klondike 
placers, in which the results are compared 
with an analysis made last March of the pan value of the 
two richest creeks, Bonanza and El Dorado. This analy- 
sis was based on talks with several men who had spent 
most of the winter on the creek, and saw panning being 
done on various claims. The Alaska Miner is regarded 
as high authority on gold in Alaska and the Yukon dis- 
trict. The article, which shows the extraordinary rich- 
ness of the placer mines in the Klondike district, reads 
as follows: * 

"We expressed the opinion that the El Dorado would 
prove to be the richer creek, and our surmises have 
proved to be correct. How did we arrive at this result? 
We carefully kept a record of the panning results on both 
creeks, and the average at that time was as follows: On 
El Dorado creek Xo. 3, $3: No. 4, $4.60; No. 5, $8.50; 
Xo. 6, as high as $153; No. 7, about the average of No. 
6. No. 8, as high as $60; from No. 8 to No. 16, from 
$2.50 to $10 on an average, although $216 was 
washed out of one pan on the latter claim. From 
No. 16 to No. 37 all the claims were regarded 



I— I 












as good, but not enough panning had been done 
to justify forming any opinion of the average value. Upon 
No. 37 a nugget worth $360 of irregular shape was found. 
From No. 37 to rim rock there had not been sufficient 
prospecting done, but the opinion then was that all the 
claims were good. 

''Even as far back as last March the best developed 
claim in the country was that of Clarence Berry, No. 6 
on El Dorado, in which he then owned a half interest. He 
also owned one-third interest in Nos. 4-. and 5. He em- 
ployed twelve men all the winter taking out pay dirt and 
depositing it upon the dump. To give an idea of the 
richness of the claim we cannot do better than say that 
Berry paid his men $1.25 an hour until someone offered 
more, and that every night he melted ice in his cabin and 
panned out sufficient gold from the frozen dirt to pay the 
wages of his men. 

" Berry knew where there was very rich ground on his 
claim and he very often panned out from $10 to $50 to the 
pan. When requiring money it was only necessary for 
the owner of the claim to take out some of his rich ground 
and wash it. We have had all kinds of estimates of the 
amount which Berry's dump would produce, and the 
highest we heard was $100,000, so that in announcing 
the result as $140,000 it goes to show what a rich coun- 
try has been discovered. 

"We gave figures in the winter which showed that the 
lower portion of Bonanza creek averaged all the way 
from $10 to $50 to the pan, up to No. 56 below discovery. 
From discovery to No. 12 above, the value was from $5 
to $40. Then from there to No. 25 the average was from 
$40 to $10. From No. 25 to No. 53 the average is from 
$10 to 50 cents. From this point up the creek there has 


not been enough prospecting done on which to base any 

"We hope soon to be in a position to give the results 
from the various claims on Bonanza which may be de- 
pended upon and we can then compare them with the 
panning average of early in the summer as given above. 
We know that Rhodes has taken out probably $150,000 
from his claim, but then it was well developed and we are 
expecting big results from there, but we want to get the 
information from a number of claims, so as to get the 
right idea of the general value of the creek, and prove the 
assertion so often made of its continued richness from 
end to end. 

"One thing has been learned in the Klondike, and that 
is that production is proportionate to development. We 
have found that the yield of gold follows the work done on 
a claim. When Rhodes made such a good showing on 
the start it encouraged others to open up their claims, 
and quite a number changed hands at Bonanza creek 
and the owners left there for the coast to obtain sufficient 
supplies to last them for a long period. Then came the 
big returns from No. 6 on El Dorado, and the great 
excitement was transferred to that creek, and there were 
fewer absentee owners and in consequence more work 
was done, the evidence of which we have had ample 
demonstration of in the big sacks of gold which have been 
washed out. 

"The largest results attract the most attention, there- 
fore most of the stories which have reached the coast 
cluster around the few big producers, and of the sales 
made only those involving large sums are spoken of. 
There are a great many smaller sums than the ones 
spoken of which have been taken from El Dorado. But 
properties which in any other country on the face of the 


earth would attract universal attention are almost lost 
sight of in the Klondike, because they have only yielded 
$10,000, $15,000 and $20,000. Next fall these same 
claims will be so far developed as to hold their own with 
the nest of the creek. Berry had a good start, and after 
reaching bed rock could command sufficient funds to 
hire men and pay them wages equal to the production of 
an ordinary placer mine. We have no particular reason 
to assume that other claims will prove less productive 
than his when they have had the same amount of labor 
expended upon them. Several men from Seattle went in 
with the first party this spring, and they are interested 
on Bonanza creek and intend to prosecute work with all 
the men they can profitably employ. 

"If a comparatively few men in the limited time at their 
disposal are able to produce a million dollars from dirt 
raised to the surface during the winter months 
with practically no preparation at all, what will 
be the result when all the claims are being vigor- 
ously developed with plenty of labor to draw from? This 
is a very important question, and is one fraught with con- 
siderable interest to the great number of men now on 
their way to the mines. If we think a moment that there 
has not vet been a barren claim on either of the creeks 
the possibilities of the future are tremendous. Let us 
make this a little clearer. The panning in the winter 
gave promise of exceedingly rich results. These rich 
results have been attained in every instance where the 
claim has been worked. We have therefore the right to 
assume that similar results will reward the efforts of the 
owners of other claims on the same creeks which have 
been so productive this season. 

"The only evidence one had of the probable value of 
a claim was the amount of gold obtained in a single 


pan. Suppose we follow this idea out for a moment. No. 
6 on El Dorado creek panned out as high as $153 to the 
pan last winter before wofk was done on it. This is the 
claim which produced $140,000 from the winter dump. 
Now, then, No. 7, next to it, yielded precisely the same 
results to the pan. Why will not No. 7, when it is 
opened up as much as No. 6 has been, give the same re- 
sults? There is simply no answer to the query. Then, 
again, the next claim, No. 8, panned out as high as 
$60 to the pan. The same argument applies to this. The 
average of the panning from No. 8 to No. 16 is from 
S2.50 to $10 to the pan. This would make any of these 
claims from No. 7 to No. 16 produce as much gold as No. 
6 did with the same amount of labor expended on them. 
What would this mean? 

"As a simple question of mathematics it would mean 
several million dollars alone for these few claims. This 
takes no account of claims No. 17 to No. 37, all of which 
are reported to be rich, but little work has been done upon 
them so far. 

"When all the claims are in working order and pro- 
ducing gold in proportion to their development, we shall 
see a state of things at the Klondike unprecedented in the 
world's history. The man who took $90,000 from 45 feet 
of his ground last winter and has 450 feet left yet, and so 
far as he knows, of the same average value, can, by put- 
ting enough men to work, clean up half a million next 
season. If this be true, then there are others who have 
panned out from $5 to $40 in prospecting who have every 
reason to think that their claims will yield in like manner. 

"W r e noticed as men went through here this spring 
that there were large numbers who expect to hire out, 
and thus obtain a stake so that they may in turn spend 
some time in prospecting with an equal chance of dis- 


covering something good for themselves. Their place 
will be taken by other arrivals, and the work of securing 
the gold will go on and much' country will be examined 
by men who will be encouraged and stimulated by the 
success of others. A man who can afford to hire men 
and pay them $12 a day, will get the advantage of a quick 
return. These diggings are essentially winter ones. Upon 
a claim of 500 feet a large number of prospect holes can 
be sunk at the same time, and the pay dirt deposited on 
the dump, and next spring the owner of the claim will be 
in a position to realize enormous amounts of money from 
his property. 

"The Klondike diggings may be regarded as permanent 
to the extent of several million dollars, and we have no 
hesitation in recommending men with some means to go 
and try their fortunes in the gold-lined creeks of the far 
north, where endurance, perseverance, grit and a good 
outfit will be their best friends." 

Following are some of the men who "struck it rich" in 
the Klondike, most of the claims located on Bonanza and 
El Dorado creeks: 

Clarence Berry and Anton Strander $130,000 

James McLanie 1 1,000 

Frank Phiscater 94,000 

Four men on No. 2 El Dorado 49,000 

Louis Rhodes 40,000 

Thomas Cross 10,000 

Ben Wall 50,000 

William Carlson 50,000 

William Sloan 50,000 

John W'ilkerson 50,000 

James Clemens 50,000 

Frank Keller 35,ooo 

Samuel Cellej 25,000 

Charles Myers and partner 22,000 

John Marks 10,000 


Fred Latisceura 10,000 

Timothy Bell 31,000 

William Haves 35.000 

Richard McNulty 20,000 

Jacob Halterman 14,000 

Johnson and Olson 20,000 

Charles Anderson 25,000 

Joseph Morris 15,000 

Henry Peterson 12,000 

Henry Dore 50,000 

Victor Lord 15,000 

William Stanley 1 12,000 

James McMahon 15,000 

Jacob Home 6,000 

J. J. Kelly 10,000 

T. S. Lippy 65,000 

F. G. H. Bowker 90,000 

Joe La Due 10,000 

J. B. Hollingshead 25,000 

William Kulju 17,000 

Albert Galbraith 15,000 

Neil McArthur 15,000 

Douglas McArthur 15,000 

Bernard Anderson 14,000 

Robert Krook 14,000 

Fred Lendesser 1 3,000 

Alexander Orr 1 1,500 

Thomas Cook 10,000 

M. D. Norcross 10,000 

J. Ernmerger 10,000 

Con Stamatin 8,250 

Albert Fox 5, 100 

Greg Stewart 5,ooo 

J. O. Hestwood 5,000 

Thomas Flock 6,000 

Louis B. Rhodes 5,000 

Fred Price 5,000 

Alaska Commercial company 250,000 

Gov. H. C. Mcintosh, of the Northwest territory, 
comprising the Canadian Yukon, estimates that the Klon- 


dike district will yield $10,000,000 during 1897. Gov. 
Mcintosh, in speaking of the Klondike find, said : 

"We are only on the threshold of the greatest discovery 
ever made. Gold has been piling up in all these innum- 
erable streams for hundreds of years. Much of the terri- 
tory the foot of man has never trod. It would hardly be 
possible for one to exaggerate the richness, not only of 
the Klondike, but of other districts in the Canadian Yu- 
kon. At the same time the folly of thousands rushing 
in there without proper means of subsistence and in 
utter ignorance of geographical conditions of the country 
should be kept ever in mind. 

"There are fully 9,000 miles of these golden waterways 
in the region of the Yukon. Rivers, creeks and streams 
of every size and description are all rich in gold. I 
derived this knowledge from many old Hudson Bay ex- 
plorers, who assured me that they considered the gold 
next to inexhaustible. 

"In 1894 I made a report to Sir John Thompson, then 
premier of Canada, who died the same year at 
Windsor castle, strongly urging that a body of Cana- 
dian police be established on the river to maintain order. 
This was done in 1895, and the British outpost of Fort 
Cudahy was founded. 

"I have known gold to exist there since 1889, conse- 
quent upon a report made to me by W. Ogilvie, the gov- 
ernment explorer. Many streams that will no doubt prove 
to be as rich as the Klondike have not been explored or 
prospected. Among these I might mention Dominion 
creek, Hootalinqua river, Stewart river, Liard river and 
a score of other streams comparatively unknown. 

"It is my judgment and opinion that the 1897 yield of 
the Canadian Yukon will exceed $10,000,000 in gold. Of 
course, as in the case of the Cariboo and Cassiar districts 


years ago, it will be impossible accurately to estimate the 
full amount taken out. 

"There is now far in excess of $1,000,000 remaining al- 
ready mined on the Klondike. It is in valises, tin cans 
and lying loose in saloons, but just as sacredly guarded 
there and apparently as safe as if it were in a vault. Al- 
ready this spring we have official knowledge of over $2,- 
000,000 in gold having been taken from the Klondike 
camps. It was shipped out on the steamships Excelsior 
and Portland. 

"Incidentally I may say we have data of an official na- 
ture which lead us to believe that the gold output of the 
Rossland and Kootenai districts for 1897 will be in excess 
of $7,000,000. I should have said, and I have no hesi- 
tancy in asserting, that within the course of five years 
the gold yield of the three districts named will exceed 
that of either Colorado, California or South Africa." 





HE "BACK DOOR" route to the Klon- 
dike country is the highway of the 
Hudson's Bay company. The Mac- 
kenzie river stretches its length of i,- 
450 miles most of the distance, and 
gold-seekers can float on its waters to 
one of the several rivers which offer 
ways to reach the western slope of the 
divide, far up under the Arctic circle. 

It is interesting to note that the "back door" route to 
the Klondike follows the first continental route across 
North America. This way was discovered by Mackenzie 
in 1785, when he paddled his canoe from Great Slave 
lake down the river which bears his name to the Arctic 
ocean, which Mackenzie supposed was the Pacific ocean. 
The next year after making the same trip, he went up 
the Peace river and crossed over the divide to the western 
slope, which now is Alaska, thence to Bering sea. 

The Northwest territory includes the basins of the 
Athabasca, Mackenzie and Great Fish rivers. The first 
exploration, purely geographical in character, in this dis- 
trict was made by Samuel Hearne, who was sent in 1770 
by the Hudson's Bay company northward in the direc- 
tion of the Arctic waters. He reached the Arctic ocean 
and wrote an account of his journey, but this important 
document was held by the Hudson's Bay company for 
20 years before it was published. A Canadian family 
of the name of Beaulieu founded a settlement north of 

Lake Athabasca, and in 1778 a fort was erected there. 


Next an Englishman, named Pond, guided by these 
half-castes, advanced as far as the Great Slave lake, and 
7 years later Mackenzie entered upon his explorations. 
After Mackenzie's expedition no voyage of discovery was 
undertaken until 1820, when Sir John Franklin explored 
the Northwest territories between Lake Winnipeg and the 
Arctic ocean. After this the trappers and half-breeds in 
the employ of the Northwest Hudson's Bay company 
traveled all over the Northwest territories. 

The gold-seeker who takes the "back door" route to 
the Klondike fields will travel through a country which 
has been placed in song and story by those who sang 
and wrote of the deeds done by the trappers, voyageurs 
and other adventurers in the employ of the fur com- 
panies. The route (described in preceding pages of this 
book) starts from Edmonton, which is a terminal of a 
spur of the Canadian Pacific railroad from Calgary on 
the main line, and is 1,772 miles from Chicago. For the 
first forty miles toward the placer mines of the Klondike 
the gold-seeker will travel over a well made stage road 
to Athabasca landing, and here he will strike the waters 
which, eventually, will find their way into the Arctic 

The Athabasca river, which is the main upper branch 
of the Mackenzie, has its remotest southern source in 
the little lake, on the east side of Mt. Brown in the Rocky 
mountains, which passes under the name of the "Commit- 
tee's punch bowl." That is one of its names, for in com- 
mon with all the other lakes and rivers and streams in 
the Northwest territory, it has anywhere from 2 to 7 
names, as every watercourse has been named by English 
and Canadian trappers and the Indian tribes that are lo- 
cal to the vicinity. The term Athabasca is not often used. 
The Canadians calling it the "Biche." On some English 


maps it passes under the name of "Elk river." The Ath- 
abasca receives the drainage of the lesser Slave lake as 
well as the overflow of several other lakes from the west. 
At the foot of Bark mountain the Athabasca runs over the 
"Great rapids," which is an inclined plane about 60 
miles long, unbroken by any falls or cataracts, and only 
occasionally is the water ruffled by rocks projecting above 
the surface. 

The Athabasca enters Lake Athabasca 550 miles from 
its source. At present the alluvial delta extends towards 
the northwest about 30 miles, having many channels 
which change their direction and size with every inunda- 
tion. Athabasca lake stands about 500 feet above the 
sea level. It is in the form of a crescent, with the convex 
side facing north, the shores are very irregular and have 
many deep inlets. The lake receives its chief tributary 
from the west, and here also is the outlet, so that the 
delta is common to both the affluent and effluent. The 
Athabasca and Peace rivers uniting form the Great Slave 
river, which is a very large stream, but its passage 
through the Caribou hills is so obstructed by rapids that 
boatmen have to make 7 portages between the Dog- 
river from the east and the Salt river from the west. 

Below these rapids the true Mackenzie, or the "Great" 
river, as the natives call it, begins its 1,450 miles journey 
to the Arctic ocean. Up to the Great Slave lake into 
which it empties it passes between wooded hills. The 
Great Slave lake is one of the largest in North America; 
it is not less than 300 miles long, 60 miles at its widest 
part and has an area of about 10,000 square miles. In 
the west it is shallow, but its eastern end is bordered by 
steep cliffs and high bluffs and the waters there, it is said, 
are 650 feet deep. The 63d parallel crosses the northern 
waters of Great Slave lake. The Mackenzie escapes from 


the lake at the northwest. It first widens into basins that 
are almost stagnant, and then its banks come together, 
and the river bed falls rapidly to where the Liard comes 
in from the south. 

Below the confluence of the Liard the Mackenzie main- 
tains a width of 2,000 yards; at many points the banks 
are 4 to 5 miles apart. Several rapids occur, of which 
but one, the Sans-Saut, offer any dangers to navigation. 
The delta of the Mackenzie extends north and south a 
distance of 90 miles, with an area of 4,000 square miles. 
This delta, however, is common also to the Peel or 
Plumee river, which comes in from the west. 

The Athabasca-Mackenzie river, which has a total 
length of nearly 2,700 miles, has a basin of at least 460,- 
000 square miles, has been used regularly for the trans- 
port of provisions and merchandise since 1887. Steamers 
from Lake Winnipeg ascend the Saskatchewan river to 
a large rapid, which is evaded by a short railroad, beyond 
which navigation again is resumed. A wagon road 100 
miles long runs to the Athabasca river, which is descend- 
ed by steamers and flat-bottomed boats, according to the 
nature of the waters, to Fort Smith, on the Great Slave 
river. At this point is a portage 12 miles long. Beyond 
the portage steamers which draw 5 feet regularly ply on 
the Mackenzie to its estuary, as well as on the Peace and 
Liard rivers, and on Lake Dease. This gives the united 
Saskatchewan and Athabasca-Mackenzie basins a water- 
way of 7,500 miles, almost every mile of which is navi- 
gable, and beyond which navigation can be continued 
along the Arctic seaboard to Bering strait for three 
months in the year. 

The forts and settlements along the Athabasca-Mac- 
kenzie route have acquired a certain celebrity in connec- 
tion with the stories of adventure and tales of romance 


which are connected with the names of Mackenzie, 
Franklin, Back, Richardson and other noted explorers. 
Fort McMurray stands at the confluence of the Atha- 
basca and Clearwater rivers at the famous La Loche 
portage, which has been the main route of Canadian trav- 
elers and trappers for a century. 

Fort Chippewayan stands at the western extremity of 
Lake Athabasca. The shiftings of the alluvial delta have 
compelled the trappers to move Fort Chippewayan sev- 
eral times. Fort Smith is at the end of the portage from 
Smith's landing, between Lake Athabasca and Great 
Slave lake, and beyond are Fort Resolution and Fort 
Providence, on the Great Slave lake, all of them famous 
in connection with Sir John Franklin's expedition, just 
as Fort Reliance has acquired fame because of its asso- 
ciation with the exploits and adventures of Back. Fort 
Reliance, however, has been abandoned. 

In the region between the Great Slave and Great Bear 
lakes is Fort Simpson, the chief station, which stands at 
the junction of the Liard and Mackenzie rivers, com- 
manding also the route from the sources of the Stikeen 
river to South Alaska. Fort Wrigley is the next station 
above Fort Simpson, then comes Fort Norman, which 
stands at the juncture of the Mackenzie and the Hare- 
skin rivers; still further north is Fort Good Hope, and 
then comes Fort McPherson, the most northern of the 
posts, which stands at the junction of the Peel and the 
Mackenzie rivers, and which has been maintained in a 
state of defense since 1848. 

The gold-seeker must be prepared to stand cold weather 
as well as hot weather on this "back door" route, depend- 
ing on the time of the year he makes the trip. The Hud- 
son's Bay company trappers traverse this whole district 
from one end of the year to the other. Snow seldom 


falls during intensely cold weather. At Fort Chippe- 
wayan, which is in 58 degrees 43 minutes north latitude, 
the mean temperature is 27 degrees Fahr.; extreme of 
cold, 49 degrees below zero; extreme of heat, 86 degrees 
above zero. At Fort Good Hope, which is 66 degrees 20 
minutes north latitude, the thermometer sinks 62 degrees 
below zero, and for six months, that is from October 17 
to April 24, the average temperature at Fort Confidence, 
which is in practically the same latitude as Fort Good 
Hope, is 14 degrees below zero. 

At Fort Simpson, which is 62 degrees north latitude, 
a boat is loaded every year with potatoes grown there to 
supply the station of Fort Good Hope on the Lower Mac- 
kenzie; at Fort Simpson also barley is in the ear 75 days 
after being sown, although the ground is permanently 
frozen for a depth of at least 7 feet 10 to 12 feet below the 
surface. Snow, however, is seldom more than 3 feet deep 
in winter, and horses pass the season there in the open. 

The half-caste trappers in the service of the Hudson's 
Bay company are noted the world over for their physical 
strength, their skill, indifference to cold and hardships, 
and coolness in the presence of danger. In all proba- 
bility the rush of the gold-seekers next spring will tear 
down, in a good measure, the veil of romance and mys- 
tery which has hidden this land from the outside world 
for so many years. It might be of service to the men 
who intend to take the "back door" route to know that 
the principal food of the trappers and Indians of the 
Northwest country is pemmican, "jerked beef," which, it 
is said, contains more nutritious elements, bulk for bulk, 
than any similar preparation. The normal ration of pem- 
mican for one day for one man is but two and a half 
pounds; that seems to satisfy even the Indians. Pemmi- 


can is made from the round of beef, cut in strips and dried, 
and then shredded or mixed with beef tallow and raisins. 

Craft W. Higgins of Chicago, one of the promoters of 
the British Pacific railway, which is intended to open up 
and develop the rich Caribou gold country, and who was 
all through British Columbia and the Northwest territory 
in 1892-3, and afterward made a trip to the Yukon, is 
one authority for the statement that the back door route 
was not only the most practicable, but the most feas- 
ible of the overland routes; entailed less hardships than 
that through the Chilkoot pass, did not take near so long 
a time as the other routes, and that transportation of sup- 
plies was much easier. Mr. Higgins said: 

"The jumping-ofr" place is at Edmonton, 1,772 miles 
from Chicago, on the Canadian Pacific railway. A stage 
line runs from there to Athabasca landing, on the Atha- 
basca river, and the Canadian Pacific intends to extend 
its line north from Edmonton to that point. At Edmon- 
ton the Canadian Pacific owns very large coal mines. 
From Athabasca landing you can take a canoe and go 
down with the current to Athabasca lake, and then into 
Great Slave lake, through which runs the Mackenzie 
river, by which you reach the Arctic ocean. When the 
mouth of the Mackenzie is reached the Peel river can be 
taken south to the Rocky mountains, which are crossed 
by trail. When across the range the Stewart river opens 
the way to the near-by Klondike regions. 

"From Edmonton to the mouth of the Mackenzie the 
distance is 1,882 miles, as given by the Hudson's 
Bay company, which has a number of trading posts, 
well stocked with provisions and supplies of all kinds, 
at short intervals along the route, as it has been 
using this trail for the last 100 years. The port- 
ages are all short, with the exception of one at 


Smith's landing of about sixteen miles, but this is 
very easy to make. One can take the splendid tram- 
way which the Hudson's Bay company has built. None 
of the other portages is more than a few hundred yards in 
length. The trip is down grade all the way, and wherever 
there is water of any depth at all small freight steamers 
are continually plying back and forth. The trip can be 
made from Edmonton to the mouth of the Mackenzie 
in less than 60 days, but if Peel river is frozen, dog trains 
will have to be taken from there to the Klondike; but 
even with those the disadvantages and hardships will not 
be half those to be overcome in going by way of Dyea. 
One great advantage of this route is that it is an organ- 
ized line of travel, and the numerous posts of the Hudson's 
Bay company can furnish prospectors with ample sup- 
plies, enabling them to travel very light, as only sufficient 
supplies are necessary to last from one post to another. 

"I would not like to say just exactly what the cost of 
the trip via the 'back door route' would be, but I think it 
could be made for less money than any of the others which 
are now so popular. Canoes can be obtained readily from 
the Indians, but it is not advisable to attempt to use them 
without the assistance of an Indian who is familiar with 
the frail birch-bark canoes. These canoes can be secured 
to carry several tons. The Hudson's Bay company also 
contracts to take freight north on their steamers during 
the season of open navigation. 

"With a small expenditure of money this route can be 
improved and the facilities increased so that any amount 
of freight and any number of passengers can be taken 
to the gold regions. I was told at Edmonton that still 
south of the international boundary line the mountains 
were very high, but that the elevation continually lowered 
northward until there remained only a high plateau. In 




fact, the pass through the Rocky mountains which the 
British Pacific will use is some 200 miles north of the 
Canadian Pacific and only about 2,200 feet high, being the 
lowest elevation at which any transcontinental road cross- 
es the divide. 

"In talking with members of the Hudson's Bay posts 
and officers of the Canadian mounted police at Calgary 
and Edmonton, and also at Victoria and up in the famous 
Caribou country, I was told that several years ago some 
$60,000,000 in gold was taken out; that the mines were 
being worked by hydraulic mining; that all the beds of 
the small streams from the 60th parallel to the mouth of 
the Mackenzie river were filled with gold. A great num- 
ber of those running west from the Mackenzie river even- 
tually empty into the Yukon. When I was told this, of 
course, I did not pay so much attention to it, because the 
gold fever was not so rampant as at present. The Cassiar 
and Ominaca districts have long been known to be ex- 
tensively rich in gold, and if one-half of what has been 
told to me is true they will not only rival but surpass the 
now famous Klondike. I have seen any number of the 
most beautiful specimens of white quartz filled with gold, 
and when the method of quartz mining is perfected up 
in that far north the present placer claims will soon seem 
wonderfully poor in comparison. 

"Dr. Dawson, the eminent geologist of the Canadian 
government, who only a few years ago made an extensive 
and exhaustive geological survey of the northwestern 
provinces of Canada, told me that he considered the rea- 
son for the gold being found in the small streams was due 
to the breaking and grinding action of the glaciers more 
than for any other cause. Gold undoubtedly exists in 
places in large and paying quantities, but quartz mining 


requires machinery and money, and, of course, is not the 
poor man's proposition, as is placer mining." 

Mgr. Clut, the missionary auxiliary bishop of Atha- 
basca and Mackenzie, has been in that far off land for 
many years, laboring as an Oblat father and subsequently 
as bishop. He is quite familiar with the country which is 
now attracting such numbers of gold-seekers, and a quar- 
ter of a century ago he journeyed through the whole Yu- 
kon country. Although no one dreamt of gold deposits 
then, and Mgr. Clut knew nothing of the mineral re- 
sources of the region till afterward, he knows all about 
climatic conditions of the Yukon district, and how best 
it can be reached. 

In the spring of 1872, Francois Mercier, now of Mon- 
treal, returned to San Francisco from Alaska, where he 
had been representing the Commercial company of Alas- 
ka, and reported that the Indians were becoming so 
troublesome as to obstruct trade. The company promised 
to send up a couple of hundred armed men to protect the 
traders, but Mr. Mercier suggested that two or three 
roman catholic missionaries would do more good than 
as many hundred soldiers, and so Father Clut was asked 
to go. Accompanied by several French Canadian repre- 
sentatives of the company, he set out on August 30, 1872, 
and did not return till September 8, 1873, wintering at 
Fort Yukon. 

Speaking of the experiences of that trip, which was a 
long and difficult one, Mgr. Clut said emphatically that 
it would be more than folly for any one to attempt to 
reach the Klondike without being able to take along with 
him plenty of warm clothing, as well as a good supply 
of food. He had already dissuaded a good many people 
whom he had met during the present visit east, from start- 
ing off at once for the so-called land of gold. It would 


be simply impossible for gold-hunting to be accomplished 
during the winter with snow on the hard, frozen ground. 

As to the best means of reaching the country, Bishop 
Out is of the opinion that the route by the Mackenzie 
river is by far the safest and most practicable. Of this 
route he said: "It may take longer, but the difficulties 
the prospector will have to overcome going via Fort Mac- 
pherson will be certainly very much less than in going 
through the passes from Dyea on the coast. After leav- 
ing Macpherson the Rocky mountains have to be crossed, 
the distance to what is called Lapierre house being about 
80 miles, and this is the only portage to be met with, save 
one of 16 miles after leaving Athabasca landing, 60 miles 
from Edmonton." 

According to men who have traveled the Mackenzie 
river route, $200 is sufficient to cover transportation ex- 
penses from Chicago to the Klondike country. 

To travel over it passengers must go to St. Paul and 
there take train over the Canadian Pacific. Leaving St. 
Paul at 9 o'clock in the morning, the international boun- 
dary at Portal will be crossed at 4 o'clock the next morn- 
ing. At 2:22 the following morning the Chicagoan will 
find himself at Calgary, where he will leave the main line 
of the Canadian Pacific and travel to Edmonton, a point 
1,772 miles from Chicago, and where the rail portion of 
the journey ends. The railroad fare from Chicago is 


A stage ride of 40 miles will bring him to Athabasca 

landing. Here he will find a continuous waterway for 

canoe travel to Fort Macpherson at the north mouth of 

the Mackenzie river, from which point the Peel river leads 

south to the gold regions. From Edmonton to Fort 

Macpherson is 1,882 miles. 

A recent letter from a missionary declared the ice had 


only commenced to run in the Peel river Sept. 30 last 
year. The Peel river is the water route southeast from 
Fort Macpherson into the gold regions. 

Travelers need not carry any more food than will take 
them from one Hudson's Bay post to the next, and there 
is abundance of fish and wild fowl along the route. They 
can also get assistance at the posts in case of sickness or 

If lucky enough to make their "pile" in the Klondike 
thev can come back bv the dog-sled route in the winter. 
There is one mail to Fort Macpherson in the winter. 
Dogs for teams can be bought at any of the Hudson's 
Bay posts which form a chain of roadhouses on the trip. 

Parties traveling alone will need no guides until they 
get near Fort Macpherson, the route from Edmonton be- 
ing so well defined. 

It is estimated that a party of three could provide them- 
selves with food for the canoe trip of two months for $35. 
Pork, tea, flour and baking powder would suffice. 

Parties should consist of three men, as that is the crew 
of a canoe. It will take 600 pounds of food to carry three 
men over the route. The paddling is all done down- 
stream except when they turn south up Peel river, and 
sails should be taken, as there is often a favorable wind for 
days. There are large scows on the line manned by ten 
men each, and known as "sturgeon heads." They are like 
canal boats, but are punted along, and are used by the 
Hudson's bay people for taking supplies to the forts. 

This is the way one enthusiastic advocate of the "back- 
door" route puts the proposition: 

"Let the voyager build his boat at Fargo, N. D., or 
Moorhead, Minn., on the Red River of the North, float it 
down stream (north) to Lake Winnipeg, then cross Lake 
.Winnipeg to the mouth of the Saskatchewan river, then 


follow that river up stream to the forks, where the 
north branch empties its waters into the Saskatchewan. 
Follow from there the North branch up stream to White 
Whale lake. Here is the first transfer overland, 10 miles 
westward to Pembina river. Then float down stream on 
the Pembina river to the Athabasca, thence down stream 
to Lake Athabasca, crossing it and taking the Slave river 
down stream. Crossing the Great Slave lake, take the 
Mackenzie river northward (down stream) until the 
mouth of the Liard or Alountain river is reached. Fol- 
low the Liard or Mountain river up stream to Simpson 
lake, where the second and last transfer by land occurs, 
50 miles northward to Francis lake, which is the head- 
waters of the Pelly river. Float down this Pelly river to 
the Yukon, thence down the Yukon, prospecting as you 
go, until your El Dorado is reached. 

"A boat 25 feet long, 5 feet wide, 2\ feet deep, built of 
wood or sheet iron, rigged for two pairs of timber wheels, 
or with an iron axle made to fit the bottom of the boat, 
with which to transport it across the land, could easily 
carry six men and their supplies for a year, allowing 3 
men to rest while the other 3 manage the boat. Take four 
pairs of good, strong oars, four long poles, a sail and 
about 1,000 feet of i^-inch strong rope for cordelling pur- 
poses on some of the streams where you go against the 

"All the land you traverse after reaching the British 
possessions is where the Hudson's Bay company has its 
many outposts and trading houses. This country, until 
Great Slave lake is reached, is filled with all sorts of 

"It will probably take no longer to go this route than 
it will to go by vessel from Seattle to St. Michael, at the 
mouth of the Yukon, and thence 2,000 miles up the Yu- 


kon on the very small steamers in use on that river, and 
as there will be little opportunity to use or spend money 
on this route, it being one in which the voyager 'works 
his way/ it will no doubt prove the popular overland route 
to the gold fields by the class of hardy spirits not over- 
burdened with cash. 

"A light steam vessel or steam launch could tow 15 
of these boats as far as the depth of water would permit, 
and at the two places where transportation by land is re- 
quired it will not be long before some sturdy, enterpris- 
ing man will locate at each, with horses or oxen, with 
wheels rigged especially to transfer these boats and their 
cargoes from one stream to the other, thus rendering the 
voyage one of only ordinary labor of from 3 to 5 weeks to 

: The prospects are that enough hides and furs can be 
taken while in transit to pay all the expenses of the excur- 
sion. These rivers are solidly frozen until March or 
April. Leaving Fargo when the ice breaks, these boats 
can follow it, and as fast as the ice runs out of the Mac- 
kenzie you follow, which will permit you to reach the 
gold fields while the Yukon ice is running out, at least 
one month before any steamer can ascend it. You can 
carry your guns, axes, saws and supplies for a year with 
you. The steamers on the Pacific and the Yukon will not 
carry a pound of any sort of freight for a miner, but com- 
pel them to purchase everything they desire from the 
stores belonging to the company that owns the vessels, 
and at prices that almost amount to confiscation." 

Another man who believes in the "back door" route is 
"Si" Malterner of Canton, N. Y., who, for the third time, 
is on his way to the Arctic ocean by way of the lordly 

Just before leaving home he said: 


"Take the Canadian Pacific to Calgary and the branch 
line to Edmonton. A stage ride will place you at Atha- 
basca landing, on water that empties into the Arctic 
ocean. From there you pass through the Great Slave 
lake into the Mackenzie river. Float down that stream 
about 1,100 miles to the mouth of the Peel river. Go up 
the Peel about 15 miles to the mouth of the Husky. Fol- 
low up this stream to the divide. A portage of 4 miles will 
put you on the Porcupine river. From there you paddle 
up stream past Cudahy and Circle City to Klondike, or 
rather Dawson City. 

"I will make the trip alone. Two years ago I went with 
a party from the lake to the ocean and back. Last year 
I went alone. I left the landing May 1, and landed at the 
mouth of the river July 30. The Mackenzie, from the 
lake, is from 3 to 8 miles wide. Where it is joined 
by the Peel it widens to 15 miles, and at its mouth it must 
be about 60 miles wide. From lake to ocean is about 1,- 
400 miles. There are some bad places in the stream. One 
of these consists of a succession of dangerous rapids ex- 
tending for 100 miles, that no one should attempt unless 
under the direction of an experienced guide. The cur- 
rent is strong and rapid. I made the trip in a seventeen- 
foot Petersborough canoe. 

'The country through which the river runs is rolling 
and has considerable timber along the low places. There 
is considerable game, including moose, caribou, sheep, 
birds and mosquitoes. The latter deserve to be classed 
as game, though the man is the hunted, not the hunter, 
in their case. In summer it is hot along the river. Near 
the Arctic circle the thermometer sometimes stood at 75 
and 80. The sun, of course, shines all summer, so there is 
no chance to cool off. 

"There is but one way to get back, and that is to draw 


your boat by a rope and walk along the bank a la canal- 
boat The Hudson's Bay company operates an 8o-foot 
boat from the mouth of the Peel river to Fort Smith, 200 
miles this side of Great Slave lake, but does not accept 
passengers or freight. This company also has stations 
every 200 or 300 miles along the river." 

P. J. Curran of 5818 Aberdeen street, Chicago, will 
start for Alaska about March 1. He expects to go "cross 
lots" and to get there in seven weeks. 

Mr. Curran, who is employed at the stock yards, was a 
member of the Canadian mounted police patroling the 
British Northwest territory for 8 years. He is familiar 
with the country and the needs for a journey and will 
lead a party of four from Chicago to the Klondike gold 
fields. Mrs. Curran, who was a teacher and missionary 
among the Indians of the northwest for 15 years, wears 
two bright gold rings which were molded by a frontier 
blacksmith from gold panned by her husband from the 
Saskatchewan river. 

Gold is found, according to Mr. Curran, in all of the 
streams of the northwest in varying quantities and has 
been mined in a desultory way for many years. 

During his residence in the territory Mr. Curran says 
prospecting parties frequently pushed north, but the 
policy of the Hudson's Bay company, which has grown 
rich from trading with the Indians since the time of 
Charles II., has been to discourage white men from get- 
ting a foothold. 

Mr. Curran outlined his plans as follows: 

At Edmonton we will purchase a dog team, and travel 
north with these swift runners along the system of lakes 
and rivers which find their outlet into the Arctic ocean 
through the Mackenzie river. 

"From some point on the upper Mackenzie we will 





turn our course overland, and thus make the journey to 
the gold fields of the Klondike. 

"Starting from Edmonton March I, we will make the 
journey after the most rigorous part of the winter has 
softened under the influences of the lengthening days, 
but before any of the waterways have broken up, so that 
the journey may be made all the way with dog sledges. 
We expect to be on the grounds by the time spring pros- 
pecting opens." 

Mr. Curran said that many of the prospectors were not 
taking counsel of wisdom in selecting their outfits. "I 
see no reason why," he said, "the miners cannot live for a 
season on the kind of rations which the Canadian police 
thrive on all of the year. A pound of flour and a pound of 
bacon a day sustains the life of those in the government 
service, and often sends them back living pictures of 
health to their friends, who had seen them leave their 
eastern homes frail and delicate. Canned goods are out 
of place in the traveler's outfit for the reason they take 
up room and are not valuable as food. 

"For supplies to last one man 400 days I would take 
400 pounds of flour, 400 pounds of bacon — fat meat is 
necessary to sustain life in a cold climate — 75 pounds of 
beans, 50 pounds of evaporated apples, 60 pounds of 
sugar, 12 pounds of tea. Tea is better as a drink in cold 
countries than coffee. Northern natives and white trad- 
ers use tea as the staple drink. 

"My clothing outfit will be two suits of heavy under- 
wear, two heavy flannel shirts, six pairs of socks, two 
pairs of long stockings, two pairs of moleskin trousers, 
one pair of heavy boots, four pairs of moccasins, two 
pairs of druffels, leather mittens, wool mittens, fur cap, 
a Canadian toque, four pairs Hudson bay blankets and 
a bearskin robe." 



The things described, with pick, shovel, tools and a 
canvas canoe, will comprise the load which Mr. Curran 
expects his dog team can haul over the track at the rate of 
50 miles a day. A good dog team, he thinks, should be 
purchased at Edmonton for $60, unless dogs have 
"boomed" since he priced them in that city. Mr. Curran 
estimates the expense of the trip at $600. He will pur- 
chase his entire outfit at Edmonton and not try to ob- 
tain anything from the stores and stations of the Hud- 
son's Bay company which are scattered along the way. 

The country through which he will travel abounds with 
game— deer, moose, elk, red deer, ducks and geese, and 
black and grizzly bear are common enough, so that the 
tourist, armed with shotgun and rifle, need not want for 

fresh meat. 

Mr. Curran is of the opinion that this overland and 
fresh-water route will be the popular line of march when 
gold-hunters become familiar with its merits. 





NEW feature of the boundary question 
has arisen out of the inability of the geo- 
graphical commission of the United 
States to agree with the determination 
of the Canadian land surveyor, William 
Ogilvie, as to the exact location of the 
141st meridian line, which, by the treaty 
of St. Petersburg, divides Alaska from 
the British possessions. This seems to 
the unscientific a very trivial thing to 
differ upon, as the whole amount of land involved is at 
the most a strip of a few hundred feet, and in face of the 
fact that the real issue is the location of the coast boun- 

Mr. Ogilvie has had the matter in hand since 1887, 
and his work has been very thorough and doubtless con- 
scientious. It has become necessary since the valuable 
discoveries on Forty-Mile creek to fix the line definitely 
and for some reason — patriotism, real or mistaken, or a 
difference in calculations — the commission has so far 
failed to agree on the exact location of the meridian. 
During the spring, summer and autumn the continuous 
twilight — at midsummer daylight — renders invisible the 
stars that are necessary for accurate observation. Were 
telegraphic communication established with the south 
and east the portion of the meridian practically 
necessary to locate could be laid down, with a prob- 
able error of not exceeding, say, ten feet; but with the 


only means at present available the result of a season's 
observation by two of the most experienced observers 
may differ many hundred yards. Unfavorable meteor- 
ological conditions are also serious obstacles to the work 
in hand. 

The first attempt at defining the Alaskan boundary 
was made by Lieut. Schwatka, who in 1883 made a rough 
and necessarily crude survey of the Lewes and Pelly- 
Yukon rivers from their head to Fort Yukon, situated 
near the mouth of Porcupine river, a distance of about 
500 miles. Lieut. Schwatka determined the position of 
this meridian line from his survey and located it at the 
mouth of what is now known as Mission or American 
creek, on the headwaters of which valuable discoveries 
of gold were made on the Alaskan side. 

But in consequence of numerous representations to 
the Canadian government and British demands for 
claims in the gold fields of the Yukon basin, it was de- 
termined to send in a joint geographical and geological 
survey to thoroughly examine that portion of the Yukon 
region lying in British territory. For this purpose Dr. 
G. M. Dawson, director of the geographical survey of 
Canada, was deputed to make the geological and Mr. 
Ogilvie the geographical survey. Dr. Dawson's obser- 
vations w r ere confined to the Pelly and Lewes rivers, but 
Mr. Ogilvie carefully examined the entire country from 
Pyramid island and Chilkat inlet — at the head of the 
Lynn canal — to the head of Dyea inlet, thence over the 
Chilkoot pass and down the lakes and rapids of the 
Lewes and Yukon rivers to the vicinity of the 141st me- 
ridian. The result of Mr. Ogilvie's observations was to 
fix the meridian fifteen miles higher up the Yukon river 
and nine miles farther east than Lieut. Schwatka's deter- 
mination, which latter, however, is not, from the nature 


of the survey, entitled to consideration as a practical 

In 1889 our government decided to verify Mr. Ogil- 
vie's determination and dispatched two members of the 
coast-survey staff — Messrs. McGrath and Turner — to 
Alaska to determine by astronomical observation the po- 
sition of the much-sought meridian line on the Yukon 
and also on the Porcupine river. The result of the ob- 
servations was at first in favor of Canada, as against Mr. 
Ogilvie's determination, and located the boundary con- 
siderably farther west — otherwise, into Alaska — than the 
latter gentleman had done. Lately, however, a revision 
of Mr. McGrath's computations locates the disputed line 
at a point far east of Mr. Ogilvie's, which circumstance 
has largely contributed to the present difficulty. 

With the rapid development of this locality it is unfor- 
tunate that this line has not been fixed, but the real rea- 
son for the present uncertain condition of things is in 
the isolation and lack of means of communication. 

In the meantime the Canadian mounted police are 
maintaining order and making judicial awards in mining 
disputes, without any particular regard for the line. In 
relation to this question the wish is often expressed that 
the contention will be finally settled by our government 
buying all the Canadian territory west of the Mackenzie 
and north of Portland canal. 

It has always been currently reported and believed 
that the international line crossed at about Forty Mile 
post, leaving that point just within Canadian territory, 
but instead of this Mr. Ogilvie's observations reveal that 
the meridian at this latitude is nearly forty miles up the 
creek, thus giving to his government fully one-half of 
this particular placer district. Much disappointment is 


expressed at this revelation, as most of the miners are 


The United States officials at Washington say that 
there is no necessity for the miners in the Klondike dis- 
trict to mix jingoism with placer mining. They say 
there is no manner of doubt but that the Klondike dig- 
gings are far enough east of the international boundary 
line to bring them wholly within the Northwest terri- 
tory. The Dominion cabinet insists that there is no 
necessity for any discussion whatever in regard to the 
location of the boundary line so far as the Klondike 
region is concerned, and the Canadian officials are col- 
lecting a license tax of $15 from each prospector and will 
collect an annual fee of $100 for each claim worked in 
the Klondike district. The customs officials are collect- 
ing quite a revenue by making the American miners pay 
an importation tax on the personal belongings brought 
into the Klondike district. 

The boundary-line dispute, while it is a matter of live 
interest to the people of Alaska, has never been taken 
very seriously. It is freely conceded that the Canadians 
may change their maps any way they like to suit their 
taste in such matters, and may afterward get what con- 
solation they can out of such maps. The line which has 
been practically recognized in matters pertaining to cus- 
toms and to all other frontier relations begins at the 
south end of Prince of Wales island, at the natural divi- 
sion afforded by Dixon entrance, and runs thence east- 
ward in open water to the entrance of Portland canal, 
or, as it was termed in the original agreement, Portland 
channel. The line follows up this inlet to its head, which 
happens to be at its intersection with the 56th parallel, 
and so that degree of latitude was agreed upon as a 
corner. To this point the boundary could hardly admit 


of any controversy. It is true that the Canadians claim 
that Behm canal was meant instead of the Portland, but 
that is very unlikely, as Behm canal has no particular 
head, being a strait instead of an inlet, and not being 
a natural division as is the line that has always been 

At the time this line was established, which was in the 
year 1825, the English had no conception of the value 
or of the topography of the country. It was necessary 
to fix a definite line, but the territory was esteemed of 
no value, and the motives governing the transaction 
were sentimental rather than practical. From the point 
at the intersection of the 56th parallel it was thought fair 
to continue on natural lines. The coast range of moun- 
tains was known to be the continental divide or water- 
shed between the Pacific and Arctic oceans. It was as- 
sumed that the summit was a comparatively regular line 
parallel with the coast and only a few miles back from 
it, and so the agreement was made on this basis, with 
the provision, however, that the Russian territory was 
not to extend more than ten leagues inland. This thirty- 
mile strip was to continue up the coast about 700 miles 
to another natural corner which had been previously rec- 
ognized in Mount St. Elias ; or to the intersection of this 
coast-strip limit with the 141st degree of west longitude. 
From Mount St. Elias the line is due north to the frozen 

This coast strip or pan-handle of Alaska is the part 
that has been in contention. Since the agreement of 
1825 it has developed that the natural line which was 
evidently contemplated by the convention is so irregular 
as to be wholly impractical, or, rather, includes more ter- 
ritory than we have ever claimed. The continental di- 
vide is a zigzag line that might easily be 3,000 miles long 


and still be within the corners mentioned, and varying 
from twenty to 500 miles inland. In only one or two in- 
stances does it approach to within thirty miles of the 
coast, and the average width of the Pacific slope would 
hardly fall below 100 miles. 

It is reasonable, however, to think that this is the 
natural line that both parties to the convention thought 
they were providing for a boundary, and it is obvious 
that if they had possessed full knowledge of the country 
the line would have followed as nearly as possible the 
summit of the range, giving Alaska a strip two or three 
times wider. 

As it was impossible to follow the watershed, "it was 
likewise impractical to parallel the coast line. Alaska is 
indented by thousands of inlets, straits and arms. As it 
was impossible to describe a margin that would follow 
closely all these inlets, the boundary that has always been 
recognized as a comparatively even line based on points 
thirty miles inland from the heads of the principal inlets. 
To take anything less than that for a basis — as, for in- 
stance, a line drawn from headland to headland — would 
give Alaska only the chain of islands and a few rocky 
promontories, with the coast line broken in a hundred 

Any concession that our government might make to 
the Canadians would be purely gratuitous, and would 
be detrimental to the progress of the country. It would 
make very little difference in practice to any individual 
whether the country was all owned by Great Britain or 
by the United States. In practical affairs there would be 
no hardships experienced in living under either govern- 
ment. But the people of Alaska are very loyal and in- 
tensely American, and out of pure sentiment, if for no 
other reason, would oppose any concession whatever: 



and aside from sentiment they would have very practical 
reasons for opposing a broken coast line. 

Boundary lines are demoralizing and expensive any- 
where, and are especially so in thinly settled and isolated 
countries. Customs regulations cannot be enforced, or, 
if they are maintained, they cost much more than they 
"come to." As a practical illustration, some enterpris- 
ing individuals shipped by way of the Chilkoot pass, 
through American territory, a consignment of 150 ten- 
gallon kegs of liquor in bond. A special officer of the 
revenue department was sworn in to accompany the ship- 
ment to the British Columbia line at Lake Bennett, 
where it was released from bond. There was absolutely 
no secret about the whole plan. There was enough 
whisky in the shipment to keep every man on the Cana- 
dian side hilariously drunk for fifty years. When it was 
released they loaded it into barges at their convenience 
and quietly floated it down Lewes river to the Yukon 
and to Forty Mile post, and then on into American 
territory again to Circle City and all the lower Yukon 
mining districts, where they retailed it to the miners and 
Indians. Thus they evaded the federal customs duty and 
also defeated the liquor regulations of the district. It is 
estimated that, acquitting them of any intention of adul- 
terating their stock, the shipment yielded $48,000. 

With a broken coast line the revenue laws, the liquor 
and immigration restrictions would be almost a dead 
letter, and Alaska, instead of being a valuable possession 
to our government and an attractive field for legitimate 
enterprise, would be a thorn in her side and a veritable 
Cuba for corruption. 

The claims of Great Britain to a big share of Alaska 
promise to occupy a large amount of public attention 
for some time to come. The claim is regarded by guv- 


eminent officials here as preposterous. The senate, be- 
fore which the boundary question was brought as the 
outcome of a treaty negotiated by Secretary Olney and 
Sir Julian Pauncefote, did not place itself on record in 
the matter, however. Before a vote was taken congress 
adjourned, so that the location of the divisional line, 
which has been in dispute since 1884, is no nearer settle- 
ment than it has been at any period in the last thirteen 

A United States government official said in regard 
to the international boundary line dispute: 

"On all maps from 1825 down to 1884 tne boundary 
line had been shown as in general terms parallel to the 
winding of the coast, and thirty-five miles from it. In 
1884, however, an official Canadian map showed a 
marked deflection in this line at its south end. Instead 
of passing up Portland channel this Canadian map 
showed the boundary as passing up Behm canal, an 
arm of the sea some sixty or seventy miles west of Port- 
land channel, this change having been made on the bare 
assertion that the words 'Portland canal,' as inserted, 
were erroneous. By this change the line, and an area 
of American territory about equal in size to the state of 
Connecticut, was transferred to British territory. There 
are three facts which go to show that this map was in- 
correct. In the first place, the British admiralty, when 
surveying the northern limit of the British Columbian 
possessions in 1868, one year after the cession of Alaska, 
surveyed Portland canal, and not Behm canal, and thus 
by implication admitted this canal to be the boundary 
line. Second, the region now claimed by British Colum- 
bia was at that time occupied as a military post of the 
United States without objection or protest on the part 
of British Columbia. Third, Annette Island, in this re- 


gion, was by act of Congress four years ago set apart 
as a reservation for the use of the Metlaktala Indians, 
who sought asylum under the American flag. The very 
latest Canadian map, published at Ottawa within a few 
days, while it runs no line at all southeast of Alaska, 
prints the legend, British Columbia, over portions of the 
Lynn canal which are now administered by the United 

A recent report of the United States surveyors as to 
the boundary line in this region said: "In substance, 
these delimitations throw the diggings at the mouth of 
Forty Mile creek within the territory of the United 
States. The whole valley of Birch creek, another most 
valuable gold-producing part of the country, is also 
in the United States. Most of the gold is to the west 
of the crossing of the 141st meridian at Forty Mile creek. 
If we produce the 141st meridian on a chart the mouth 
of Miller's creek, a tributary of Sixty Mile creek, and a 
valuable gold region, is five miles west in an air line, 
or seven miles, according to the winding of the stream, 
all within the territory of the United States. In sub- 
stance the only places in the Yukon region where gold 
in quantity has been found are therefore all to the west 
of the boundary line between Canada and the United 
States, with the exception of the Klondike region." 

Nothing can be done more than already has been done 
toward marking the boundary line between Alaska and 
the British possessions along the 141st meridian until 
the senate passes upon the boundary treaty now before 
it. There is, however, no doubt of the location of the 
line along this meridian, and most people in the locality 
know where it is. The demarkation work was superin- 
tended by General Dufheld, superintendent of the coast 
and geodetic survey, on behalf of the United States. He 


expresses the opinion that a railroad can be easily con- 
structed from Takou inlet to the Klondike gold fields, and 
believes that the enterprise will be worth undertaking, 
because of the richness of the mines. 

"The gold," said General Duffield, ''has been ground 
out of the quartz by the pressure of the glaciers, which 
lie and move along the courses of the streams, exerting 
a tremendous pressure. This force is present to a more 
appreciable extent in Alaska than elsewhere, and I be- 
lieve that as a consequence more placer gold will be 
found in that region than in any other part of the world." 

General Durfield thinks the gold hunters on the Amer- 
ican side of the line have made the mistake of prospect- 
ing the large streams instead of the small ones. "When 
gold is precipitated/' he said, "it sinks. It does not float 
far down the stream. It is therefore to be looked for 
along the small creeks and about the head waters of the 
larger tributaries of the Yukon. There is no reason why 
as rich finds may not be made on the American side of 
the line as in the Klondike district." 

Prof. George Davidson, for many years at the head of 
the United States geodetic survey on the Pacific coast, 
speaking of the boundary line dispute, said: 

"The main features of the boundary line between 
Alaska and Canada are the irregular line extending from 
the head of Portland inlet, in latitude 56 degrees, around 
the waters of the great archipelago Alexander at a dis- 
tance of not greater than ten marine leagues from the 
continental shore, to the 141st meridian west of Green- 
wich, and the straight line running thence to the Arctic 
ocean on that meridian. Where this irregular line meets 
the 141st meridian rises the great Mount St. Elias, which 
is in latitude 60 degrees 17 minutes and 34.4 seconds and 
longitude 140 degrees 55 minutes and 19.6 seconds. This 


peak is about twenty-seven statute miles from the ocean 
shore. From a point on the 141st meridian and probably 
in nearly the same latitude as Mount St. Elias, the boun- 
dary line runs through north to a demarkation point on 
the Arctic shores, a distance of 660 statute miles. In this 
great distance the line crosses comparatively few large 
streams. At 100 miles it crosses the headwaters of the 
White river, a tributary of the Yukon, flowing to the 
north-northwest; at 205 miles an unnamed tributary of 
the White river; at the last distance on the boundary 
line the Yukon river lies forty miles to the eastward, at 
a point known as the Upper Ramparts. The river con- 
tinues on a northerly course, nearly parallel with the 
boundary line for seventy-five miles, to old Fort Reli- 
ance, near the Klondike, and thence trends seventy-five 
miles to the northwest by north, where the boundary 
line crosses it at 335 miles from Mount St. Elias. 

"The headwaters of the main tributary, the Lewes 
river, reach into Alaskan territory at the White pass, the 
Chilkoot pass and the Chilkat pass, just north of Lynn 
canal. The geographical position of Fort Reliance, an 
old station of the Hudson's Bay company, on the right 
bank of the Yukon river, is latitude 64 degrees 13 min- 
utes, longitude 138 degrees 50 minutes, or fifty statute 
miles east of the boundary line of the 141st degree. The 
stream named Klondike creek enters the Yukon about 
six or eight miles higher up than Fort Reliance, and on 
the same side of the river. So far as known it comes from 
the east-northeast for about 100 miles, and is reported 
navigable by canoes for forty or fifty miles from its 

"Whatever doubt has been cast upon the position of 
the whole Klondike district being in British Columbia 
must have arisen from a misunderstanding of the dispute 


existing upon the proper location of that part of the 
boundary line lying eastward and southward of Mount 
St. Elias. The north, or meridian line of the boundary 
has been accurately determined. The latest information 
places the independent determinations of this meridian 
made by the two governments at the boundary line with- 
in the width of a San Francisco pavement. So there can- 
not be much if any friction between the two governments 
upon this question. The only local dispute that could 
possibly arise would be in the Forty-Mile creek district, 
because the boundary line crosses sharp, steep mountain 
ridges of 2,500 and 3,000 feet elevation, and inferior in- 
strumental means might cause a slight doubt of the 
direction in some instances. However, no dispute has 
arisen in the district, nor is it likely that any will occur. 
There is no doubt that the line has been satisfactorily 
laid down." 

Canadian officials say that recent publications relating 
to the claims of Great Britain to a large share of Alaska 
are due to a misconception of the meaning of the desig- 
nation, "British Columbia" and "undefined boundary" as 
printed on the map issued recently. 

"We refrained from plotting any boundary line in that 
part of the territory constituting the coast strip running 
south and east from Mount St. Elias," said the surveyor- 
general of Canada. "In fact, the map was issued, as is 
well understood in Toronto, at the earnest demand of the 
public for reliable data as to the location of the newly dis- 
covered gold fields and the best routes of access thereto. 
It is compiled from the latest information and surveys 
in our possession, and in so far as the physical features 
of the country are concerned may be taken as correct. 
So, too, is it absolutely correct as to the boundary be- 
tween Alaska and our Northwest territories. 


"The determination of the point of intersection of the 
west coast boundary line with the 141st meridian seems 
to have been jointly agreed upon by American and Cana- 
dian officials, for it has been authoritatively stated that 
the peak of Mount St. Elias, always claimed by the United 
States, was found to be about two miles on the Canadian 
side of the point of intersection of the true boundary lines, 
but that Great Britain had agreed to allow the 
peak of the mountains to mark the point of intersec- 
tion of the coast and meridian boundary lines. Canadian 
surveyors have marked the boundary at the most import- 
ant points in the Yukon country for the convenience of 

"The report of the United States surveyors shows that 
there is no appreciable difference between the determina- 
tions of the two parties. On our map just issued you will 
see Birch creek marked wholly within Alaska, the mouth 
of it being some 350 miles west of the 141st meridian, 
as we have laid it down ; neither can there be any dispute 
as to the boundary crossing of Forty Mile creek. In fact, 
I may tell you the exact difference there between the two 
surveys is six feet. There is, therefore, no shadow of 
foundation for this revival of the exploded story of Cana- 
dian land grabbing." 





tensified in 
tries by 
fringe of 

NDER the direction of Secretary of Agri- 
culture Wilson, Prof. Moore, chief of the 
weather bureau, has made public a state- 
ment in regard to the climate of Alaska. 
He says: 

'The climates of the coast and of the 
interior of Alaska are unlike in many re- 
spects, and the differences are in- 
this as perhaps in few other coun- 
exceptional physical conditions. The 
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 in a northwesterly direction to the western ex- 
tremity of Alaska, forms a distinct climatic division, 
which may be termed temperate Alaska. The tempera- 
ture rarely falls to zero ; winter does not set in until De- 
cember i, and by the last of May the snow has disap- 
peared, except on the mountains. The mean winter tem- 
perature of Sitka is 32.5 degrees — but little lower than 
that of Washington, D. C. 

"The rainfall of temperate Alaska is noted the world 
over, not only as regards the quantity that falls, but also 
as to the manner of its falling — 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 dif- 
ference is much less marked. 

"The climate of the interior, including in that desig- 
nation practically all of the country except a narrow 
fringe of coast margin and the territory before referred 
to as temperate Alaska, is one of extreme rigor in winter, 
with a short but relatively hot summer, especially when 
the sky is free from cloud. 

"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. Remember- 
ing 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 dis- 
coveries. The observations were made with standard 
instruments and are wholly reliable. 

"The mean temperatures of the months from October, 
1889, to April, 1890, both inclusive, are as follows: 

"October, 33 degrees; November, 8 degrees; Decem- 
ber, 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 November 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 
32 degrees below zero in November, 47 below in Decem- 
ber, 59 below in January, 55 below in February, 45 below 
in March and 26 below in April. The greatest continu- 
ous cold occurred in February, 1890, when the daily 


mean for five consecutive days was 47 degrees below 

"Greater cold than that here noted has been experi- 
enced in the United States for a very short time, but 
never has it continued so very cold for so long a time. 
In the interior of Alaska the winter sets in as early as 
September, when snowstorms 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 fortunate if he escapes with his life. Snow- 
storms 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 at 1 130 o'clock in the morn- 
ing and sets about 10:30 o'clock, giving about twenty 
hours of daylight, and diffuses 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 Yu- 
kon valleys." 

The average temperature at Fort Cudahy, as reported 
by the North American Transportation and Trading 
company, during the months of November, December, 
January and February last year, was very close to 20 
degrees below zero. The average for November was 
17J degrees below zero; for December and January, 22 
below, and for February about 20 below. The lowest 
temperature recorded was 70 degrees below zero. The 
temperature for the month of September was about zero. 

The snowfall in the vicinity of Fort Cudahy is only 
about two feet during the winter, although it is as much 


as twenty feet along the coast, where the influence of the 
Japan current is felt. 

The mean temperature of the air and of the surface 
sea-water and the precipitation for each month of the 
year at Sitka are thus given by the United States coast 
and geodetic survey in its Alaska "Coast Pilots" of 1883 
and 1891: 

Temp, of 

Temp, of surface Precipita- 

the air. sea-water. tion. 

January 31.4 39.0 7.35 

February 32.9 39.0 645 

March 35.7 35.5 5.29 

April 40.8 42.0 5.17 

May 47.0 46.5 4.13 

June 52.4 48.0 3.62 

July 55-5 49-° 4.19 

August 55.9 50.0 6.96 

September 51.5 51.5 9.66 

October 44.9 48.9 n.83 

November 38.1 44.4 8.65 

December 33.3 41.7 8.39 

Year 43.3 45.0 81.69 

Assistant Surgeon A. E. Wells of the Northwestern 
mounted police, in his report to the Canadian govern- 
ment, 1895, wrote: "It may be of interest to mention 
something concerning the climate, mode of living of the 
people generally, and diseases met with. 

"The climate is wet. The rainfall last summer was 
heavy. Although there is almost a continuous sun in 
summer time, evaporation is very slow owing to the 
thick moss which will not conduct the heat, in conse- 
quence the ground is always swampy. It is only after 
several years of draining that ground will become suffi- 
ciently dry to allow the frost to go out, and then only for 


a few feet. During the winter months the cold is in- 
tense, with usually considerable wind. 

"A heavy mist rising from open places in the river 
settles down in the valley in calm extreme weather. This 
dampness makes the cold to be felt much more and is con- 
ducive to rheumatic pains, colds, etc. 

"Miners are a very mixed class of people. They rep- 
resent many nationalities and come from all climates. 
Their lives are certainly not enviable. The regulation 
'miners' cabin' is twelve by fourteen feet, with walls 
six feet and gables eight feet in height. The roof is 
heavily earthed, and the cabin is generally very warm. 
Two, and sometimes three or four men, will occupy a 
house of this size. The ventilation is usually bad. Those 
miners who do not work their claims during the winter 
confine themselves in these small huts most of the time. 

"Very often they become indolent and careless, only 
eating those things which are most easily cooked or pre- 
pared. During the busy time in summer when they are 
'shoveling in,' they work hard and for long hours, sparing 
little time for eating and much less for cooking. 

"This manner of living is quite common amongst be- 
ginners, and soon leads to debility and sometimes to 
scurvy. Old miners have learned from experience to 
value health more than gold, and they therefore spare 
no expense in procuring the best and most varied out- 
fit of food that can be obtained. 

"In a cold climate such as this, where it is impossible 
to get fresh vegetables and fruits, it is most important 
that the best substitutes for these should be provided. 
Nature helps to supply these wants by growing cranber- 
ries and other wild fruits in abundance, but men in sum- 
mer are usually too busy to avail themselves of these. 

"The diseases met with in this country are dyspepsia, 


anaemia, scurvy, caused by improperly cooked food, 
sameness of diet, overwork, want of fresh vegetables, 
overheated and badly ventilated houses; rheumatism, 
pneumonia, bronchitis, enteritis, cystitis and other acute 
diseases, from exposure to wet and cold; debility and 
chronic diseases due to excesses. One case of typhoid 
fever occurred in Forty Mile last fall, probably due to 
drinking water polluted with decayed vegetable matter. 

"In selecting men to relieve in this country I beg to 
submit a few remarks, some of which will be of assistance 
to the medical examiners in making their recommenda- 

"Men should be sober, strong and healthy. They 
should be practical men, able to adapt themselves quickly 
to their surroundings. Special care should be taken to 
see that their lungs are sound, that they are free from 
rheumatism and rheumatic tendency, and that their 
joints, especially knee joints, are strong and have never 
been weakened by injury, synovitis or other disease. It 
is also very important to consider their temperaments. 
Men should be of cheerful, hopeful dispositions and will- 
ing workers. Those of sullen, morose natures, although 
they may be good workers, are very apt, as soon as the 
novelty of the country wears off, to become dissatisfied, 
pessimistic and melancholy." 

Numerous letters from Dawson City and Circle City 
speak of scurvy as a disease which in the winter time 
seems to be prevalent. In almost every instance the 
writer urges that lime-juice should form one of the essen- 
tials in the Klondiker's pack. 

According to the accepted medical authority, scurvy 
is the result of an insufficient supply of potash salts, 
owing to an inadequate diet of fresh vegetables. But 
the mere administration of these salts will not prevent 


or cure the disease, which is a dreadful one if not 
checked. The symptoms come on gradually, being rec- 
ognized by a failure of strength and exhaustion at slight 
exertion. The countenance becomes sallow or dusky, 
eyes sunken, and constant pains are felt in all the mus- 
cles. After some weeks utter prostration ensues; the 
appearance is most haggard; great trouble is experi- 
enced with the mouth, sore gums, and teeth falling out; 
the breath is extremely offensive; finally come swell- 
ings and dark spots on the body, with bleeding from 
the mucous membrane; then painful, extensive and de- 
structive ulcers break out on the limbs; finally diarrhoea, 
pulmonary or kidney trouble may give fatal result. But 
even in desperate cases a return to fresh vegetable diet 
will cure, as will also, usually, lime juice. Lime juice 
has driven scurvy from the ocean, where it once counted 
its dead in every far-going ship's annals. It is now a 
slang term to describe an old salt. Sailors at sea are 
given a small daily allowance of lime juice (which is gen- 
erally badly adulterated), and they swallow it with a 
little water at meals. 





ARLY in 1896 the United States govern- 
ment sent Prof. J. S. Spurr, H. B. Good- 
rich and F. C. Schrader, of the Geolog- 
ical Survey, into the Yukon district. The 
chief of the survey was Prof. Spurr. 
Soon after the news from the Klondike 
was received in this country Prof. Spurr 
anticipated the report he is to make to 
the chief of his department by writing a statement for 
the information of those who were seized with the gold 
fever. The statement reads as follows: 

"Much has been written of late concerning the possi- 
bilities of Alaska as a gold-producing country. As a 
matter of fact, the production of the present year may 
be roughly estimated at $3,000,000; this amount, how- 
ever, comes from an immense region of half a million 
square miles, or about one-quarter as large as the United 
States. Of the mines which produce this gold, some are 
in the bed-rock, while others are placer diggings. 

"The bedrock mines are few in number and situated 
on the southeast coast, which is the most accessible part 
of the territory. The chief one is the great Treadwell 
mine near Juneau, and there are also important mines 
at Berner's bay, at the Island of Unga and other places. 
The latest strike is the Klondike. Most of these mines, 
however, are in low-grade ore, and the production is 
only made profitable by means of careful management 
and operations on a very large scale. 


"The placer mines are those which occupy the most 
prominent place in the popular mind, since they are re- 
mote from civilization and in a country about which 
little is known, and which is, on account of this uncer- 
tainty, dangerously attractive to the average man. This 
gold-producing country of the interior is mostly in the 
vicinity of the Yukon river or of some of its immediate 


'The most productive districts before the Klondike 
discovery have been the Forty Mile district, which lies 
partly in American and partly in British territory, and 
the Birch creek district, which lies in American territory. 
Some gold diggings are also supposed to exist on Stew- 
art river, and some gold has been shipped from the 
Koykuk. During the latter part of the past season dig- 
gings were also found on the Klundek and Indian rivers 
near Forty Mile. 

"Another place concerning which there have been 
many vague rumors of gold, causing a stampede of many 
unprepared and unfitted men, is the Cook Inlet country, 
which lies on the coast above the mouth of Copper river, 
a situation remote alike from the mines near Juneau 
and from the placer mines on the Yukon. 

"In all this immense country over which placer dig- 
ging is carried on, or has been carried on, I estimate 
that there are about 2,000 miners. They are mostly in 
the Yukon districts. These districts lie in a broad belt 
of gold-producing rocks, having a considerable width 
and extending in a general east and west direction for 
several hundred miles. Throughout this belt occur quartz 
veins which carry gold, but so far as yet found the ore 
is of low grade, and a large proportion of the veins have 
been so broken by movements in the rocks that they can- 
not be followed. For this reason the mines in the bed 



rock cannot be worked, except on a large scale with im- 
proved machinery, and even such operations are impos- 
sible until the general conditions of the country, in refer- 
ence to transportation and supplies, are improved. 

"Through the gold-bearing rocks the streams have 
cut deep gullies and canyons, and in their beds the gold 
which was contained in the rocks which have been worn 
away is concentrated, so that from a large amount of 
very low-grade rock there may be formed in places a 
gravel sufficiently rich in gold to repay washing. All 
the mining which is done in this country, therefore, con- 
sists in the washing out of these gravels. 

"In each gulch on the American side prospectors are 
at liberty to stake out claims not already taken, the size 
of the claims being determined by vote of all the miners 
in each gulch, according to the richness of the gravel. 
The usual length of a claim is about 500 feet along the 
stream and the total width of the gulch bed, which is 
ordinarily narrow. When a prospector has thus staked 
out his claim, it is recorded by one of the miners, who 
is elected by his fellows in each gulch for that purpose, 
and this secures him sufficient title. The miners' laws 
are practically the entire government in these districts, 
for the remoteness prevents any systematic communica- 
tion being carried on with the United States. All ques- 
tions and disputes are settled by miners' meetings, and 
the question in dispute is put to popular vote. 

"In prospecting the elementary method of panning is 
used to discover the presence of gold in gravel, but after 
a claim is staked and systematic work begun, long sluice 
boxes are built of boards, the miners being obliged to 
fell the trees themselves and saw out the lumber with 
whip saws, a very laborious kind of work. 

"The depth of gravel in the bottom of the gulches 


varies from a foot up to twenty or thirty feet, and when 
it is deeper than the latter figure it cannot be worked. 
The upper part of the gravel is barren, and the pay- 
dirt lies directly upon the rock beneath, and is generally 
very thin. To get at this pay-dirt all the upper gravel 
must be shoveled off, and this preliminary work often 
requires an entire season, even in a very small claim. 
When the gravel is deeper than a certain amount — say 
ten feet — the task of removing it becomes formidable. 
In this case the pay-dirt can sometimes be got at in the 
winter season when the gravels are frozen hard by sink- 
ing shafts through these gravels and drifting along the 

"The pay-dirt thus removed is taken to the surface 
and washed out in sluices when the warm weather be- 
gins. This underground working is done by burning in- 
stead of blasting and picking. A fire is built close to 
the frozen gravel, and when it is sufficiently thawed it 
is shoveled out and removed. The stripping off of the 
upper gravels, which has been mentioned, can be done 
only in the comparatively short summer season when the 
surface thaws. 

"The ordinary method of getting into the Yukon coun- 
try is by crossing the Chilkoot Pass from Juneau down 
the Lewes and Yukon rivers to the gold districts. The 
usual time for starting is in April, and a large part of 
the journey is made over ice which fills the lakes and 
rivers at this time of year. By this early starting a large 
part of the season available for working is obtained. 
Not every comer can find new diggings which are profit- 
able, and many of them are glad to work for wages. 

"The ordinary wages in summer are $10 per day, but 
sixty days is considered about the average for summer 
work; so that the total earnings are not so great as will 


appear at first sight, and the prospects for work during 
the remainder of the year are slight. The journey over 
the pass and down the Yukon is one of great difficulty 
and hardship, especially as all supplies have to be carried 
along. The pass itself is difficult to cross, the lakes are 
subject to violent gales, and there are a number of very 
dangerous rapids. Once in the country the newcomer 
finds himself no more comfortable. 

"During the summer season, when the days sometimes 
are really hot, there are swarms of mosquitoes and gnats 
which have not their equal in the world, and which are 
enough alone to discourage most men. I have heard 
stories, which I can readily believe to be true, of strong 
and hardy men being so tormented by these pests while 
on the trail through the swamp to the Birch creek dig- 
gings, that they broke down and sobbed in utter dis- 
gust. The method of reaching these and other diggings 
consists partly in pulling a loaded boat against a swift 
stream, and often over rapids, and partly in trudging 
through the swamp or over a rough mountain trail with 
a heavy load on one's back. In winter the thermometer 
falls so low that it cannot be measured by any available 
means. It is certain, however, that it reaches 70 degrees 
below zero. During all this winter season very little can 
be done, and as darkness exists most of the time life often 
seems intolerable. 

"The actual expenses of getting into the country are 
considerable. Indians must be hired to do a part or the 
whole of the transportation of supplies across the Chil- 
koot Pass at very high wages, and the cost of the neces- 
sary outfit is in itself considerable. On arriving at the 
diggings provisions are often not obtainable at any price; 
or, if they are to be had, the variety is slight. The sup- 


ply is always uncertain, depending upon the lateness of 
the spring and of the fall. 

''Owing to the difficulty in bringing in supplies, prices 
are very high at the river posts, and much higher in the 
diggings. The freight alone from the coast to the dig- 
gings costs as high as 50 cents a pound, so that when 
one eats potatoes at $1 a pound and bacon at 85 cents 
a pound, other things in proportion, the cost of living is 
enormous, and even employment at $10 per day for sixty 
days out of the year will not enable a man to grow rich 
very rapidly. Even employment for wages, moreover, 
is scarce, there being several applicants for every job. 
Owing to the high price of supplies, no claim that does 
not pay at least $10 a day to each man working can be 
worked except at a loss. Many competent men who 
engage in mining here and work faithfully experience 
failures, and are unable to earn enough to buy provi- 

"In such a situation it is very difficult to make one's 
way out of the country, for the journey up the river along 
the usual route requires upward of thirty days' hard 
work, and provisions must be brought for the trip. The 
trip down the river and back to civilization by steamer 
is very expensive, and of late years the number seeking 
to get out in that way exceeded the carrying capacity of 
the few steamers. Last year fully 150 men who wished 
and intended to leave the country by steamer were un- 
able to do so, and are still there. 

"Under the conditions which now exist there are quite 
enough in the Yukon district already, and the object of 
this article is to discourage people from rushing there 
without due consideration. Probably ninety-nine out of 
every hundred men are unfitted by nature for such a life 
as Yukon mining necessitates, and had much better never 


make the attempt. The hundredth man must be a miner 
and frontiersman by nature, strong and patient, a hard 
worker, and a lover of secluded life. Even such a man 
will very likely fail on account of the large element of 
chance, and the most successful miner obtains only a few 
thousand dollars in profit after a number of years' patient 

"Any great increase in the number of men going into 
the Yukon district would be disastrous, on account of the 
strict limits of the food supply and facilities for trans- 
portation. The result would be famine, disorder, and 
failure. Several years ago this actually happened when 
all the Forty-Mile miners were without food and were 
obliged to travel down the Yukon over the ice to St. 
Michael in the dead of winter, a terrible journey of nearly 
2,000 miles. At that time there were only a few men 
in the country, but if the number had been very much 
larger, even this resource would have been impossible. 

"My general advice to the average man intending to 
go to the Yukon gold district is — to stay out. Many 
men go there every year and suffer hardships, failure, loss 
of capital and sometimes of health. If anyone under- 
takes the trip he should take with him enough supplies 
to last as long as he intends to stay— one year, two years, 
or whatever amount. He should have money enough to 
last him into the country and out again, if necessary, and 
should start early enough in the season to enable him to 
return up the river if he intends to come out the same 
year, for the facilities for transportation by steamer are 
likely to be entirely inadequate." 

NOTE.— Since Prof. Spurr sounded this note of warn- 
ing a small army of Klondikers has started for the gold 
fields. Reports from Dawson City indicate that the 
labor market is glutted by miners who left other diggings 


for the Klondike, and that day wages dropped from $10 
and $15 to $2 and $3. 

In speaking of the mining conditions of Alaska, Mr. 
Spurr said: 

"We examined all of the known placer deposits and the 
origin of the gold in them was traced to the veins of 
quartz along the head waters of the various streams en- 
tering the Yukon. Sufficient data were secured to estab- 
lish the presence of a gold belt 300 miles in length in 
Alaska, which enters the territory near the mouth of 
Forty Mile creek and extends westward across the Yukon 
valley at the lower ramparts. Its further extent is un- 

"It is the opinion of the geologist in charge of the ex- 
pedition that it is entirely practicable to prosecute quartz 
mining throughout the year in this region. He also dis- 
covered along the river large areas or rocks containing 
hard bitumious coal. 

"Running in a direction a little west of northwest 
through the territory examined is a broad, continuous 
belt of highly altered rocks. To the east this belt is known 
to be continuous for 100 miles or more in British terri- 
tory. The rocks constituting this belt are mostly crys- 
talline schists, associated with marbles and sheared 
quartzites, indicating a sedimentary origin for a large 
part of the series. These altered sedimentary rocks have 
been shattered by volcanic action, and they are pierced 
by many dikes of eruptive rocks. 

"In the process of mountain building the sedimentary 
rocks have been subjected to such pressure and to such 
alteration from attendant forces that they have been 
squeezed into the condition of schist, and often partly or 
wholly crystallized, so that their original character has in 
some -cases entirely disappeared. In summarizing, it may 


be said that the rocks of the gold belt of Alaska consist 
largely of sedimentary beds older than the carboniferous 
period, that these beds have undergone extensive altera- 
tion, and have been elevated into mountain ranges and 
cut through by a variety of igneous rocks. 

"Throughout these altered rocks there are found veins 
of quartz often carrying pyrite and gold. It appears that 
these quartz veins were formed during the disturbance 
attending the uplift and alteration of the beds. Many of 
the veins have been cut, sheared and torn into fragments 
by the force that has transformed the sedimentary rocks 
into crystalline schist, but there are others, containing 
gold, silver and copper, that have not been very much 
disturbed or broken. 

"These more continuous ore-bearing zones have not 
the character of ordinary quartz veins, although they con- 
tain much silica. Instead of the usual white quartz veins, 
the ore occurs in a sheared and altered zone of rock, and 
gradually runs out on both sides. So far as yet known, 
these continuous zones of ore are of relatively low grade. 
Concerning the veins of white quartz first mentioned, it 
is certain that most of them which contain gold carry it 
only in small quantity, and yet some few are known to 
be very rich in places, and it is extremely probable that 
there are many in which the whole of the ore is of com- 
paratively high grade. 

"The general character of the rocks and of the ore de- 
posits is extremely like that of the gold-bearing forma- 
tions along the southern coast of Alaska, in which the 
Treadwell and other mines are situated, and it is probable 
that the richness of the Yukon rocks is approximately 
equal to that of the coast belt. It may be added that the 
resources of the coast belt have been only partially ex- 


' 'Since the formation of the veins and other deposits of 
the rocks of the gold belt an enormous length of time has 
elapsed. During that time the forces of erosion have 
stripped off the overlying rocks and exposed the metal- 
liferous veins at the surface for long periods, and the rocks 
of the gold belt, with the veins which they include, have 
crumbled and been carried away by the streams, to be 
deposited in widely different places as gravels, or sands, 
or mud. In Alaska the streams have been carrying 
away the gold from the metalliferous belt for a very long 
period, so that particles of the precious metal are found 
in nearly all parts of the territory. 

"It is only in the immediate vicinity of the gold-bearing 
belt, however, that the particles of gold are large and 
plentiful enough to repay working under present condi- 
tions. Where a stream heads in the gold belt the richest 
diggings are likely to be near its extreme upper part. In 
this upper part the current is so swift that the lighter 
material and the finer gold are carried away, leaving in 
many places a rich deposit of coarse gold overlaid by 
coarse gravel, the pebbles being so large as to hinder 
rapid transportation by water. 

"It is under such conditions that the diggings which 
are now being worked are found, with some unimportant 
exceptions. The rich gulches of the Forty Mile district 
and of the Birch creek district, as well as other fields of 
less importance, all head in the gold-bearing formation. 

"A short distance below the heads of these gulches the 
stream valley broadens and the gravels contain finer gold, 
more widely distributed. Along certain parts of the 
stream this finer gold is concentrated by favorable cur- 
rents, and is often profitably washed, this kind of deposit 
coming under the head of 'bar diggings.' The gold in 
these more extensive gravels is often present in sufficient 












• — , 








quantity to encourage the hope of successful extraction 
at some future time, when the work can be done more 
cheaply and with suitable machinery. The extent of these 
gravels, which are of possible value, is very great. 

"It may be stated, therefore, as a general rule, that the 
profitable gravels are found in the vicinity of the gold- 
bearing rock. The gold-bearing belt forms a range of 
low mountains, and on the flanks of these mountains, to 
the northeast and to the southwest, lie various younger 
rocks which range in age from carboniferous to very re- 
cent tertiary, and are made up mostly of conglomerates, 
sandstones and shales, with some volcanic material. 
These rocks were formed subsequent to the ore deposi- 
tion, and therefore do not contain metalliferous veins. 

"They have been partly derived, however, from de- 
tritus worn from the gold-bearing belt during the long 
period that it has been exposed to erosion, and some of 
them contain gold derived from the more ancient rocks 
and concentrated in the same way as is the gold in the 
present river gravels. In one or two places it is certain 
that these conglomerates are really fossil placers, and this 
source of supply may eventually turn out to be very im- 

The report on the Yukon gold region by Mr. Spurr, 
giving new facts and figures about the interior of the ter- 
ritory, was made public recently. It is a comprehensive 
document, and reviews in detail the work in the various 
districts. It says as to the Forty Mile gold district, that 
in the latter part of 1887 Franklin gulch was struck, and 
the first year the creek is estimated to have produced 
$4,000. Ever since it has been a constant payer. The 
character of the gold there is nuggety, masses worth $5 
being common. The yield the first year after the dis- 
covery of Forty Mile has been variously estimated at 


from $75,000 to $150,000, but $60,000 probably covers 
the production. 

The discovery of Davis creek and a stampede from 
Franklin gulch followed in the spring of 18S8. In 1891 
gold mining in the interior as well as on the coast, at 
Silver Bow basin and Treadwell, received a great impetus. 
The chief occurrence of 1892 was the discovery of Miller 
creek. In the spring of 1893 many new claims were 
staked, and it is estimated that 80 men took out $100,000. 
Since then Miller creek has been the heaviest producer of 
the Forty Mile district, and, until recently, of the whole 
Yukon. Its entire length lies in British possessions. The 
output for 1893 as given by the mint director for the 
Alaskan creeks, all but Miller creek being in American 
possessions, was $198,000, with a mining population of 


The total amount produced by the Yukon placers in 
1894 was double that of the previous year, and was di- 
vided between the two districts. In 1895 the output had 
doubled again. 

Forty Mile district in the summer of 1896 is described 
in the report as looking as if it had seen its best days, and 
unless several new creeks are discovered it will lose its old 

The Birch creek district was in a flourishing condition 
last summer (1896). Most of the gulches were then run- 
ning, miners were working on double shifts, night and 
day, and many large profits were reported. On Mastodon 
creek, the best producer, over 300 miners were at work, 
many expecting to winter in the gulch. 

As to hydraulic mining, the report says: "Some min- 
ers have planned to work this and other good ground 
supposed to exist under the deep covering of moss and 
gravel in the wide valley of the Mammoth and Crooked 


creeks by the hydraulic process, the water to be obtained 
by tapping Miller and Mastodon creeks near the head. It 
will be several years before the scheme can be operated, 
because both of the present gulches are paying well, and 
will continue to do so at least five years." 

The Klondike placer miners are only gathering the 
dust washed off nature's great gold reserve in the Alaskan 
mountains. This dust is found in the gravel of the little 
streams. It comes from a formation called the conglom- 
erate, which is incomparably richer in nuggets and par- 
ticles of gold than the gravel. When the miners find it 
no longer profitable to wash out the gravel, they can at- 
tack the conglomerate, where they will be able to accom- 
plish something by hand labor. Finally, there is the 
original source of gold — the veins in the hills. These 
must be of enormous value. They must lie untouched 
until the proper machinery for obtaining the gold is 

A clear, scientific and authoritative explanation of the 
geological conditions of the Klondike and neighboring 
gold-bearing rocks was furnished by Professor S. F. Em- 
mons, of the United States geological survey, to the New 
York Herald. Professor Emmons said: 

"The real mass of golden wealth in Alaska remains as 
yet untouched. It lies in the virgin rocks, from which the 
particles found in the river gravels now being washed 
by the Klondike miners have been torn by the erosion of 
streams. These particles, being heavy, have been de- 
posited by the streams which carried the lighter matter 
onward to the ocean, thus forming by gradual accumu- 
lation, a sort of auriferous concentrate. Many of the bits, 
especially in certain localities, are big enough to be called 

"In spots the gravels are so rich that, as we have all 


heard, many ounces of the yellow metal are obtained 
from the washing of a single panful. That is what is mak- 
ing the people so wild — the prospect of picking money 
out of the dirt by the handful literally. 

"But all this is merely the skimming of grease from 
the pot; the soup remains, the precious rich soup it is. 
The bulk of the wealth is in the rocks of the hills, waiting 
only for proper machinery to take it out. For you must 
remember that the gold was originally stored in veins 
of the rocks, which are of an exceedingly ancient forma- 
tion. Nobody can say how many millions of years ago the 
metal was put there, but it must have been an enormously 
long time back. 

"The streams wore away the rocks, carrying gold with 
them, and this process continued for ages, making im- 
mense deposits of rich, gold-bearing gravels. Eventually 
these deposits were themselves transformed into rock — 
a sort of conglomerate in which pebbles small and big are 
mixed with what was once sand. To-day the strata com- 
posed of this conglomerate are of immense extent and 
unknown thickness. The formation closely resembles 
that of the auriferous 'banket' or pudding stone of the 
South African gold fields ; but the South African pudding 
stone was in far remote antiquity a sea beach, whereas 
the Alaskan formation is a deposit made by steams, as 
I have said. 

"In a later epoch the stream continued to gnaw away 
at the hills, bringing down more gold and leaving it be- 
hind in the gravels of their bottoms. It is these compara- 
tively modern rivers which are responsible for the pay 
dirt of the Klondike district and of all that region. Nat- 
urally, because it was easily got at and worked, the min- 
ers have struck this surface alluvium first. The streams 
at various times have followed different courses, and it is 


in the gravels of the dry and disused channels that the 
gold miners dig with such fabulous profit. 

"You will observe from what I have said that the gold 
of that region exists under three widely different condi- 
tions — in the gravels, in the conglomerate or pudding 
stone and in the ancient rocks of the hills. When the 
modern stream deposits, now being worked, are used up, 
the miner can tackle the conglomerate, which represents 
the gravels of ages ago. Finally, when they are provided 
with the requisite machinery, they will be in a position to 
attack the masses of yellow wealth that are stored in the 
veins of the mountains. At present we can hardly con- 
sider that the first bite has been taken of the golden feast 
which Alaska offers to hungry man." 

For many years Indians have brought out of the Cop- 
per river district in Alaska furs, copper and gold. The 
Copper Indians are a ferocious tribe, much resembling 
the Sioux in stature, and during the last few years have 
become well equipped with guns and ammunition. 
Knowing the value of their rich stakes, and that the 
ingress of white men would mean their retirement, the 
Indians have steadfastly refused to permit a single white 
man to explore their country. Every man making the 
attempt has been told to keep out, and when he persisted 
has been killed. 

The Copper river tribe numbers nearly 1,000, and as 
they have been well able to carry out their threats, no 
attempt to molest them has been made in recent years. 
Now, however, it is proposed to teach these natives that 
white men must eventually be allowed to prospect and 
take out the mineral riches of their domain. 

One hundred men, thoroughly armed, will go to Cook 
inlet from Port Townsend. They will be led thence into 
the Copper river section by Judge Joseph Kuhn, who has 


been collecting data regarding Copper river for years 
and was the originator of the project. Capitalists, it 
is said, are advancing part of the money required, but to 
make the success more certain the expedition is being 
organized on a co-operative basis, so each man will have 
a direct interest. Each man enlisting is required to put 
up several hundred dollars, which goes to a common 
fund with which to buy a schooner, arms and supplies 
for two years. The Indians will not be molested unless 
they attack the exploring party. Traditions of the last 
sixty years have ascribed great mineral wealth to the 
Copper river country. At Sitka it is said that in 1831 
a Russian trader invaded that section with eight men. 
They were killed when within a two days' march to the 




AILY mail deliveries are something that can 
scarcely be expected by the Klondikers. 
Arrangements, however, have been made 
to carry the mail between "home" and the 
gold diggings in the Yukon district. A 
mail service has been established be- 
tween Juneau and Circle City, and doubt- 
less this soon will be extended to the Klondike district. 
As the mails pass backwards and forwards across the 
boundary line, postage paid in the United States takes 
mail across the boundary line, and vice versa. 

Postmaster Charles U. Gordon of Chicago, in response 
to a request from the CHICAGO RECORD for infor- 
mation regarding the sending of letters to the Klondike 
region, replied: 

"Letters cannot be sent by United States mail to Daw- 
son City, Forty Mile or other towns in British territory. 
Mail matter for Dawson City, Northwest territory, not 
being a known postoffice, should be addressed Via' some 
United States postoffice, viz: Dyea, Alaska; Unalaska, 
or Circle City, Alaska. Sent to one of these Alaskan 
postofrices, it goes to Circle City by way of Dyea, over 
the overland route; by way of Unalaska by the Yukon 

"A mail steamer leaves Seattle every five days for 
Juneau, 120 miles from Dyea, and every fourteen days 
from Sitka for Unalaska. A Canadian Pacific steamer 


will leave Victoria for Dyea, by way of Juneau, every 
few weeks during the fall. The route overland by way 
of Edmonton, Northwest territory, is not feasible, as yet, 
although there appears to be some travel coming this 


Five carriers have been appointed for the Juneau- 
Circle City route, and one will leave each end of the mail 
route on or about the first of each month. The carriers 
are P. C. Richardson, F. W. Hoyt, J. W. Demars, G. 
P. Sproul and John Brauer. This mail service is for 
United States mail addressed to Circle City. Mail of 
Dawson, Forty-Mile and Fort Cudahy will not be car- 
ried in this mail, as these points are in Canadian territory. 
Communication with these points is irregular and diffi- 
cult, but arrangements have been made to forward mail 
from Circle City by the Arctic express company. 

The schedule for carriers between Juneau and Circle 
City is as follows: 

Date. Juneau. Circle City. 

August Demars Hoyt 

September Sproul Brauer 

October Hoyt Demars 

November Brauer Sproul 

December Demars Hoyt 

January Sproul Brauer 

February Hoyt Demars 

March Brauer Sproul 

April Demars Hoyt 

May Sproul Brauer 

June Hoyt Demars 

Since July i, contracts for mail over what is known as 
"the overland route" from Juneau to Circle City have 
been made by the postoffice department. The round trip 
over the Chilkoot pass and by way of the chain of lakes 



and the Lewes river takes about a month, the distance 
being about 900 miles. The cost is about $600 for the 
round trip. 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 dog sleds, and it is hoped that under the present con- 
tracts 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 in former times it was necessary for the carriers to 
stop and build boats or rafts to pass the lakes. 

In addition to this for the summer season contracts 
have been made with two steamboat companies for two 
trips from Seattle to St. Michael, and three from there 
to Seattle. When the steamers reach St. Michael, the 
mail will be transferred from the steamers 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 the summer season 
carry everything up to five tons a trip. 

Some extracts from the official report of the second 
assistant postmaster general for the fiscal year ending 
June 1, 1896, will prove of interest. Under date of Sep- 
tember 23, 1896, Contractor Beddoe wrote to the depart- 
ment concerning the trip to Circle City, the establishment 
of that postoffice having been authorized March 19, 


He says: "I have just returned from my first round 
trip through to Circle City with the United States mail, 
tinder contract route No. 78103, and in accordance with 
your instructions, corroborating those received through 
the superintendent of the Pacific coast, at Seattle, I de- 
livered the return mail from Circle City to the postmaster 
at Seattle and accompanied to Juneau such mail as re- 
mained for that point. 

"I have already delivered (or have en route) the mail 
for June, July, August and September. It will be im- 
possible for any other mail to leave here until spring, 
outside of the winter contract. 

"If you were familiar with the conditions which ob- 
tain in the Yukon you would be in a better position to 
regulate the dates of departure and arrival for said ser- 
vice. For instance, I left this point (Juneau) on June 10 
for Dyea; for sixteen hours it was impossible to land 
owing to storms, and as the landing is made in small 
boats, the conditions must be favorable. I took with me 
sufficient lumber to build two boats; the ones I had 
already built could not be taken over the summit in con- 
sequence of excessive snow storms. Upon my arrival 
at the base of the summit the Indian packers refused to 
go over with the lumber. I was compelled to abandon 
it there, having paid $67.50 for packing it. 

"The packing of supplies, etc., cost $320 additional. 
However, I pushed on and upon arriving at Lake Linde- 
man, a distance of thirty miles, I built a raft, there being 
no lumber in that locality, and upon this raft we jour- 
neyed to Lake Bennett, where we found sufficient lumber 
to build a boat. A start was made in five days after ar- 
rival, although the lumber had to be cut from the trees, 
and from there on we traveled day and night until our 


destination, Circle City, was reached and the mails de- 
livered in good order. 

"The question now was to get the return mail to Ju- 
neau the quickest moment. It was impossible to start 
up the river in consequence of the rapid water, the cur- 
rent averaging eight miles an hour for 500 miles. If I 
remained in Circle City until July 30 it would probably 
take forty-five days to pole the boat up the river. I there- 
fore decided to go down to St. Michael and come out 
through Bering sea. I was fortunate in getting there 
in time for the steamship Portland, which sailed from 
that point to Seattle, via Unalaska — 3,500 miles. At 
Seattle I took the Alki and reached here in due course, 
having traveled 6,500 miles in addition to the regular 
trip, and saving thereby over a month of time in the de- 
livery of the return mail; and I owe it to myself to say 
that I was the last trip man into the Yukon and the first 
one out this season, which is evidence that no unnecessary 
delay occurred. 

'This Yukon trip is a terrible one, the current of the 
river even attaining ten miles an hour. Miles canyon is a 
veritable death trap into which one is likely to be drawn 
without notice, and the White Horse rapids, known as 
the miners' grave, to say nothing of the Five Fingers and 
Rink rapids, both of which are very dangerous. All of 
these dangers are aggravated by reason of the defective 
maps and reports of the country. 

"It is my intention to submit to the department a map 
with many corrections, although in the absence of a 
proper survey it will necessarily be only an approximate 
reflection of the river's course. You are probably not 
aware that for a distance of 150 miles, commencing at 
Circle City, and going north, the river is fifty miles be- 


tween banks, and contains thousands of islands, very few 
of which appear on any map. 

"It is impossible to perform this mail contract without 
having at least three parties fully equipped, the distance 
being so great and it being out of the question for the 
first party to return in time to depart with the succeed- 
ing mail, and the expense of each will be about the same. 
I shall have made four round trips by the end of this 
month. The last mail in should arrive at Circle City in 
one week from now. The return mails I am looking for 
daily. At the end of this month the north end of the 
Yukon river will freeze and the ice will gradually form 
to the south, and the same, as a waterway, will become 
impassable and remain so until midwinter." 

The Western Union telegraph company is considering 
the advisability of stringing a wire from Juneau to Daw- 
son City. A San Francisco company has been formed 
for the purpose of connecting Juneau and Dawson City 
with a telegraph and telephone wire. The line, accord- 
ing to the plan, is to be constructed on the same plan 
as the ordinary military line used by armies in the field. 
The wire will be a quarter of an inch thick, and covered 
with a certain kind of insulation which it is said has 
proved thoroughly able to withstand the rigorous cli- 
matic conditions prevailing in Alaska. The wire is to 
wind upon large reels, and these reels are to be placed 
on dog sleds and dragged over the ice and snow. It is 
proposed simply to pay out the loose wire and let it lie 
on the ground, with the expectation of running the line 
through from terminal to terminal in six weeks. 

The route by way of Chilkoot and the Lewes and Yu- 
kon as far as the Pelly river has been thoroughly ex- 
plored by the Western Union telegraph company. Mike 


LeBarge, after whom Lake LeBarge was named, was en- 
gaged by the company to explore the river and adjacent 
country for the purpose of connecting Europe and Amer- 
ica by telegraph through British Columbia and Alaska 
and across Bering strait to Asia, and thence to Europe. 
This exploration took place in 1867, but the successful 
laying of the Atlantic cable in 1866 put a stop to this 





Q C CORDING to men who have re- 
turned from the Klondike country, 
the values attached to flour, meats, 
eggs, sugar, etc., by Dawson City 
traders are not so "steep" as some re- 
ports have indicated. Hundreds of 
stories about high prices in "Dawson 
City have gone the length and breadth 
of the country since the Klondike 
fever broke out, and Joseph Ladue, the founder of Daw- 
son City, and the owner of the townsite, takes exceptions 
to what he calls "exaggerations." He says that prices in 
Dawson City, everything considered, are reasonable. 
Following is a Dawson City price list: 

Flour, per ioo lbs $ 12 00 

Sugar, brown, per pound 

Sugar, granulated, per pound 

Rice, per pound 

Oatmeal, per pound 

Bacon, per pound 1 

Condensed milk, per can 

Butter, per pound 1 

Eggs, per dozen 5 

Beans, per pound 

Salt, per pound 

Dried fruit, per pound, 25 to 

Apricots (dried) per pound 

Cigars, single 

Cigars, wholesale, per 1,000, $95 to 100 

Tobacco, chewing and smoking, per pound. . 1 
Tobacco, plug cut, per pound 2 











Blankets, good, per pair, from $16 to 30 00 

Hudson Bay blankets 30 00 

Linen shirt 5 °° 

Underwear, per suit 10 00 

Canvas overalls 2 50 

Boots, from $10 to 12 00 

Stogie shoes, from $5 to 7 5° 

Clothes, suit ready made, from $30 to 50 00 

Fur overcoats, from $25 to 100 00 

Dogs for sleds, from $100 to 300 00 

Home-made bread, per loaf 5° 

Lumber, per 1,000 feet, from $100 to 200 00 

Wages, per day, $5 to 6 00 

Meals in restaurant, each 1 50 

A dressmaker, who was in Circle City when the "strike" 
on the Klondike was made, went to Dawson City, and in 
the first three days cleared $90 with her needle. Mrs. 
Adams, the dressmaker, said she was the first woman in 
the diggings that could fit a dress, and while there were 
no "bones" or "waist binding or canvas" or other articles 
about which women know everything and which go into 
a dress, Mrs. Adams said prices are kept up, ranging 
about as follows: Five to ten dollars for a plain Mother 
Hubbard, $6 to $12 for an empress, $8 for a plain wool 
skirt, $10 to an "ounce" for a waist. These prices were 
simply for making the goods up, and Mrs. Adams said 
she and her partner had more work than they could do. 

Dawson City is located on the bank of the Klondike 
where the latter stream empties into the Yukon river. The 
town site of 160 acres is owned by Joe Ladue, and Daw- 
son City is laid out in a square, and divided into city lots 
after the most improved manner of the real estate dealer 
who plats new subdivisions. The population is unknown. 
Good guessers put the number of inhabitants of this 
mushroom town anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000. Some- 
time next spring it will be known just what the winter 


population of Dawson City has been during the winter. 
The city was born in August, 1896, a few clays after the 
Klondike strike was made. Many people are under the 
impression that Dawson City is in the very center of the 
rich placer deposits of the Klondike district, when as a 
matter of fact, the gold bearing creeks are from 12 to 
25 miles from Dawson City. 

Dawson City is a Canadian town, although its founder 
and most of its inhabitants are qualified voters in the 
United States when they are at home. Dawson City is not 
only a mushroom town, but, to use another simile bor- 
rowed from the vegetable kingdom, it is a "sucker" town. 
When it sprung up Circle City, Forty Mile, Fort Cudahy, 
and other mining towns north of it were depopulated so 
rapidly that no one save the agents of the transportation 
and trading companies and the Hudson's Bay company 
were left. 

Every man, woman, child and dog scurried to Dawson 
City as fast as possible. Before the establishment of Daw- 
son City there were 1,500 people in Circle City. A recent 
letter from Circle City relates the sad fact that there are 
three men, two women, one child and four yellow curs 
left. From all reports Dawson City is an orderly place, 
all things considered. The Northwest territory mounted 
police and the Canadian land officials thus far have suc- 
ceeded in maintaining law and order to a degree that can 
scarcely be appreciated by one who is familiar with the 
so-called "typical" mining towns. 

The people as a rule are law-abiding and attend to their 
own business. In fact all are too busy looking after wealth 
to resort to any lawlessness. Joe Ladue, the father of 
Dawson City, is authority for the statement that stealing 
is practically unknown in that town. Gold dust, grains 
and nuggets are kept in tin cans, iron kettles, worn out 



rubber boots, oil cans, and left in tents and cabins without 
watch or guard being placed over them. This was the 
Dawson City up to the time the flood of gold-seekers 
overwhelmed it this year. The Canadian authorities be- 
lieve that they will be able to smash all traditions, so far 
as mining towns are concerned, by making and keeping 
Dawson City a highly moral frontier town. 

Joseph Ladue, the owner of Dawson City, is one of the 
fortunate men who made a large strike. He says he does 
not know how much he is worth, but those who are as- 
sociated with him place his figures up among the millions. 
He is a resident, when at home, of Schuyler Halls, Clin- 
ton county, New York. He has great hopes for the 
future of the city he owns. In speaking of his possessions 
Ladue said that the summer for Dawson City opens about 
May 15 and by June 1, no snow is seen anywhere. 

Grain is planted or sown about May 15, and he has 
raised barley and oats there for two years. Potatoes do 
not mature in Dawson. On the highlands the frost strikes 
everything each year. So the farming is all done on the 
islands. McQuestion, the Hudson's Bay trader at Forty 
Mile, has raised potatoes, barley, oats, turnips, lettuce, 
radishes and cabbage. He sells his produce to the miners 
and gets good prices for it. Turnips, for instance, bring 
ten cents a pound. At Ft. Selkirk, 178 miles south of 
Dawson, is another garden, owned and cultivated by 
Harper, sometimes called the "grand old man of the Yu- 

The summer lasts from the middle of May to Septem- 
ber 1. The longest day in Dawson City is June 22; on 
that day the Klondikers have the sun for twenty hours, 
"clear, warm sun," as Joe Ladue expressed it. Winter 
sets in September 1, and the cold comes on gradually. 
September and October weather is fine, October being 



about as November is in the United States. After that 
everything is closed up, including the Yukon river, which 
freezes over between November I and 10, and it is not 
navigable after that time until the next spring. The ice 
in the river freezes five and a half feet thick. 

They have bath tubs in Dawson City, "real zinc bath- 
tubs/ 1 according to Joe Ladue, and it costs a Klondiker 
$i a bath in a barber shop. But the prospector, who has 
a thrifty nature and is saving his cash, seldom patronizes 
these dollar a bath tubs. He takes a Russian bath for 
nothing. The Russian bath houses are made out of logs, 
an arch of stones is made on the floor of the house and a 
fire built under until the stones are red hot. The door is 
closed tight, and a barrel of water is thrown over the 
stones until the hot steam fills the room, and the Klon- 
diker walks around with every pore wide open, dripping 
with perspiration. As Joe Ladue puts it, "it is a good 
sweat bath and is all right too for cleaning.-' 

Several preachers are on their way to the Klondike, 
but the church of England has one of its clergymen on 
the ground. Bishop Bompas is at the head of the dio- 
cese which includes the Klondike district, and an episco- 
pal clergyman officiates in Dawson City. When Ladue 
left Dawson City he was told that Bishop Bompas in- 
tended to move from Forty Mile to the metropolis of the 

Men who have returned from Dawson City tell great 
tales of the magnificence of the bars over which the sev- 
eral kinds of drinks in vogue in Dawson are serveB. One 
of the bars cost $750 in San Francisco before it was 
loaded on the ship, and another one is said to be equally 
as expensive. The dance hall is a frame building covered 
with white drilling. It is about 80 feet long and 40 feet 
wide. The orchestra consists of a horn, a violin, and a 


piano, and everything is 50 cents a drink. There were 
10 saloons and only 3 restaurants in Dawson City when 
Ladue left. One of the restaurants was an attachment to 
a barber shop. 

A table d'hote dinner cost $1.50 and consists of bacon, 
beans, bread, coffee, a piece of cheese and dried fruit. 
And the restaurant keepers sell everything that can be 
made into a warm meal for the miners who have been liv- 
ing on hardtack and salt pork for several months. The 
laundries charge 25 cents a piece for everything that goes 
into the washtub, from towels to blue shirts. The stew- 
ardess on the steamer Willipaw forsook the raging Yu- 
kon and took to washing in Dawson City, and she did first 
rate. She also started a bake-shop, and one small loaf of 
her home made bread sold for 50 cents. 

Gambling is carried on at Dawson City to suit all con- 
ditions of persons ; no stake less than a dollar is allowed 
and jackpots frequently run up to enough "ounces'' of 
gold dust to represent several thousands of dollars. It is 
claimed that there has not been even a first-class fist fight 
over a gambling game in Dawson City since Joe Ladue 
laid out the town site. From all accounts gambling is 
all "straight" in Dawson City, for cheating is regarded as 
akin to stealing, and stealing is put down as a worse 
crime than murder in that section of the globe. 

The Canadian authorities have established a postoffice 
at Dawson City. This makes three Canadian postoffices 
in that portion of the Northwest territory. The other 
two offices are at Forty Mile and Fort Cudahy. The mail 
is carried by the mounted police from Dyea. 

Robert Krook, a Swedish Klondiker, tells stories some- 
what different from the average of those that have come 
from the lips of returned miners. He said: 

"Until this spring the men never put locks on the doors 


of their cabins, and nothing was stolen. You might go 
into any cabin and see a glass or a tin or two on the shelf 
full of gold and no one would think of touching it. Any- 
one could steal if he wanted to do so, but there were 
reasons why they did not. It was only after the mounted 
police arrived that locks and bolts became a necessity. Be- 
fore that there were what we called 'miners' laws.' Forty 
or fifty of the miners would call a meeting, select a chair- 
man, and then if a man could make his own 'talk' he did 
so or he would get some one to make it for him. When 
both sides of the case had been heard the chairman would 
call for a vote. The decision was final. If a man gave 
trouble he had to go. Now they do not have miners' 
laws any more. We had no trouble during three years, 
because all questions were settled at these meetings of 
miners. All disputes about claims were argued and ad- 
judicated in the same way." 

Some amusing details w r ere given of the way in which 
the men spend the long nights in the winter. As each 
claim extends only 500 feet up and down the stream, the 
cabins are close together and the men visit one another. 
In the Klondike, or for that matter at Forty Mile creek 
or any of these faraway mining camps, the men are expert 
checker players, because that is the principal amusement, 
with whist as the favorite card game. 

"No paper is too old," said Air. Krook, "to read. We 
read all the advertisements and all the can labels. There 
was a supply of canned lobsters at the camp and some 
man used to put up with the cans wrappings of sheets 
from the bible. We used to commit the chapters to mem- 
ory and see who could repeat them first without a mis- 

"The food is neither extra choice nor plentiful. But it 
is expensive. Bacon, ham and beans are the general rule 


— no French wines or champagnes. The supplies are 
short at best and a man must often take bacon that he 
would not throw to a dog or go without. There is usually 
more whisky and hardware on hand than anything else. 
A man only needs a certain amount of hardware, and the 
less whisky he can get on with the better he is off. 

"Sometimes a man has to watch his supplies pretty 
close, and they usually build a 'cache' — that is, a little 
platform set high up on light poles. He can then haul 
up his bacon and 'grub' and cover it with a tarpaulin. 
The risk of leaving the 'grub' in the cabin is that the bears 
get at it. They will even tear the roof off to get in, and 
there are plenty of the animals. They won't climb the thin 
posts, particularly when the bark has been peeled off. 

"In regard to clothing, a man does not need much in 
summer, and in winter he studies comfort, not looks. In 
winter we wear moccasins and in summer while sluicing 
gum boots. I have not had leather on my feet since I 
left. Overalls cost $2.50 in Klondike, and everything else 
in proportion, but it is a great country to make money in." 
W. D. Johns, the special correspondent of the CHICA- 
GO RECORD, who has been in the Yukon country for 
two years, sent a letter to the RECORD describing gold 
digging in winter in the Birch creek district. This letter 
was written December 21, 1896, and was published March 
2, 1897, and was the first announcement, to be published 
in any newspaper, of the Klondike find. Mr. Johns' letter 
reads as follows: 

"Life, climate and work in interior Alaska, close to the 
arctic circle, in winter is vastly different from that which 
the popular belief supposes it to be. While not as desira- 
ble a place of winter residence as countries farther south, 
it is one in which men travel, work and live, taking suita- 
ble precautions, without serious trouble or danger unless 


they meet with accidents or get caught out when the tem- 
perature takes a sudden drop down to 70 or 80 degrees 
below zero. In that case if not well prepared there is 
danger, of course. But the principal danger is in getting 
the feet wet where the water has overflowed the river or 
creek ice and of freezing before a fire can be built and the 
feet dried. More men are fatally frozen in this way than 
any other. The river froze up later this fall, November 5, 
and since then the weather has been steadily cold, aver- 
aging 20 degrees below zero and running down at times 
to 40 and 50 degrees below, which is the lowest point yet 
touched, it having been a warm winter so far. 

"Dog teams and horses are freighting out to the mines 
60 miles back of the river. Miners are going and coming 
to and from the diggings, where they are now engaged in 
drifting, and many are going to the new place of excite- 
ment at Klondike, in the Northwest territory, 260 miles 
above Circle City, on the Yukon. Among them are some 
women. Yet one hears less complaint about the weather 
than in a cold winter in Chicago. When the thermome- 
ter drops 50 degrees below zero or lower most men re- 
main in their huts if on the trail or in their cabins if cut- 
ting wood or at other work, but many travel when it is 60 
degrees below zero and work in the shafts sinking and 
drifting out the pay dirt — not altogether pleasant for the 
man who is working the windlass above. At times too, 
it blows almost a gale when the thermometer is low and 
then it is almost unendurable. 

"In the Birch creek diggings water seriously interferes 
with the winter digging in many places and it is not until 
late in the winter that some of them can be worked on 
this account. The earth down here is not eternally frozen 
to a great depth, as has been supposed. On the river 
above in the Northwest territory, this supposition is more 


generally true and they are troubled much less with 
water than here, but even there it causes trouble. Another 
generally received fallacy is that it 'never rains' here. On 
the upper river the climate is dry, with but little rain, but 
when one gets as far down as Forty Mile one has almost 
as much rain as in North Dakota, and it increases down 
the river. So that here there is a good deal of rain. Up 
in the mountains this rain turns to snow, which is not in- 
frequent at the diggings in midsummer. This accounts 
for the millions of mosquitoes, which are actually danger- 
ous to life here if a man's face and body are not protected. 
On the upper Yukon they are not one-tenth as bad as 
down here, owing to the drier climate. Many a 'chechaco' 
(tenderfoot) on his way to the mines, with a pack on his 
back, has thrown down everything and struck back for 
town and gone on down the river without delay, cursing 
the country and its mosquitoes. Not one-third of those 
coming in stay over winter. 

'To those who stay and work the country offers great 
rewards in comparison with what the average man can 
make below, and the chance of a fortune. In this district 
the mines offer the only source now, for Circle City is 
fully built, and the men who worked at it last summer 
will have to do something else, for there will be no build- 
ing to speak of. At the present time it is very quiet. 
Many men went out, and almost all the rest have gone 
to the different creeks to sink prospect holes or to drift 
out pay dirt, which in some creeks does not have to be 
burned, as there is no frost after they get down to the 
pay. Last summer $500,000 was taken out of Birch creek 
district, and this winter they expect to take out $200,000, 
allowing $500 to the man, a very low estimate. As the 
country has not yet been thoroughly prospected this 
amount will probably be increased next year and for some 


years to come. Parties are now out and more are going 
to prospect creeks over the range, and before spring new 
discoveries will undoubtedly be made. 

"The new Klondike strike in the Northwest territory 
(Canada) is an example of how little is known of this 
region. Only 50 miles up the Yukon from the old Forty 
Mile post, where the Canadian government now has a po- 
lice force, it has been casually gone over several times by 
prospectors who kept to the main creek or river. Last 
summer a squaw man was induced to go up a side creek 
of the Klondike by his Indian brother-in-law, and they 
found the gold on what is now asserted to be the richest 
creek in the gold region, and one of the richest ever struck 
anywhere. I myself have panned and seen panned some 
wonderfully rich prospects on the surface, as high as $3 to 
the pan. If the reports now coming down from Klon- 
dike are true they have it richer still on the bed rock. 

"It is a great district, with many rich gulches, and will 
support an immense mining population when opened up 
in a year from now, though the news will bring in a host 
of men who will be unable to find work and who, unless 
they have money, will have to go out, as the companies 
have absolutely shut down on the credit they used to give. 
It is a matter of regret with Americans that these diggings 
are under the paw of the British lion. Many believe, in- 
deed, that the majority of the rich strikes of the future 
will be on Canadian soil, near the main chain of the 
Rockies, which sends only spurs westward into Alaska. 
The Klondike diggings are on the same spur of the 
Rockies as those of Birch creek, 260 miles down the river, 
but they are only about 60 miles from the main range. A 
number of minor creeks were struck on the same ranire 
between Circle City and the Canadian line last summer. 

"Every one coming in this spring ought to bring a 

i— » 







year's supplies, as so great a rush to the new strike is an- 
ticipated that the companies will not be able to supply 
the demand with their present steamer capacity. In the 
past they have just managed to supply the demand, fall- 
ing short of many articles, and each fall sees a repetition 
of the scarcity. Just keeping up with the demand, they 
cannot supply a rush such as the Klondike strike will un- 
doubtedly bring in, so that hardships must result unless 
newcomers bring a year's supply down the river. 

"Independent steamers are needed that will carry 
freight. As it is now, if one can get freight carried at all 
up the river it costs $280 a ton, all water transportation 
from Seattle and up one of the finest navigable rivers in 
the world, so pronounced by competent Mississippi river 
steamboat captains, who are in here. The North American 
Transportation company, of which P. B. Weare and Jack 
Cudahy are the principal stockholders, put a new steam- 
er on the Yukon the last summer, as did the Alaska Com- 
mercial company, of San Francisco, but this fall there was 
the usual shortage of supplies. The Weare company, 
which did all in its power to get up provisions, is said to 
intend putting on another steamer next summer. But 
what is needed is a steamer, or steamers, which will carry 
freight for the many who now cannot get a pound earned 
up the river at any price. 

"The country is on the eve of a great development, and 
prices are simply enormous. In a few years when prices 
come down there are hundreds of claims paying $6, $7, 
$8 or $9 a day that can be worked that now cannot be 
touched because of the expense of food, tools and 

Joe Ladue says that Dawson City, Circle City and 
Forty Mile are towns for "women-folk," because "any 
woman who can live anywhere on top of the earth can live 


up there and be happy." The women of the upper Yukon 
seem to be of the same opinion, judging from the letters 
they send "home." The following interesting letter was 
received by John C. Hessian, a well-known attorney in 
Duluth, Minn., from his sister, whose husband is a hard- 
ware merchant at Fort Cudahy. She writes as follows: 

"I was the ninth white woman in this country, and 
three out of the nine arrived only a month ahead of me. 
There are about two dozen now. I know eight of them, 
and we get along nicely together. There are about two 
thousand white men scattered through this part of the 
country, and a carload of girls would go like hot cakes. 
In coming into this place we came from Seattle out to 
Cape Flattery, through the northern waters of the Pacific 
Ocean, the Bering sea and up the Yukon river. We were 
six weeks en route. I stood the trip well, and was the 
only passenger able to eat three or more times a day. 
At the mouth of the great river, the Yukon, we took the 
river boat, which is very fine, with splendid accommoda- 
tions. The scenery is beautiful all the 1600 miles to 

this camp. 

"The Yukon is about two thousand miles long, and has 
a great many good-sized rivers flowing into it. It does 
not freeze up before October 10, although we have some 
very cold weather before that time, but it takes cold 
weather to stop these swift steamers. When it does 
freeze up, instead of freezing smooth the huge cakes of 
ice seem to be standing on edge from 12 to 15 feet high 
in places. I don't know how to describe it any better than 
by likening it to an ice-house blown up with dynamite. 
We are living on British soil, 30 miles from the Alaska 
line, nine blocks or thereabouts from the north pole, and 
1,600 miles from a railroad. Until the last few months 
we have had no mail route, but persons coming in in the 


spring and summer usually brought in the letters that ac- 
cumulated at Juneau. They brought in letters only. 

"Mining is the only industry. Gold can be found in the 
gravel on nearly any river, creek or gulch. Two obstacles 
the miner has to contend with are the short seasons and 
the frozen condition of the country. The earth, in sum- 
mer, only thaws two or three feet, and that only in places 
exposed to the sun. There is no coin or currency in the 
country to speak of. All business is transacted with gold 
dust. No laws are recognized here except those made by 
the miners themselves. There is a good class of men here, 
pretty well mixed; goodhearted, hard workers. The In- 
dians are very numerous here and throughout the coun- 
try. They are peaceable and self-supporting. They look 
as much like the Chinese or Japs as they do like Indians. 
They try to imitate the white man in dress. Freighting is 
done entirely by dogs. These animals resemble the wolf 
in appearance, and are sold at $75, $100 and $125 each. 
The large game of the country is bear, wolves, moose and 
caribou, a species of the reindeer. The last two are fine 

"The mercury goes sometimes as low as 80 degrees be- 
low zero. At such a time a basinful of hot water thrown 
up in the air will come down in icicles. We are about 30 
miles south of the arctic circle. During the short days it 
begins to get dark at 3 p. m., daylight appearing about 
9:30 a. m. During the very shortest days the sun drops 
entirely out of sight, and is invisible for three weeks. 
During the long summer days we have continual day- 
light. You can see to read or write at night as well as at 
any time during the day. The sun rises and sets in the 
west in July, and during the shortest days it rises and sets 
in the east. The moon acts in the same manner. The 
northern lights, during the winter months, are beautiful 


to look at. They move so rapidly and form into such 
beautiful shapes and colors that you could wish for noth- 
ing else more interesting. It would be utterly useless 
for me to attempt to explain these wonderful beauties of 
nature. The seasons of the year are 9 months winter 
and 3 late in the fall. 

"Just listen to the buzz of the mosquitoes! It is my 
opinion there is only one flock, and that covers the entire 
country, for there are mosquitoes in every place you can 
go or think of. They are as thick as snowflakes in a 
snowbank. They get into activity and stay right with 
you. They do business day and night. A mosquito bar 
is as essential in summer as an overcoat in winter. 
When they quit, a small gnat shows up. The latter is 
fully as bad and far more numerous. 

"The river boats have scarcely four months in the year 
in which to run. There are four boats running, and two 
more are building. Each of the boats can bring 350 
tons of freight, but the amount of provisions that is 
needed for the different ports the full length of the river 
is immense, and there is always a shortage in some things. 

"On the Bering sea, from our steamer, about 15 miles 
distant, we saw a mountain 1,500 feet high, of solid rock, 
and on top of that a statue of rock, a perfect representa- 
tion of a bishop in his robes, crosier in hand, as perfect 
and real as anything you ever saw. The immense rock 
stands all alone, not another thing to be seen but water. 
On this river also there are two immense rocks standing 
all alone, one on each side of the river. They are called 
Adam and Eve. You would travel the world over and 
not be able to meet with prettier scenery than can be seen 
along this river. While at Circle City we saw a rainbow 
at a quarter to midnight. 

"Fresh vegetables are hardly known here. The sea- 


son is too short to give them time to develop. Wild 
onions and rhubarb can be found everywhere. They are 
terribly strong, but we relish them as you would straw- 
berries and ice cream. The blueberry, cranberry, sal- 
monberry, wild raspberry and red currants grow in abun- 
dance on the islands and on the sides of the mountains. 

"Just now, the old mail arrived. It was lost upon the 
summit nearly a year ago. I got a letter from Maggie 
in it. It is nothing to get mail several months old here. 
We have no more idea of what is going on in the world 
than a Yukon Indian. The river boats failed to make 
connection with the ocean steamers all summer. Finally, 
the Canadian surveyors here had set the time to go out 
from here and would take mail. They were going over- 
land, leaving here on the morning of Sept. 20, but on 
that very morning it began to rain, snow and blow, and 
continued so until the 26th, when the slush ice began to 
run in the Yukon and winter set right in. No one has 
gone out since, but the surveyors will start tomorrow. 
The steamboats were all frozen in along the river, loaded 
for this port. Provisions are very scarce. Many of the 
miners have to go down the river for the winter, while 
many others will winter on a hundred pounds of flour 
and caribou. We have plenty of everything, in fact, all 
the families have. The only sad part of it for us is that 
all of our goods are on the steamer Bella, two hundred 
miles from here, and we will not see them until next sum- 
mer. This was a backward summer for the steamers. 
The wind blew so hard around St. Michael they could 
scarcely unload the ocean vessels, as they have to unload 
about one mile from the shore on account of low water. 

"Sixty head of cattle were driven in from Juneau and 
got here last week. The first beef ever in the country. 
We got two porterhouse steaks for Sunday dinner. They 


cost $10 — $i per pound — bone, trimmings, fat, horns, and 
tail, all the same price. We got, by chance, 250 pounds 
of native potatoes — we are the only ones with that many. 
The ship's potatoes are on the steamers with the rest of 
the eatables. We had to kill our chickens, as the chicken 
feed did not get here. I have them frozen, and will have 
chicken for Christmas and New Year's. 

"There was a new mining district discovered, 50 miles 
up the Yukon from here, two months ago. It is turning 
out to be a great thing. There are over six hundred 
claims already staked, and a new town started called 
Klondike. Pat went up with the first excitement and 
got three town lots. One of them he has already been 
offered $1,500 for, but will not sell. He also staked two 
claims and bought another this week for $1,500. These 
are all placer mines. I also have a claim. Pat and I 
have men prospecting on our claims. We may never 
get a cent out of them, and we may get thousands. We 
are running that risk. 

'T have been writing this by lamp light, but just now, 
at 10 o'clock a. m., the sun is just coming over the moun- 
tain tops, with two sun dogs accompanying it. It is 40 
below, with a strong wind blowing. 

"We got your papers and clippings and passed them 
around. You don't know what a treat it is to see print 
in here. Pat would give his head to know something 
about the election. He sincerely hopes Bryan is presi- 
dent, and tries to console himself by thinking he actually 
must be the man. 

"I am knitting socks and stockings. I only wear two 
pairs at a time, with a pair of Dutch socks and a pair 
of fur boots." 






YUKON DISTRICT in which the 
Klondike placer mines are located 
was traversed by traders of the Hud- 
son Bay company as far back as 
1840. William Ogilvie the land sur- 
veyor of the Dominion of Canada, 
commissioned by the Department of 
the Interior of the Dominion gov- 
ernment to survey that district, returned from there in 
the early summer of 1897. In his report he 
designates the Yukon district as that part of the 
Northwest territory lying, west of the water-shed 
of the Mackenzie river, most of it being drained by the 
Yukon river and its tributaries. It covers a distance of 
about 650 miles along the river from the Coast range of 

In 1847 Fort Yukon was established at the mouth of 
the Porcupine river by A. H. Murray, a member of the 
Hudson Bay company. Seven years prior Robert Camp- 
bell explored the upper Liard river and the Pelly river 
down to the confluence of the Lewes river. 

In 1848 Campbell established Fort Selkirk at the con- 
fluence of the Pelly and Lewes rivers ; it was plundered 
and destroyed in 1852 by the Coast Indians and only the 
ruins now exist of what was at one time the most import- 
ant post of the Hudson Bay company to the west of the 
Rocky mountains in the far north. In 1869 the United 


States government expelled the Hudson Bay company's 
offices at Fort Yukon, as it was found that the post was 
not located in British territory. The officer in charge 
ascended the Porcupine river to a point which was sup- 
posed to be within British jurisdiction, where he estab- 
lished Rampart House; but in 1890 J. H. Turner of the 
United States coast survey found that post was twenty 
miles within the lines of the United States. Consequently 
in 1 89 1 the post was moved twenty miles further up the 
river to be within British territory. The next people to 
enter the country for trading purposes were Harper and 
McQuestion. They have been trading in the country 
since 1873; M r - Harper is now located as a trader at 
Fort Selkirk, and Mr. McQuestion is in the employ of 
the Alaska Commercial company at Circle City, which is 
the distributing point for the vast regions surrounding 
Birch creek, Alaska. In 1882 a number of miners en- 
tered the Yukon country. The next year Lieutenant 
Schwatka of the United States navy ascended the Lewes 
and Yukon rivers to the ocean. 

In 1887 Thomas White, the minister of the Interior of 
Canada, authorized the organization of an expedition hav- 
ing as its object the exploration of that region of the 
Northwest territories of Canada that are drained by the 
Yukon river. The work was intrusted to Dr. George M. 
Dawson, now the director of the geological survey of the 
Dominion government, and William Ogilvie, the well- 
known explorer and surveyor. Dr. Dawson devoted the 
whole of that season^ and Mr. Ogilvie a period covering 
nearly two years to obtaining geological, topographical 
and general information, chiefly respecting the tract of 
country lying adjacent to the 141st meridian of longitude, 
which, by the treaty of St. Petersburg, was designated as 
the boundary line from the neighborhood of Mt. St. Elias 


















to the Arctic ocean, between Alaska and the Northwest 
territories of Canada. 

The explorers found that in proximity to the boundary 
line there existed extensive and valuable placer gold 
mines, where even then as many as three hundred miners 
were at work. Mr. Ogilvie determined by a series of 
lunar observations, the point at which the Yukon river 
is intersected by the 141st meridian, and marked the same 
on the ground. He also determined and marked the 
point at which the western branch of the Yukon, known 
as Forty Mile creek, is crossed by the same meridian line, 
and located that point at a distance of about twenty-three 
miles from the mouth of the creek. At the junction of 
the Yukon and Forty Mile creek Fort Cudahy is located, 
and according to this survey is well within Canadian ter- 
ritory. Mr. Ogilvie reported to the Canadian government 
that the greater proportion of the mines then being 
worked was on the Canadian side of the international 
boundary line. Extracts from Mr. Ogilvie's report follow: 

"The Alaska Commercial company, for many years 
subsequent to the retirement of the Hudson Bay com- 
pany, had a practical monopoly of the trade of the Yukon. 
With the discovery of gold came the organization of a 
competing company known as the North American 
Transportation and Trading company, having its head- 
quarters in Chicago and its chief trading and distributing 
post at Fort Cudahy. Both of these companies have 
steamers plying between San Francisco, Seattle and St. 

"At the last named place the passengers and freight 
are transferred to stern-wheel river boats, and Fort Cud- 
ahy is reached after ascending the swift current of the 
Yukon for sixteen hundred miles. This is the easiest, 


but the longest route, and the diggings are not reached 
until a considerable portion of the short summer season 
is passed. Mr. Ogilvie, in his report, says as a rule it is 
not safe to enter Norton sound (in which the island of 
St. Michael is located) on account of ice before the first 
of July. 

"St Michael is eighty miles from the northly mouth 
of the Yukon; the passage up the river takes from eigh- 
teen to twenty days, and the round trip about a month. 
The first boat does not arrive at Fort Cudahy and Daw- 
son City until late in July, and the river closes in Sep- 
tember, so that the arrival of the last boat is somewhat 
uncertain; last year they are said to have been frozen in 
at Circle City. Two round trips in a season are all that 
can be relied upon. 

"Many persons prefer going by Lynn canal, the Taiya 
(Dyea) pass, and down the Yukon. The distance from 
the sea to Cudahy is only 630 miles, and to Dawson City 
a little over 575 miles, and by starting in April or May 
the diggings are reached by the beginning of June. The 
upper part of the river opens several weeks before the 
lower part is free from ice. After crossing the pass the 
trip to Cudahy can be accomplished in eight days. An- 
other route is now being explored between Telegraph 
creek and Teslin lake, and will soon be opened. 

"Telegraph creek is the head of steamer navigation on 
the Stikine river, and is about 150 miles from Teslin lake. 
The Yukon is navigable for steamers from its mouth to 
Teslin lake, a distance of 2,300 miles. A road is being 
located by the Dominion government, and a grant of 
$2,000 has been made by the province of> British Colum- 
bia for opening it. 

"J. Dalton, a trader, has used a route overland from 
Chilkat inlet to Fort Selkirk, going up the Chilkat and 


Klaheela rivers. He crosses the divide to the Tahkeena 
river, and continues northward over a fairly open country 
practicable for horses. The distance from the sea to Fort 
Selkirk is 350 miles. It is proposed to establish a winter 
road somewhere across the country traveled by Dalton. 
The Yukon cannot be followed, the ice being too much 
broken, so that any winter road will have to be overland. 
A thorough exploration is now being made of all the 
passes at the head of Lynn canal and of the upper waters 
of the Yukon. In a few months it is expected that the 
best routes for reaching the district from the Lynn canal 
will be definitely known." 

Under date of Fort Cudahy, September, 1896, Mr. 
Ogilvie writes of the discovery of gold on Bonanza creek, 
a branch of the Klondike. He gives as the correct name 
of the now famous stream "Thron-Diuck," and says it is 
marked on the map as "Deer river," and joins the Yukon 
a few miles above the site of Fort Reliance. In this letter 
Mr. Ogilvie says: "Between Thron-Diuck and Stewart 
river a large creek, called Indian creek, flows into the 
Yukon, and rich prospects have been found on it, and 
no doubt it is in the gold-bearing country between Thron- 
Diuck and Stewart rivers, which is considered by all old 
miners the best and most extensive gold country yet 

Referring to the Klondike region, Mr. Ogilvie writes : 
"I think I can expend more in the interest of the coun- 
try by remaining here and making a survey of the 'Klon- 
dak' of the miners — a mispronunciation of the Indian 
word or words Thron-dak,' or 'Diuck/ which means 
'plenty of fish,' from the fact that it is a famous salmon 
stream. It is marked Tondak' on our map. It joins the 
Yukon from the east a few miles above Fort Reliance, 
about forty miles from here (Fort Cudahy). As I have 


already intimated, rich placer mines of gold were dis- 
covered on the branches of this stream. The discovery, 
I believe, was due to the reports of Indians. 

"A white man named George W. Carmack, who worked 
with me in 1887, was the first to take advantage of the 
rumors and locate a mine on the first branch, which was 
named by the miners Bonanza creek. Carmack located 
late in August (1896), but had to cut some logs for the 
mill here to get a few pounds of provisions to enable him 
to work on his claim. The fishing at Thron-Diuck hav- 
ing totally failed him, he returned with, in a few weeks, 
provisions for himself, his wife and brother-in-law (In- 
dians), and another Indian in the last days of August, and 
immediately set about working his claim. 

'The three men, working very irregularly, washed out 
$1,200 in eight days. On the same creek two men rocked 
out about $75 in four hours, and it is asserted that two 
men in the same creek took out $4,000 in two days with 
only two lengths of sluice boxes. This last is doubted, 
but Mr. Leduc assures me he weighed that much gold 
for them, but it is not positive where they got it. 

"A branch of Bonanza, named El Dorado, has pros- 
pected magnificently, and another branch named Tilly 
has prospected well. In all there are some four or five 
branches of Bonanza which have given good prospect. 
A few miles farther up Bear creek enters Thron-Diuck, 
and it has been prospected and located on. Compared 
with Bonanza it is small, and will not afford more than 
twenty or thirty claims, it is said. About twelve miles 
above the mouth, Gold-Bottom creek joins Thron-Diuck, 
and on it and a branch named Hunker creek, after the 
discoverer, very rich ground has been found. On Gold- 
Bottom creek and branches there will probably be 200 
or 300 claims. The Indians have reported another creek 


much further up, which they call Too-Much-Gold-Creek,' 
on which the gold is so plentiful that, the miners say in 
joke, 'You have to mix gravel with it to sluice it.' 

"From all this we may, I think, infer that we have here 
a district which will give 1,000 claims of five hundred feet 
in length each, and this is not all, for a large creek named 
Indian creek joins the Yukon about midway between 
Thron-Diuck and Stewart rivers, and all along this creek 
good pay has been found. Indian creek is quite a large 
stream, and it is probable it will yield 500 or 600 claims. 
Farther south yet lies the head of several branches of 
Stewart river, on which some prospecting has been done 
this summer and good indications found. 

"Now gold has been found in several streams joining 
Pelly river, and also all along the Hootalinqua. In the line 
of these finds farther south is the Cassiar gold fields in 
British Columbia; so the presumption is that we have in 
our territory, along the easterly water-shed of the Yukon, 
a gold-bearing belt of indefinite width and upwards of 
300 miles long, exclusive of the British Columbia part of 
it. On the westerly side of the Yukon prospecting has 
been done on a creek a short distance above Selkirk, with 
a fair amount of success, and on a large creek some 30 
or 40 miles below Selkirk fair prospects have been found." 

Mr. Ogilvie bears testimony to the richness of the 
Klondike placer mines, under date of Dec. 9, 1896, as 
follows: "Since my last the prospects of Bonanza creek 
and tributaries are increasing in richness and extent until 
now it is certain that millions will be taken out of the 
district within the next few years. One man told me yes- 
terday that he washed out a single pan of dirt on one of 
the claims on Bonanza and found $14-25 in it- ° f course 
that may be an exceptionally rich pan, but $5 to $7 per 
pan is the average on that claim, it is reported, with five 


feet of pay dirt and the width yet undetermined, but 
it was known to be thirty feet even at that; figure the 
result at nine to ten pans to the cubic foot, and five 
hundred feet long; nearly $4,000,000 at $5 per pan— 
one-fourth of this would be enormous. 

"Another claim has been prospected to such an extent 
that it is known there is about five feet pay dirt averaging 
$2 per pan and width not less than thirty feet. Enough 
prospecting has been done to show that there are at 
least fifteen miles of this extraordinary richness ; and the 
indications are that we will have three or four times that 
extent, if not all equal to the above, at least very rich. 

"Miller and Glacier creeks on the head of Sixty Mile 
river, were thought to be very rich, but they are poor, 
both in quality and quantity, compared with the Thron- 
Diuck. Chicken creek, at the head of Forty Mile in 
Alaska, discovered a year ago, and rated very high, is 
to-day practically abandoned. Some quartz prospecting 
has been done in Thron-Diuck region, and it is probable 
that some good veins will be found there. Coal is found 
on the upper part of Thron-Diuck, so that the facilities 
for working it, if found, are good and convenient. A 
quartz lode, showing free gold in paying quantities, has 
been located on one of the creeks, but I cannot yet send 
particulars. I am confident from the nature of the gold 
found in the creeks that many more of them — and rich, 
too — will be found. 

* * * * * * * 

"I have just heard from a reliable source that the quartz 
mentioned above is rich, as tested, over $100 to the ton. 
The lode appears to run from three to eight feet in thick- 
ness, and is about nineteen miles from the Yukon river. 
Placer prospects continue more and more encouraging 
and extraordinary. It is beyond doubt that three pans 


on different claims on El Dorado turned out $204, $212 
and $216; but it must be borne in mind that there were 
only three such pans, though there are many running 
from $10 to $50 a pan. 






OSEPH JUNEAU has gone down in the 
history of Alaska as the first man to 
demonstrate the existence of gold in any 
considerable quantity in the vicinity of 
the town which bears his name. It was 
in 1880 that gold was discovered in the 
vicinity of Juneau, but the first discovery 
of gold in Southeast Alaska was made 
near Sitka in 1873. The subsequent ex- 
citement brought miners from the Cassiar regions in 
British Columbia, and in the Northwest territory to the 
southeastern coast of Alaska, and prospecting was act- 
ively prosecuted. The gold find of 1880 transformed 
the little Indian settlement at the head of Gastineau 
channel, where before a white man had rarely been seen, 
into a typical American mining camp. Prospectors went 
back into the interior singly and in parties of three or 
more and located many claims. 

Richard Harris, a partner of Juneau, at first was cred- 
ited with the honor of discovering gold in that district, 
so the first mining town was named Harrisburg; it after- 
ward was named Rockwell in honor of one of the officers 
of the United States steamer Jamestown, but finally the 
town was given the name which it now bears — Juneau. 
Back of Juneau extends the deep ravines and gorges 
through which Gold creek pours its waters, and many 
men found diggings in them which paid them well. 
When the gold excitement at Juneau was at its height 












aitju *_1 WE! 


it was reported that gold had been found on top of a 
mountain which is two miles across the bay. A miner 
who went by the name of "French Pete" staked off a 
claim on top of this mountain. John Treadwell, after 
investigating this location, purchased French Pete's 
claim for $400. He first built a 5-stamp mill, and the 
development was so promising that he was able to in- 
terest capital sufficient to build a 120-stamp mill. Seven 
years after the first discovery this was enlarged to 240- 
stamp, making the Treadwell property the largest mill in 
the world. Since then this immense mill has been pound- 
ing out gold almost night and day without cessation. 
The ore is known as very low grade, yielding only about 
$1.85 in bullion to the ton of ore, but since the 240- 
stamps were put in, the Treadwell mine has been turning 
out from $70,000 to $80,000 a month. 

Free gold has been found on Prince of Wales island 
and north on Annette island, and many claims have been 
located, the assays of which indicate large and rich de- 
posits of the precious metal. At Sum Dum the Bald 
Eagle mining claim is located, and a 10-stamp mill is at 
work there. The ore is valued at upward of $100 a ton. 
Ten miles from Juneau on Sheep creek is the Silver 
Queen mine, with a 10-stamp mill. Within a radius of 
four miles of Juneau there are nine mills in operation, 
including the great Treadwell mine. 

The four miles of country drained by Gold creek seems 
to be covered by rich ledges of gold quartz; a number 
of stamp mills are working in this district about eight 
months out of the year. In what is known as the "basin" 
a large sum of money has been spent in getting ready 
to develop the placer mines by the process of hydraulic 
mining. Over the bay which adjoins the Treadwell 
mine is the Mexico mine, which has a 120-stamp mill. 


ixty miles from Juneau toward Lynn canal is the Ber- 
ner's Bay mining property, and on the Admiralty island 
in Funta bay is a group of rich ledges. 

Rich indications of silver have been found at Glacier 
bay, and on Willoughby island are rich galena deposits. 
For several years prospecting has been carried on at 
Unga, and a large mill has been erected by the Alaska 
Commercial company at that point. 

The gold deposits in southeastern Alaska require ex- 
pensive machinery to work them, for the ore is low grade. 
In this sense this is not a "poor man's country." The 
report of the governor of Alaska for the year ending Oc- 
tober I, 1896, shows that $2,300,000 in gold bullion was 
taken from the gold mines within the territory of Alaska 
during the year ending October 1, 1896. The greater 
part of this amount was the product of low grade ores, 
much of which yielded less than $4.00 per ton. The 
average cost of mining and milling the quartz rock at 
the Alaska-Treadwell gold mining company's mines on 
Douglas island in 1896 was $1.25 a ton. 

In 1 88 1 gold was first discovered in paying quantities 
in the Yukon basin. A party of four miners after crossing 
the range descended the Lewes river as far as the Big 
Salmon, which they explored, prospecting all the way, 
for a distance of 200 miles. They found gold on all the 
bars of the Big Salmon. The next three or four years 
the Pelly and Hootalinqua rivers were prospected, and 
in 1886 the gold finds at Cassiar bar on the Stewart river 
were made. 

Geographers divide the Yukon section into three prin- 
cipal divisions. The upper division lies entirely within 
British territory and embraces the White, Stewart, 
Pelly, Lewes and Hootalinqua rivers, which, with their 
several branches and tributaries, form the head waters 


of the Yukon; the middle division includes the Yukon 
between Fort Reliance and the mouth of the Tanana 
river; the lower division the Yukon from the Tanana to 
Norton sound and Bering sea. 

Before the Klondike discovery the most important 
placer mines were located in the middle division of the 
Yukon district; on Forty Mile, Sixty Mile, Miller, Gla- 
cier and Birch creek and Koyukuk river. The Forty 
Mile and Sixty Mile creeks have their source in the 
Ratzel mountain, flowing into the Yukon from the west. 
The streams which flow into the Tanana, which start 
from the other side of the Ratzel mountains, have not 
been thoroughly explored, but gold in paying quantities 
has been found along the banks of the Tanana, and some 
of the bars have been worked with profit. One of the 
richest of the gold-bearing creeks so far discovered in 
this middle division is Miller creek, a tributary of Sixty 
Mile creek. Glacier creek, another branch of Sixty Mile 
creek, is also rich in gold. This middle division is the 
"poor man's" mining territory, for the mines are placer 

Rich gold discoveries have been reported from Indian 
creek, which flows into the Yukon 30 miles below Sixty 
Mile creek. Forty Mile creek was not discovered until 
1887. It enters the Yukon from the west, drains the 
country lying between the Yukon and Tanana river, is 
about 200 miles long, and its tributaries are numerous. 
The mouth of this creek is in Canadian territory. 

On Forty Mile nearly all the available rich ground 
has been worked out, but on the banks of the stream 
are many high bars, which are known to be rich, but 
which have not been worked because of the difficulty in 
getting water through them. The find of gold on Forty 


Mile caused a great sensation, and the next gold craze 
was caused by strikes on Birch creek. 

One of the main tributaries to Birch creek is Crooked 
creek, and from Circle City, which is eight miles across 
the portage from Birch creek to the Yukon, a trail leads 
over the hills to the mines on Independence and Masto- 
don creeks. Gold was discovered on the Molymute, a 
branch of Birch creek, in 1893. In this same year rich 
gold discoveries were made on the Koyukuk river, and 
a number of creeks, such as North Fork, Wild creek, 
South Fork and Fish creek, have been prospected with 
good success, although no extensive deposits have been 
found. Below the Koyukuk river the only streams of 
any size that empty into the Yukon are the Innoko and 
the Anvik, but little prospecting has been done, however, 
below Koyukuk river. Almost all of these placer mines 
have been practically abandoned since the remarkably 
rich finds of gold in the Klondike district in August, 


An old prospector who has been in the Alaska Yukon 
district for a number of years said that there is enough 
undeveloped gold-bearing country in that district to take 
care of 100,000 miners, not one of whom would be within 
neighborhood distance of another, and it was all "tender- 
foot" land. 

History repeats itself in the Klondike discovery and 
the excitement caused by it. It is about forty years since 
any excitement equal to that caused by the Klondike 
find has swept over the country. The older residents 
of the Pacific coast passed through a number of mining 
excitements since the days of '49, when the rush to Cali- 
fornia followed the discovery of gold in that then almost 
unknown and sparsely inhabited country. For ten years 
after the discovery of gold in California a succession of 


mining crazes passed over the country, until the country 
from the Mexico line to Alaska had been explored and 
found to contain rich mines. 

The first rush was to the valleys of the Klamath, the 
Columbia and the Frazer, and finally, the Cariboo, Peace 
river and Stikeen were invaded and proved more or 
less rich. Thousands flocked to these streams, a few 
made fortunes and the many, after enduring hardships 
and sufferings, returned poor, naked and hungry. The 
swarms that invaded California in 1849 flowed over into 
Oregon. Rich diggings were discovered around Jack- 
sonville, and the miners pushed their way up the Colum- 
bia into Idaho and Montana, the only route to those 
regions being the valley of the Columbia. Rich mines 
were found at Salmon river, Oro Fino and many other 
places, and in the Bitter Root mountains and farther on 
in Montana. 

These were the days when the Oregon Steam Naviga- 
tion company was formed, and Ladd, Reed, Ainsworth, 
Thompson, Kamm and others laid the foundations of 
their fortunes. Then in 1856 and the years following 
came the Frazer river excitement, which brought riches 
to some and disaster to many. People went wild all 
over the coast, and flocked in crowds to Victoria, then 
principally a fort of the Hudson's Bay company. 

Most of them had but little idea where the Frazer 
river was or how they were to get there. There were 
no steamers running on the Frazer, nor any for some 
time from Victoria to the Frazer. All the boats, canoes 
and dugouts available could only take a few of the people 
who wanted to go, and they collected in camp at Victoria 
till there were, it is said, 20,000 people there to celebrate 
the Fourth of July in 1858, or thereabouts. 

Deposits of gold were fonud along the Frazer from fifty 


miles above the mouth to the Rocky mountains, some 
600 miles, and at places diggings as rich as those re- 
ported at Klondike were found — as at Cariboo, Antler 
creek and many other places. Later there were rushes 
to Ominica, Peace river and many other districts. Prob- 
ably about the last great rush, and one of the most disas- 
trous of all, was to the Stikeen river, sometime about 
1875. Hundreds begged their way home from Stikeen, 
barefooted, hungry and ragged. 




I If] ized for the purpose of turning into old- 

world gold the peltry treasures of the 
new world, dates its history from the 
year 1668. Under the direction of 
Prince Rupert, Count Palatine of the 
Rhine, an experimental trip had been 
made into the wilds of British Amer- 
ica, and in the year named the prince, with seventeen 
other noblemen and gentlemen, formed an association to 
develop the new land. Two years later King Charles 
II. granted the association corporate powers under a 
charter which styled the prince and his fellows the "Gov- 
ernor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading 
Into Hudson's Bay." By the terms of this instrument 
one of the greatest monopolies of history was created — 
one, indeed, of the latent possibilities of which its pro- 
moters scarcely dreamed. 

This charter of 1670, in the nominal consideration of 
the annual payment of two black beavers and two elks, 
granted the company of gentlemen adventurers "the 
sole trade and commerce of all those seas, straits, bays, 
rivers, lakes, creeks and sounds, in whatsoever latitude 
they shall be, that lie within the entrance of the straits 
commonly called Hudson straits, together with all the 
lands and territories upon the countries, coasts and con- 
fines of the seas, bays, etc., aforesaid, that are not already 
actually possessed by or granted to any of our subjects, 


or possessed by the subjects of any other Christian prince 
or state." 

The vagueness of this patent was relieved somewhat 
later on, when the company, with much unwillingness, 
agreed to accept the grant as conveying control only 
of all lands watered by streams flowing into Hudson 
Bay. Along with the right to trade throughout the vast 
territory that was the subject of royal patent went abso- 
lute lordship and entire legislative, judicial and execu- 
tive power. Nor was this "right to trade" less absolute 
than the civil authority that went with it, as is witnessed 
by the letter of the charter. By its terms the company 
received the right to "the whole and entire trade and 
traffic to and from all havens, bays, creeks, rivers,, lakes, 
and seas, into which they shall find entrance or passage 
by water or land out of the territories limits or places 

The company's first post was established at the mouth 
of the river flowing into James bay at its extreme south. 
It was known as Moose Factory. Not long afterward 
settlements were established at Forts Albany, Churchill 
and York, commanding the whole western shore of the 
great bay. Year by year the strength and prosperity 
of the company grew greater, although, after obtaining a 
firm footing on the shore of Hudson Bay the corpora- 
tion, contrary to what might have been expected, did not 
seek immediately to penetrate into the immense terri- 
tory to the west and south. So slow, indeed, were the 
managers to push the development of its territory that in 
1749 an unsuccessful attempt was made in the British 
parliament to annul the company's charter on the ground 
of "non-use;" for there were only about 120 regular em- 
ployes and some four or five forts on the coast. 

From its first organization the Hudson's Bay company 







met opposition at the hands of the French. In 1627 a 
French company had been organized under a charter 
conferred by Louis XIII. The terms of the French char- 
ter were almost identical with those under which the 
English company operated, and in the inevitable rivalry 
between the two corporations there was destined to be no 
lack of bloodshed. The losses suffered by the English 
company were not alone commercial, due to competition ; 
the French sent numerous military expeditions against its 
forts, and losses suffered on this account amounted up 
to the year 1700 to £215,514. 

The successors of the French in making trade uncom- 
fortable for the British company were large numbers of 
fur traders who spread over Canada after the cession of 
that territory to Great Britain, and who finally encroached 
on the lands of the Hudson Bay corporation. The his- 
tory of the company from this time on was one of romance 
and tragedy. The rivals for trade employed every artifice 
for outwitting one another, and the liquor which they in- 
troduced among the Indians for the furthering of their 
ends wrought the demoralization of the savages. Back- 
ers of the company in England became alarmed at its fail- 
ure to realize their expectations. The independent trad- 
ers were outwitting the company's factors at their own 
game. The managers in England were anxious to have 
the American agents push inland, but the latter were 
afraid to venture into a region of unknown perils; so it 
happened that it was more than 100 years before the 
company's agents penetrated the Red river region, which 
later on became the center of their activity. The inde- 
pendent traders, on the other hand, sent their agents year 
by year from Montreal up the Ottawa and on by boat 
and by portage through Lake Nipissing, Lake Huron, 
Lake Superior, Rain lake and Lake of the Woods, and 


down Winnipeg river and lake to the base of the Rocky 

These traders ingratiated themselves with the natives 
and as a result secured the best of the furs which the 
Indians had to offer, while the Hudson's Bay company 
was dealing mainly in otter and beaver skins, and those 
of an inferior quality. In 1783 the independent fur trad- 
ers combined under the style of the North-West company 
of Montreal. In its service about 5,000 men were em- 
ployed, and although the fierce competition that imme- 
diately broke out impaired the revenues of the British 
company for a time, yet from the springing up of opposi- 
tion date the intelligent management and the larger suc- 
cess of the company. Under stress of new difficulties the 
affairs at the posts on Hudson Bay were managed 
with greater prudence and its traders in the interior oper- 
ated with more discretion. The traders of the North- 
West company had scaled the Rocky mountains and were 
bartering with the Indians along Peace river. Traders 
of the British company followed. The North-West com- 
pany built forts. The Hudson's Bay company built forts 
to match them or excel them. Fraud met fraud, artifice 
artifice, and when one struck a blow the other never was 
known to turn the other cheek. 

About the time the rivalry was at its most intense pitch, 
Lord Selkirk, a Scotch peer, obtained, in 181 1, a grant 
from the Hudson's Bay company in what then was known 
as the district of Ossiniboia. With a view to providing 
homes for the surplus population of the Scottish high- 
lands, his agent, Miles Macdonell, in 1813, planted a set- 
tlement on the banks of the Red river. Fort Daer at 
Pembina was the first fortification. In one year's time 
the colonists numbered 200. But the North-West com- 
pany wanted those fertile plains along the Red river for 


itself. It desired them preserved as hunting grounds, and 
consequently its agents began a systematic campaign of 
intimidation, which sometimes did not stop short of actual 
violence, with the hope of driving out the unwelcome 
settlers. As the Scotch colonization scheme prospered, 
its promoters building forts and extending their com- 
mercial operations, the opposition and, indeed, the des- 
peration of the North- West company grew more intense. 
The French-Indian half-breeds were inflamed to commit 
depredations on the property of the Highlanders and 
their homes and mills and store-houses were burned. 
The Earl of Selkirk hastened to the rescue, reorganized 
the community and addressed himself to the task of 
strengthening the colonists' means of defense and offense. 
In this he was successful and the colony remained in the 
control of his family until 1835, when his claims over a 
territory colonized by not less than 5,000 souls were 
transferred to the Hudson's Bay company. 

To return, however, to the time of the fifth earl of Sel- 
kirk, the competition that was aimed at him reached its 
climax in 1816 in a battle in front of Fort Garry, the 
Hudson's Bay company's chief post in the Red river 
region. In this conflict twenty men, including several 
officers and Governor Semple himself, lost their lives. 
This was not the end of the fighting, but the fighting 
proved the death of trade, and not until the business of 
both the rival companies was entirely destroyed^ so far 
as profit was concerned, did the officers of each awake 
to the folly of such a course. Then, in the year 1821, 
under act of parliament a coalition was effected. The 
North-West company ceased to exist and thenceforth the 
Hudson's Bay company possessed the vast field without 
rival. Not long after the coalition George Simpson, a 
young Scotchman of great ability, was given control in 


North America with the title of governor-in-chief of 
Rupert's land. For forty years he managed the affairs of 
the consolidated companies, winning wealth and honor. 
Under his government the company prospered, until, in 
i860, it was operating 155 establishments with twenty- 
five chief factors in charge and employing twenty-eight 
chief traders, 152 clerks and 1,200 other employes, be- 
sides many thousand Indians. 

In 1869, at the demand of the Dominion of Canada, 
the company surrendered its monopoly of the northwest 
in consideration of the payment of £300,000 sterling, and 
the transfer to it of one-twentieth of the land within the 
fertile belt, besides 50,000 acres immediately surrounding 
its posts. Thus the Hudson's Bay company surrendered 
its monopoly to begin its latter day career as an immense 
commercial corporation. 

In all the vast territory the fur trade of which is in 
the hands of the Hudson's Bay company there are only 
a few real forts. These are surrounded with stone walls, 
and are veritable strongholds. All the rest of the posts 
to which the name of fort has been given are merely trad- 
ing stations, fortified to an extent, it is true, but only so 
much as the wildness of the country makes absolutely 
necessary. At these trading stations all exchange is by 
barter. Skins are the standard of value, the beaver skin 
being the unit. In trade with the Indians the officers 
of the company have never made any pretense of giving 
the actual value of the more valuable skins. It is pre- 
sumed that they have satisfied their consciences with the 
excuse that to pay more for a valuable skin than for a 
cheap one would lead to the speedy extinction of the rarer 
fur-bearing animals, since the Indians would trap the 
valuable to the neglect of the more plentiful. It is not on 
record, however, that the company ever has ''evened 


things up" by paying the simple savage more than the 
value of the cheap skins. 

Methods of trade in the northern and southern portions 
of the Hudson bay region are radically different. The 
Indians of the north are a race of solitary trappers, while 
those of the south go in bands and hunt and make the 
rounds of their traps oh horseback. The finer furs come 
from the former; the coarser furs, the buffalo hides and 
the leather from the Indians of the south, whose homes 
are along the Saskatchewan. The Indians of the north- 
ern district are practically in a state of peonage to the 
Hudson's Bay company. Throughout the spring and 
summer the company makes advances to the Indians of 
such supplies as they need for their sustenance, these to 
be paid for at the end of the hunting season. Being con- 
stantly in debt they are constantly dependent, but what- 
ever may be said against the system, it is none the less 
true that the company's rule is as paternal as it is auto- 
cratic. In the case of the southern Indians, however, that 
sort of transaction will not serve. Those who live in the 
saddle are not easily kept in subjection; consequently 
trade with these natives has more of the character of com- 
merce among equals, and so unfeigned is the respect in 
which the company's agents hold these Indians that in the 
course of trade many gifts are employed to keep the red 
men in good humor, whilst stout stockades and firearms 
in reserve are provided against a possible day of bad 

The supreme authority in the resident government of 
the Hudson's Bay company is the governor's council, 
when it is in session. Apart from the two or three days in 
each year when this council is sitting the governor is 
supreme, and that functionary, whose official title is gov- 
ernor of Rupert's land, holds his authority from the ofi> 


cers resident in London. These are a governor, a deputy 
governor and a committee of five directors, all subject to 
annual election by the voice of the stockholders at a gen- 
eral meeting in November. 

The commercial organization of the company is some- 
what complicated. Resident in the localities where the 
transactions with the Indians are carried on are members 
of what is known as the "Fur Trade." The members of 
the Fur Trade are divided into two classes, chief factors 
and chief traders, who individually are entitled to attend 
the annual meetings of the governor's council. The ser- 
vice of the members of the Fur Trade is rendered to the 
company on a thoroughly profit-sharing basis. Their 
aggregate interest in the company is comprised in a cer- 
tain definite number of shares, of which a chief factor is 
given two shares and a chief trader one. Thus fluctua- 
tions in profits produce fluctuations in income. Vacancies 
in the Fur Trade are filled by election, the chief factors 
by a majority vote electing new members to their body 
from among the chief traders, while the chief traders are 
drawn from the ranks of the salaried clerks. The salaried 
clerks in their turn are recruited from importations from 
Great Britain and the older portions of the Dominion, as 
well as from among the laborers employed about the trad- 
ing posts, though these latter rarely rise higher. 

It is difficult for one acquainted only with thickly popu- 
lated regions to realize over what a vast territory the 
operations of the Hudson's Bay company reach. From 
the Red river region to Great Slave lake the company has 
its voyageurs plying their canoes over 1,000 miles of lakes 
and rivers. The Mackenzie river carries them 500 miles 
farther to the Arctic ocean. Between Moose Fort and 
the trading posts of British Columbia is 2,000 miles of 
forest and stream, with subject Indians and shrewd trad- 


ers all along the line, only fewer in number than the ani- 
mals in whose pelts they trade. Between the company's 
posts at Fort Simpson and Sault Ste. Marie intervenes a 
space of 2,500 miles, and all this territory is managed 
from one central office and tributary to one corporation 
of stockholders. 

The company's original chartered territory, together 
with the immense region into which its influence extends, 
is divided into four departments. These departments or 
sections are known as the Montreal, the Northern, West- 
ern and Southern. The Northern department lies be- 
tween Hudson bay and the Rocky mountains. The Mon- 
treal department embraces all of Canada. The Western de- 
partment includes all to the west of the Rocky mountains, 
while the Southern comprises the territory between James 
bay and Canada and also includes East Main on the east- 
ern shore of Hudson bay. In these four departments 
there are fifty-three subdivisions, known as districts, and 
each district has a fortified supply house and a superin- 
tendent. To this depot the necessary supplies for the dis- 
trict are issued and it constitutes also the collecting sta- 
tion from which the furs and other produce of the dis- 
trict are shipped to the home warehouses in England. In 
these districts there are innumerable smaller establish- 
ments, all tributary to the main district supply house. In 
each fort or post there are from two to fifty servants of 
various sorts, besides an officer in general charge. The 
rivers and minor streams navigable only for canoes, which 
ramify throughout the Northwest territory teem with 
company employes, known as voyageurs, who constitute 
the last and indispensable link in the chain that connects 
the Indian trappers with the civilized customer for his 


v „*t5Kf> 



NE OF THE first persons to bring relia-. 
ble, authentic news of the rich gold 
finds on the Klondike was Eli A. Gage, 
son of Lyman J. Gage, secretary of the 
treasury. Eli Gage is an officer of the 
North American Transportation and 
Trading company, which operates on 
the Yukon river. In August, 1896, he 
left Seattle, bound for Circle City. At that time the "out- 
side" world was ignorant of the wonderful deposits of 
gold in the Klondike district. Circle City, Forty Mile, 
and the Birch creek district were the centers of attraction 
for Yukon gold-seekers then. Mr. Gage returned home 
in the spring of 1897, and soon after wrote a series of 
three articles for the CHICAGO RECORD, which con- 
tain so much that is of interest and value relating to the 
Klondike and Yukon districts that they are reprinted, in 
a condensed form, in this book. Following is Mr. Gage's 
story of the Klondike: 

"What it was that made the United States pay over to 
Russia some $7,200,000 for Alaska some years ago might 
be a hard question to answer now, for at the time of the 
purchase hardly anything but contiguity to the United 
States, it would have seemed, could have made such a 
country valuable to us. Recently, however, the atten- 
tion of the people has been drawn more and more to 'our 
Arctic province,' and each year has seen an increasing 
number of prospectors make their way into this country, 

. • ■ V ■ - 





until now the papers are full of glowing accounts of the 
richness of the Yukon country, and there is every indica- 
tion that this year there will be almost a stampede of 
miners for what promises to be a new El Dorado. Last 
August the writer left Seattle for St. Michael island, the 
place of embarkment for the Yukon river boats. The trip 
along the Pacific through the Unemak pass and into 
Bering sea was made upon a boat chartered by one of the 
trading companies, and heavily loaded with food, cloth- 
ing and tools, all of which was bound for the mines. 

"At St. Michael, the first stop we made, our freight was 
transferred to the river boats, and we made the start for 
the Yukon mines. St. Michael island is about sixty miles 
from the mouth of the Yukon, in Norton sound, and one 
of the most forsaken places in the world. The trip out 
into the sound for the river boats — which are of the stern- 
wheel, Mississippi kind — is attended with much danger 
from squalls, and it was with much relief that we went 
smoothly over the bar at the mouth of the river. 

"Steaming up the river, which has much the consist- 
ency of the Missouri and is about as crooked, we stopped 
occasionally for wood, which the natives had cut, split 
and piled, and for which they were paid in flour, tobacco 
and calico. .We passed any number of Indian villages 
and missions, and finally reached Fort Yukon, the first 
place of importance. This is a post owned by a trading 
company, and is supposed to be exactly on the Arctic 
circle. From here to Circle City is eighty miles. When 
we got there it was already cold, and, though only Octo- 
ber i, we had had several snowstorms and there was 
an inch of snow on the ground. 

"As we drew near we could see that the whole town 
was coming to the landing place to welcome us, for a 
steamboat arrival at a town in the Yukon generally 


wakes up every man, woman, child and dog, and brings 
all to the river. At Circle City the boat was unloaded into 
the company's store, and it tried the next day to push 
on 250 miles further to the other post, but the running 
ice gave warning that the river would soon close, so we 
turned back and went into winter quarters in a slough 
at Circle City. 

"Circle City has a population roughly estimated at 
i,ooo ? which includes the miners at Birch creek, about 
fifty miles from the town. These men come from all parts 
of the country, and they comprise the same cosmopolitan 
crowd that usually makes up a mining town. It being 
winter, the town was pretty well filled with miners, many 
of whom had come in to get their winter's supplies of 
food at the stores. At such a time the stores take on 
great activity, every one wishing to get fitted out and to 
get fitted quickly. Between those with money and those 
who were besieging the managers hourly for an outfit on 
credit until the following fall the cash buyers were the 
more patient. 

"Much has been written about the exorbitant prices 
asked for food, but when one is told that the writer has 
seen many outfits put up to last for a year, and that there 
were many more outfits of such kind that cost from $350 
to $500 than there were at a higher figure it will be seen 
readily that living is not much over $1 to $1.50 per day. 
Prices are high as they appear to us at home, but when 
one can get $1 an hour at the mines, it doesn't take long 
to insure enough food to live on. 

"With the usual exaggerated ideas of a 'tenderfoot,' 
I expected to see men going around with two big guns 
and a knife strapped on their belts, and was prepared to 
dance when invited at the point of a gun. Nothing of 
the kind happened, however, and acquaintance with my 


neighbors demonstrated that such 'doings' were not tol- 
erated. A 'bad man' or a 'gun fighter' has no chance 
here. When such a one arrives and shows his proclivi- 
ties he is warned to quit, and a second such evidence 
generally finds him very shortly — if he is lucky — in an 
open boat in the river. If he is unlucky — that is, if there 
are no boats — he will be likely to take passage on a log 
bound down stream, with emphatic instructions to 'move 
on and keep away from here.' 

"As winter settles down and the snow becomes deep 
enough for good sledding, many miners start out for the 
'diggings,' where the more thrifty put in the winter 'drift- 
ing' and 'burning,' when the conditions of the ground 
permit. Many, however, remain in town, preferring 
the congenial air and the companionship of the saloon 
and dance house to the isolation of the mines. 

"The saloons and the two stores are the only places 
to go. Whenever one is looking for a friend and he is 
not in his cabin he is pretty sure to find him in a saloon, 
if he cares to track him to his lair. Here all the mem- 
bers of the colony congregate and play cards, tell yarns 
and occasionally get drunk. In the evening the dance 
houses open and the faro box is produced, and a man 
has his choice of dancing or 'bucking the tiger' to vary 
the monotony. In this way the miner in town gets his 

"Among these miners one must make his life as pleas- 
ant as possible. They come from everywhere, and the 
college man is no better there than the son of a day 
laborer. All are there to better their financial condition 
by the hardest manual labor, and here, if anywhere, true 
equality seems to exist. Almost all are well behaved. 
Occasionally a fight is started, but as the weapons are fists 
little damage is done. 


"Law is enforced by what are known as 'miners' meet- 
ings.' On the American side there is no authority except 
that of the miners themselves, and through these meet- 
ings justice is dealt out. A man having a dispute with 
another involving money or land posts in conspicuous 
places a notice that there will be a meeting at a given 
hour and place to settle a dispute between him and an- 
other, whose name is posted. At the appointed hour 
nearly every one crowds into the meeting, a chairman 
and secretary are appointed and the assembly is called to 


"The chairman calls upon the plaintiff to state his case, 
and when this is done the defendant is heard from. When 
the principals have testified witnesses are heard from, 
and this evidence is heard and digested by the audience. 
Questions are asked by any one who cares to do this, and 
then motions are in order. Any one can make a motion 
for the disposal of the case, which, when seconded, is put 
to a vote, and in this way the matter is adjusted. A com- 
mittee is appointed to see that the verdict is carried out, 
which generally is done. This seems to be the only way 
in which justice can be dealt out. The system seems to 
have had its origin in a manly desire to give every one a 
'fair show,' but it is generally the more popular man who 
gets the better of it. At the mining camp these cases gen- 
erally are matters relating only to mining matters, but 
in the towns they embrace all sorts of questions, and it is 
here, more than at the 'diggings' that the popular one has 
a 'cinch.' 

"As winter settles down and the days grow shorter and 
shorter the monotony of life becomes irksome. The cold 
is intense, the mountains seem a prison, and the knowl- 
edge that one has no choice but to stay it out, unless he 
takes the long overland trip, makes life dreary. The 


mails are uncertain and far apart. No newspapers find 
their way in except in the summer. A man is out of the 
world, and almost as far removed from it as if he were 
in the moon. To a man who loves his home, his wife, his 
children and his friends the sense of isolation and help- 
lessness is depressing. It seems to him that it would not 
be so bad could he hear from home and know how they 
all were, but the long months drag slowly by until the 
first of the year, when mail sometimes finds its way in, 
having left the states some three or four months before. 
"To see the excitement that the mail from the outside 
makes, to see the eagerness with which men press up to 
the postmaster's desk for their letters, and the trembling 
hands as they are opened, and the filling eyes as they are 
read, touches the heart. The first two or three days after 
the mail's arrival find the morals of a town vastly im- 
proved, but this soon wears away, and the old habits are 

"Dec. 19 the writer, after carefully making all need- 
ful arrangements, with twelve dogs, three sleds, two In- 
dians and 1,200 pounds of 'grub/ bedding and camp out- 
fit, started on the overland trip, a distance of 1,000 miles, 
to the sea coast. We left Circle City at 9 o'clock, just as 
day was breaking, with the thermometer at 46 degrees 
below zero. As we went through the town with the dogs 
yelping and our men yelling, every saloon door opened, 
and all inside came out to wish us good luck and a safe 

"It was turning the face away from many good friends 
— many whom I hope to meet again — and tackling a 
great unknown, but the many delays which had kept us 
back for two weeks made every one light-hearted and 
happy at getting started at last, and we soon passed 
through the town, down the river bank, and on to the ice 


in the river, where a bend in the river soon hid Circle 

"A Yukon sled, with dogs, is a peculiarity of the coun- 
try. Our sleds were nine feet long, and two of them 
were chained together. On this 'double-header' we had 
seven dogs, and on the single sled five. The dogs are 
hitched together tandem fashion — one ahead of the other, 
the wheel dog having a whiffletree attached to his traces. 
From this is a rope running back to the sled, which, pass- 
ing, as it must, between the driver's legs, necessitates the 
acquiring of a peculiar gait, for with each turn the dogs 
make — as the trail curves from side to side — the driver 
has to keep his feet moving from this side to that of the 
'gee' string, as it is called, or he will be thrown down. On 
the right side of the sled is a strong, smooth pole, reach- 
ing about the hip, which is used for guiding the sled. 
Between the 'gee' string and keeping the sled from over- 
turning a 'tenderfoot' is generally in a dripping perspira- 
tion after the first five miles are covered, and his legs get 
sore from the chafing of the rope, and the arm mightily 
tired from guiding the heavy sled. 

"The clothing used in traveling is also peculiar to the 
country, mine consisting of a heavy suit of underwear, a 
sweater, a pair of mackinaw drawers, a mackinaw shirt, 
and a fur cap which came down about the ears and back 
of the neck and tied under the chin. The fur being next 
to the skin, that part of the head covered is very com- 
fortable. Fur-lined mitts covered the hands, and on the 
feet were a pair of woolen socks, a pair of long heavy 
German socks or stockings, and a pair of moccasins, with 
straw in the bottoms. On the sled for extreme and windy 
weather were two 'parkas/ one of drilling and the other 
of fur. These resemble in appearance a long night gown 
open at neither the front nor back, with a hood for the 


head. The drilling 'parka' has around the hood a lining 
of two fox tails. When the wind blows these drill parkas 
are put on and the hood is drawn over the head, which 
is a great protection for the face. The fur one is used 
for 50-degree and 60-degree weather. 

"Our first halt was made for lunch about noon. One 
Indian took an ax and started for the middle of the river, 
where he chopped a hole through the ice for water. After 
filling the teapot he returned to where the sleds were, the 
other Indian in the meantime having gone up the bank 
for dry wood. In a few minutes we had a roaring fire, 
the water was boiling, beef tea was made, and this, with 
hard tack, constituted our first meal. The cups and 
spoons were quickly put away in tfie grub box, the sled 
lashed, and within half an hour we were again push- 
ing on. 

"At 2:30 o'clock it was getting dark, but a full moon 
and a clear sky made it nearly as bright as day, so we 
kept going until 6 o'clock, when we stopped for the night, 
having made twenty-five miles and overtaken a party two 
days ahead of us. The Indians went up the bank like 
squirrels, and having picked out a good place for the 
tent, cleared away the snow and began felling some fir 
trees. These were soon cleaned of their boughs, which, 
being spread down on the ground where the tent was to 
go, were to serve for our beds. Our tent, an 8 by 10 
wall tent, was soon put up; the stove (built especially 
for the trip, 18 inches wide and 30 inches long) was in 
position; the pipe (of the telescope kind) was in place; 
a fire was soon going and camp was made. The dogs 
were unhitched and were left mousing around for a good 
place to make their bed, while we prepared supper. Bacon 
was sliced up and fried, beans (already boiled) were 
warmed, baking-powder bread was baked, the tea was 


set boiling. Then victuals were all divided into equal 
parts, and when supper was over there wasn't enough 
left to feed a snow bird. 

"Our tin plates, cups and cutlery having been washed, 
a big square bucket about two-thirds full of water, was 
put on to the stove. When this was boiling flour, dried 
salmon and bacon were thrown in, the whole mess boiled 
a little, then cooled and divided into twelve equal parts 
for the dogs. When this was consumed and the dogs 
satisfied, robes were spread down, thick night caps and 
socks made of caribou skin were drawn on, every one 
crowded under his robe, the candle was put out and the 
first day of Arctic travel was at an end. As the fire went 
out and the heat with it, the cold began to get in, and it 
was not long before robes were drawn over the head and 
the camp was asleep. 

"Six o'clock found us astir, and it was not long before 
a pile of flapjacks were fried, these with coffee being our 
breakfast. When this was dispatched the bedding was 
rolled up and tied, caps, moccasins and mitts were put on 
and the tent was struck and folded into a small bundle. 
All this was carried to the sleds by some, while others 
hunted up the dogs, now scattered around under the 
trees, where they had passed the night. 

"A Siwash dog is the foulest, meanest, laziest and most 
profanity-provoking animal I ever met, and I suppose 
that it is the most abused animal that comes under the 
white man's lash. In Alaska these dogs answer the pur- 
pose of the horse in America, being used both for pack- 
ing and for hauling. A good dog was worth $150 when 
we left Circle City, and almost anything that had four 
legs brought not less than $75. I have seen white men 
beat their dogs so unmercifully that one had to inter- 
fere. A heavy whip or a big stick satisfies the driver for 




a time, but when on much of a trip a chain seems to fit 
their needs better. When a dog is beaten over the body 
and head with a chain it is pretty brutal, and many a dog 
has had ribs and legs broken and eyes knocked out. 
Strange to say, however, the white man as a rule is intel- 
ligent enough to provide for his dogs, even though he 
beats them more unmercifully than do the natives. 

"Around an Indian village the dogs subsist almost 
entirely on refuse, as the natives at all times are either 
too hard up or too indifferent to give their dogs any 
food that a human being can eat. They will hitch up a 
team and start out for a journey with dogs looking so 
thin and weak that one doubts their ability to go five 
miles. If he follows them a day, however, he will be 
mightily tired at night. Talk of the lives of a cat! 
They are not to be considered in the same instant with 
the tenacity with which a Siwash dog hangs to life. With- 
out exaggeration, I have seen an Indian start out with a 
team of dogs and travel eighty miles in three days, and 
there was not a dog but had to lean against a building 
to howl, so thin and weak were they. With all their filth- 
iness and meanness they are, as a rule, hard workers and 
faithful. When they once understand that the driver is 
going to do the driving they get over long distances and 
haul big loads. In ordinary weather, when it is not 
colder than 25 degrees below zero, they can go for ten 
days without eating anything but snow, and still keep 
pretty strong and fat. 

"Having made the morning start with much yelling, 
some urging and just a little profanity, the procession 
was soon under way, and with the good trail which we 
had a three miles an hour gait was not hard to keep up. 
Every few miles we would pass small piles or a cache of 
flour, bacon and canned goods which some husky miner 


was slowly moving up the river. The failure of the last 
boats to get farther up the river had left quite a shortage 
of flour and bacon above, and the thrifty ones were 'pull- 
ing their freight' from Circle City to the Klondike, a dis- 
tance of 300 miles. Most of them had only three or four 
dogs, and in consequence were compelled to double and 
triple trip it. One loads his sled to the limit of the dogs' 
endurance in the morning and travels until about 2 
o'clock in the afternoon, when he unloads and piles his 
stuff near the trail and returns for the rest of the load, 
staying for the night at the place where he started in the 
morning. The next morning he takes the rest of his 
load, or as much as he can haul, and goes ahead to the 
point where the first of the load was left. The next day 
he pushes on in the same way, until eventually his des- 
tination is reached. 

"One can imagine how much patience and hard work 
this entails, but stranger than this is the Yukoner's feeling 
of security that his cache when he leaves it will not be 
disturbed. Travelers pass right by these caches every few 
days, and there would be no one to oppose one's helping 
himself and passing on with but little danger of ever 
being caught, but every one lives up to the one command- 
ment on the Yukon, Thou shalt not steal,' even though 
he breaks the others daily. There is some chance for a 
murderer up there, but when a thief is caught he is a 
goner, and his death is unmourned. This is the one 
great unchangeable law up there, and it is universally 
upheld. Whether from fear or whether from the knowl- 
edge that each man is often at the mercy of his neigh- 
bor, I don't pretend to know, but the fact remains that 
stealing in the Yukon is a crime that seldom has to be 

"Our course as day succeeds day is much the same. 


Occasionally we strike a bad place where snowshoes are 
necessary, and where the trail is lost, and then every one 
goes stamping around the snow, 'feeling' for the trail 
with the feet. It is surprising how quickly one can tell 
after a little experience where the trail is when it is cov- 
ered up by snow. Occasionally we pass a cabin, but it is 
always at the wrong time of day for us to use it for a 
camp. When a cabin is seen about time to camp the 
heart of the traveler is made happy, for he knows that 
there is a lot of work saved, because no tent goes up that 

"Every miner is the soul of hospitality, and as glad to 
see you and as cordial in his welcome as he can be. He 
won't listen to your putting up your tent, even when his 
cabin is small. He won't let you cut any wood or fetch 
any water. He insists upon doing this himself, and reit- 
erates, The shack is yours, pardner; make yourself at 
home.' He will often insist upon your sleeping in his 
bed, and is content with the floor for a bed, saying to 
your protests against routing him out, 'Now, look here, 
pardner; I can sleep in that bed all day to-morrow, if I 
want to, but you can't, so get in there.' 

"Such hospitality warms a man's heart, because it 
is entirely disinterested. To offer to pay for any accom- 
modations really would hurt your host, and, though his 
quarters are rough and crude, the warmth of his welcome 
makes his home a palace. When supper is dispatched 
he wants the news and gossip of the place you have left, 
and that is all. In the morning he will go with you to 
show you a short cut, if there be one, and the strong 
grip of the hand, the 'Good-by! Good luck, old man!' 
sends you on your way happy in believing that the coun- 
try is full of just such men. 

"Rough and uncouth are some of them; profane, and 


with tendencies to get drunk when in town — almost all of 
them— but there is nearly always a heart that is gentle, 
warm and generous. 

"After the usual number of upsets, dog-fights, burnt 
fingers and nipped fingers and toes, we arrived at Fort 
Cudahy, 250 miles from Circle City, and nine and a half 
days out. Here we were to rest our dogs and ourselves 
and overhaul our outfit, for from here out we must pre- 
pare ourselves to get along without being able to get any 
more provisions until Dyea is reached. A quarter of the 
distance had been covered, every one was in good shape 
and there was no doubt in our minds but that we could 
stand the trip. 

"Fort Cudahy is a trading post of one of the Yukon 
companies, and it is about three-quarters of a mile from 
Forty Mile, where the other company has its post. It 
was on this creek that runs into the Yukon that gold in 
paying quantities was first discovered. Four days found 
us in shape to resume our march, and on Jan. 2 we made 
our start, with a bright, clear day, and the thermometer 
43 degrees below. 

"At Fort Cudahy I had secured a thermometer which 
registered 60 degrees below zero. This I nailed on the 
rear of the sled I was 'clerking' on, but later on, when 
the mercury in this wen* out of sight and one of the In- 
dians mutinied, I began to doubt the wisdom of having 
anything that can be used to 'keep cases' on the tempera- 

"As we passed Forty Mile we ran into a stretch of 
river that was rougher than any 'rocky road to Dublin/ 
and it was interesting (for about a minute) to notice how 
many times a minute a man would jump from one side of 
his 'gee string' to the other. Sometimes he wouldn't 
clear the string, and the result would be a trip, and if one 


didn't come down on his face he would surely get on his 
knees. Then, too, the sled had 412 different motions 
which kept the hand and arm that were on the 'gee stick' 
or guide pole waving back and forth, up and down, in 
an effort to keep the sled from overturning. This lasted 
for about eight miles, and I honestly think if it had been 
140 degrees below zero, instead of 40, I should have been 
plenty warm enough. As it was, I was soon dripping 
wet, a dangerous condition to be in, as one chills very 
quickly after perspiring. After the rough ice was over 
the trail was magnificent, as hard and as smooth as a 
board, for Klondike, the new El Dorado, was only fifty 
miles from Fort Cudahy, and the many men who had 
passed over the road before us had made the going good. 
We reached a cabin that night, where we found a stove, 
dry wood and four bunks, and you may be sure we occu- 
pied it. 

'The miners of this section had 'chipped in' and paid 
for having two of these houses built. They were placed 
seventeen miles apart, so that they could be easily reached 
in a day's journey. They were open for every one who 
came along, and were a source of great comfort and con- 
venience to all travelers. The next day we reached Daw- 
son City, which is the town at the mouth of the Klondike 
river, and the supply station for the mines. There was 
little there besides a bunk house, a warehouse and a 
saloon, but we were welcomed royally as we ascended 
the bank, and warmly invited to 'come in and have some- 
thing warm.' 

"It was here that we became accustomed to associating 
with millionaires, for every one who was in the town had 
from one to three claims each on the new territory, and 
while many of them had to 'hang up' the drinks when 
they bought, they considered themselves every inch mil- 


lionaires, just the same, for they had the ground and the 
gold was there, and they were only waiting for spring to 
get it out. One man I knew, who had started for Dyea 
thirty days before we left, had made heroic efforts to get 
by this place, but the temptation was too strong, and he 
abandoned his party, struck off up the creek, and, having 
found a man who was willing to part with an interest 
in his claim, my friend went down into his sack and 
weighed out $6,000 for a quarter interest in the property. 
Many were the happy men in this part of the country, 
for prospects had been wonderfully rich. 

"A dollar and a half to the pan in three feet of gravel 
was held to indicate that $250,000 could be taken from 
that claim, for 'bed rock' was from twelve to twenty-five 
feet deep. One young man had repeatedly panned out 
$5 and $6 from one pan, and by 'drifting' and 'burning' 
had got to the surface what was roughly estimated at 
$30,000. Every one who passed his cabin was offered 
$1.25 an hour to help him work, but he had succeeded in 
getting only four helpers, every one else being bent on 
getting ground of his 6wn. 

"Two young 'tenderfoots' were working in an ignorant 
sort of way at burning their ground, thinking that it was 
necessary to get to 'bed rock' before they could expect 
to find gold. An 'old timer,' passing, asked them what 
prospects they were having, and was surprised when he 
was told, 'We haven't got to bed rock yet, and can't tell' 

" 'Bed rock? you bloody fool, you don't have to wait 
till you get there to see whether you have struck pay dirt 
or not!' said the old-timer. 'Here, my son, give me that 
gold pan and 111 show you how to find out whether you 
are in it or not.' The young men were delighted to do 
this, and watch the old man 'pan out' a shovelful of dirt. 
The 'old timer' was paralyzed when he roughly estimated 


the pan at $2, and with a 'Well, by , pardner ! this 

is good enough for me,' he cut some stakes and became 
their neighbor. 

"He watched the young men the next day until they 
got to bed rock (they didn't know they were there till he 
got into the hole himself), when he went down, and in a 
short time had scraped from the bed rock seventeen 
ounces of as pure gold as he ever saw. 

" 'Well, I am ,' he said. 'If I'd been told of this I 

never would have believed it! I am pretty old, young 
men, but if I can't make $1,000 a day shoveling into a 
sluice box alone (and I am a pretty poor shoveler), with 
such ground as that I hope I may never make another 
clean-up !' 

"I don't suppose $50,000 would buy these claims to- 
day. Such was the news we heard when we had been 
in Dawson a little while. 

"It was hard work to pass by such a chance, but we 
were a long way from Dyea, and had no chance to get 
any more grub than we had until we were out, and grub 
goes awfully fast sitting around a camp. The next morn- 
ing at 6 o'clock we were off in a blinding snowstorm. 
The trail was covered, the wind blowing like the dickens, 
the dogs lazy and ugly and every man in the party on 
snowshoes, plunging more or less blindly ahead. It made 
one inclined to turn back. 

"All our footsteps had been toward the sea and we 
did not begin then to do any /double-tripping.' Having 
picked up a white man who wanted to get home, in spite 
of all the new El Dorados in Alaska, we left the town of 
rosy dreams and light hearts behind. 

"We wallowed and sweat and swore and yelled and 
wallowed and swore many times until 11 o'clock, when we 
crowded in behind some drift wood, and after many at- 


tempts got a fire going. We were some fifty feet from 
the sleds when we had the fire going, and everything 
seemed to be all right, but when we got back to where 
we had left them there was nothing but two drifts. At 
first I thought the dogs had run away, but when we dug 
down a little we found them all peacefully sleeping and 
warm as toast, the drifting, driving snow having quickly 
covered them. 

"We made about twelve miles that day, but it seemed 
as if we had gone 112 when we finally made camp. The 
next day our hearts were lightened by seeing some men 
with horses who had broken a good trail for us. This 
made our progress rapid. When two men meet on the 
trail they always stop and pass the time of day. Each 
looks the other's face over carefully to see if there are 
any white spots visible, which, should any be noticed, 
are at once spoken of, and then comes the invariable ques- 
tion, 'Well, pardner, where are you going?' 

"We were two and a half days going the fifty miles to 
Fort Reliance, or Sixty-Mile, and laid up here for the rest 
of the third day. There is a trading post here, owned and 
run by an old man named Harper. He is the pioneer of 
the country, having been in the Yukon for several years 
(something like eighteen, I believe). He came from far 
off Brooklyn, and gave us the warm welcome every one 
gets there. He insisted upon our staying to dinner and 
supper, and you may be sure that we did justice to the 
tender moose steaks, frozen potatoes and yeast-cake 
bread which he spread before us. He gave us a cabin for 
our Indians and ourselves, and the only way we could get 
even was by buying some moccasins our white passenger, 
Sam, needed. Some Indians with a toboggan having 
started along the trail about two hours ahead of us, we 
went smoothly and rapidly along our way the next morn- 










ing. Five and one-half days brought us to Fort Selkirk, 
or Pelly river post, and here we rested a day and a half. 
From Pelly river to Dyea we had nothing ahead of us 
to look forward to should we need succor until we reached 
the coast, but the knowledge that we were half way and 
all doing well made the 500 remaining miles not so much 
of a terror after all." 




LASKA'S GOLD product and its effect 
on the world is concisely treated by 
R. E. Preston, director of the mint at 
Washington, in an interesting com- 
munication to the New York Herald. 
He gives the estimated gold product 
of 1897 of the United States with the 
probable output from other fields. His 
communication reads as follows: 

"That gold exists in large quantities in the newly dis- 
covered Klondike district is sufficiently proved by the 
large amount recently brought out by the steamship 
companies and miners returning to the United States 
who went into the district within the last eighteen 
months. So far, $1,500,000 in gold from the Klondike 
district has been deposited at the mints and assay offices 
of the United States, and from information now at hand 
there are substantial reasons for believing that from 
$3,000,000 to $4,000,000 additional will be brought out 
by the steamers and returning miners, sailing from St. 
Michael the last of September or early October next 
(1897). One of the steamship companies states that it 
expects to bring out about $2,000,000 on its steamer sail- 
ing from St. Michael September 30 (1897) and has asked 
the government to have a revenue cutter act as a con- 
voy through the Bering sea. In view of the facts above 
stated I am justified in estimating that the Klondike dis- 


trict will augment the world's gold supply in 1897 nearly 

"The gold product of the Dominion of Canada for 
1896, as estimated by Dr. G. M. Dawson, director of the 
geological survey of that country, was $2,810,000. Of 
this sum the Yukon placers, within British territory, 
were credited with a production of $355,000. The total 
product of that country for 1897 has, therefore, been 
estimated at $10,000,000, an increase over 1896 of $7,200,- 
000. From this the richness of the newly discovered gold 
fields of the Klondike is evident. 

"In this connection it is important to know what will 
be the probable increase in the several countries of the 
world, and for the purpose of comparison, based upon 
information received, the following table of the gold 
product of the United States, Australia, Africa, Mexico, 
the Dominion of Canada, Russia and British India for 

1896, and the estimated product of these countries for 

1897, is here given: 

1896. 1897. Increase. 

United States.. $ 53,000,000 $ 60,000,000 $ 7,000,000 

Australia 46,250,000 52,000,000 5,750,000 

Africa 44,000,000 56,000,000 12,000,000 

Mexico 7,000,000 9,000,000 2,000,000 

Dom. of Canada 2,810,000 10,000,000 7,200,000 

Russia 22,000,000 25,000,000 3,000,000 

British India .. 5.825,000 7,000,000 i,i75>oo° 

Totals ....$180,885,000 $219,000,000 $38,125,000 

"The world's gold product for 1896 is estimated to 
have been $205,000,000. In justification of the above 
estimate of the increase in the countries mentioned I 
may remark that of the United States is based upon the 
deposits at the mints and assay offices for the first six 
months of the year, which clearly indicate a largely in- 


creased production, and that the increase for the year 
will aggregate $7,000,000. The gold product of Africa 
for 1896 is estimated to have been $44,000,000. For the 
first six months of 1897 the output of the Witwatersrandt 
mines, as shown by official returns, was 1,338,431 ounces, 
an increase of 333,928 ounces, as compared with the first 
six months of 1896. There is no doubt that the rate of 
production in the Witwatersrandt mines will be main- 
tained* for the remainder of the year, and their output 
of gold for 1897 will be fully $12,000,000 greater than that 
of 1896. 

"The deposits of gold at the Australian mints for the 
first five months of the year clearly indicate a substantial 
gain in 1897 over 1896. Upon the basis of the deposits 
for the first five months at the mints the Australian Insur- 
ance and Banking Record for the month of June esti- 
mates that the gold product for 1897 of the several colo- 
nies will aggregate 2,700,000 ounces, of the value of $52,- 
550,000. This would be an increase of $5,750,000 over 
the product of 1896. 

'The gold product of Mexico for 1896 is estimated to 
have been $7,000,000. The information received indi- 
cates that the product for 1897 will approximate $9,000,- 
000, an increase of $2,000,000. 

"The Russian product for 1896 was $22,000,000; for 
1897 it is estimated at $25,000,000, an increase of $3,000,- 

"The gold product of British India for 1896, from offi- 
cial information received, is estimated at $5,825,000. The 
returns of the mines for the first six months of 1897 
indicate an increased production over 1896 of $1,200,000. 

"From the data above given it is safe to estimate that 
the seven countries above named will show an increase 
in their gold output for 1897 over 1896 of $38,700,000, 


and that the world's product for 1897 can therefore be 
estimated at not less than $240,000,000. There is no 
doubt that the world's product of gold will continue to 
increase for a number of years to come, as new mines 
will be opened up in all parts of the world, and, with 
improved appliances for mining and methods of extract- 
ing the gold contained in the ores, I believe that by the 
close of the present century the world's gold product 
will closely approximate, if not exceed, $300,000,000. 

"I have spoken above of the addition likely to be made 
in 1897 to the world's stock of gold by the Klondike dis- 
trict, by the Transvaal, by the United States, Australia, 
Russia, Mexico, India, etc. Of all these gold-producing 
countries, of course, the Klondike is at present the one 
of most obsorbing interest. It strikes the imagination 
to-day as California did the minds of the '49ers. It will 
add in 1897 possibly $6,000,000 to the gold treasure of 
the world. 

"Now as to the influence of such addition to the world's 
gold. The influence it will exert depends mainly on 
how many years the Klondike district shall continue a 
producer and how large its annual increment to the 
world's existing stock of gold shall be. There is every 
reason to believe that Alaska and the adjacent British 
territory are possibly as rich in gold as was California 
or Australia when first discovered. I have estimated that 
the Klondike district will in 1897 produce $6,000,000 
worth of gold. It will add to this product from year to 
year probably for a minimum of one or two decades. 
And whether the gold comes from American or British 
territory is a matter of indifference, except to the own- 
ers, and, to some extent, to the countries producing it. 
The effect of the increase on the economic condition of 
mankind, on the rate of discount, the rate of interest, the 


rate of wages, on prices and on monetary policies, of a 
newly discovered gold field of wonderful richness is the 
same, whether the field be located in American, British 
or Chinese territory. 

"Now, the first influence that the new addition to the 
world's existing stock of gold will have will be felt by 
silver. In fact, it has already been felt by it. Gold is the 
natural competitor — we might almost say antagonist — 
of silver as a monetary medium, and every ounce of 
gold newly placed on the market deprives from \j\ to 
35 ounces of silver of a possible employment as money 
that it might have. I say this because gold, weight for 
weight, is now worth thirty-six and six-tenths times as 
much silver, and because, at most, half of the gold dis- 
covered finds industrial employment. 

"The new additions to the world's stock of gold, 
whether they come from the Klondike, Cripple Creek or 
the Transvaal, from India, Australia or Russia, will ren- 
der bimetallism by the United States alone more difficult 
and more improbable than ever, and will even seriously 
imperil the slender chances that international bimetallism 
now has. 

"Bimetallists have long been asking the question 
where the gold is to be found that is to take the place of 
the silver demonetized. The discoveries at Cripple 
Creek, in the Transvaal and on the Klondike are a suffi- 
cient answer to this question. The mines of the world 
have been turning out gold of late years in greater pro- 
fusion than ever before. The year 1893 marks an epoch 
in this respect. In the report of the director of the mint 
upon the production of the precious metals in the United 
States during the calendar year 1893 I called attention 
to the fact that the world's output of gold in that year 
was the largest in history, amounting to $155,522,000, 


and that it was 16.08 per cent greater than the annual 
average of the period of the greatest productiveness of 
the Californian and Australian gold mines. 

"And in the report of the same series of the calendar 
year 1894 I remarked that the value of the world's pro- 
duction of gold in that year not only equaled the average 
value of both gold and silver in the period 1861-1865, 
but exceeded it by $11,204,600, and that the probability 
expressed by me in 1893 that the value of the world's out- 
put of gold in 1895 and 1896 would equal that of both 
metals in the years immediately preceding the beginning 
of the depreciation of silver had been changed into a 
certainty by the events of 1894, since the average annual 
yield of gold and silver of all countries in the period 
1866-1873 exceeded that of gold alone in 1894 by less 
than $11,000,000. If the production of gold in 1897 
reaches that figure, which I confidently believe it will, 
of $240,000,000, it will exceed the average yearly value of 
both the gold and silver product of the world for the 
period of eight years — 1866 to 1873 — which just pre- 
ceded the beginning of the depreciation of silver — viz., 
$190,831,000 — by over $50,000,000. 

"Leaving out of consideration, therefore, the indus- 
trial employment of the two metals, the world now an- 
nually produces in gold alone some $50,000,000 more for 
monetary uses than it did in both gold and silver during 
the eight years (on an average) that preceded the begin- 
ning of the depreciation of the latter metal. 

"On the supposition that silver has entirely ceased to 
be coined, the world is richer in 1897 in material for the 
coinage of full legal tender or standard money than it 
was at any former period of the world's history, and the 
indications are that it will grow richer in this respect 
in every succeeding year for decades to come. 


"Hence my belief that the first effect of the new addi- 
tions of gold to the stock already in existence will be 
an effect detrimental to bimetallism, whether national 
or international. There are some, I know, who think 
that the increased production of gold will have the con- 
trary effect, and that it will lead to the remonetization 
of silver. They base their argument on this, that the 
increased production of gold will be followed by a depre- 
ciation of its value. This might be if the new demand 
for gold did not increase more rapidly than the supply. 
But the former is likely to exceed the latter. 

"There is, in fact, at the present time, no limit to the 
demand for gold. The tendency of nations is toward 
the single gold standard. Apart from the United States, 
there is not, I believe, a country on the face of the earth 
that would not adopt gold monometallism if it had the 
ability to do so, with silver as a subsidiary or token coin- 
age. There is not a country in Europe with any full 
legal tender silver coins but would replace them by gold 
coins if it could do so without too great a sacrifice. Ger- 
many would gladly put $100,000,000 in circulation, in- 
stead of its silver thalers. France and all the countries of 
the Latin Union would replace their full legal tender 
5-franc pieces by gold could they easily get it. Russia's 
demand for gold is unbounded. Austria-Hungary can- 
not get enough, and so of every other country in Europe. 
Japan wants gold now that it has adopted the gold stand- 
ard. Even China shows an inclination to follow the ex- 
ample of its conqueror, but that, of course, is out of the 
question. All South America is crying for gold. Chili 
wants it, Colombia wants it, Peru wants it. Venezuela 
has some, but wants more. Central America wants it. 
Even Mexico, the last stronghold of silver, is feeling the 






i— i 


burdensomeness of its present system in the height of 
its rate of exchange. 

"More than this. The nations of Europe want gold, 
not only as currency, but as war material, for they have 
come to understand that gold — gold, not all kinds of 
money — is the sinew of war. Germany has a gold fund 
locked up in a fortress, and the accumulations of that 
metal made by other governments, ostensibly for differ- 
ent purposes, are really only so much war material, which 
the nations of Europe can no more dispense with than 
they can with a standing army or a navy. And where 
no such fund can be actually pointed to, as in England, 
there is felt the confidence that it can be had at any time 
on the credit of the nation. Then it must be remembered 
that all great loans are now made and must be made in 
gold. Only home loans are made in any other medium. 
This disposes of the contention that there is likely to 
be any depreciation in the value of gold consequent on 
the increased supply. 

"Will the new additions to the gold stock of the world 
have any errect on prices? Should the increase of the 
world's production due to the yield of gold in the Klon- 
dike district, as well as in the Transvaal, be any way 
near as large as that due to the mines of California and 
Australia in the years immediately succeeding the dis- 
covery of the metal in those countries, it probably will, 
in time, especially if the new additions bear the same 
proportion to the already existing stock of gold in the 
world as did those of California and Australia. But any 
increase of prices that may thereby be caused will be grad- 
ual and may not be noticed for some years to come. It 
cannot be noticed until gold begins to depreciate in 
value, and of that there is no present prospect. 

"Shortly after the discovery of gold in California and 


Australia there was a very marked rise in the general 
level of prices, which writers on the subject have gener- 
ally attributed to the decline of the value of gold at that 
time. French publicists were the first to call attention 
to this phenomenon. This was in 1851, 1852, and 1853. 
Chevalier wrote about it in 1857. In 1858 another emi- 
nent French writer published a book, entitled The Ques- 
tion of Gold,' in which he showed the greatness of the 
rise and the consequences, favorable or otherwise, which 
it might have for individuals or for states. The following 
year Chevalier took up the subject anew and endeavored 
to forecast the commercial and social effects which the 
decline of gold might have in the future. In England 
several statisticians noticed the same depreciation about 
the same time. Newmarch and Macculloch doubted it. 
But in 1863 Stanley Jevons demonstrated it in his essay, 
'A Serious Fall in the Value of Gold Ascertained and Its 
Social Effects Set Forth.' Ten years later De Foville, 
after a long and laborious investigation, came also to the 
conclusion that there had been a decrease in the pur- 
chasing power of money. 

"While the value of gold was thus declining there was 
a sudden and extraordinary increase in the supply of the 
metal. From 1831 to 1840 the annual production had 
not exceeded, on an average, 20,289 kilograms, or $13,- 
484,000. From 1 841 to 1850, after the rich auriferous 
deposits of the Ural, and especially of Siberia, had begun 
to be worked, the average annual product rose to 54,759 
kilograms, or $36,393,000. The annual average was 
abruptly raised by the discovery of the gold diggings of 
California and Australia to 199,388 kilograms, or $132,- 
513,000, from 185 1 to 1855, and to an annual average 
of 101,750 kilograms, or $134,083,000, from 1856 to 
i860. The production subsequently averaged 185,057 


kilograms, or $122,989,000, from 1861 to 1865, and 195,- 
026 kilograms, or $129,614,000, from 1866 to 1870. From 
1493, that is from the discovery of America, until 1850, 
that is in 357 years, the quantity produced was 4,752,070 
kilograms, or $3,158,223,000. From 1851 to 1870, in 20 
years, the quantity of gold produced was 3,905,205 kilo- 
grams, or $2,595,996,000. This newly extracted gold, 
therefore, represented more than 82 per cent of the pro- 
duction anterior to 1850, and more than 45 per cent of the 
total production after 1493. 

"It is easy to see that such a revolution in the condi- 
tions of production caused a decline of gold which be- 
came manifest in a rise of prices. 

"The rise of prices was general at first. In 1858, ac- 
cording to Levasseur, the price of wheat, compared with 
the price in 1848, had doubled; the price of natural prod- 
ucts, compared with the price in 1847, had increased 67.19 
per cent; the price of manufactured articles compared 
with that of 1847 had risen 14.94 per cent; the average 
prices of all commodities had increased 41.61 per cent. 
The learned writer took care to remark that the rise of 
prices was not due exclusively to the decline of gold. He 
admitted, in the first place, that war and famine had 
caused a rise of about 20 per cent in the prices of natural 
as distinguished from manufactured products, and of 2 
per cent in manufactured products, and that, besides, 
speculation in 1856 had swollen all prices to the extent of 
5 per cent. Leaving out of consideration these transi- 
tory causes, natural products had increased, in 1858, by 
42.19 per cent, manufactured products by 7.94 per cent, 
all commodities considered as a whole by an average of 
25 per cent. From this rise of 25 per cent it was neces- 
sary to deduct 5 per cent in order to take into account 
the effect of the developments of industry and of the in- 


crease of the number of consumers. As a final result he 
found that the greater abundance of gold had caused a 
rise of 20 per cent in prices. A decline in the value of 
money thus amounted to 16.67 P er cent - 

"In 1863 Stanley Jevons reached a conclusion almost 
the same. He believed that the decline of gold could not 
be less than 15 per cent, and that it might be more. In 
1863, or thereabouts, the consequences of the decline be- 
gan to be less apparent than in 1858. The general rise 
of prices was succeeded by movements of a very different 
kind. Several causes which Mr. Levasseur had already 
drawn attention to began either to counteract or to 
strengthen the effects of the plentifulness of the standard 
metal, so that in the case of certain commodities there 
came a decline instead of a rise, while in others the de- 
cline became greater still. 

"In 1873, when Mr. De Foville published the results 
of his investigations concerning prices, the movement, 
which in 1850 was faintly outlined, became very marked 
and well defined. That writer showed that the prices of 
1873 presented, as compared with those of half a century 
before, a rise of 90 per cent for foods of animal origin, 
of 30 per cent for vegetable foods, and 45 per cent for 
domestic liquors. He showed, on the other hand, a de- 
cline of prices of 35 per cent for mineral products, of 50 
per cent for textiles and 45 per cent for chemical products, 
glassware and paper. 

"By a combination of rises and declines of prices, ac- 
cording to the method which he called that of budget 
averages, Mr. De Foville came to the conclusion that 
there had been an increase of 33 per cent in the prices of 
commodities, corresponding to a decrease of 25 per cent 
in the purchasing power of money from the period 1820- 
25 to 1870-75. 


"It will be remarked that in this period of fifty years 
the quantity of gold produced almost trebled as compared 
with the 332 years between 1493 and 1825. The quanti- 
ties produced amounted in 1825 to 3,926,510 kilograms, 
or $2,609,558,000, and in 1875 to 9,523,696 kilograms, or 
$6,329,448,000. Yet the decline of gold was only 25 per 
cent. It must be remarked, however, that this deprecia- 
tion of 25 per cent was due to a combination of causes of 
various kinds, and was not due entirely to the abundance 
of gold. Between 1825 and 1875 an economic revolution 
was accomplished in the world greater than most politi- 
cal revolutions. To describe the revolution just referred 
to would be to write the industrial, commercial, financial 
and monetary history of those fifty years. 

"Judging from the effect of the gold discoveries in 
California and Australia in gradually raising general 
prices from 1850 to 1873 or thereabouts, it would be only 
natural to conclude that the effect of the now rapidly in- 
creasing conditions made annually to the world's product 
in the Transvaal, Australia, the United States, Russia 
and in the Klondike district would have a similar effect, 
provided they bore something like the same proportion 
to the already existing stock of gold as did those of Cali- 
fornia and Australia to the stock already on hand in 1850. 
Since 1871 the production of gold has been about 5,200,- 
000 kilograms, or $3,455,920,000, or will be by the end of 
the present year. Since 1886 alone the product has been 
about 2,718,000 kilograms, or $1,806,383,000. The gold 
product from 1886 to 1897 has been nearly 25 per cent of 
the total output of the gold mines of the world from 1493 
to 1885, and the total product of gold from 1871 to 1897 
has been approximately 60 per cent of the world's product 
of that metal from the discovery of America to 1870. 

"Such an enormous production of gold since 1870 


would lead one to believe that there would necessarily be 
caused thereby a great rise of prices. But as a matter 
of fact the contrary has, on the whole, been the case. A 
general decline of prices began in 1873, and notwithstand- 
ing the vast increase in the world's stock of gold just re- 
ferred to, the decline still continues. Economists and 
statisticians of great merit believe that this general de- 
cline is due to what they call the appreciation of gold, 
although how there can be an appreciation of gold when 
the world's output of the metal since 1871 has been about 
60 per cent of its total product from 1493 to 1870 they do 
not explain. 

"This vast increase in the gold stock of the world has 
found expression in the lowness of the rate of discount, 
in the facility with which municipalities and states effect 
loans of great magnitude at a rate of interest lower than 
ever before in the history of the world, and in the vast 
accumulation of gold and silver bullion in the great banks 
of the world. The fact that prices have not risen as a con- 
sequence of the increase is undoubted evidence that the 
causes of their decline have their source elsewhere than 
in the scarcity of gold or of money in general. For, as 
remarked above, there is now more gold available for 
monetary purposes than there was gold and silver before 
the decline of prices began. Not only this, but the substi- 
tutes for money with which every business man is familiar 
have vastly increased since 1873. With the development 
of credit that now obtains in the world the quantity of 
the media of circulation can have no controlling influence 
on the prices of commodities. 

"I know it is almost a despairing view to take that, 
notwithstanding the vast additions yearly making to the 
gold stock of the world, there is no immediate prospect 
of a general rise of prices from that cause; and yet, con- 


sidering the simple fact that the addition to the world's 
gold stock since 1871 has been nearly 60 per cent of the 
world's output of this metal from the discovery of Amer- 
ica up to 1870, and that the product since 1886 up to the 
end of 1897 (an estimate of $240,000,000 being made for 
that year) was nearly 25 per cent of the total product 
from 1493 to 1885, I can reach no other conclusion. The 
great addition to the world's stock of gold since 1873 is 
a demonstrated fact, but so also is the continued decline 
of prices. 

"The advocates of silver maintain that the decline is 
due to the demonetization of that metal and the conse- 
quent scarcity of money. Yet money was never more 
plentiful, rates of discount and interest never lower, ac- 
cumulations in the banks never greater. 

"These facts conclusively refute their contention. 

"May not the true cause be found in the stability of 
the value of gold — the most desirable quality in a money 
metal — and in the improvement in technical processes 
and the cheapening of transportation — an improvement 
and a cheapening still going on — as well as in the almost 
universal substitution of machine for human labor?" 

It is reported from London that Russian expeditions 
have discovered gold fields in the vicinity of the sea of 
Okhotsk and that the government is about to send to 
the peninsula of Kamchatka to develop the supposed gold 
region there. This report caused great interest in the 
country, especially among those who are following closely 
the enormous gold developments of the world which have 
recently occurred. An examination of the map of North 
America will show at a glance that the great gold field 
of Alaska, which is now being developed, is a part of the 
same general line of mountains which supplied the enor- 
mous gold production of California; indeed, the same 


general line which produced the gold of Peru, of Cen- 
tral America, of the United States and now of Alaska 
and the Klondike. This mountain range seems to cross 
from the North American continent to Asia at the Bering 
straits, and the extension of this general range across 
into Asia covers the very country into which the Russian 
government is pressing gold developments and the gen- 
eral search for gold. The report announces that a Rus- 
sian expedition has discovered 12 gold regions in the 
vicinity of the sea of Okhotsk, and it believes that the 
western peninsula of Kamchatka will develop gold fields 
which will, as the dispatch puts it, "be a second Califor- 

Marcus Baker, of the United States geological survey, 
commenting on the news from London, said: 

"Whether the prediction of the Russians that they are 
to develop gold fields in Kamchatka which will rival the 
early history of our California gold fields is to be realized 
or not, certainly there can be no doubt that the gold of 
the world has enormously increased and is now increasing 
wonderfully. There are two distinct gold fields to-day 
which are producing gold in very great quantities, South 
Africa and North America. The Alaska fields are, of 
course, a part of the same general line of mountains 
which developed such wonderful gold deposits in our own 
territory less than half a century ago, and whether the 
mountains of Kamchatka and Siberia are a part of the 
same general system or not, it would not be surprising if 
these reports of large gold deposits there should also be 
confirmed. The fact is, there is a greater incentive to 
the production of gold to-day than ever before. 

'There are two or three reasons for this. First, 
silver is so cheap that there is less incentive for its produc- 
tion, and the people who had formerly given their atten- 











tion to the mining of silver are now looking for new gold 
fields; second, gold mining and gold production becomes 
easier every year, as new methods develop and new dis- 
coveries are made. Take the great gold fields of Cali- 
fornia, which were supposed to be worked out years ago; 
the cyanide process now gives promise of making them 
again productive, and it is quite probable that it will be 
profitable to work over all the rejected material which 
was thrown away by the men who covered that great 
gold field and to produce from it great quantities of gold. 
This is not unlikelv to be the case further south, in Mex- 
ico, Central America and Peru where such quantities of 
gold were mined many years ago. Add to this the gold 
developments of South Africa, Australia, North America 
and prospective Siberia, and it is not surprising that the 
gold production of the world is more than keeping pace 
with the growth of business. As everybody knows, the 
gold production of the world has steadily increased dur- 
ing the past few years, that of last year having been 
greater than any in the known history of the world, while 
all indications now point to a still greater increased pro- 
duction for 1897." 

Mr. Baker's remarks that the gold production of the 
world has increased with such rapidity suggests some 
inquiry upon this subject. The inquiry shows that the 
gold of the world to-day is nearly or quite three times as 
much as it was 50 years ago. Mulhall, who has been 
widely quoted in the papers of the United States in the 
past few weeks, indicates in his latest dictionary of statis- 
tics that the amount of gold in the world, coined and un- 
coined, 50 years ago, amounted to less than $2,500,000,- 
000. Taking his figures for 1890 and adding the produc- 
tion since that time, it would appear that the gold of the 
world to-day, coined and uncoined, is over $7,000,000,- 


ooo, being nearly or quite three times as much as it was 
50 years ago. Had there been no increase in the popula- 
tion meantime there would thus be three times as much 
gold for each person now as there was half a century ago. 
But the population of the world has increased 50 per cent 
in that time, so that the amount of gold for each individ- 
ual is therefore about twice what it was at that time. This, 
however, relates to gold in bulk and not gold money. 

A further study of statistics shows that the increase 
in the production of the gold which is coined into money 
has been as great as the increase in the production of 
the metal itself. Fifty years ago only 33 per cent of the 
gold in the world was coined ; now, 66 per cent is coined 
money. So it appears that while the amount of gold in 
the world for each individual has been doubled in 50 
years, the proportion of that gold which has been turned 
into coin has also been doubled, thus making the gold 
money of the world four times as much per individual 
as it was 50 years ago. 

This increase in gold, coupled with the increase in per- 
centage of that metal which is coined is one of the 
important facts to be taken into consideration in the de- 
termination of the cause of the falling off in the demand 
for silver and the consequent falling off in its price. 




LITTLE CITY of Metlakahtla, in Alaska, 
is owned and governed entirely by Indians, 
and it has a history that is not paralleled 
in any other part of the world. William J. 
Jones, who has been sent to the Klondike 
country by the CHICAGO RECORD, 
visited the Indians' city on his way to the 
gold country and sent back a letter, describing the inter- 
esting community. He wrote: 

"Metlakahtla is nestled on the east side of Annette 
island and is one of the first ports of call on the south- 
east coast of Alaska. From two mountains with frown- 
ing peaks which profile the clear western sky conies dash- 
ing down from their snow-capped summits a volume of 
water which is one of the scenic attractions of this pic- 
turesque coast. The city itself is in an advanced state 
of improvement, and the inhabitants, whose ancestors 
some forty years ago were blood-thirsty savages, have 
developed a remarkable character for utilizing the mod- 
ern arts of civilization. 

"A little over two score of years ago the Rev. William 
Duncan, representing the Church of England, first went 
among this tribe of Indians and sought to plant the first 
seeds of Christianity in their savage natures. They were 
then living on the Skeena river, in British territory, and 
what few white men had up to that time dared to invade 
their territory of savagery had been put to death. It 
required nearly thirty years to wean them from the teach- 


ings of their ancestors of centuries gone by, and many 
times, so Mr. Duncan informed me, his life was in great 
danger; but never once did he betray the slightest sus- 
picion of fear for his own or Mrs. Duncan's safety. By 
kind acts, religious teachings and trusting them in all 
things, the good missionary was successful in winning 
the whole tribe of some 500 people over to the apprecia- 
tion of the advantages of religious and commercial civil- 

"At the opportune time he applied to the dominion 
government for the exclusive reservation of the site 
occupied by the tribe, and asked for protection against 
the encroachment of the whites. The request was refused 
and the proposition was laid before the American con- 
gress, and one of the last official acts of President Arthur 
was to sign a bill for the absolute transfer of Annette 
island to the tribe of Metlakahtla Indians. In 1888, 
under the direction of Mr. Duncan, the Indians moved 
to the island, laid out and began the occupation of the 
town site of Metlakahtla. What was then a wilderness 
is now a thriving little city, and is policed and governed 
in much the same manner as the municipalities of the 
states. An Indian magistrate, elected by the household- 
ers, adjusts all disputes and decrees judgments for viola- 
tion of any of the city's ordinances. A council of ten 
delegates, which is elected annually by popular vote, 
adopts the laws and native police officers enforce its 
decrees. Not a drop of spirits is allowed on the island, 
and there is only one man of this colony of 800 Indians 
who uses tobacco, and he is nearly 80 years old. 

"White people are discouraged from coming here; the 
Indians want to be left alone to pursue their work. A 
large salmon cannery affords employment for nearly 200 
people in both canning and fishing, and every depart- 


meat is in charge of an experienced Indian, and many 
of them are exceptionally well trained and skillful in 
attending to their difficult duties. Last year they sold 
over 18,000 cases of salmon for $3.25 a case. The ma- 
chinery is of modern pattern, operated by steam and 
managed by natives. Close by is the sawmill, which 
manufactures a high grade of lumber, and has a capacity 
of 10,000 feet a day. Scattered throughout the city are 
six stores, all well stocked with staple articles of com- 
merce, and it is particularly noticeable that there is a 
general lack of cheap jewelry or catch-penny Yankee 
notions. In all of the stores I only noticed one white 
shirt for sale, and it was marked at 55 cents. The streets 
are laid off on straight lines, and substantial broad side- 
walks lead to all parts of the city. Each family lives in a 
neat one or two story cottage, neatly painted, and in 
the center of large-sized lots, in which grow all kinds 
of vegetables, flowers and house plants. The dwellings 
are painted white, and the rooms are as comfortably fur- 
nished as the majority of houses in more civilized com- 
munities. One feature in particular I noticed was the 
large, open and old-fashioned fireplaces that were so 
noticeable in the times succeeding the colonial days. 

"A large school, divided into three departments, two 
of which are under the control of white people, and the 
other — the juvenile class — is taught by a native, furnishes 
the necessary educational facilities. The average daily 
attendance, I am told, is about ninety pupils. A hand- 
some, large church building, the interior of which is 
tastily arranged, and with a seating capacity of about 
600, is the place where these people assemble each Sun- 
day for worship. One of the attractive features of this 
unique community is the native band of thirty pieces. 
The music is good, and many of the national airs are 


played two or three times a week. The leader is a full- 
blooded Indian by the name of Ben Halden, and is 24 
years old. He can play a tune on any instrument on the 
island, and the only instruction he ever received was 
from Mr. Duncan. The string band is exceptionally good 
and affords music for all dances and entertainments. An 
electric plant is being installed, and next winter every 
dwelling will be supplied with artificial illumination. 

"Happy and contented as these people are in their 
little island homes, surrounded with all the necessary 
comforts of civilization, it has not been their province 
to escape from the attempted enforcement, or, rather, 
encroachment of what is regarded as modern civilization. 
Their little island was invaded by prospectors in their 
efforts to find gold, and some few miles distant rich and 
valuable quartz ledges were discovered and at once a 
company of rich men was formed in San Francisco to 
wrest the wealth away from the rightful owners. The 
good guardian of the community, the Rev. Mr. Duncan, 
went to Washington and told the president about his 
little colony, its prosperous condition, and asked to have 
their island freed from the threatened invasion of white 
men. The appeal was not in vain, and the secretary of 
the interior has just instructed the United States district 
attorney of Alaska to order the prospectors to vacate 
the island under penalty of prosecution for trespassing. 

"The founder of this remarkable little colony, and 
which is about the only tribe of Indians on the coast 
which has not suffered or deteriorated greatly from the 
effects of religious contagion, is a short, little old man 
who is passing down the shady side of three-score and 
ten years. His eyes are bright, his step elastic, and his 
whole demeanor denotes the vast reserve and control 
over an abundance of will power. In his every effort 


in behalf of his charges he is sincere, and their success 
parallels his own happiness. Already he realizes the 
approach of the first golden rays of the sunset of his exist- 
ence, and is now planning and laying out the work for 
the education and guidance of his successor, who will 
soon be nominated." 

The Episcopal mission at Circle City recently estab- 
lished a hospital, a much-needed institution in a place 
where every man is supposed to be for himself alone. 
Bishop Rowe of the Alaska diocese, recently gave some 
interesting facts about the field of mission work under 
his charge. The bishop, whose official residence is in 
Sitka, personally makes the round of all the stations of 
the interior, that he may get a better understanding of 
the work, which for the greater part is among the Indians. 

There are three missions — St. James, Fort Yukon and 
Circle City — that administer to about 2,000 natives, 1,300 
.of whom are baptismal members of the church; and there 
are several other stations besides these. Much pains- 
taking work has been done in offering them the scripture 
in a way that they can understand. Many of the Indians 
can read in their own language, which, as printed, con- 
sists of a literature of translations of the bible, prayer- 
book and hymn-book. These Indians seem particularly 
susceptible to religious teaching. At Anvik, near the 
mouth of the river, there are commodious, well-built 
mission buildings in a beautiful location. The Rev. J. W. 
Chapman is in charge. In addition to religious teaching 
there is a day and boarding school that has made notice- 
able progress in enlightening the people. A little educa- 
tion seems to show more quickly when applied to an 
Indian than it does on any other race. It shows on the 
surface. It smooths out the wrinkles on his forehead as 
if the tangled threads of life had been set aright. He 


looks much better, and no doubt the effect is far-reach- 

The impressive form of the Episcopal service is ren- 
dered in church, with some additions, in that the cate- 
chetical part is repeated over again in the Indian lan- 
guage. The responses by the dark portion of the congre- 
gation are solemnly and religiously performed, even the 
little children giving almost painful attention and lisping 
the strange words, to the wonder of the white contingent. 
Then as best they can they follow somewhat laboriously 
in the singing. 

A thousand miles is as nothing in Bishop Rowe's juris- 
diction. It is more than that far from Anvik to Circle 
City, and yet they are spoken of as neighbors. The Rev. 
J. L. Prevost has charge spiritually of the few hundred 
miles of the river, which includes the mining towns and 
the post at the mouth of Tanana river, which latter place 
is called Fort Adams; the mission is designated St. 
James. Mr. Prevost has made that station his residence 
for two or three years. A boarding school for natives 
is there, and among other enlightening influences he has 
started a small newspaper, which is issued red-hot from 
the press twice a year, and it is a very interesting little 
paper, for it contains the news of the country — something 
of all that is going on — from Herschel island to the 
mines and from Bering sea to Mackenzie river. Mr. Pre- 
vost has a small steamboat at his disposal and is enabled 
to move thoroughly over his field. The work of relig- 
ious teaching at Fort Yukon for the most part has been 
deputed to a native catechist. 

Other protestant denominations have missions on the 
Yukon and along the coast off Alaska, notably the Pres- 
byterians and the Methodists, and besides these the Cath- 
olics and the Greek church have long had a strong foot- 










hold among the Eskimos and Indians. There are several 
Catholic schools that have done much for the natives. 

The work of the protestant missionaries will be facili- 
tated by the introduction of the little Siberian reindeer, 
provided the experiment proves a success, which now 
seems likely, although it will be rather slow in practical 
benefits. The Eskimos will need to be patiently taught 
new traits. Their natural inclination is to kill and eat. 
This likewise is the ruling passion of their dogs, and 
both must be trained and restrained. 

The majority of the protestant missionaries are mar- 
ried, and, of course, have their families with them. There 
are those, especially of the Church of England missions, 
who have almost grown old in this particular field. Bishop 
Bompas of the Selkirk diocese has been in the country 
since the establishment of the mission, thirty years ago. 
It is said he can take a slab of dried salmon in each pocket 
and for a few days out-travel an Indian courier. And 
the worthy bishop, while extending that sway of the 
gospel, has taken some thought at odd times of worldly 
matters. His wealth is estimated at $250,000. 

Dr. Sheldon Jackson, the philanthropist of Alaskan 
fame, has been for nearly twenty years identified with the 
country, and he has also become a wealthy man and 
owns valuable property in the United States. The 
Jesuits enter the field, of course, to stay. Father Bar- 
num, a brilliant man, when asked when he was coming 
back to the world again, said: 

"Oh, never, my child, to stay any length of time. A 
Jesuit, you know, volunteers for life. My place is among 
the Eskimos." 

A story is told of two missionaries, both nominally of 
the same faith, who were established at Point Barrow, 
which is the very northernmost point of land in Alaska, 


jutting away out into the Arctic ocean, and almost within 
signaling distance of the north pole. At the beginning 
of winter, when the nearest other white men were 500 
miles away, they fell out with each other, and both got 
so mad that they wouldn't speak; and it was for keeps, 
too. During the long winter they lived in the same 
house, but neither ever said a word or paid any attention 
to the other any more than if he was not there. They 
read a good deal and stared at the wall right straight 
past each other, and when they got very lonesome they 
went out and talked to the Eskimos. When they came 
back and met again they didn't even recognize each 
other's presence so far as to look disgusted. Time passed 
very slowly with them. In fact, the missionary that came 
away in the boat when summer came admitted that it was 
the longest winter he ever experienced. 




AME is not so plentiful in the known 
gold placer area of Alaska as an en- 
thusiastic Nimrod might wish. Still it 
is not necessary for everybody to feed 
on dog meat on the Upper Yukon river 
and in the vicinity of the Klondike gold 
field in winter, as a member of a party 
which was up there said several of the members did. He 
refused the dish, but at the same time he acknowledged 
that more than once after food had been thrown to the 
dogs, literally speaking, he had snatched it away from 
them before they could eat it. Fish which small worms 
had appropriated to themselves he did not hesitate to eat, 
he said, and was glad to get it. 

That is one of the great troubles which will be encoun- 
tered by persons visiting the gold field. The farther up 
the Yukon one travels the scarcer becomes the food sup- 
ply, until in the Klondike region and thereabouts it ceases 
almost entirely. There is practically no large game, with 
the exception of one or two moose and reindeer, which 
have become separated from the rest of the herd and 
wandered out there. So that prospectors who intend 
visiting: the field should not rely in the least on the re- 
sources of the country to feed them. There may be 
a few rabbits, ducks, and geese in the spring, which dis- 
appear very quickly. These are not sufficient to supply 
even the wants of the few natives who wander nomad- 
ically about the region. 


Lower down the Yukon, at certain seasons of the year, 
there is abundance of game, probably from 400 to 500 
miles from the Klondike river. The moose is about the 
largest of the mammals, while the reindeer is fairly plenti- 
ful. As the population has increased the game has cor- 
respondingly decreased, and in the winter the Indians 
there have had hard time securing food, as they are 
very improvident. During the season when it is abun- 
dant they never think of laying by a supply. There are 
beavers on the streams and various kinds of deer, bear, 
and caribou. In the winter months these go south and 
disappear almost entirely. The polar bear is found sev- 
eral degrees farther north, never appearing in that vi- 

In the mountain streams which feed the Yukon river, 
up toward its head, near the Kathul mountain, there are 
mountain trout of good size and flavor. Many of these 
streams dry up in the winter, as they are fed by glaciers, 
which, of course, in cold weather are frozen entirely. The 
salmon is found in the Yukon, but only lower down, to- 
ward St. Michael. Occasionally they are caught high up 
on the Yukon, but the water is rather cold for them. 
There is a sort of fish known as the white fish which is 
found near the Klondike river, and is said to be excellent 
eating. It ranges in size about the same as our black 
bass, and is one of the chief mainstays of the Indians. In 
winter, if it is not too cold, holes are cut in the ice and 
the fish pulled out by means of bone hooks. They are 
more plentiful than any other kind, and the ice-cold 
water appears to be their natural habitat. 

Early in the spring water fowl, such as ducks, geese, 
and swan, put in an appearance, but they do not tarry 
long, and wend their way after a stay of only a few days. 
They are very plentiful when they do appear, and the 


natives kill them by hundreds. The trouble is, however, 
that things of the kind do not last as they do in warmer 

Reindeer formerly were seen in very large numbers 
on the Yukon, some two or three hundred miles from 
where the Klondike flows into it, and a gentleman who 
spent two or three winters there several years ago said 
recently that he had seen a herd of at least 5,000 
cross the river on the ice in one day. He also saw moose 
and caribou in herds of large number, but such an 
occurrence is an unusual rather than a common one. 

William Ogilvie had this to say in his report to the 
Canadian government in regard to the animals and fish 
found in the Yukon district: 

"Game is not now as abundant as before mining be- 
gan, and it is difficult, in fact impossible, to get any 
close to the river. The Indians have to ascend the tribu- 
tary streams ten to twenty miles to get anything worth 
going after. Here on the uplands vast herds of caribou 
still wander, and when the Indians encounter a herd they 
allow very few to escape, even though they do not require 
the meat. When they have plenty they are not at all 
provident, and consequently are often in want when game 
is scarce. They often kill animals which they know are 
so poor as to be useless for food, just for the love of 

"An Indian who was with me one day saw two caribou 
passing and wanted me to shoot them. I explained to 
him that we had plenty, and that I would not destroy 
them uselessly, but this did not accord with his ideas. He 
felt displeased because I did not kill them myself or lend 
him my rifle for the purpose, and remarked in as good 
English as he could command: 'I like to kill whenever 
I see it/ 


"Some years ago moose were very numerous along 
the river, but now they are very seldom seen, except 
at some distance back of it. Early in the winter of 1887- 
88 the Indians remained around the miners' camps, and 
subsisted by begging until all further charity was refused. 
Even this for some time did not stir them, and it was not 
until near Christmas that sheer hunger drove them off 
to hunt. One party went up the Tat-on-duc some fifteen 
or twenty miles, and in a short time was revelling in 
game, especially caribou. The other party did not suc- 
ceed for some time in getting anything, although a large 
district was searched over, but finally went up Coal creek 
about twenty miles, and there killed eighteen moose in 
one day. They brought in two thousand pounds of the 
meat to the post, and sold it for ten cents per pound 
to the miners, with whom it was in great demand on 
account of the prevalence of scurvy in the camp. A 
boom in mining would soon exterminate the game in the 
district along the river. 

"There are two species of caribou in the country; one, 
the ordinary kind, found in most parts of the northwest, 
and said to much resemble the reindeer; the other, called 
the wood caribou, a much larger and more beautiful ani- 
mal. Except that the antlers are much smaller, it appears 
to me to resemble the elk or wapiti. The ordinary cari- 
bou runs in herds, often numbering hundreds. It is 
easily approached, and, when fired at, jumps around 
awhile as though undecided what to do; it then runs a 
short distance, but just as likely towards the hunter as 
from him, stops again, and so on for a number of times. 
At last, after many of them have been killed, the remain- 
der start on a continuous run, and probably do not stop 
until they have covered twenty or thirty miles. When the 
Indians find a herd they surround it, gradually contract- 


ing the circle thus formed, when the animals, being too 
timid to escape by a sudden rush, are slaughtered whole- 

"There are four species of bear found in the district — 
the grizzly, brown, black, and a small kind, locally known 
as the 'silver tip,' the latter being gray in color, with a 
white throat and beard, whence its name. It is said to 
be fierce, and not to wait to be attacked, but to attack on 
sight. I had not the pleasure of seeing any, but heard 
many yarns about them, some of which, I think, were 
hunters' tales. It appears, however, that miners and 
Indians, unless traveling in numbers, or specially well 
armed, give them as wide a berth as they conveniently 
can. Wolves are not plentiful. A few of the common 
gray species only are killed, the black being very scarce. 

'The Arctic rabbit or hare is sometimes found, but 
they are not numerous. There is a curious fact in con- 
nection with the ordinary hare or rabbit which I have 
observed, but of which I have never yet seen any satisfac- 
tory explanation. Their numbers vary from a very few 
to myriads in periods of seven years. For about three 
years one may travel for days without seeing more than 
a sign of them; then for two years they are numerous, 
and increase for two years more, until finally the country 
is alive with them, when they begin to disappear; and in 
a few months there is none to be seen. If it is an epi- 
demic that carries them off, it is strange that their car- 
casses are never observed in any number. 

"It appears the martens are also subject to a periodical 
increase and decrease, and in this case a satisfactory 
explanation of the cause is also wanting. 

"The principal furs procured in the district are the 
silver-gray and black fox, the number of which bears a 
greater ratio to the number of red foxes than in any 


other part of the country. The red fox is very common, 
and a species called the 'blue' is abundant near the coast. 
Marten, or sable, are also numerous, as are lynx; but 
otter are scarce, and beaver almost unknown. 

"It is probable that the value of the gray and black fox 
skins taken out of the country more than equals in value 
all the other furs. I could get no statistics concerning 
this trade for obvious reasons. The mountain sheep (big- 
horn), and mountain goats exist everywhere in the terri- 
tory; but, as they generally frequent the sides of the 
highest mountains they are seldom seen from the river. 

"Birds are scarce. A few ravens were seen along the 
river, and three or four remained in the vicinity of the 
boundary all winter. They were generally more active 
and noisy on stormy days than at other times, and their 
hoarse croaks had a dismal sound amid the roar of the 

"A few magpies were seen near Nordenskiold river, 
and a few white-headed eagles were also noticed. 

"During the winter, near the boundary, numbers of 
small birds, somewhat resembling the 'chickadee,' were 
seen, but they were much larger and had not the same 
note. Of owls, not a specimen was met with anywhere. 
Partridges were very scarce, only half a dozen or so 
of the ordinary kind being noticed; but at the head of 
the Tat-on-duc and Porcupine, ptarmigan were abun- 
dant. Wild geese and ducks are plentiful in their season, 
and of ducks there are many more species than I have 
seen in any other part of the territory. Most of these 
were observed on the head of the Porcupine ; but, having 
no means of preserving the skins, I had to~ come away 
without specimens. 

"A very beautiful species of loon or diver was met 
with on the Porcupine. It is smaller than the great north- 


ern diver, but marked much the same on the body, the 
difference being principally in the head and neck — the 
bill is sharper and finer and the head smaller; but its 
chief distinguishing feature is the neck, which is covered 
with long, beautiful dun-colored down for more than half 
its length from the head downward. I tried to kill one 
so as to get the skin as a specimen, but after I had fired 
three times at close range with heavy shot it seemed as 
lively as if I had not fired at all. I then killed it with my 
rifle, but the bullet so tore and mangled the skin that it 
was useless. 

"With the exception of a small species, locally called 
the 'Arctic' trout, fish are not numerous in the district 
Schwatka calls this trout the 'grayling,' but from the 
descriptions and drawings of that fish which I have seen 
this is a different fish. It seldom exceeds ten inches in 
length, and has fins very large for its size, which give it, 
when in motion, the appearance of having wings. Its 
dorsal fin is very large, being fully half the length of the 
body, and very high. It is of a brownish gray color on 
the back and sides, and lighter on the belly. It is found 
in large numbers in the upper part of the river, especially 
where the current is swift, and takes any kind of bait 

"The flesh is somewhat soft and not very palatable. 
Lake trout are caught in the lakes, but as far I saw are 
not numerous nor of large size. They take a troll bait 
readily, and a few were caught in that way coming down 
the lakes, but the largest did not weigh more than six or 
seven pounds. Salmon came up, I was assured by sev- 
eral Indians, natives of the district, as far as Lake Le- 
Barge, and are never found above it, but Dr. Dawson 
reports their dead bodies along the river for some miles 
above the canyon. I mention this to show the unreliabil- 


ity of information received from the natives, who fre- 
quently neither understand nor are understood. 

"On the way down salmon were first seen twenty or 
twenty-five miles above Five-Finger rapids. One can 
easily trace their passage through the water by the slight 
ripple they make on the surface and, with care, they can 
be taken by gently placing a scoop net in their way and 
lifting them out when they enter it. After coming up the 
river two thousand miles they are poor, and would not 
realize much in the market. At the boundary, in the early 
winter months, the Indians caught some that were frozen 
in on small streams, and fed them to their dogs. Some 
of these I saw; they were poor and spent." 




ELIABLE information comes from Prof. 
James Dryden of the Agricultural Col- 
lege of Utah to the effect that the Cana- 
dian parliament knew of the gold mines 
in the Yukon district some years ago. 
Prof. Dryden acted as secretary of a 
select committee of the Canadian par- 
liament in 1888. This committee was 
appointed to investigate the mineral resources of the 
Northwest territory. The report of the committee is 
printed in a volume of 800 pages, illustrated with maps, 
and the Klondike river does not appear in any of the 

But that part of the Yukon district now known as 
the Klondike figured extensively in the investigation. 
Now, when every source of information bearing in any 
way on the gold-producing area of the Yukon river 
is being placed under tribute, this report has assumed 
an importance not anticipated by the committee which 

made it. 

The report is of peculiar interest in that it deals largely 
with the mineral resources of the Mackenzie river basin, 
for it is highly probable that this mighty . stream will 
carry many Klondikers toward the Arctic circle next 

Prof. Dryden, in giving a synopsis of the report, writes 
as follows: 

"As might be expected, the investigation, as it related 


to mineral resources, was less satisfactory than in other 
directions; gold fields are not discovered by commit- 
tees. But very much was elicited. Before proceeding 
to give more detailed information, let me quote the find- 
ings, or conclusions, of the committee in regard to the 
mineral resources: 

" 'Of the mines of this vast region little is known of 
that part east of the Mackenzie river and north of Great 
Slave lake. Of the western affluents of the Mackenzie 
enough is known to show that on the headwaters of the 
Peace, Liard and Peel rivers there are from 150,000 to 
200,000 square miles which may be considered aurifer- 
ous, while Canada possesses west of the Rocky moun- 
tains a metalliferous area, principally of gold-yielding 
rocks, 1,300 miles in length, with an average breadth of 
400 to 500 miles, giving an area far greater than that of 
the similar mining districts of the neighboring republic. 

" 'In addition to these auriferous deposits, gold has 
been found on the west shore of Hudson's bay, and has 
been said to exist in certain portions of the Barren 
grounds. Silver on the Upper Liard and Peace rivers, 
copper upon the Coppermine river, which may be con- 
nected with an eastern arm of Great Bear lake by a tram- 
way of forty miles; iron, graphite, ochre, brick and pot- 
tery clay, mica, gypsum, lime and sandstone, sand for 
glass and molding, and asphaltum, are all known to 
exist, while the petroleum area is so extensive as to 
justify the belief that eventually it will supply the larger 
part of this continent and be shipped from Churchill 
or some more northern Hudson's bay port to England. 

" 'Salt and sulphur deposits are less extensive, but the 
former is found in crystals equal in purity to the best 
rock salt, and in highly saline springs, while the latter 
is found in the form of pyrites, and the fact that these 


petroleum and salt deposits occur mainly near the line 
of division between deep water navigation and that fitted 
for lighter craft, gives them a possible great commercial 
value. The extensive coal and lignite deposits of the 
lower Mackenzie and elsewhere will be found of great 
value when the question of reducing its iron ores and 
the transportation of the products of this vast region 
have to be solved by steam sea-going or lighter river 

"Some of the testimony upon which these conclusions 
were based is highly interesting, though the investiga- 
tion, of course, covered the whole basin of the Mac- 
kenzie, and only incidentally of the Yukon. But there 
is also valuable testimony showing the great auriferous 
value of the upper waters of the Yukon. Hitherto that 
great country up there was only of value as a fur pre- 
serve; that has been its chief, if not only, commercial 
value in the past. The great the 'Honorable Hudson's 
Bay company' enjoyed a monopoly of the fur trade, and 
its policy has been to keep the country in the dark. They 
at one time owned it by grant from England. They have 
forts established all down the Mackenzie and other im- 
portant rivers, where they purchase the furs by barter 
from the Indians, and the trade has run up to several 
million dollars a year. These traders were mostly Eng- 
lish and Scotch 'gentlemen's' sons, many of them mar- 
rying Indian girls or French half-breeds and spending 
their lives in the great northern seclusion, until retired 
in old age by the company. Some of these men were 
examined by the committee. They were very reticent 
about the fur trade, but told what they knew about the 
mineral and other resources of the country. At some 
of these forts there are English church and Roman Cath- 
olic missions established, and a few missionaries were 


examined, and gave valuable testimony in regard to the 
great resources of the country. Dr. George M. Daw- 
son, chief, and Dr. Robert Bell and Prof. Macoun of the 
Canadian geological survey, and others, who had tra- 
versed the country, also testified. 

"Speaking of the mineral resources, Isadore Clut, 
O. M. I., bishop of Arindele, said: There is gold in the 
sandbanks of the Peace river, and in considerable quan- 
tities, but during the winter and in high water it can- 
not be mined. The miners make there from $15 to $20 
per day. There is copper, and one river bears the name 
of Coppermine. It is found there in great pieces. I have 
seen little crosses made of it by the savages themselves 
when they were not able to have other metal. Sulphur 
abounds in several places. I have seen it on the Clear- 
water river, and above all on the west bank of the Great 
Slave lake. It is there in such quantities that the odor 
is annoying to those who pass by. Near Fort Smith 
there in a salt mine which is probably the most beauti- 
ful and the most abundant in the universe. There is a 
veritable mountain of salt. By digging a little in the 
earth, from six inches to a foot, rock salt can be found 
there. In addition to that there are salt springs, where 
during the winter the salt runs from these springs 
and forms little hills of salt. You have only to 
shovel and you can gather a fine salt, pure and clean. 
On the borders of the Peace river stones are found 
which are sufficiently precious to make rings of them. 
I have seen gypsum along the Mackenzie and a little 
below Fort Norman. * * * In the Peace river and 
the Liard river certainly there is gold in large quan- 
tities. It is found in the sandbars, and I fancy that mines 
will be discovered in the Rocky mountains and that the 
gold is carried from that part the same as in British 


Columbia, on the other side of the mountains. I should 
imagine, therefore, that there is considerable gold in 
the Rocky mountains/ 

"Dr. Dawson, who made geological explorations in 
the upper Yukon region, testified as follows: 'With 
regard to the gold on the Liard river, which is a tribu- 
tary of the Mackenzie, I may state further that remuner- 
ative bars have been worked east of the country down 
toward the Mackenzie. The whole appearance of this 
country leads to the belief that important mineral de- 
posits will be found in it, besides those placer mines. 
There are large quantities of quartz ledges along the 
rivers in many places on the Liard river; half the river 
gravel is composed of quartz and the whole country is 
full of quartz veins, some of which are likely to yield 
valuable minerals.' 

"Q. Ts it a gold-bearing quartz?' 

"A. 'Yes, because we find gold in the bars, though 
not, so far as I have discovered, in the loose quartz. In 
fact, the whole country at the headwaters of the Liard 
and running across to the Yukon forms part of the 
metalliferous belt which runs from Mexico to Alaska 
and includes a great area of that country, which is as 
likely to be rich in minerals as any portion of that metal- 
liferous belt. We should remember that in British Co- 
lumbia and on the headwaters of the Yukon we have 
from 1,200 to 1,300 miles of that metalliferous belt of the 
west coast. This is almost precisely the same length 
of that belt contained in the United States, and I think 
there is every reason to believe that eventually it will 
be found susceptible of an equal development from a 
mining point of view. From circumstances to which 
I need not now refer, it has so far been more developed 
in the United States than on this side of the line.' 


"O. 'What is the average width of that belt of 1,200 
or 1,300 miles?' 

"A. 'About 400 miles, on the average. Fort Selkirk, 
or the ruins of Fort Selkirk, at the mouth of the Lewes 
river, which is one of the main branches of the Yukon, 
is about 1,000 miles due north of Victoria, without tak- 
ing into account ten degrees of longitude which it is 
west, but it gives an idea of the depth of the country 
which is worth remarking. You find a country here 
1,000 miles north of Victoria in which there is no doubt 
you can still grow barley and hardy cereals, a distance 
as nearly as possible identical with the whole width of 
the United States on the Pacific coast from the 49th 
parallel to Mexico, yet at Fort Selkirk we are still 750 
or 800 miles from the Arctic ocean — nearly twice as far 
from the Arctic ocean as we are here in Ottawa from the 

"Q. That would make a square area of 520,000 miles. 
Is that what the committee are to understand?' 

"A. 'That will express the area of the metalliferous 
belt in a general way and may be taken as a minimum 
figure. This Yukon country was first prospected in 1880 
by miners who came across by this Chilkoot pass. Since 
then a yearly increasing number of miners has been 
going in. In 1887, this last summer, there were about 
250 men, nearly 100 of whom are wintering at Forty- 
Mile creek, near the international boundary. * * * 
The gold which was taken out of that country last sum- 
mer, not counting the Cassiar country to the south, but 
merely the Yukon district, was estimated by the miners 
at $70,000, but that is a very rough estimate indeed, be- 
cause there is no way of checking it except by allowing 
so much per man on the average. There is an almost 
unprecedented length of river bars from which gold is 











obtained in that country. I have not tried to estimate 
it, but here and there on nearly all those rivers gold is 
found in paying quantities. The gold-bearing river bars 
must be reckoned in the aggregate by thousands of 
miles in length.' 

"Q. 'All those rivers, meaning the Yukon and its 
branches and the Liard and its branches?' 

"A. 'Yes.' 

'Though the Coppermine river lies east of the Mac- 
kenzie, and far from the Yukon, it may be interesting 
to give here the testimony of Dr. Dawson in regard to 
copper in that river. He said, speaking of the Copper- 
mine river particularly, that 'there is every reason to 
believe there is a repetition along that river and in its 
vicinity of those rocks which contain copper on Lake 
Superior and which have proved so rich there. But 
that region seems to be beyond the reach of the pros- 
pector at present.' 

"Enough has been said, I take it, to show that there is 
a country up north rich in mineral resources, and the 
riches are not, by any means, confined to one little trib- 
utary of the Yukon. That the country is rich in min- 
erals, that it covers an empire in extent, there is every 
reason to believe, how rich no one can tell. There has 
been profitable placer mining at Forty-Mile creek, near 
the Klondike, for some fifteen years, and Fort Reliance 
(long since abandoned), which, I understand, is right in 
the immediate vicinity of the Klondike, was built away 
back by the old Arctic explorers. That the riches of the 
Klondike could remain hidden for these many years, 
though miners have been working all the time in the 
near neighborhood, affords some color to the belief that, 
after all, the California gold diggings will dwindle by 
comparison with those of the Yukon. It has long been 


the opinion that when the moss and timber are cleared 
off the river sides and gulches (similar to what miners 
were obliged to do in Cassiar), the diggings will be ex- 
tensive and rich. 

"The following extracts from a report made by Capt. 
William Moore in January, 1888, and which was pub- 
lished in the report of Mackenzie basin committee, is 
highly interesting as giving an idea of the mining 
operations that were conducted at Forty-Mile creek as 
far back as ten years ago: 

" 'According to information gathered from reliable 
sources: From the 1st of May to the 15th of July there 
has been taken out at least $150,000, three-fourths of 
which was taken out on Forty-Mile creek, as when a 
party of men came out early last spring on the ice and 
confirmed the statement of the strike of coarse gold on 
Forty-Mile creek, most of the men from Lewes river 
and the Hootalinqua went right down to the new strike, 
which only left eight miners on the Hootalinqua, and 
seven on Cassiar bar and the vicinity, four men on Pelly 
river, fifteen on Stewart river and seven on Sixty-Mile 


" 'With regard to the richness of Forty-Mile creek. 
Miners would not work $8 diggings ; they did not con- 
sider that amount as wages. They did make all the way 
from $10 to $125 per day. 




CZAR'S dream of Russian aggran- 
dizement led to the discovery of Alas- 
ka. Peter the Great had conceived 
the idea of pushing on past Asia to the 
American continent and founding a 
Russian empire in the new world. To 
this end he sent out an exploring ex- 
pedition under the leadership of Veit 
Bering, a Danish captain in the Rus- 
sian service. The expedition started in February, 1725, 
and though the czar's death occurred in the same month, 
the monarch's scheme was carried forward by Catherine, 
his widow, and Princess Elizabeth, his daughter. 

The arduous work of exploring the Siberian coast and 
waters continued for sixteen years before the Alaskan 
coast was sighted. The second Kamchatkan expedition 
was six years in crossing Siberia. It was in the spring 
of 1741 that Bering and his lieutenant, Chirikof, put out 
into Bering sea, the waters of which Bering had dis- 
covered on his previous expedition. They had two small 
vessels. One was commanded by Bering, the other by 
Chirikof. The little craft became separated at sea, and 
never were reunited. Chirikof bore away to the east, 
and during the night of July 15, 1741, sighted land in 
latitude 55.21. It was afterward disclosed that this was 
thirty-six hours in advance of Bering's discovery of the 
mainland of America. 

Chirikof sent a party ashore in one of his small boats 



to explore the immediate country and secure fresh water. 
Soon after leaving the vessel, they passed around a rocky 
point and disappeared from sight. As they failed to re- 
turn at the appointed time, another boat's crew was sent 
ashore. Soon a great smoke was seen arising from the 
shore, and two large canoes rilled with threatening na- 
tives came out from the land. They refused to board the 
strange ship, and it dawned upon Chirikof that all the men 
he had sent ashore had been massacred. This reduced 
his crew to small numbers, and Chirikof decided to re- 
turn to the Kamchatkan coast. 

The return voyage was attended with frightful hard- 
ships and suffering. Scurvy attacked the men, many 
died, and the others were rendered helpless by sickness. 
After weeks of this suffering, the vessel reached the 
Kamchatkan coast, with only the pilot on deck. Chiri- 
kof was one of the first stricken with scurvy, but he re- 

Bering's party suffered even greater hardships. After 
sighting the coast and making a landing, Bering gave 
orders to lift anchor and return to Kamchatka. The 
ship became lost in the maze of islands, and was wrecked 
upon a barren island. There the survivors passed the 
winter, many of them dying. Caves were dug in the 
sandy bank of a little stream, and a scanty and uncertain 
food supply was obtained by killing sea animals and re- 
sorting to the flesh of dead whales cast upon the beach. 
Bering died on this island December 8, 1741. 

In the spring the handful of survivors constructed a 
boat from their wrecked vessel and succeeded in working 
their way back to the Siberian coast, where they were re- 
ceived with great rejoicing, having long been given up 
for dead. 

Although the discoverer lost his life on the first ex- 


pedition, his work was followed up by his countrymen, 
and in the pursuit of the fur trade numerous settlements 
were made by the Russians at various points on the coast. 
Of these sealing posts there were about forty, of which 
Archangel was the most important. The territory had 
been granted in 1799 by Emperor Paul VIII. to the Rus- 
sian Fur company, and in 1839, when the charter was re- 
newed, sealing had developed to such an extent that the 
annual exportations amounted to 25,000 skins, besides 
many sea otter and beaver skins, and about 18,000 sea 
horse teeth. In 1863 tne expiration of the charter of 
the company found Russia extremely desirous of being 
relieved of the anxiety to which the protection of its 
subjects and the maintenance of a government in a far- 
away arctic region subjected it. It has been asserted by 
some that the negotiations instituted by the United States 
for the purchase of the peninsula contemplated reward- 
ing Russia, under the guise of a nominal purchase, for 
its friendliness to the American union during the civil 
war. This view, however, is hardly tenable, in view of 
the lack of interest Russia had taken in its American 
possessions. The Russian-American Fur company for 
commercial reasons had been aggressive, but the Russian 
government had confined itself, after the granting of the 
charter of the company, to the protection of its Alaskan 
subjects and the maintenance of order among them. 

Be the motives for the purchase what they may, in 
1867 the entire Russian possessions in America were 
ceded to £he United States. The purchase was negoti- 
ated by Secretary William H. Seward, who considered it 
the most important act of his career, though he declared 
that two generations would pass before the value of the 
acquisition could be appreciated. There can be no doubt 
that he was anxious to effect the purchase, but Russia 


made the first advance. The state department negotiated 
a secret treaty, which the senate afterward ratified, pro- 
viding for the transfer of Alaska to the United States in 
consideration of the payment of $7,200,000 in gold, at 
that time equivalent to more than $10,000,000 in green- 
back currency. Notwithstanding the fact that $10,000,- 
000 was a most inconsiderable consideration for a trans- 
action so big with possibilities, Secretary Blaine declares 
that "there is little doubt that a like offer from any other 
European government would have been rejected," it 
being a time when, "in the judgment of the people the 
last thing we needed was additional territory." 

The state department's negotiation and the senate's 
ratification were not the conclusion of the business, for 
in order to carry out the transaction contemplated by the 
treaty an appropriation by congress became necessary. 
There were objectors in congress who opposed the con- 
summation of the convention. Cadwalader C. Washburn 
declared that when the treaty for Alaska was negotiated 
"not a soul in the whole lljted States asked for it." He 
asserted that the treaty was negotiated secretly, without 
chance for a hearing and that the country ceded was ab- 
solutely without value. General Butler strongly re-en- 
forced Mr. Washburn's argument, declaring that he 
would rather give Russia $7,200,000 for its friendship pro- 
vided it would keep its peninsula of ice and the responsi- 
bilities attached thereto. General Schenck and Mr. Shel- 
labarger also were in the opposition, but the side that had 
for its supporters General Banks and Thaddeus Stevens 
finally was victorious. There was much bitterness against 
Secretary Seward for having negotiated a "star cham- 
ber" treaty, but congress voted the required appropria- 
tion. Before this was done, however, President Andrew 


Johnson had taken possession of the country in the name 
of the United States. 

The name Alaska, formerly spelled 'Aliaska, is derived 
from a native word Al-ak-shak, signifying "great coun- 
try," and the world is just awakening to the appropriate- 
ness of the designation. From north to south Alaska ex- 
tends 900 miles from sea to sea; from Bering sea on the 
west to the British boundary line the distance is 700 miles. 
Alaska's area of 600,000 square miles is best appreciated 
by comparison with more familiar regions. The penin- 
sula is twice as large as the state of Texas; three times 
as large as California; more than ten times as large as 
Illinois; about eleven times as large as New York state; 
about five hundred times as large as Rhode Island, and 
nine times the size of all the New England states taken 

The first period in the development of Alaska is in- 
cluded between the years 1867 and 1890, and furnishes a 
striking analogy to the course that has been taken in the 
opening up of British North America. In the transfer 
of the peninsula to the United States the business men 
who composed the Alaska Commercial company saw the 
opportunity for a fortune, and before the possibilities of 
the United States purchase were known or even con- 
ceived, the wealth of Alaska and its islands had passed 
for a term of years into the control of this far-sighted 
corporation. There is no doubt that the purchase money, 
amounting to less than half a cent an acre, long since has 
been returned in profits on the seal fisheries, but it has 
been returned to the government's beneficiaries and not 
to the government. In the first five years money paid 
into the treasury on the lease of the Alaska Commercial 
company, paid 8 per cent upon the first cost. Indeed, tho 
two small seal islands paid a goodly percentage on the 


purchase money for the entire province, and simply in 
rent to the government they more than repaid their cost, 
but despite these partial showings the fact remains that 
the government's bad bargain diverted the income from 
a rich property to the hands of a few, who were wise 
enough to secure the concession. 

In 1890 the lands of the fur seal islands passed from 
the Alaska Commercial company into the control of the 
North American Commercial company. The new les- 
see went farther from the old established trading posts for 
traffic with the natives, making such endeavor to develop 
the country as never had entered into the designs of its 
predecessor. A monthly mail route, open seven months 
out of the twelve, was established between Sitka and 
Bering sea, and the postoffices that followed the mail 
route opened up communication between the interior and 
the United States. 

Prior to the year 1884 the government of Alaska was 
essentially military, that is to say, federal customs offi- 
cers were sustained in the territory to prevent the selling 
of liquor to Indians and white men. With only natives to 
govern there was little occasion for a government. How- 
ever, as the white residents of the southeastern coast in- 
creased in number a more pretentious government be- 
came desirable, but the matter was agitated for several 
years without fruit. A convention was held at Juneau in 
1881 and M. D. Ball was sent as a delegate to congress. 
Congress, however, would have none of Mr. Ball in any 
official capacity, and while the matter of Alaska's civil 
and economic condition had been brought to the atten- 
tion of the American government and people, yet Alaska 
still was without representation of any sort in congress. 
In the next session of congress the matter was brought 
up, but no action was taken, and it was not until 1883 


that congress granted the province any semblance of 
civil government. The bill which became a law in that 
year was introduced by Senator Benjamin Harrison and 
entitled "The Organic Act of Alaska." This bill pro- 
vided for the appointment of a governor, a marshal, a 
clerk, and district judge, a clerk of the court, and four 
United States commissioners, the last-named to have 
their residences in four of the principal cities of the terri- 
tory and the other officials to have offices at Sitka, the 
temporary capital. All were to be appointed by the 
president. The first actual representation of the terri- 
tory thus constituted in the political affairs of the United 
States was in 1888, when the Democrats of Alaska sent 
delegates to the democratic national convention and the 
credentials of these democrats were honored. The Re- 
publican national committee holding office between 1888 
and 1892 allowed Alaska permanent representation the 
same as the other territories and the same recognition was 
accorded by the democratic convention of 1892. 

In the spring of that year the efforts of representative 
men of Alaska had resulted in the enactment of a law 
which for the first time provided for the suitable transfer 
of land-titles in Alaska. By the terms of this act in- 
dividuals or companies were permitted to purchase land 
at $2.50 an acre, and dwellers in towns were permitted 
to acquire valid title to their holdings. Up to the present 
time Alaska has no representative government, but is 
administered by the federal authorities directly, in the 
same manner as is the District of Columbia. Up to the 
late discovery of gold Alaska has lacked partisans to 
plead its cause in congress. Now, however, that the 
Yukon region is drawing from all quarters of the United 
States the hardiest and the bravest, it has much to hope 
from an early session of congress in the way of legisla- 


tion to place it on a level with other unadmitted terri- 

The following are the federal officials in Alaska: 

Governor — John G. Brady, Sitka. 

United States Judge — Charles S. Johnson, Sitka. 

United States District Attorney — Burton E. Bennett, 

United States Marshal — James M. Shoup, Sitka. 

Clerk of District Court and Ex-Officio Secretary of 
State— Albert D. Elliott, Sitka. 

Treasury department officials: 

Collector of Customs — Joseph W. Ivey, Sitka. 

Agent Seal Islands — Joseph Murray. Assistant agents 
seal islands: John M. Morton, J. B. Crowley, and James 

Special Agent Investigation Fur Seal Fisheries, Seal 
Islands — Professor D. S. Jordan. 

Special Agent Salmon Fisheries — Howard M. Kut- 

Assistant Agent Salmon Fisheries — James C. Boatner. 

Interior department officials: 

Register of Public Lands — John W. Dudley, Sitka. 

Receiver of Public Money — Roswell Shelly, Sitka. 

Surveyor General of Alaska — W. L. Dustin, Illinois. 

Commissioners — At Sitka, Caldwell W. Tuttle; at 
Wrangel, Kenneth M. Jackson; at Unalaska, Lycurgus 
R. Woodward; at Juneau City, John Y. Ostrander; at 
Kadiak, Philip Gallagher; at Circle City, John E. Crane; 
at St. Michael, L. B. Shepherd; at Dyea, John U. Smith; 
at Unga, Charles H. Isham. 

The opponents to the consummation of Secretary Sew- 
ard's negotiation for the purchase of Alaska had a certain 
basis of truth for their slur upon Alaska as a peninsula 
of ice, for in the north, at St. Michael and Point Barrow, 


welis have been dug through 60 feet of solid ice and the 
same is true along the Yukon. The summit of Mt. St. 
Elias, 18,000 feet above the level of the sea, is covered 
with perpetual snow. From the south side of this moun- 
tain eleven great glaciers are slowly traveling to the sea, 
and one of them, the Agassiz glacier, is twenty miles wide 
and fifty long, covering an area of not less than 1,000 
square miles. In the interior the plains are covered 
with ice for eight months in the year. On the Aleutian 
islands, however, is luxuriant vegetation. There are no 
large trees, but the miniature prairies are covered with 
rich vegetable mold and a rich growth of grass and shrub- 
bery. Scientists predict that from the Aleutian country 
will yet be drawn the best supplies of butter and cheese 
for the Pacific coast. Along the southern coast of the 
mainland the climate is balmy, and even where the win- 
ters are most rigorous and long-drawn-out the spring 
and the short summer are seasons of rapid growth of 
vegetation and of endurable temperature. 

There are thirty or more volcanoes in Alaska, about 
eight of which are in active eruption. Shishaldin, a vol- 
canic mountain, 9,000 feet high, is known to burn con- 
stantly. One hundred miles from Unimak island, where 
this volcano is situated, is Pavlof, another smoking 
mountain. Mt. Makushin, on Unalaska island, is about 
a mile in height, and also more or less active. There are 
other smoking volcanoes on Unimak, Akutan, and Atka 
islands. Besides its numerous volcanoes Alaska boasts 
the highest known mountain in North America. This 
peak, Mt. Wrangel, has an elevation of 19,000 feet, and 
there are others that crowd it closely. Besides Mt. St. 
Elias, with its altitude of more than three miles, is Mt. 
Fairweather, 5,500 feet high; Mt. Crillon, 15,000; Mt. 
Perouse, 14,300. 


The mountains at Cape Prince of Wales, from which 
the continent of Asia may be seen, are barren and rug- 
ged. Toward the base they slope out gradually and end 
in a long stretch of sandy beach. The proximity of Si- 
beria suggests to all who look across the strait and see 
another continent rising before them the desirability of a 
bridge to span the strip of water and join the hemis- 
pheres. Desirable it certainly would be, but altogether 
impracticable, it is said. The current is too swift, and the 
vast quantities of ice which fall into the Arctic ocean and, 
in the breaking-up season, bear down to the south, would 
demolish in short order any abutments that might be 
erected. It has been suggested that the strait might be 
tunneled or that vast quantities of the basaltic rock might 
be torn out of the cliffs on Cape Prince of Wales and used 
to form a highway between Asia and America. 

To return to the subject of the climate, the coast coun- 
try of Alaska derives great benefit from the Japan ocean 
current, which tempers the raw air and modifies the harsh 
winds that blow from the north. Throughout all the 
coast country the precipitation of rain and snow is very 
heavy and seasons of excessive rainfall are very likely to 
continue for weeks at a time. Nevertheless the Alaskan 
rains are not so cold as are the rains even in the temper- 
ate zone, and while the air is cool at all times it is not raw 
at any season. In the interior there is less rainfall than 
on the coast, and there summer heat rises to excessive 
temperature. The mercury has been known to rise as 
high as 120 degrees, but the extreme cold of winter 
quickly follows. Fifty and 60 degrees below zero is the 
usual minimum temperature, although 70 degrees is on 
record. It is the extreme humidity of the atmosphere 
and the heavy precipitation at all seasons that produces 
the remarkable verdure already mentioned. All garden 


vegetables thrive in this climate, and many small fruits 
are indigenous to the soil. Up to the present, no stock- 
man has made a success of raising either large or small 
cattle. The climate is trying to farm animals. 

In his report James Sheakley, governor of Alaska, in 
1896 transmitted to the interior department the following 
particulars regarding the seal catch, the mines, and the 
fisheries of Alaska, together with facts touching civil con- 
ditions in the territory: 

'The summary of the seal catch in Bering sea for the 
season of 1896 shows that 7,965 male and 12,641 female 
seals were killed. 

Season of 1895. 

Eighteen American vessels caught 6,454 

Thirty-six British vessels caught 24,762 

Fifty-four vessels caught 31,216 

Number of boarding operations, 171. 

Season of 1896. 

Twelve American vessels caught 2,907 

Fifty-four British vessels caught 1 7,805 

Sixty-six vessels caught 20,712 

Number of boarding operations, 181. 

Total number of miles steamed by the patrol fleet to 
date, 77,464-5- 

Number of American vessels seized in Bering sea, 2. 

Number of British vessels seized in Bering sea, 4. 

"Of the sixty-six vessels engaged in pelagic sealing 
but twelve were American. The number of fur seals fre- 
quenting Bering sea is becoming steadily less every year, 
and all engaged in the industry of pelagic sealing are be- 


ginning to realize that they have killed the goose that laid 
the golden egg. Thirty thousand male seals were taken 
by the lessees of the Pribilof islands this year of 1896. I 
see no reason why this or even a greater number should 
not be taken annually, as the number of males is largely 
in excess of the needs of the herd. 

"Two million three hundred thousand dollars in gold 
bullion have been taken from the gold mines within the 
territory of Alaska during the year ending October 1, 
1896. The greater part of this amount is the product of 
low grade ores, much of which yielded less than $4 per 
ton. The improved methods in mining and milling gold- 
bearing rock have so greatly reduced the expense that al- 
most any grade of gold ores can be worked with a profit. 
One dollar twenty-five cents per ton is the average cost 
of mining and milling the quartz rock at the Alaska- 
Treadwell Gold Alining company's mines on Douglas 
Island, Alaska. Hunting or prospecting for new mines 
has been very active during the year last past, and a num- 
ber of good mines have been located. Several of these 
new ledges are being developed rapidly, and on some 
stamp mills have been erected and are operating with 
satisfactory results. Confidence in Alaska as a gold- 
producing country increases as her resources are de- 



Adams creek 16 

Adams Mrs. (Dawson City).. 267 

Adverse claims (mining-) 120 

Agriculture, Yukon district. 386 

Attempt to define bound- 
ary 213 

Civil government, law 

creating 135 

Climate 398 

Land department district 

created 135 

Land office officials 119 

Land office regulations — 116 

Rainfall 228 

Temperature 228 


Bering's expedition 391 

Discovered by Chirikof... 391 

Russian sealing posts 393 

Russian Fur Company... 393 

Purchased by U. S 393 

Opposition in Congress 394 

Derivation of "Alaska"... 395 

Extent of territory 395 

First period development. 395 

Fur seal islands £96 

Juneau convention 396 

Organic act of Alaska 397 

Transfer of land titles 397 

Federal officials in Alas- 
ka .' 398 

Climatic conditions 399 

"Volcanoes and mountains 399 

Temperature 400 

Gov. Sheakley's report — 401 

Alaska Commercial Co 89, 291 

Alaska Miner, The (analysis 

of pan values) 192 

Alaska placer mines, process. 18 

Aleutian Islands 24 

Alluvial deposits (mines) 113 

Alluvial ground, character.. 110 

Amalgam 122 

Andreafski 25 

Anvik 25 

Anvik river 304 

Apron (mining) . . 12! 

Arsenic effect on gold 113 

Asphaltum in Canada 382 

Assay, for gold quartz 116 

Assay, handy method 116 

Athabasca Landing 33, 190 

Athabasca river 

33, 189, 190, 191, 193 
Atlanta, Ga. railroad rates 

to Pacific seaports 105 

Auriferous lodes (mining) — 114 

Back door route, cost of 

travel 99 

Back door route from Fargo, 

N. D 204 

Back door route, railroad 

fare 106 

Back, explorer 193 

Back trenches (mining) 110 

Baggage, pounds allowed 

96, 100, 103, 104 
Baker Marcus (world's pro- 
duction of gold) 361 

Bald Eagle mining claim 3U1 

Baltimore, railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 105 

Barnum, Father 371 

Bar-rooms, Dawson City 272 

Bear Creek 16, 2.4 

Beaver river 86, 87 

Beddoe, mail contractor 261 

Beebe creek 49 

Bed rock (mining) 108 

Beell, Dr. Robert 384 

Bering sea 24 

Berry, Clarence 172, 173 

Berry, Mrs, Clarence 173 

Biche (Athabasca river) 190 

Big Salmon river 78, S02 

Bimetallism, effect on of 

Klondike output 346 


Diggings in winter 276 

Gold taken out 277 


Back door route 205 

How to build 26 

Knock-down for portage. 61 

Mackenzie river 34, 192 

River use 99 

Takau inlet 40 

Yukon river 95 


15, 16, 94, 162, 164, 106, 294 
Estimated gold produc- 
tion 166 

Pan values claims, 164, 166, 179 
Big strikes 172, 173, 174 




Bompas, Bishop 272 

Boston, railroad rates to Pa- 
cific coast ports 100 

Boswell, T., describes Teslin- 

too river 77 

Boundary line, internation- 
al 213, 291 

Buffalo, railroad rates to Pa- 
cific seaports 103 

British Columbia, gold belt.. 295 

Calc spar (mining) 114, 115 

Calgary 99, 190 

California pump (mining) 133 

Camp on the Yukon 327 

Campbell, Robert 85, 287 

Camping outfit (see outfit). 

Attitude boundary line 

dispute 226 

Report on Yukon district 381 

Fees 149 

Geological survey 384 

Gold product 343 

Mineral resources 382 

Mining laws 149 

Royalties (claims) 149 

Tariff tax on outfits.. 62, 63, 91 

To locate wagon road 292 

To open Stikeen route.... 41 
Canadian Pacific railroad ... 99 

Canoes 99, 195 

Carmack, George W..162, 171, 294 
Caribou (Cariboo) diggings 

185, 191 

Caribou portage 67 

Carr, "Jack," outfit 51 

Cassiar gold district... 48, 185, 302 

Chandindu river 88 

Chapman, Rev. J. W 367 

Charleston, S. C, railroad 
rates to Pacific sea- 
ports 105 

Che-cha-cos (tenderfeet) 109 

Chicken creek 296 

Chilkat river 292 

Chilkoot inlet 66 


First expedition through.. 39 

Chippewayan Fort 33 

Church, Dawson City 272 

Cincinnati, O., railroad rates 

to Pacific seaports. 105, 106 
Citric acid, remedy for scur- 
vy 51 


Cost of outfit 96 

Described by Eli A. Gage 322 

Exodus from 172 

CLAIMS (mining)— 

Boundaries of 116 

How to file 116 to 120 

How to locate 116 to 118 

Klondike, all taken 109 

CLAIMS— Continued. Page 
Location — Canadian regu- 
lations 149 

Number on Klondike.. 294, 295 

Survey of 116, 117 

Clay in Canada 382 

Cleaning up process (min- 
ing) 132 

Cleaning up sluices (mining) 131 

Clearwater river 193 

Climate, Alaska 400 

Clothing, see Outfits. 
Clothing, cost of, Dawson. 

City 266 

Clothing, Yukon 326 

Clut, Isadore (Bishop) 202, 384 

Coal in Canada 383 

Coal in Klondike district 296 

Coal in Yukon district 246 

Coast range mountains 287 

Columbia river, gold rush.... 305 

Committee's Punch bowl 190 

Cone hill (Forty-mile) river.. 89 
Constantine Fort (Cudahy).. 89 

Cook inlet 238 

Copper plates in sluicing 

(mining) 131, 132 

Copper pyrites (mining) 

110, 113, 115 

Copper in Canada 384 

Copper river 238, 255 

Coppermine river 382 


Beef at Fort Cudahy 286 

Claims per acre 120 

Dinner, Dawson City 273 

Freight to gold diggings.. 244 

Outfit 50, 57, 99 

Outfit, Circle City 322 

Travel, back door route 

99, 203, 204 
Travel, all water route.. 96 

Travel overland 98 

CRADLE (mining) 123 

How to use 123, 124 

When to use 125 

Cradling, not economical 125 

Creeks (see rivers). 

Crime, Dawson City 273 

Crooked Creek 304 


89, 96, 282, 283. 284 

Average temperature. .232, 283 
Described by Eli A. Gage. 334 

First boats to arrive 292 

Curran, P. J., describes Back 

Door route 208 

Curtain (mining) 123 

D'Abbadie (Big Salmon) river 78 

Dalton J . 292 

Daly (Little Salmon) river.. 78 
Dance hall. Dawson City — 272 

Davidson, Prof. George 2?4 

Davis Creek 252 




15, 25, 31, 32, 41, 88, 162 

Amusements 274 

Baths 272 

Bars 272 

Church 272 

Climate 271 

Cost of outfit 96 

Crime 173 

Dress making 267 

First boats to arrive 292 

Gambling 273 

How laid out 267 

Orchestra 272 

Papers 274 

Population 268 

Prices, food, clothing, etc. 

169, 266 

Restaurants 273 

Value of lots 169 

Life in 266 

Dawson, Dr. G. M. 

67, 74, 75, -78, 201, 288, 384, 385 

Deer (Klondike) river 88 

Diseases common in Klondike 

234, 235, 236 

Chicago to Calgary 190 

Circle City to Ft. Cudahy. 319 

Dyea to Cudahy ^292 

Dyea to Dawson City.. 32, 292 
Edmonton to Fort Mac- 

pherson 33, 203 

Juneau to head Lynn 

canal 25 

Juneau to Lake Teslin 39 

Mail route, Juneau-Circle 

_ City 258 

Pacific occean to Fort Sel- 
kirk 293 

San Francisco to Fort 

Cudahy 90 

Seattle to Dawson City... 32 
Seattle to Dawson City 

via St. Michael 25 

Seattle to Dawson City 

via Stikeen river 47 

Seattle to Dawson City 

via Takou river 41 

Seattle to Juneau 25 

St. Michael to Fort Cud- 
ahy 291 

St. Michael to mouth Yu- 
kon river 292 

Stewart river to mouth 

Yukon river 9) 

Navigation on Takou 

river 39 

Trail, Telegraph creek to 

Lake Teslin 41 

Telegraph creek to Lake 

Teslin 292 

Yukon (mouth) to Lake 

Teslin 292 


DISTANCES— Continued. 
Yukon (mouth) to head 

navigation 292 

Table — All water route... 32 
Table— Back door route.. 33 

Table — Overland route 32 

Table— Ogilvie's 90 

Table — Stikeen river route 47 
Table— Takou river route. 41 
Table— Ogilvie's (Taiya 

Pass) . 93 

Table (Ogilvie's)— Stikeen 

river route 90 

Table (Ogilvie's) — Victo- 
ria Taiya pass 90 

DOGS on Mackenzie river 193 

Hudson's Bay Co 204 

Siwash 328 

Value of Edmonton 212 

Value of Yukon 172 

Drifts (mining) 114 

Dryden, Prof. James 381 

Duffield, Gen 224 

Dutch harbor 21 

Dyea inlet 26 

Dyea pass 25, 98 

Eagle's nest 83 

Edmonton 99, 190 


16, 94, 163, 164, 165, 294 
Amount gold taken out 

163, 164 

Character of Claims 113 

Pan values claims 176, 179 

Big strikes 172, 173, 174 

Elk (Athabasca) river 191 

Emmons Prof. S. F 253 

Episcopal mission, Circle 

City 367 

Excelsior, steam ship 162 

False bottoms, block, zig- 
zag (mining) 123 

Fargo N. D 204 

Federal officials, Alaska 398 

Fees, mining, Canadian 14^ 

First left-hand fork 16 

Fish, Takou river 40 

Five Finger rapids 83 

Float rock (mining) 114 

Fluor spar (mining) 114, 115 

FOOD see Outfits. 

Cost, Dawson City 256 

Pemmican (jerked beef) 

194, 195 
Required by prospectors. . 51 
Required Back Door route 

99, 203, 204, 211 
Required per man per 

day 59 

Required for year 50 

Shortage of 243 

Trappers and Indians 196 




Fool's gold 109 

Forts, see Trading Posts. 

Forty Mile Creek 89, 96, 303 

Forty Mile, town 25, 89, 162 

Franklin, Sir John 145, 190 

Gage, Eli A., account Yukon 

journey 318 

Galena, deposits 302 

Gambling, Dawson City 273 


In Klondike country 373 

Ogilvie's report on 375 

On Takou river 40 

In Northwest territories.. 212 

Gastineau channel 298 

Glacier creek 296 

Gnats 243 


Africa 343 

As powder (mining) 113 

Australia 343 

Alluvial deposits 113 

Birch creek output 277 

Birch creek district 252 

British Columbia gold 

belt 295 

British India 343 

Canada 343 

Character of in placers.. 109 
Character quarts Yukon 

246, 247 
Capital required by gold 

seekers 94 

Dust, fine 109 

Effect of arsenic and sul- 
phur 113 

Fools 109 

Forty Mile district 251 

Free, how to detect 110 

Guiding test for 113 

How stored in the Klon- 
dike 170 

How to separate from 
sand 122 

Klondike, character of.... 163 

List big strikes 183 

Mexico 343 

Miner's guide 108 

Mining requires capital... 106 

Mother lode 109 

Nuggets, where found 110 

Prospector's guide 108 

Prospector's pan 120 

Product, world's 343 

Quartz 115 

Quartz in Klondike 169 

Russia 343 

To develop Kamchatkan 

fields 357 


Adams creek 16 

Admiralty island 302 


Alaska, southeast 298 

American creek 214 

Annette island 301 

Barren grounds 382 

Bear creek 16 

Berner's bay 237 

Big Salmon river 302 

Birch creek 238, 248, 303 

Bonanza creek 15, 16, 17 

Caribou (Cariboo) district 

185, 105, 201 
Cassiar district 

17, 48, 75, 295, 386 

Chicken creek ; 296 

Copper river 238, 255 

Crooked creek 304 

Davis creek 252 

Densmuir's bar 390 

Dominion creek 185 

Douglas island 302 

El Dorado creek 15, 16 

First left-hand fork 16 

Fish creek * 304 

Forty Mile creek 

238, 248, 303, 386, 389, 390 

Franklin creek 252 

Glacier creek 296, 303 

Gold creek 298 

Gold Bottom creek 16 

Hootalinqua river 

16, 185, 295, 302 

Hudson Bay 3S2 

Hunker creek 16 

Indian river 16, 293, 295 

Juneau district 298 

Kettleson fork 16 

Klondike river 

15, 17, 108, 162, 293, 3S9 

Kootenai district 186 

Koyukuk river 258, 303 

Lewes river 302, 386 

Liard river ....185, 382, 385, 389 
Mackenzie river basin 

201, 382, 385 

Mastodon creek 252 

McCormac's bar 390 

Miller creek 252, 296, 303 

Mission creek 214 

Molymute creek 3o4 

Nisulantine river 49 

North Fork (Birch creek) 304 
Northwest territories ... 382 

Ominaca district 201 

Quartz creek 16 

Peace river 382 

Peel river 382 

Pelly river 16, 295, 302 

Phil creek 16 

Prince of Wales island .. 301 

Rossland district 186 

Sheep creek 298 

Silver Bow basin 252 

Sixty Mile creek 303 



South Fork (Birch creek). 3.4 
Stewart river 

16, 86, 185, 2cS, 295 

Sum Dum district 301 

Tanana river 303 

Telly creek 293 

Teslintoo (Hootalinqua) 

liver 75 

Thron-Diuck (Klondike) 

river 293 

Too-much-gold creek 16 

Treadwell mine 237 

Unga field 237 

Wild creek 3 4 

Yukon and branches 

65 to 93, 389 
Yukon district 238, 246, 384, 389 

Yukon river 17, 389, 390 

Gold, where found, Gen. Duf- 

field 224 

Gold Bottom creek 16, 166, 294 

Gold creek 298 

Good Hope Fort 33 

Gordon, Charles U 257 

Goodrich, H. B 237 

Gray, Albert D 47 

Graphite, in Canada 384 

Great Fish river 189 

Great Slave river 192 

Gypsum, in Canada 3S2 

Hammer, prospector's 113 

Harper, Hudson's Bay Co. 

trader 2>8 

Harrisburg (Juneau) 298 

Harris, Richard 298 

Hearne, Samuel 189 

Heming, A. H. H 34, 99 

Higgins, Croft W 195 

Hopper (mining) 123 

Horn spoon 113, 122 

Holy cross 25 

Hootalinqua (Teslintoo) riv- 
er.... 17, 32, 41, 72, 75, 78, 302 

33, 34, 189, 190, 201, 2 8 

History of 307 

First posts — 307 

Competition 311 

Colonies 312 

Forts 314 

Indians 315 

Administration 315 

The "Fur Trade" 316 

Territory 317 

Traders 383 

Trappers 193 

Hunter creek 16, 166, 294 


Ben Holden, musical 
genius 366 

INDIANS— Continued. 

Chilkat 73 

Chilkoot 26 

Chinook 73 

Church 365 

Copper river 255 

Discovered gold in Klon- 
dike 162 

Educated 365 

Metlakahtla 364 

Model town 363 

Pillaged Fort Selkirk. 


Schools 365 

Tagish 68, 18J 

To paddle canoes Back 
Door route 34 

Ingersoll islands 84 


Cook 238 

Dy ea 26 

Takou (Taku) 40, 41, 77 

Taiya (Dyea) 72 

Indian river 16, 238, 293, 295 


Dispute 213 

Location 216, 217 

Iron, in Canada 385 

Iron pyrites (mining) 

109, 110, 113, 115 

Iskoot river 48 

Jerked beef (Pemmican). .194, 195 

Jimtown 41 

Johns. W. D., richness placer 

mines 162 

Jones, W. J., describes model 

Indian town 363 

Juneau 25, 32, 41 

Juneau route 25 

Katune creek 40 

Kettleson fork 16 

•Klaheela river 293 

Klamath gold rush 3*5 


Character gold streak 17 

Claims, value of 161, Hi5 

Diseases 234, 2£5, 236 

Estimated gold produc- 
tion 342 

Geological conditions 253 

How and when gold was 

found 162 

Iniluence output on world 

345, 356 

List of big strikes 183 

Location 15 

M ail service 257 

Nature of gold deposit • ••• 108 

Pan values claims 163, 176 

Permanent value 183 



Production and develop- 
ment 181 

Richness of claims 29o 

Rich pay dirt 163 

Sunrise 262 

Summer and winter work 169 

Wages 16^ 

Quartz veins 174, 296 

Klondike river ..15, 94, 162, 166, 293 

Kootenai gold district 1S6 

Koserefsky 2a 

Koykuk river 238 

Krook, Robert 2 3 

Kutlik 2d 

Ladue, Joseph 266, 267, 263 


Athabasca 33, 189, 191 

Bennett 26, 32, 66, 67, 77 

Bove (Tagish) 67 

Committee's Punch bowl. 190 

Dease 41, 48, 192 

G-reat Bear <;82 

Great Slave 33, 190, 191 

Kaukitchie 49 

Le Barge SI, 32, 73, 74 

Lesser Slave 191 

Lindeman 32, 65, 66, 67 

Marsh (Mud) ....31, 32, 71, 72 

Mayhew 87 

Nares 66 

Simpson 205 

Takone (Windy Arm) . .6-, 71 

Tagish 31, 32 

Teslin 39, 41 

White Whale 205 

Windy Arm 67, 71 

Winnepeg 192, 201 

La Loche portage 193 

Land office regulations, 

Alaska 116 

Land office regulations, 

(claims) 116 to 120 

Land reserved for sale 126 

Last Chance creek 163 

Law, mining, Canadian 149 

Law, miners' meetings 324 

Law, United States mining.. 136 

Le Barge, Mike 75 

Letters, see Mails. 
Lewes river 

65, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 84, 302 

Liard river 77, 192, 193 

Limestone, Canada 382 

Lippy, T. S 173 

Little Salmon river 78 

Lodes, auriferous (mining)... 114 
Lode, how to prospect for.... 115 

Lode, mother 109 

Long Tom (mining) 125 

Louisville, railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 10:> 

Lynn Canal , 25,292 


Mackenzie, explorer 1S9, 190 

Mackenzie river. 33, 34, 189, 191, 193 

Macpherson Fort 33, 34, W 


Circle City 325 

Service for the Klondike.. 257 

List of Yukon carriers 25S 

Service, hardships 261 

To Fort Macpherson 204 

Magnets, use in prospecting.. 122 

Matrices (mining) 114 

Maris, Omer 24, 61 

Mastodon creek 252 

Matrix (mining) 114 

McClintock river 72 

Mcintosh, Gov. H. C 184 

McMurray Fort 33 

McQuestion, trader 288 

Medicine, what to take 62 

Memphis, railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 105 

Mercury, used in sluicing — 131 
Mercury, used in panning — 122 

Metlakahtla 363 

Mica in Canada 332 

Mica, taken for gold 110, 113 

Miles canyon 31 

Mills, A. E 41, 47 

Miller creek 252 


Alaska 237 

In northwest territory 382 

Tenderfoot 94 

Quartz 238, 241 

Miners' guide 108 

Miners' hospitality 333 

Miners' meeting 324 


Canadian 149 

United States 136 


Abandoned claim 153 

Agents 154 

Application for grant — 154 

Arbitrators 154, 155 

Award of damages 156 

Bar diggings denned 149 

Bench diggings defined .. 150 

Dry diggings defined 150 

Certificate of assignment. 156 

Claims, defined 150 

Claims, discovery 151 

Claims, nature and size 

134, 151 

Close season defined 150 

Damages 155 

Entry of claims 152 

Entry fee 152 

Entry renewal 152 

Forms of application.. 152, 159 

Form of Certificate 158 

Form grant 160 

Grant of claim 153 

Grant for placer claim — 160 




Legal post defined 150 

Locality, defined — 150 

Miner defined 150 

Mineral defined 150 

Mortgaging claim 153 

Patent 154 

Post, legal 150 

Proof required 154 

Recording claims 152 

Sale of claims 153 

Size of claims 150, 151 

Surface rights 154 

Water, use of 153 



Adverse claims 145, 146 

Districts, mining 143 

License to explore, occupy 
and purchase mineial 

lands 136 

Lands, mineral, reserved 

from sale 136 

Locators must show proof 

of citizenship 137 

How done 137 

Lode claims 142, 143 

Mining districts 143,144 

Patent, application for 

lode claim 130, 140 

Patent, application for 

placer claim 139, 140 

Patent, for mixed claim 

140, 141 

Placer claim defined 137 

Placer claim containing 

lode 141 

Restrictions to location . . 137 
Restrictions, when on 

surveyed ground 1?S 

Subdivision of locations.. 138 

Tunnels 145 

Work on claims ."V 145 

Mining locations, Canadian.. 149 
Minerals, how to search for. . 114 
Minerals in northwest terri- 
tories 3S1 

Minneapolis, railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 104 

Missions 367, 368 

Missionaries 371 

Mission creek 214 

Moore, chief weather bu- 
reau 223 

Mountain river 245 

Mosquitoes 243, 277 

Nahlin river 49 

Nakinah river 40, 41 

Nashville, railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 105 

Newberry (Hootalinqua) riv- 
er 75 

New England railroad rates 

to Pacific seaports — 100 
New Orleans railroad rates 

to Pacific seapoits — 105 
New York, railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 100 

Nisulantine river 49 

Nordenskiold river 83 

North American Trading and 

Transportation Co.. 281, 291 

Norman Fort 33 

Norton sound 292 

Northwest company 312 

Northwest mounted police.. 50, 170 
Northwest territories. 149, 189. 190 

Novikakat 25 

Nuggets, Klondike, value of.. 163 
Nulato 25 

Ochre in Canada 382 

Ogilvie William 

65, 213, 2*7, 288, 291 

Ottawa river 76 

Outcrops (mining) 114 


Amount of food per man 

per year 50 

Back-door route 103, 211 

Carr's list 51 

Eli A. Gage's .... 325 

Food, tools, etc 51, 52 

For the gold-seeker 50 

Medicine chest 62 

Model list, party of 4 55 

Northern Pacific's list 53 

Places to buy 61 

Prices 54, 56, 96, 97, 322 

Prospectors 113 

Standard list 57, 58 

Weight of 57 

Pacific ocean ports, rates to 
(see railroads). 

Pan, prospectors 113 

Panning process 121 


Chilkoot 26, 39, 97 

Dyea 26, 292 

Taiya (Dyea) 292 

White 72 

Unimak 24 

Parka (Parkee) 227 

Peace river 189, 191, 193 

Peel river 33, 34, 87, 192 

Pelly river 16, 32, 78, 84, 302 

Pembina river 205 

Pemmican (jerked beef) ..194, 195 

Perry Arthur 171 

Petroleum, Canada 3S2 

Phil creek 16 

Philadelphia railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 105 

Pittsburg railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 106 





Canadian regulations 149 

Character gold 500 

Klondike 10S 

How done in Alaska 17, IS 

Pan values Klondike 10S 

Richness of 162 

Guide 108 

Plumee (Peel) river 192 

Poor man's mine 94 


Back-door route ?4 

Chilkoot pass 26 

Cost of making- 98 

Dog lake to Salt river.... 192 
Edmonton - Athabasca 

landing 33, 190 

Fort Macpherson - La- 

pierre house 203 

Husky river - Porcupine 

river 207 

Lake Lindeman - Lake 

Bennett 26, 32 

La Loche 193 

Peel river-Stewart river.. 

33, 193 

On Takou river 39, 41 

Smith Landing-Pt. Smith 192 
Simpson Lake-Francis 

Lake 205 

"White Whale lake-Pem- 
bina river 205 

Portland, railroad rates to.. 

100, 103, 104, 10") 

Post office, Dawson City 273 

Post office, see mails. 

Alluvial deposits . .110, 113, 114 

Affidavits 118 

Amalgamating plates .... 132 

Arsenic 113 

Assaying 116 

Auriferous lodes 114 

Back trenches 110 

Bed rock 110 

Blowing process 122 

Boundaries of claims 117 

California pump 133 

California Tom 125 

Pale spar 114, 115 

Certificates required 120 

Channels 109 

Claims, how to locate, 
file, record and convey 

116, 117, 118 

Cleaning up 124, 131, 132 

Copper pyrites 110, 113, 115 

Cradle 123, 124 

Cradling '.. 123 

Deposits, where found 110 

Drifts 114 

Float rocks 114 

Flow of water 110 

Fluor spar 114, 115 


Foot wall lis 

Gold, in alluvial ground., lift 

Gold, in fine powder 113 

Gold, guiding test 113 

Gold, native HO 

Gold, pure 113 

Ground sluice 12S 

Grub pack 113 

Gulches 109 

Hammer 113 

Hanging wall 115 

Horn spoon 122 

Indications, surface 115 

Iron pyrites 110, 113, 115 

Land office regulations 

116, 117, 118, 119, 120 

Land slide 114 

Lode 114, 115 

Long Tom 125 

Lower wall 115 

Mag-nets 122 

Magnifying glass 110, 113 

Materials mistaken for 

gold 113, 113 

Matrix 114 

Mercury how used 122, 131 

Mica 110, 113 

Mineral veins 114 

Mother lode 114 

Mountain chains 110 

Notice of intention 117 

Outcrops 114 

Pan 113, 121 

Panning 122 

Pick ..: 113 

Placers H4 

Plat of survey 117 

Quartz 114, 115 

Record of location 118, 119 

Register of locater 123 

River beds 109, 114 

Rocks, loose 109 

Sections 114 

Shaft, prospecting 115 

Shovel 113 

Sluices 126, 127, 128 

Streams, gold-bearing 110 

Strike of lodes 113 

Sulphur 113 

Surface indications Ho 

Survey of Claim 116, 117 

Pump, California 133 

Tools 113 

Upper wall 115 

Valleys 114 

Veins, mineral 114 

Walls 115 

Water supply for pan 123 

Water supply for cradle.. 125 
Water supoly for Long- 
Tom 126 

Water supplv for sluicing 

127, 123 




Preston, R. E 342 

Providence, Fort 33 

Pyrites 109, 110, 113, 115 

Quartz creek 16 

Quartz, described 114, 115 


Athabasca Landing 23, 58 

cific Ocean 100 

From Atlanta 105 

From Baltimore 105 

From Buffalo 103 

From Charleston 105 

From Chicago 104 

From Cincinnati 105, 106 

From Denver 104 

From Louisville 105 

From Memphis 105 

From Minneapolis 1(5 

From Nashville 105 

From New Orleans 105 

From New York 105 

From Omaha 104 

From Pittsburg 105, 106 

From Philadelphia 105 

From St. Paul 104 

From Washington 105 

On Back Door route 105 

From Chicago to Calgary 203 

Rainfall, Alaska 228 


Five finger 83 

Great 191 

Rink 83 

White Horse 31, 73 

Rates, see Railroads. 

Red River (of the North).. 73, 204 

Reliance, Fort 85, 87, 88 

Resolution, Fort 33 

Rink rapids 83 


Adams creek 16 

Anvik river 312 

Athabasca river 

33, 189, 190, 191, 193 

Bear creek 16, 294 

Beaver river 86, 87 

Beebe creek 49 

Biche (Athabasca) river.. 190 

Big Salmon river 78, 302 

Birch creek 238, 304 

Bonanza creek 

15, 16, 94, 162, 164, 166, 294 

Chandindu river 8S 

Chicken creek 296 

Chilkat river 292 

Clearwater river 193 

Cone Hill (Forty Mile) 

river 89 

Copper river 238, 255 

Coppermine river 382 

Crooked creek 304 

— Continued. 
D'Abbadie (Big Salmon) 

river 78 

Daly (Little Salmon) river 78 

Davis creek 252 

Dominion creek 185 

Deer (Klondike) river 88 

El Dorado creek 

16, 94, 163, 164, 165, 294 
Elk (Athabasca) river.... 191 

First left-hand fork 16 

Fish creek 304 

Forty Mile river 89 

Glacier creek 296 

Gold Bottom creek.. 16, 166, 294 

Gold creek 298 

Great Fish river 189 

Great Slave river 189 

Hootalinqua (Teslintoo) 

river.. 17, 32, 41, 72, 75, 76, 302 

Hunker creek 16, 166, 294 

Indian river.... 16, 238, 293, 295 

Innako river 304 

Iskoot river 48 

Katune creek 40 

Kettleson fork 16 

Koykuk river 238 

Klaheela river 293 

Klondike (Thron-Diuck) 

river ....15, 94, 162, 166, 293 

Last Chance creek 166 

Lewes river 65, 71, 72, 73 

75, 76, 78, 84, 302 

Liard river 77, 192, 193 

Little Salmon river 77 

Mackenzie river 

33, 34, 189, 191, 192, 193 

Mastodon creek 252 

McClintock river 72 

Miller creek 252, 296 

Mission (American) creek 214 

Molymute creek 304 

Mountain river 205 

Nahlin river 49 

Nakinah river 40, 41 

Newberry (Hootalinqua 

or Teslintoo) river 75 

Nisulantine river 49 

Nordenskiold river S3 

Ottawa river 76 

Peace river 189, 191, 193 

Peel river 33, 34, 87, 192 

Pelly river ....16, 32, 78, 84, 302 

Pembina river 205 

Phil creek 16 

Plumme (Peel) river 192 

Quartz creek 16 

Red river (of the North)73, 204 

Rosebud creek 86 

Saskatchewan river 

73, 192, 204 

Sheep creek 301 

Sixty Mile creek 31, 88 



— Continued. 
Stewart river 

16, 33, 85, 86, 87, 88, 238, 302 
Stikeen (Stickeen, Stikinc) 

river 41, 193 

Takou (Taku) river.. 39, 41, 76 
Tahkeenah (Tehkeenah) 

river 73, 78, 293 

Tahltan river 41, 42 

Tanana river 25, 303 

Tatshun river 84 

Tehkeena (Tahkeena) riv- 
er 73, 78 

Telegraph creek 41, 42, 47 

Teslintoo (Hootalinqua) 

17, 32, 41, 72, 75, 76, 77, 78 
Thirty Mile (Lewes) river 49 
Thron-Diuck (Klondike) 

river 88, 293 

Tilly creek 294 

Too-much-gold creek . .16, 293 

Wheaton river 66 

Whipple creek 171 

White river 85, 302 

Wild creek 304 

Yukon river 15, 17, 32 

41, 42, 84, 85, 87, 88, 162 

Ritchtofen rocks 74 

Rockwell (Juneau) 298 

Roquette rock 90 

Rossland gold district 186 

Rosebud creek 86 

Routes, described by Omer 

Maris 24 

Routes, see Distances. 

All water via St. Michael 

24, 25, 96 

Back Door 33, 99, 189, 204 

Dalton's, via Chilkat in- 
let 292 

Juneau, via Dyea 25, 32 

Overland, via Dyea.. 26, 31, 32 

Stikeen river 41, 47 

Takou river 39, 40, 41 

Via White pass 170 

St. Michael 24,25, 96 

St. Paul, railroad rates to 

Pacific seaports 104 

Salt in Canada 382 

San Francisco, railroad rates 

to 100, 103, 104, 105 

Saskatchewan river ...73, 192, 204 
Schwatka, Frederick 

66, 71, 78, 213 

Scurvy, remedy for 51 

Seattle 24, 25, 32, 41, 47 

Seattle, railroad rates to 

100, 103, 104, 105 

Selkirk, Fort 31, 84, 287 

Silver 302, 346, 357, 382 

Silver Queen mine 301 


Sitka 233, 298 

Sixty Mile creek 31, S8 

Simpson, Fort 33 

Skagaway (Skaguay) bay.... 189 
Sleeping car rates 

100, 103, 104, 105, 106 

Smith, Fort 33 

Smith Landing 33, 34 

Spurr Prof. J. S 237 


Baggage 98 

Fare on 95, 97 

Mail, schedule 257 

Stewart river 

16, 33, 85, 86, 87, 88, 238, 302 

Stikeen (Stikine) river 41, 193 

Strander Anton 173 

Streams, see rivers. 

Sulphur in Canada 3S2 

Tahkeena river 73, 78, 293 

Tahltan bridge 41 

Tahltan river 41, 42 

Taiyea (Dyea) pass 72, 292 

Takou (Taku) inlet 292 

Takou (Taku) river 39, 41, 76 

Tanana river 25 

Tariff tax, Canadian 62, 63 

Tatshun river 84 

Telegraph creek 41,42, 47 

Telegraph, projected 264 

Alaska 228, 232 

Cudahy 232 

Mackenzie river basin 194 

Sitka 232 

Tent, Yukon river 327 

Teslintoo (Hootalinqua) river 72 

Test, for gold 113 

Test for mica 113 

Test for pyrites 113 

Thirty Mile (Lewes) river 49 

Thron-Diuck (Klondike) river 88 

Tilly creek 294 

Tools, see Outfit. 

Too-much-gold creek 16 

Tourist sleepers, rates 

100, 103, 104, 105, 106 

Athabasca landing 190 

Chippewayan, Fort 33, 193 

Edmonton 33,99 

Good Hope, Fort 33, 193 

Macpherson, Fort 33, 193 

McMurray, Fort 33, 193 

Norman, Fort 33, 193 

Providence, Fort 33, 193 

Reliance, Fort 33, 193 

Resolution, Fort 33, 193 

Simpson, Fort 33, 193 

Smith, Fort 33, 192, 193 

Wrangel Fort 41 

Wrigley, Fort 33, 193 


Dease lake 41 

Kaukitchie lakes 19 




TRAILS— Continued. 

Telegraph creek 41 

Stikeen river 48 

Treadwell mine 301, 302 

Unimak pass 24 

Vancouver railroad rates to 

100, 103, 104, 105 

Vegetables, Cudahy 284, 285 

Vegetables, Klondike 271 

Veins, mineral, how found.. 114 
Victoria, B. C, railroad rates 

to 100, 103, 104, 105 

Volcanoes in Alaska 399 

Wages in Klondike district.. 169 
Wages, in Youkon district.. 242 
Washington, D. C, railroad 
rates to Pacific sea- 
ports 105 

Water, required for panning 123 
Water, required for sluicing 126 
Wells, A. E 233 


Wheaton river 66 

Whipple creek 171 

White river 72, 85 

Winter, in the Klondike 23 

Wrangel, Fort 41 

Wrigley, Fort 33 


Agricultural possibilities.. 386 

Claims, value of 281 

First miners 288 

First prospected 386 

Geographical divisions ... 302 

Known for years 381 

Prospecting in 113 

Spurr's report on 237, 251 

Yukon Fort 25,287,288 


Explorations 293 

Gold first discovered 302 

Headwaters 42 

Navigation 292 

Report on by Ogilvie.. .65, 287 

Yukon sled 326 

m mjmmmmM 



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Alaska Transportation and 
Development Co. 





















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News from the Klondike. 

THE CHICAGO RECORD was the only newspaper in the 
United States which had a correspondent in the Klondike region at 
the time of the great strike of gold. Mr. William D. Johns an- 
nounced the Klondike discovery in THE CHICAGO RECORD in an 
article published March 2, 1897, which had been sent out of the 
Yukon country 1,000 miles by dog sledge to the coast. Three 
articles by Eli Gage, son of the secretary of the treasury, also gave 
information of these gold fields before the great excitement caused 
by the return of shiploads of fortunate gold seekers by the Excel- 
sior to San Francisco and by the Portland to Seattle. 

Under date of June 18 Mr. Johns wrote again from the Klon- 
dike to THE CHICAGO RECORD, giving in detail the results cf the 
digging up to that date. 

In the summer of 1896 Omer Maris, a journalist of ability, and 
a gold-mining expert, was sent to the Yukon country by THE CHI- 
CAGO RECORD. His many articles on the country and the gold- 
mining operations there attracted wide attention. At the mouth of 
the Klondike river he met and conversed with George Carmack, 
who four weeks later discovered the great placer gold deposits a 
few miles away which now comprise the famous diggings. Mr. 
Maris sailed again from Seattle Aug. 2, 1897, in the fast yacht 
Rosalie for Juneau and Dyea as THE CHICAGO RECORD'S chief 
representative in the Yukon region. As he is familiar with the 
country he will probably reach Dawson City in an unusually short 
space of time and wfil remain there all winter, sending out dis- 
patches as often as possible. Mr. Johns will also remain as a rep- 
resentative of THE CHICAGO RECORD on the Klondike river. 
William J. Jones, United States Commissioner for Alaska, is also a 
regular correspondent for THE RECORD from the gold fields. 

Correspondents at Juneau, St. Michael, Victoria, Tacoma, 
Seattle, San Francisco and Edmonton, N. W. T., are looking after 
news of the gold fields for THE CHICAGO RECORD. In Ottawa, 
Montreal and Toronto special correspondents will give the news of 
the gold fields coming from Canadian official sources. Mr. Lee, a 
special correspondent for THE RECORD, is on his way to the Klon- 
dike by way of Lake Athabasca, the Mackenzie river and Fort 
McPherson, and through the coming fall and winter will describe 
that important route, long traveled by voyageurs of the Hudson's 
Bay company. THE CHICAGO RECORD has led on news from the 
Klondike and the Yukon region and will continue to furnish abso- 
lutely reliable reports. 


Prints all the news from all the world. It is a member of 
The Associated Press and special correspondents represent 
it at all important news centers. Its facilities for news- 
gathering are unsurpassed by those of any other Chicago 

It is a short-and-to-the-point paper. Its matter of all 
kinds is closely edited with the view of giving the reader 
all the news of the day and eliminating the merely trivial and 
inconsequential. It is designed to be a daily paper for busy 

It is an independent newspaper. It aims to be fair and 
impartial in discussing men and measures and to give its 
readers all political news free from the taint of partisan bias. 

It is pre-eminently a family newspaper. It is clean 
throughout and, in addition to "all the news" tersely told, 
every issue contains more or less entertaining matter of a 
literary and general character of common interest in the 
family circle. A daily installment of an original serial story 
of high grade is a regular feature. 

t The circulation of The Record averages over 190,000 
copies a day and is the largest— very much the largest- 
morning circulation in Chicago. 

The Record is sold by newsdealers everywhere and 
is delivered by carriers anywhere in Chicago. Order of 
newsdealers or by postal card to the office of publication, 
181 E. Madison-st., Chicago. 

Nothing in This World 

Is so cheap as a newspaper, whether it be 

measured by the cost of its production or by its 

value to the consumer. We are talking about an 

American, metropolitan, daily paper of the first 

class like THE CHICAGO RECORD. * It's so cheap 

and so good you can't afford in this day of 

progress to be without it. There are other papers 

possibly as good, but none better, and none just 

like it. It prints all the real news of the 

world — the news you care for— every day, and 

prints it in the shortest possible space. You can 

read THE CHICAGO RECORD and do a day's 

work too. It is an independent paper and gives 

all political news free from the taint of party 

bias. In a word — if 8 a complete, condensed, 

clean, honest family newspaper, and it has the 

largest morning circulation in Chicago or the 

west— 190,000 to 200,000 a day. 

Prof J. T. Hatfield of the Northwestern 
University says: "THE CHICAGO RECORD 
comes as near being the ideal daily jour= 
nal as we are for some time likely to find 
on these mortal shores." 

Sold by newsdealers everywhere, and sub- 
script-ions received by all postmasters. Address 
THE CHICAGO RECORD, 181 Madison-st, 



3 0112 025333326 

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