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Alaska : The Great Country
by Ella Higginson


Every year, from June to September, thousands of people "go to Alaska." This means that they take passage at Seattle on the most luxurious steamers that run up the famed " inside passage " to Juneau, Sitka, Wrangell, and Skaguay. Formerly this voyage included a visit to Muir Glacier; but because of the ruin wrought by a recent earthquake, this once beautiful and marvelous thing is no longer included in the tourist trip.

This ten-day voyage is unquestionably a delightful one ; every imaginable comfort is provided, and the excursion rate is reasonable. However, the person who contents himself with this will know as little about Alaska as a foreigner who landed in New York, went straight to Niagara Falls and returned at once to his own country, would know about America.

Enchanting though this brief cruise may be when the weather is favorable, the real splendor, the marvelous beauty, the poetic and haunting charm of Alaska, lie west of Sitka. " To Westward " is called this dream-voyage past a thousand miles of snow-mountains rising straight from the purple sea and wrapped in coloring that makes it seem as though all the roses, lilies, and violets of heaven had been pounded to a fine dust and sifted over them ; past green islands and safe harbors; past the Malaspina and the Columbia glaciers; past Yakutat, Kyak, Cordova, Valdez, Seward, and Cook Inlet; and then, still on "to Westward " - past Kodiak Island, where the Russians



made their first permanent settlement in America in 1784 and whose sylvan and idyllic charm won the heart of the great naturalist, John Burroughs ; past the Aliaska Peninsula, with its smoking Mount Pavloff ; past Unimak Island, one of whose active volcanoes, Shishaldin, is the most perfect and symmetrical cone on the Pacific Coast, not even excepting Hood - and on and in among the divinely pale green Aleutian Islands to Unalaska, where enchantment broods in a mist of rose and lavender and where one may scarcely step without crushing violets and bluebells.

The spell of Alaska falls upon every lover of beauty who has voyaged along those far northern snow-pearled shores with the violet waves of the North Pacific Ocean breaking splendidly upon them; or who has drifted down the mighty rivers of the interior which flow, bell-toned and lonely, to the sea.

I know not how the spell is wrought; nor have I ever met one who could put the miracle of its working into words. No writer has ever described Alaska; no one writer ever will; but each must do his share, according to the spell that the country casts upon him.

Some parts of Alaska lull the senses drowsily by their languorous charm; under their influence one sinks to a passive delight and drifts unresistingly on through a maze of tender loveliness. Nothing irritates. All is soft, velvety, soothing. Wordless lullabies are played by different shades of blue, rose, amber, and green; by the curl of the satin waves and the musical kiss of their cool and faltering lips; by the mists, light as thistle-down and delicately tinted as wild-rose petals, into which the steamer pushes leisurely; by the dreamy poise of seabirds on white or lavender wings high in the golden atmosphere; by the undulating flight of purple Shadow, tiptoe, through the dim fiords; by the lap of waves on shingle, the song of birds along the wooded shore, the pressure of soft winds



on the temples and hair, the sparkle of the sea weighing the eyelids down. The magic of it all gets into the blood.

The steamer slides through green and echoing reaches; past groups of totems standing like ghosts of the past among the dark spruce or cedar trees; through stone- walled canyons where the waters move dark and still; into open, sunlit seas.

But it is not until one sails on " to Westward " that the spell of Alaska falls upon one; sails out into the wild and splendid North Pacific Ocean. Here are the majesty, the sublimity, that enthrall; here are the noble spaces, the Titanic forces, the untrodden heights, that thrill and inspire.

The marvels here are not the marvels of men. They are wrought of fire and stone and snow by the tireless hand that has worked through centuries unnumbered and unknown.

He that would fall under the spell of Alaska, will sail on "to Westward," on to Unalaska; or he will go North- ward and drift down the Yukon - that splendid, lonely river that has its birth within a few miles of the sea, yet flows twenty-three hundred miles to find it.

Alaskan steamers usually sail between eight o'clock in the evening and midnight, and throngs of people congregate upon the piers of Seattle to watch their departure. The rosy purples and violets of sunset mix with the mists and settle upon the city, climbing white over its hills; as hours go by, its lights sparkle brilliantly through them, yet still the crowds sway upon the piers and wait for the first still motion of the ship as it slides into the night and heads for the far, enchanted land - the land whose sweet, insistent calling never ceases for the one who has once heard it.

Passengers who stay on deck late will be rewarded by the witchery of night on Puget Sound - the soft fragrance



of the air, the scarlet, blue, and green lights wavering across the water, the glistening wake of the ship, the city glimmering faintly as it is left behind, the dim shores of islands, and the dark shadows of bays.

One by one the lighthouses at West Point on the star- board side, and at Point-No- Point, Marrowstone, and Point Wilson, on the port, flash their golden messages through the dusk. One by one rise, linger, and fade the dark out- lines of Magnolia Bluff, Skagit Head, Double Bluff, and Liplip Point. If the sailing be early in the evening, mid- night is saluted by the lights of Port Townsend, than which no city on the Pacific Coast has a bolder or more beautiful situation.

The splendid water avenue - the burning "Opal-Way" - that leads the ocean into these inland seas was named in 1788 by John Meares, a retired lieutenant of the British navy, for Juan de Fuca (whose real name was Apostolos Valerianos), a Greek pilot who, in 1592, was sent out in a small " caravela " by the Viceroy of Mexico in search of the fabled "Strait of Anian," or "Northwest Passage" - supposed to lead from the Pacific to the Atlantic north of forty degrees of latitude.

As early as the year 1500 this strait was supposed to have been discovered by a Portuguese navigator named Cortereal, and to have been named by him for one of his brothers who accompanied him.

The names of certain other early navigators are mentioned in connection with the " Strait of Anian." Cabot is reported vaguely as having located it " neere the 318 meridian, between 61 and 64 degrees in the elevation, continuing the same breath about 10 degrees West, where it openeth Southerly more and more, until it come under the tropicke of Cancer, and so runneth into Mar del Zur, at least 18 degrees more in breath there than where it began;" Frobisher ; Urdaneta, " a Fryer of Mexico, who came out of



Mar del Zur this way into Germanie ;" and several others whose stories of having sailed the dream-strait that was then supposed to lead from ocean to ocean are not now considered seriously until we come to Juan de Fuca, who claimed that in his " caravela " he followed the coast "untill hee came to the latitude of fortie seuen degrees, and that there finding that the land trended North and Northeast, with a broad Inlet of Sea between 47 and 48 degrees of Latitude, hee entered thereinto, sayling therein more than twenty days, and found that land trending still sometime Northwest and Northeast and North, and also East and Southeastward, and very much broader sea then was at said entrance, and that hee passed by diners Hands in that sayling. And that at the entrance of this said Strait, there is on the Northwest coast thereof, a great Hedland or Hand, with an exceeding high pinacle or spired Rocke, like a pillar, thereupon."

He landed and saw people clothed in the skins of beasts; and he reported the land fruitful, and rich in gold, silver, and pearl.

Bancroft and some other historians consider the story of Juan de Fuca's entrance to Puget Sound the purest fiction, claiming that his descriptions are inaccurate and that no pinnacled or spired rock is to be found in the vicinity mentioned.

Meares, however, and many people of intelligence gave it credence ; and when we consider the differences in the descriptions of other places by early navigators, it is not difficult to believe that Juan de Fuca really sailed into the strait that now bears his name. Schwatka speaks of him as, "An explorer - if such he maybe called - who never entered this beautiful sheet of water, and who owes his immortality to an audacious guess, which came so near the truth as to deceive the scientific world for many a century."



The Strait of Juan de Fuca is more than eighty miles long and from ten to twelve wide, with a depth of about six hundred feet. At the eastern end it widens into an open sea or sound where beauty blooms like a rose, and from which forest-bordered water-ways wind slenderly in every direction.

From this vicinity, on clear days, may be seen the Olympic Mountains floating in the west; Mount Rainier, in the south ; the lower peaks of the Crown Mountains in the north ; and Mount Baker - or Kulshan, as the Indians named it - in the east.

The Island of San Juan, lying east of the southern end of Vancouver Island, is perhaps the most famous, and ce tainly the most historic, on the Pacific Coast. It is the island that barely escaped causing a declaration of war between Great Britain and the United States, over the international boundary, in the late fifties. For so small an island, - it is not more than fifteen miles long, by from six to eight wide, - it has figured importantly in large affairs.

The earliest trouble over the boundary between Vancouver Island and Washington arose in 1854. Both countries claimed ownership of San Juan and other islands near by, the Oregon Treaty of 1846 having failed to make it clear whether the boundary was through the Canal de Haro or the Strait of Rosario.

I. N. Ebey, American Collector of Customs, learning that several thousand head of sheep, cattle, and hogs had been shipped to San Juan without compliance with customs regulations, visited the island and was promptly insulted by a British justice of the peace. The Otter made her appearance in the harbor, bearing James Douglas, governor of Vancouver Island and vice-admiral of the British navy ; but nothing daunted, Mr. Ebey stationed Inspector Webber upon the island, declaring that he would



continue to discharge his official duties. The final trouble arose, however, in 1859, when an American resident shot a British pig ; and serious trouble was precipitated as swiftly as when a United States warship was blown up in Havana Harbor. General Harney hastily established military quarters on one end of the island, known as the American Camp, Captain Pickett transferring his company from Fort Bellingham for this purpose. English Camp was established on the northern end. "Warships kept guard in the harbors. Joint occupation was agreed upon, and until 1871 the two camps were maintained, the friendliest social relations existing between them. In that year the Emperor of Germany was chosen as arbitrator, amid decided in favor of the United States, the British withdrawing the following year. Until 1895 the British captain's house still stood upon its beautiful bluff, a thousand feet above the winding blue bay, the shore descending in steep, splendid terraces to the water, stair-wayed in stone, and grown with old and noble trees. Macadam roads led several miles across the island ; the old block-house of pioneer days remained at the water's edge ; and clustered around the old parade ground - now, alas ! a meadow of hay - were the quarters of the officers, overgrown with English ivy. The captain's house, which has now been destroyed by fire, was a low, eight-roomed house with an immense fireplace in each room ; the old claret- and ivory-striped wall-paper - which had been brought "around the Horn" at immense cost - was still on the walls. Gay were the scenes and royal the hospitalities of this house in the good days of the sixties. Its site, commanding the straits, is one of the most effective on the Pacific Coast ; and at the present writing it is extremely probable that a captain's house may again rise among the old trees on the terraced bluff - but not for the occupancy of a British captain.



Every land may occasionally have a beautiful sunset, and many lands have gorgeous and brilliant ones ; but nowhere have they such softly burning, milky-rose, opaline effects as on this inland sea.

Their enchanting beauty is doubtless due to the many wooded islands which lift dark green fore-stated hills around open sweeps of water, whereon settle delicate mists. When the fires of sunrise or of sunset sink through these mists, the splendor of coloring is marvelous and not equaled anywhere. It is as though the whole sound were one great opal, which had broken apart and flung its escaping fires of rose, amethyst, amber, and green up through the maze of trembling pearl above it. The un- usual beauty of its sunsets long ago gave Puget Sound the poetic name of Opal-Sea or Sea of Opal.



After passing the lighthouse on the eastern end of Vancouver Island, Alaskan steamers continue on a northerly course and enter the Gulf of Georgia through Active Pass, between Mayne and Galiana islands. This pass is guarded by a light on Mayne Island, to the steamer's starboard, going north.

The Gulf of Georgia is a bold and sweeping body of water. It is usually of a deep violet or a warm purplish gray in tone. At its widest, it is fully sixty miles - although its average width is from twenty to thirty miles - and it rolls between the mainland and Vancouver Island for more than one hundred miles.

The real sea lover will find an indescribable charm in this gulf, and will not miss an hour of it. It has the boldness and the sweep of the ocean, but the setting, the coloring, and the fragrance of the forest-bordered, snow-peaked sea. A few miles above the boundary, the Fraser River pours its turbulent waters into the gulf, upon whose dark surface they wind and float for many miles, at sun- rise and at sunset resembling broad ribbons of palest old rose crinkled over waves of silvery amber silk. At times these narrow streaks widen into still pools of color that seem to float suspended over the heavier waters of the gulf. Other times they draw lines of different color everywhere, or drift solid banks of smoky pink out to meet others of clear blue, with only the faintest thread of pearl to separate them. These islands of color constitute



one of the charms of this part of the voyage to Alaska ; along with the velvety pressure of the winds ; the picturesque shores, high and wooded in places, and in others sloping down into the cool shadowy bays where the shingle is splashed by spent waves ; and the snow-peaks linked above the clouds on either side of the steamer.

Splendid phosphorescent displays are sometimes witnessed in the gulf, but are more likely to occur farther north, in Grenville, or one of the other narrow channels, where their brilliancy is remarkable.

Tourists to whom a whale is a novelty will be gratified, without fail, in this vicinity. They are always seen sporting about the ships, - sometimes in deadly conflict with one another, - and now and then uncomfortably near.

In December, 1907, an exciting battle between a whale and a large buck was witnessed by the passengers and crew of the steamer Cassiar, in one of the bays north of Vancouver, on the vessel's regular run from that city to northern ports.

When the Cassiar appeared upon the scene, the whale was making furious and frequent attacks upon the buck. Racing through the water, which was lashed into foam on all sides by its efforts, it would approach close to its steadily swimming prey and then disappear, only to come to the surface almost under the deer. This was repeated a number of times, strangely enough without apparent injury to the deer. Again, the whale would make its appearance at the side of the deer and repeatedly endeavor to strike it with its enormous tail ; but the deer was sufficiently wise to keep so close to the whale that this could not be accomplished, notwithstanding the crushing blows dealt by the monster.

The humane passengers entreated the captain to go to the rescue of the exhausted buck and save it from inevitable death. The captain ordered full speed ahead, and



at the approach of the steamer the whale curved up out of the water and dived gracefully into the sea, as though making a farewell, apologetic bow on its final disappearance.

Whereupon the humane passengers shot the helpless and worn-out buck at the side of the steamer, and he was hauled aboard.

It may not be out of place to devote a few pages to the average tourist. To the one who loves Alaska and the divinely blue, wooded, and snow-pearled ways that lead to its final and sublime beauty, it is an enduring mystery why certain persons - usually women - should make this voyage. Their minds and their desires never rise above a whale or an Indian basket ; and unless the one is to be seen and the other to be priced, they spend their time in the cabin, reading, playing cards, or telling one another what they have at home.

" Do you know," said one of these women, yawning into the full glory of a sunset, " we have sailed this whole day past Vancouver Island. Not a thing to be seen but it and this water you call the Gulf of Georgia ! I even missed the whales, because I went to sleep, and I'd rather have seen them than anything. If they don't hurry up some towns and totem-poles, I'll be wishing I'd stayed at home. Do you play five hundred ? "

The full length of the Jefferson was not enough to put between this woman and the woman who had enjoyed every one of those purple water-miles ; every pearly cloud that had drifted across the pale blue sky ; every bay and fiord indenting the shore of the largest island on the Pacific Coast ; every humming-bird that had throbbed about us, seeking a rose at sea ; every thrilling scent that had blown down the northern water-ways, bearing the far, sweet call of Alaska to senses awake and trembling to receive it ; who had felt her pulses beating full to the



throb of the steamer that was bearing her on to the land of her dreams - to the land of Far Delight.

If only the players of bridge and the drinkers of pink tea would stay at home, and leave this enchanted voyage for those who understand ! There be enough of the elect in the world who possess the usual five senses, as well as that sixth sense which is of the soul, to fill every steamer that sails for Alaska.

Or, the steamship companies might divide their excursions into classes - some for those who love beauty, and some for those who love bridge.

For the sea lover, it is enough only to stand in the bow of a steamer headed for Alaska and hear the kiss and the rippling murmur of the waves as they break apart when the sharp cut-water pierces them, and then their long, musical rush along the steamer's sides, ere they reunite in one broad wake of bowing silver that leads across the purple toward home.

The mere vibration of a ship in these still inland seas is a physical pleasure by day and a sensuous lullaby at night; while, in summer, the winds are so soft that their touches seem like caresses.

The inlets and fiords extending for many miles into the mainland in this vicinity are of great beauty and grandeur, many winding for forty or fifty miles through walls of forestation and snow that rise sheer to a height of eight or ten thousand feet. These inlets are very narrow, sometimes mere clefts, through which the waters slip, clear, still, and of deepest green. They are of unknown depth; the mountains are covered with forests, over which rise peaks of snow. Cascades are numerous, and their musical fall is increased in these narrow fastnesses to a roar that may be heard for miles.

Passing Burrard Inlet, on which the city of Vancouver is situated, the more important inlets are Howe, Jervis,



from which Sechelt Arm leads southward and is distinguished by the wild thunder of its rapids ; Homery Channel, Price Channel, which, with Lewis Channel on the west, forms Redonda Island ; Bute Inlet, which is the most beautiful and the most important ; Knight, Seymour, Kingcome, and Belize inlets.

The wild and picturesque beauty of these inlets has been praised by tourists for many years. The Marquis of Lome was charmed by the scenery along Bute Inlet, which he extolled. It is about fifty miles in length and narrows in places to a width of a half-mile. The shores rise in sheer mountain walls, heavily fore-stated, to a height of several and eight thousand feet, their snowy crests over- hanging the clear, green-black waters of the narrow fiord. Many glaciers stream down from these peaks.

The Gulf of Georgia continues for a distance of one hundred miles in a northwesterly direction between the mainland and Vancouver Island. Texada, Redonda, and Valdes are the more important islands in the gulf. Texada appears on the starboard, opposite Comox ; the narrow strait separating it from the mainland is named Malaspina, for the Italian explorer. The largest glacier in the world, streaming into the sea from Mount St. Elias, more than a thousand miles to the northwestward from this strait, bears the same name.

Texada Island is twenty-eight miles long, with an average width of three miles. It is wooded and mountainous, the leading peak - Mount Shepard - rising to a height of three thousand feet. The lighthouse on its shore is known as "Three Sisters Light."

Along the shores of Vancouver Island and the mainland are many ranches owned and occupied by "remittance men . " In these beautiful, lonely solitudes they dwell with all the comforts of " old England," forming new ties, but holding fast to old memories.



It is said that the woman who should have one day been the Queen of England, lived near the city of Vancouver a few years ago. Before the death of his elder brother, the present Prince of Wales passionately loved the young and beautiful daughter of Admiral Seymour. His infatuation was returned, and so desperately did the young couple plead with the present King and the Admiral, that at last the prince was permitted to contract a morganatic marriage.

The understanding and agreement were that, should the prince ever become the heir to the throne of England, neither he nor his wife would oppose the annulment of the marriage.

There was only one brief year of happiness, when the elder brother of the prince died, and the latter's marriage to the Princess May was demanded.

No murmur of complaint was ever heard from the unhappy morganatic wife, nor from the royal husband ; and when the latter's marriage was solemnized, it was boldly announced that no bar to the union existed.

Here, in the western solitude, lived for several years - the veriest remittance woman - the girl who should now, by the right of love and honor, be the Princess of Wales ; and whose infant daughter should have been the heir to the throne.

To Vancouver, a few years ago, came, with his princess, the Prince of Wales. The city was gay with flags and flowers, throbbing with music, and filled with joyous and welcoming people. Somewhere, hidden among those swaying throngs, did a pale young woman holding a child by the hand, gaze for the last time upon the man she loved and upon the woman who had taken her place? And did her long-tortured heart in that hour finally break? It is said that she died within a twelvemonth.

Discovery Passage,


sometimes called Valdes Narrows, is entered. It is a narrow pass, twenty-four miles long, between Vancouver and Valdes islands. Halfway through it is Seymour Narrows, one of the most famous features of the " inside route," or passage, to Alaska. Passengers are awakened, if they desire, that they may be on deck while passing through these difficult narrows.

The Indian name of this pass is Yaculta.

" Yaculta is a wicked spirit," said the pilot, pacing the bridge at four o'clock of a primrose dawn, " She lives down in the clear depths of these waters and is supposed to entice guileless sailors to their doom. Yaculta sleeps only at slack-tide, and then boats, or ships, may slip through in safety, provided they do not make sufficient noise to awaken her. If they try to go through at any other stage of the tide, Yaculta stirs the whole pass into action, trying to get hold of them. Many's the time I've had to back out and wait for Yaculta to quiet down."

If the steamer attempts the pass at an unfavorable hour, fearful seas are found racing through at a fourteen-knot speed ; the steamer is flung from side to side of the rocky pass or sucked down into the boiling whirlpools by Yaculta. The brown, shining strands of kelp floating upon Ripple Reef, which carries a sharp edge down the centre of the pass, are the wild locks of Yaculta's luxuriant hair.

Pilots figure, upon leaving Seattle, to reach the narrows during the quarter-hour before or after slack-tide, when the water is found as still and smooth as satin stretched from shore to shore, and not even Yaculta's breathing disturbs her liquid coverlet.

Many vessels were wrecked here before the dangers of the narrows had become fully known: the steamer Saranac, in 1875, without loss of life; the Wachusett, in 1875; the Grappler, in 1888, which burned in the narrows with a very large loss of life, including that of the captain ; and


several less appalling disasters have occurred in these deceptive waters.

Three miles below Cape Mudge the tides from Juan de Fuca meet those from Queen Charlotte Sound, and force a fourteen-knot current through the narrows. The most powerful steamers are frequently overcome and carried back by this current.

Discovery Passage merges at Chatham Point into Johnstone Strait. Here the first Indian village, Alert Bay, is seen to starboard on the southern side of Cormorant Island. These are the Kwakiutl Indians, who did not at first respond to the advances of civilization so readily as most northern tribes. They came from their original village at the mouth of the Nimpkish River, to work in the canneries on the bay, but did not take kindly to the ways of the white man. A white child, said to have been stolen from Vancouver, was taken from these Indians a few years ago.

Some fine totem-poles have been erected here, and the graveyard has houses built over the graves. From the steamer the little village presents an attractive appearance, situated on a curving beach, with wooded slopes rising behind it.

Gorgeous potlatches are held here ; and until the spring of 1908 these orgies were rendered more repulsive by the sale of young girls.

Dr. Franz Boas, in his " Kwakiutl Texts," describes a game formerly played with stone disks by the Kwakiutls. They also had a myth that a game was played with these disks between the birds of the upper world and the mythi-people, that is, "all the animals and all the birds." The four disks were called the " mist-covered gambling stone," the " rainbow gambling stone," the " cloud-covered gambling stone," and the "carrier of the word." The wood-pecker and the other myth-birds played on one side ; the


Thunder-bird, and the birds of the upper air on the other. The contestants were ranged in two rows; the gambling stones were thrown along the middle between them, and they speared them with their beaks. The Thunder-bird and the birds of the upper air were beaten. This myth is given as an explanation of the reason for playing the game with the gambling stones, which are called laelae.

The Kwakiutls still play many of their ancient and picturesque gambling games at their potlatches.

Johnstone Strait is fifty-five miles long, and is continued by Broughton Strait, fifteen miles long, which enters Queen Charlotte Sound.

Here is a second, and smaller, Galiana Island, and on its western end is a spired rock which, some historians assert, may be " the great headland or island with an exceeding high pinnacle or spired rock thereon," which Juan de Fuca claimed to discover, and which won for him the charge of being an " audacious guesser " and an " unscrupulous liar." His believers, however, affirm that, having sailed for twenty days in the inland sea, he discovered this pinnacle at the entrance to what he supposed to be the Atlantic Ocean; and so sailed back the course he had come, believing himself to have been successful in discovering the famed strait of Anian. Why Vancouver's mistakes, failures, and faults should all be condoned, and Juan de Fuca's most uncompromisingly condemned, is difficult to understand.

Fort Rupert, on the northern end of Vancouver Island, beyond Broughton Strait, is an old Hudson's Bay post, situated on Beaver Harbor. The fort was built in 1849, and was strongly defended, troubles frequently arising from the attacks of Kwakiutl and Haidah Indians. Great potlatches were held there, and the chief's lodge was as notable as was the "Old-Man House" of Chief Seattle. It was one hundred feet long and eighty feet wide, and


rested on carved corner posts. There was an immense wooden potlatch dish that held food for one hundred people.

Queen Charlotte Sound is a splendid sweep of purple water; but tourists do not, usually, spend much time enjoying its beauty. Their berths possess charms that endure until shelter of the islands is once more assured, after the forty miles of open exposure to the swell of the ocean which is not always mild, notwithstanding its name. Those who miss it, miss one of the most beautiful features of the inland voyage. The warm breath of the Kuro Siwo, penetrating all these inland seas and passages, is converted by the great white peaks of the horizon into pearl-like mist that drifts in clouds and fragments upon the blue waters. Nowhere are these mists more frequent, nor more elusive, than in Queen Charlotte Sound. They roll upon the sparkling surface like thistle-down along a country lane - here one instant, vanished the next. At sunrise they take on the delicate tones of the primrose or the pinkish star-flower ; at sunset, all the royal rose and purple blendings; all the warm flushes of amber, orange, and gold. Through a maze of pale yellow, whose fine cool needles sting one's face and set one's hair with seed-pearls, one passes into a little open water-world where a blue sky sparkles above a bluer sea, and the air is like clear, washed gold. But a mile ahead a solid wall of amethyst closes in this brilliant sea; and presently the steamer glides into it, shattering it into particles that set the hair with amethysts, instead of pearls. Sometimes these clear spaces resemble rooms walled in different colors, but ceiled and floored in blue. Other times, the whole sound is clear, blue, shining; while exquisite gossamers of changeful tints wrap and cling about the islands, wind scarfs around the green hills, or set upon the brows of majestic snow-monarchs crowns as jewelled and as


evanescent as those worn by the real kings of the earth. Now and then a lofty fir or cedar may be seen draped with slender mist-veils as a maiden might wind a scarf of cob- webby lace about her form and head and arms - so lightly and so gracefully, and with such art, do the delicate folds trail in and out among the emerald-green branches of the tree.

It is this warm and excessive moisture - this daily mist-shower - that bequeaths to British Columbia and Alaska their marvelous and luxuriant growth of vegetation, their spiced sweetness of atmosphere, their fairness and freshness of complexion blending and constituting that indescribable charm which inspires one, standing on the deck of a steamer at early dawn, to give thanks to God that he is alive and sailing the blue water-ways of this sublime country.

" I don't know what it is that keeps pulling me back to this country," said a man in the garb of a laborer, one day. He stood down in the bow of the steamer, his hands were in his pockets, his throat was bared to the wind ; his blue eyes - sunken, but burning with that fire which never dies in the eyes of one who loves nature - were gazing up the pale-green narrow avenue named Grenville Channel. " It's something that you can't exactly put into words. You don't know that it's got hold of you while you're up here, but before you've been ' outside' a month, all at once you find it pulling at you - and after it begins, it never lets up. You try to think what it is up here that you want so ; what it is keeps begging at you to come back. Maybe there ain't a darn soul up here you care particular about I Maybe you ain't got an interest in a claim worth hens' teeth ! Maybe you're broke and know you'll have to work like a go-devil when you get here ! It don't make any difference. It's just Alaska. It calls you and calls you and calls you. Maybe you can't come,


SO you keep pretending you don't hear - but Lord, you do hear ! Maybe somebody shakes hands as if he liked you - and there's Alaska up and calling right through you, till you feel your heart shake ! Maybe a phonograph sets up a tune they used to deal out at Magnuson's roadhouse on the trail - and you hear that blame lonesome waterfall up in Keystone Canyon calling you as plain as you hear the phonograph ! Maybe you smell something like the sun shining on snow, all mixed up with tundra and salt air - and there's double quick action on your eyes and a lump in your throat that won't be swallowed down ! Maybe you see a white mountain, or a green valley, or a big river, or a blue strait, or a waterfall - and like a flash your heart opens, and shuts in an ache for Alaska that stays ! . . . No, I don't know what it is, but I do know how it is ; and so does every other poor devil that ever heard that something calling him that's just Alaska. It wakes you up in the middle of the night, just as plain as if somebody had said your name out loud, and you just lay there the rest of the night aching to go. I tell you what, if ever a country had a spirit, it's Alaska ; and when it once gets hold of you and gets to calling you to come, you might just as well get up and start, for it calls you and follows you, and haunts you till you do."

It is the pleading of the mountains and the pleading of the sea woven into one call and sent floating down laden with the sweetness of the splendid spaces. No mountaineer can say why he goes back to the mountains ; no sailor why he cannot leave the sea. No one has yet seen the spirit that dwells in the waterfall, but all have heard it calling and have known its spell.

"If you love the sea, you've got to follow it," said a sea-rover, " and that's all there is to it. A man can get along without the woman he loves best on earth if he has to, but he can't get along without the sea if he once gets


to loving it. It gets so it seems like a thing alive to him, and it makes up for everything else that he don't have. And it's just like that with Alaska. When a man has made two-three trips to Alaska, you can't get him off on a southern run again, as long as he can help himself."

It is an unimaginative person who can wind through these intricate and difficult sounds, channels, and passes without a strange, quickened feeling, as of the presence of those dauntless navigators who discovered and charted these waters centuries ago. From Juan de Fuca northward they seem to be sailing with us, those grim, brave spectres of the past - Perez, Meares, Cuadra, Valdes, Malaspina, Duncan, Vancouver, Whidbey - and all the others who came and went through these beautiful ways, leaving their names, or the names of their monarchs, friends, or sweethearts, to endure in blue stretches of water or glistening domes of snow.

We sail in safety, ease, luxury, over courses along which they felt their perilous way, never knowing whether Life or Death waited at the turn of the prow. Nearly a century and a quarter ago Vancouver, working his way cautiously into Queen Charlotte Sound, soon came to disaster, both the Discovery and her consort, the Chatham, striking upon the rocks that border the entrance. Fortunately the return of the tide in a few hours released them from their perilous positions, before they had sustained any serious damage.

But what days of mingled indecision, hope, and despair

what nights of anxious watching and waiting - must have been spent in these places through which we glide so easily now" ; and the silent spirits of the grim-peopled past take hold of our heedless hands and lead us on. Does a pilot sail these seas who has never on wild nights felt beside him on the bridge the presence of those early ones who, staring ever ahead under stern brows, drove


their vessels on, not knowing what perils lay beyond ? Who, asked, " What shall we do when hope be gone ? " made answer, " Why, sail on, and on, and on."

From Queen Charlotte Sound the steamer passes into Fitzhugh Sound around Cape Calvert, on Calvert Island. Off the southern point of this island are two dangerous clusters of rocks, to which, in 1776, by Mr. James Hanna, were given the interesting names of "Virgin " and " Pearl." In this poetic vicinage, and nearer the island than either, is another cluster of rocks, upon which some bold and sacrilegious navigator has bestowed the name of " Devil."

" It don't sound so pretty and ladylike," said the pilot who pointed them out, " but it's a whole lot more appropriate. Rocks are devils - and that's no joke; and what anybody should go and name them ' virgins ' and ' pearls ' for, is more than a man can see, when he's standing at a wheel, hell-bent on putting as many leagues between him and them as he can. It does seem as if some men didn't have any sense at all about naming things. Now, if I were going to name anything ' virgin ' " - his blue eyes narrowed as they stared into the distance ahead - "it would be a mountain that's always white ; or a bay that gets the first sunshine in the morning ; or one of those little islands down in Puget Sound that's just covered with flowers."

Just inside Fitzhugh Sound, on the island, is Safety Cove, or Oatsoalis, which was named by Mr. Duncan in 1788, and which has ever since been known as a safe anchorage and refuge for ships in storm. Vancouver, anchoring there in 1792, found the shores to be bold and steep, the water from twenty-three to thirty fathoms, with a soft, muddy bottom. Their ships were steadied with hawsers to the trees. They found a small beach, near which was a stream of excellent water and an abundance


of wood. Vessels lie here at anchor when storms or fogs render the passage across Queen Charlotte Sound too perilous to be undertaken.

Fitzhugh Sound is but a slender, serene water-way running directly northward thirty miles. On its west, lying parallel with the mainland, are the islands of Calvert, Hecate, Nalau, and Hunter, separated by the passages of Kwakshua, Hakai, and Nalau, which connect Fitzhugh with the wide sweep of Hecate Strait.

Burke Channel, the second link in the exquisite water chain that winds and loops in a northwesterly course between the islands of the Columbian and the Alexander archipelagoes and the mainland of British Columbia and Alaska, is scarcely entered by the Alaskan steamer ere it turns again into Fisher Channel, and from this, westward, into the short, very narrow, but most beautiful Lama Pass.

From Burke Channel several ribbon-like passages form King Island.

Lama Pass is more luxuriantly wooded than many of the others, and is so still and narrow that the reflections of the trees, growing to the water's edge, are especially attractive. Very effective is the graveyard of the Bella Bella Indians, in its dark forest setting, many totems and curious architectures of the dead showing plainly from the steamer when an obliging captain passes under slow bell. Near by, on Campbell Island, is the village of the Bella Bellas, who, with the Tsimpsians and the Alert Bay Indians, were formerly regarded as the most treacherous and murderous Indians of the Northwest Coast. Now, however, they are gathered into a model village, whose houses, church, school, and stores shine white and peaceful against a dark background.

Lama Pass is one of the most poetic of Alaskan waterways.

Seaforth Channel is the dangerous reach leading into


Millbank Sound. It is broken by rocks and reefs, on one of which, Rejetta Reef, the Willapa was stranded ten years ago. Running off Seaforth and Millbank are some of the finest fiords of the inland passage - Spiller, Johnston, Dean, Ellershe, and Portlock channels. Cousins and Cascades inlets, and many others. Dean and Cascades channels are noted for many waterfalls of wonderful beauty. The former is ten miles long and half a mile wide. Cascades Inlet extends for the same distance in a northeasterly direction, opening into Dean. Innumerable cataracts fall sheer and foaming down their great precipices ; the narrow canyons are filled with their musical, liquid thunder, and the prevailing color seems to be palest green, reflected from the color of the water underneath the beaded foam. Vancouver visited these canals and named them in 1793, and although, seemingly, but seldom moved by beauty, was deeply impressed by it here. He considered the cascades " extremely grand, and by much the largest and most tremendous we had ever beheld, their impetuosity sending currents of air across the canal."

These fiords are walled to a great height, and are of magnificent beauty. Some are so narrow and so deep that the sunlight penetrates only for a few hours each day, and eternal mist and twilight fill the spaces. In others, not disturbed by cascades, the waters are as clear and smooth as glass, and the stillness is so profound that one can hear a cone fall upon the water at a distance of many yards. Covered with constant moisture, the vegetation is of almost tropic luxuriance. In the shade, the huge leaves of the devil's-club seem to float, suspended, upon the air, drooping slightly at the edges when touched by the sun. Raspberries and salmon-berries grow to enormous size, but are so fragile and evanescent that they are gone at a breath, and the most delicate care must be


exercised in securing them. They tremble for an instant between the tongue and the palate, and are gone, leaving a sensation as of dewdrops flavored with wine ; a memory as haunting and elusive as an exquisite desire known once and never known again.

In Dean Canal, Vancouver found the water almost fresh at low tide, on account of the streams and cascades pouring into it.

There he found, also, a remarkable Indian habitation ; a square, large platform built in a clearing, thirty feet above the ground. It was supported by several uprights and had no covering, but a fire was burning upon one end of it.

In Cascade Canal he visited an Indian village, and found the construction of the houses there very curious. They apparently backed straight into a high, perpendicular rock cliff, which supported their rears ; while the fronts and sides were sustained by slender poles about eighteen feet in height.

Vancouver leaves the method of reaching the entrances to these houses to the reader's imagination.

It was in this vicinity that Vancouver first encountered " split-lipped " ladies. Although he had grown accustomed to distortions and mutilations among the various tribes he had visited, he was quite unprepared for the repulsive style which now confronted him.

A horizontal incision was made about three-tenths of an inch below the upper part of the lower lip, extending from one corner of the mouth to the other, entirely through the flesh ; this orifice was then by degrees stretched sufficiently to admit an ornament made of wood, which was confined close to the gums of the lower jaws, and whose external surface projected horizontally.

These wooden ornaments were oval, and resembled a small platter, or dish, made concave on both sides ; they


were of various lengths, the smallest about two inches and a half ; the largest more than three inches long, and an inch and a half broad.

They were about one-fifth of an inch thick, and had a groove along the middle of the outside edge to receive the lip.

These hideous things were made of fir, and were highly- polished. Ladies of the greatest distinction wore the largest labrets. The size also increased with age. they have been described by Vancouver, Cook, Lisianski, La Perouse, Dall, Schwatka, Emmans, and too many others to name here ; but no description can quite picture them to the liveliest imagination. When the " wooden trough " was removed, the incision gave the appearance of two mouths.

All chroniclers unite as to the hideousness and repulsive- ness of the practice.

Of the Indians in the vicinity of Fisher Channel, Vancouver remarks, without a glimmer of humor himself, that the vivacity of their countenance indicated a lively genius ; and that, from their frequent bursts of laughter, it would appear that they were great humorists, for their mirth was not confined to their own people, but was frequently at the expense of his party. They seemed a happy, cheerful people. This is an inimitable English touch ; a thing that no American would have written, save with a laugh at himself.

Poison Cove in Mussel Canal, or Portlock Canal, was so named by Vancouver, whose men ate roasted mussels there. Several were soon seized with numbness of the faces and extremities. In spite of all that was done to relieve their sufferings, one - John Carter - died and was buried in a quiet bay which was named for him.

Millbank Sound, named by Mr. Duncan before Vancouver's arrival, is open to the ocean, but there is only


an hour's run before the shelter of the islands is regained ; so that, even when the weather is rough, but slight discomfort is experienced by the most susceptible passengers. The finest scenery on the regular steamer route, until the great snow fields and glaciers are reached, is considered by many well acquainted with the route, to lie from Mill- bank on to Dixon Entrance. The days are not long enough now for all the beauty that weighs upon the senses like caresses. At evening, the sunset, blooming like a rose upon these splendid reaches, seems to drop perfumed petals of color, until the still air is pink with them, and the steamer pushes them aside as it glides through with faint throbbings that one feels rather than hears.

Through Finlayson Channel, Heikish Narrows, Graham, Fraser, and McKay reaches, Grenville Channel, - through all these enchanting water avenues one drifts for two hundred miles, passing from one reach to another without suspecting the change, unless familiar with the route, and so close to the wooded shores that one is tormented with the desire to reach out one's hand and strip the cool green spruce and cedar needles from the drooping branches.

Each water-way has its own distinctive features. In Finlayson Channel the forestation is a solid mountain of green on each side, growing down to the water and extending over it in feathery, flat sprays. Here the reflections are so brilliant and so true on clear days, that the dividing line is not perceptible to the vision. The mountains rise sheer from the water to a great height, with snow upon their crests and occasional cataracts foaming musically down their fissures. Helmet Mountain stands on the port side of the channel, at the entrance.

There's something about "Sarah" Island! I don't know what it is, and none of the mariners with whom I discussed this famous island seems to know; but the fact remains that they are all attached to " Sarah."


Down in Lama Pass, or possibly in Fitzhugh Sound, one hears casual mention of " Sarah " in the pilot-house or chart-room. Questioned, they do not seem to be able to name any particular feature that sets her apart from the other islands of this run.

"Well, there she is!" exclaimed the captain, at last. "Now, you'll see for yourself what there is about Sarah."

It is a long, narrow island, lying in the northern end of Finlayson Channel. Tolmie Channel lies between it and Princess Royal Island; Heikish Narrows - a quarter of a mile wide - between it and Roderick Island. Through Heikish. the steamer passes into the increasing beauty of Graham Reach.

"Now, there I " said the captain. "If you can tell me what there is about that island, you can do more than any skipper I know can do; but just the same, there isn't one of us that doesn't look forward to passing Sarah, that doesn't give her particular attention while we are passing, and look back at her after we're in Graham Reach. She isn't so little . . . nor so big. . . . The Lord knows she isn't so pretty ! " He was silent for a moment. Then he burst out suddenly: "I'm blamed if Z know what it is! But it's just so with some women. There's something about a woman, now and then, and a man can't tell, to save his soul, what it is; only, he doesn't forget her. You see, a captain meets hundreds of women; and he has to be nice to every one. If he is smart, he can make every woman think she is just running the ship - but Lord! he wouldn't know one of them if he met her next week on the street . . . only now and then ... in years and years . . . one! And that one he can't forget. He doesn't know what there is about her, any more than he knows what there is about 'Sarah.' Maybe he doesn't know the color of her eyes nor the color of her hair. Maybe she's married, and maybe she's single - for that


isn't it. He isn't in love with her - at least I guess he isn't. It's just that she has a way of coming back to him. Say he sees the Northern Lights along about midnight - and that woman comes like a flash and stands there with him. After a while it gets to be a habit with him when he gets into a port, to kind of look over the crowds for some one. For a minute or two he feels almost as if he expected some one to meet him ; then he knows he's disappointed about somebody not being there. He asks himself right out who it is. And all at once he remembers. Then he calls himself an ass. If she was the kind of woman that runs to docks to see boats come in, he'd laugh and gas with her - but he wouldn't be thinking of her till she pushed herself on him again."

The captain sighed unconsciously, and taking down a chart from the ceiling, spread it out upon a shelf and bent over it. I looked at Sarah, with her two lacy cascades falling like veils from her crown of snow. Already she was fading in the distance - yet how distinguished was she! How set apart from all others!

Then I fell to thinking of the women. What kind are they - the ones that stay! The one that comes at midnight and stands silent beside a man when he sees the Northern Lights, even though he is not in love with her

what kind of woman is she ?

" Captain," I said, a little later, " I want to add some- thing to Sarah's name."

" What is it? " said he, scowling over the chart.

"I want to name her ' Sarah, the Remembered.'"

He smiled.

" All right," said he, promptly. "I'll write that on the chart."

And what an epitaph that would be for a woman - " The Remembered! " If one only knew upon whose bit of marble to grave it.


Fraser and McKay reaches follow Graham, and then is entered Wright Sound, a body of water of great, and  practically unknown, depth. This small sound feeds six channels leading in different directions, one of which - Verney Pass - leads through Boxer Reach into the famed magnificence and splendor of Gardner Canal, whose waters push for fifty miles through dark and towering walls. An immense, glaciered mountain extends across the end of the canal.

Gardner Canal named by Vancouver for Admiral Sir Alan Gardner, to whose friendship and recommendation he was indebted for the command of the expedition to Nootka and the Northwest Coast - is doubtless the grandest of British Columbian inlets or fiords. At last, the favorite two adjectives of the Vancouver expedition - " tremendous " and " stupendous " - seem to have been most appropriately applied. Lieutenant Whidbey, exploring it in the summer of 1793, found that it " presented to the eye one rude mass of almost naked rocks, rising into rugged mountains, more lofty than he had before seen, whose towering summits, seeming to overhang their bases, gave them a tremendous appearance. The whole was covered with perpetual ice and snow that reached, in the gullies formed between the mountains, close down to the high-water mark ; and many waterfalls of various dimensions were seen to descend in every direction."

This description is quoted in full because it is an excellent example of the descriptions given out by Vancouver and his associates, who, if they ever felt a quickening of the pulses in contemplation of these majestic scenes, were certainly successful in concealing such human emotions from the world. True, they did occasionally chronicle a " pleasant " breeze, a " pleasing " landscape which " reminded them of England ; " and even, in the vicinity of Port Townsend, they were moved to enthusiasm over a


"landscape almost as enchantingly beautiful as the most elegantly finished pleasure-grounds in Europe," which called to their remembrance "certain delightful and be- loved situations in Old England."

But apparently, having been familiar only with pleasing pastoral scenes, they were not able to rise to an appreciation of the sublime in nature. " Elegant " is the mincino- and amusing adjective applied frequently to snow mountains by Vancouver; he mentions, also, "spacious meadows, elegantly adorned with trees ; " but when they arrive at the noble beauty which arouses in most beholders a feeling of exaltation and an appreciation of the marvelous handiwork of God, Vancouver and his associates, having never seen anything of the kind in England, find it only "tremendous," or " stupendous," or a " rude mass." They would have probably described the chaste, exquisite cone of Shishaldin on Unimak Island - as peerless and apart in its delicate beauty among mountains as Venice is among cities - as "a mountain covered with snow to the very sea and having a most elegant point."

There are many mountains more than twice the height of Shishaldin, but there is nowhere one so beautiful.

Great though our veneration must be for those brave mariners of early years, their apparent lack of appreciation of the scenery of Alaska is to be deplored. It has fastened upon the land an undeserved reputation for being "rugged" and " gloomy " - two more of their adjectives ; of being "ice-locked, ice-bound, and ice-bounded." We may pardon them much, but scarcely the adjective " grotesque," as applied to snow mountains.

Grenville Channel is a narrow, lovely reach, extending in a northwestward direction from Wright Sound for forty-five miles, when it merges into Arthur Passage. In its slender course it curves neither to the right nor to the left.


In this reach, at one o'clock one June day, the thrilling cry of " man overboard" ran over the decks of the Santa Alia. There were more than two hundred passengers aboard, and instantly an excited and dangerous stampede to starboard and stern occurred ; but the captain, cool and stern on the bridge, was equal to the perilous situation. A life-boat was ordered lowered, and the steerage passengers were quietly forced to their quarters forward. Life-buoys, life-preservers, chairs, ropes, and other articles were flung overboard, until the water resembled a junk- shop. Through them all, the man's dark, closely shaven head could be seen, his face turned from the steamer, as he swam fiercely toward the shore against a strong current. The channel was too narrow for the steamer to turn, but a boat was soon in hot pursuit of the man who was struggling fearfully for the shore, and who was supposed to be too bewildered to realize that he was headed in the wrong direction. What was our amazement, when the boat finally reached him, to discover, by the aid of glasses, that he was resisting his rescuers. There was a long struggle in the water before he was overcome and dragged into the boat.

He was a pitiable sight when the boat came level with the hurricane deck ; wild-eyed, gray-faced, shuddering like a dog; his shirt torn open at the throat and exposing its tragic emaciation; his glance flashing wildly from one face to another, as though in search of one to be trusted - he was an object to command the pity of the coldest heart. In his hand was still gripped his soft hat which he had taken from his head before jumping overboard.

"What is it, my man?" asked the captain, kindly, approaching him.

The man's wild gaze steadied upon the captain and seemed to recognize him as one in authority.

"They've been trying to kill me, sir, all the way up."



The poor fellow shuddered hard. 

"They," he said. "They're on the boat. I had to watch them night and day. I didn't dast go to sleep. It got too much ; I couldn't stand it. I had to get ashore. I'd been waiting for this channel because it was so narrow. I thought the current 'u'd help me get away. I'm a good swimmer."

"A better one never breasted a wave! Take him below. Give him dry clothes and some whiskey, and set a watch over him."

The poor wretch was led away; the crowd drifted after him. Pale and quiet, the captain went back to the chart- room and resumed his slow pacing forth and back.

" I wish tragedies of body and soul would not occur in such beautiful lengths of water," he said at last. " I can never sail through Grenville Channel again without seeing that poor fellow's haggard face and wild, appealing eyes. And after Gardner Canal, there is not another on the route more beautiful than this! "

Two inlets open into Grenville Channel on the starboard going north, Lowe and Klewnuggit, - both affording safe anchorage to vessels in trouble. Pitt Island forms almost the entire western shore - a beautifully wooded one - of the channel. There is a salmon cannery in Lowe Inlet, beside a clear stream which leaps down from a lake in the mountains. The waters and shores of Grenville have a clear, washed green, which is spring-like. In many of the other narrow ways the waters are blue, or purple, or a pale blue-gray; but here they suddenly lead  pou along the palest of green, shimmering avenues, while mountains of many-shaded green rise steeply on both sides, glimmering away into drifts of snow, which drop threads of silver down the sheer heights.

This shaded green of the mountains is a feature of Alaskan


landscapes. Great landslides and windfalls cleave their way from summit to sea, mowing down the forests in their path. In time the new growth springs up and streaks the mountain side with lighter green.

Probably one-half of the trees in southeastern Alaska are the Menzies spruce, or Sitka pine. Their needles are sharp and of a bluish green.

The Menzies spruce was named for the Scotch botanist who accompanied Vancouver.

The Alaska cedar is yellowish and lacy in appearance, with a graceful droop to the branches. It grows to an average height of one hundred and fifty feet. Its wood is very valuable.

Arbor-vitte grows about the glaciers and in cool, dim fiords. Birch, alder, maple, Cottonwood, broom, and hemlock-spruce are plentiful, but are of small value, save in the cause of beauty.

The Menzies spruce attains its largest growth in the Alexander Archipelago, but ranges as far south as California. The Douglas fir is not so abundant as it is farther south, nor does it grow to such great size.

The Alaska cedar is the most prized of all the cedars. It is in great demand for ship-building, interior finishing, cabinet-making, and other fine work, because of its close texture, durable quality, and aromatic odor, which some- what resembles that of sandalwood. In early years it was shipped to Japan, where it was made into fancy boxes and fans, which were sold under guise of that scented Oriental wood. Its lasting qualities are remarkable - sills having been found in perfect preservation after sixty years' use in a wet climate. Its pleasant odor is as enduring as the wood. The long, slender, pendulous fruits which hang from the branches in season, give the tree a peculiarly graceful and appealing appearance.

The western white pine is used for interior work. It


is a magnificent tree, as seen in the forest, having bluish green fronds and cones a foot long.

The giant arborvitse attains its greatest size close to the coast. The wood splits easily and makes durable shingles. It takes a brilliant polish and is popular for interior finishing. Its beauty of growth is well known.

Wherever there is sufficient rainfall, the fine-fronded hemlock may be found tracing its lacelike outlines upon the atmosphere. There is no evergreen so delicately lovely as the hemlock. It stands apart, with a little air of its own, as a fastidious small maid might draw her skirts about her when common ones pass by.

The spruces, firs, and cedars grow so closely together that at a distance they appear as a solid wall of shaded green, varying from the lightest beryl tints, on through bluish grays to the most vivid and dazzling emerald tones. At a distance canyons and vast gulches are filled so softly and so solidly that they can scarcely be detected, the trees on the crests of the nearer hills blending into those above, and concealing the deep spaces that sink between.

These forests have no tap-roots. Their roots spread widely upon a thin layer of soil covering solid stone in many cases, and more likely than not this soil is created in the first place by the accumulation of parent needles. Trees spring up in crevices of stone where a bit of sand has sifted, grow, fruit, and shed their needles, and thrive upon them. The undergrowth is so solid that one must cut one's way through it, and the progress of surveyors or prospectors is necessarily slow and difficult.

These forests are constantly drenched in the warm mists precipitated by the Kuro Si wo striking upon the snow, and in this quickening moisture they reach a brilliancy of coloring that is remarkable. At sunset, threading these narrow channels, one may see mountain upon mountain climbing up to crests of snow, their lower


wooded slopes covered with mists in palest blue and old rose tones, through which the tips of the trees, crowded close together, shine out in brilliant, many-shaded greens. After Arthur Passage is that of Malacca, which is dotted by several islands. " Lawyer's," to starboard, bears a red light ; " Lucy," to port, farther north, a fixed white light. Directly opposite " Lucy " - who does not rival " Sarah," or who in the pilot's words " has nothing about her" - is old Metlakahtla.


The famous ukase of 1821 was issued by the Russian Emperor on the expiration of the twenty-year charter of the Russian-American Company. It prohibited " to all foreign vessels not only to land on the coasts and islands belonging to Russia, as stated above" (including the whole of the northwest coast of America, beginning from Behring Strait to the fifty-first degree of northern latitude, also from the Aleutian Islands to the eastern coast of Siberia, as well as along the Kurile Islands from Behring Strait to the south cape of the Island of Urup) "  but also to approach them within less than one hundred miles."

After the Nootka Convention in 1790, the Northwest Coast was open to free settlement and trade by the people of any country. It was claimed by the Russians to the Columbia, afterward to the northern end of Vancouver Island ; by the British, from the Columbia to the fifty-fifth degree ; and by the United States, from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, between Forty-two and Fifty-four, Forty. By the treaty of 1819, by which Florida was ceded to us by Spain, the United States acquired all of Spanish rights and claims on the coast north of the forty-second degree. By its trading posts and regular trading vessels, the United States was actually in possession.

By treaty with the United States in 1824, and with Great Britain in 1825, Russia, realizing her mistake in issuing the ukase of 1821, agreed to Fifty-four, Forty as the limit of her possessions to southward. Of the interior



regions, Russia claimed the Yukon region ; England, that of the Mackenzie and the country between Hudson Bay and the Rocky Mountains ; the United States, all west of the Rockies, north of Forty-two.

The year previous to the one in which the United States acquired Florida and all Spanish rights on the Pacific Coast north of Forty-two, the United States and England had agreed to a joint occupation of the region. In 1828 this was indefinitely extended, but with the emigration to Oregon in the early forties, this country demanded a settlement of the boundary question.

President Tyler, in his message to Congress in 1843, declared that " the United States rights appertain to all between forty-two degrees and fifty-four degrees and forty minutes."

The leading Democrats of the South were at that time advocating the annexation of Texas. Mr. Calhoun was an ardent champion of the cause, and was endeavoring to effect a settlement with the British minister, offering the forty-ninth parallel as a compromise on the boundary dispute, in his eagerness to acquire Texas without danger of interference.

The compromise was declined by the British minister.

In 1844 slave interests defeated Mr. Van Buren in his aspirations to the presidency. Mr. Clay was nominated instead. The latter opposed the annexation of Texas and advised caution and compromise in the Oregon question ; but the Democrats nominated Polk and under the war-cry of "Fifty-four, Forty, or Fight," bore him on to victory. The convention which nominated him advocated the re-annexation of Texas and the reoccupation of Oregon ; the two significant words being used to make it clear that Texas had belonged to us before, through the Louisiana purchase ; and Oregon, before the treaty of joint occupation with Great Britain.


President Polk, in his message, declared that, " beyond all question, the protection of our laws and our jurisdiction, civil and criminal, ought to be immediately extended over our citizens in Oregon."

He quoted from the convention which had nominated him that " our title to the country of Oregon as far as Fifty-four, Forty, is clear and unquestionable ; " and he boldly declared ''for all of Oregon or none."

John Quincy Adams eloquently supported our title to the country to the line of Fifty-four, Forty in a powerful speech in the House of Representatives.

Yet it soon became apparent that both the Texas policy and the Oregon question could not be successfully carried out during the administration. " Fifty-four, Forty, or Fight " as a watchword in a presidential campaign was one thing, but as a challenge to fight flung in the face of Great Britain, it was quite another.

In February, 1846, the House declared in favor of giving notice to Great Britain that the joint occupancy of the Oregon country must cease. The Senate, realizing that this resolution was practically a declaration of war, declined to adopt it, after a very bitter and fiery controversy.

Those who retreated from their first position on the question were hotly denounced by Senator Hannegan, the Democratic senator from Indiana. He boldly attacked the motives which led to their retreat, and angrily exclaimed : -

" If Oregon were good for the production of sugar and cotton, it would not have encountered this opposition."

The resolution was almost unanimously opposed by the Whig senators. Mr. Webster, while avoiding the point of our actual rights in the matter, urged that a settlement on the line of the forty-ninth parallel be recommended, as permitting both countries to compromise with


dignity and honor. The resolution that was finally passed by the Senate and afterward by the House, authorized the president to give notice at his discretion to Great Britain that the treaty should be terminated, " in order that the .attention of the governments of both countries may be the more earnestly directed to the adoption of all proper measures for a speedy and amicable adjustment of the differences and disputes in regard to said territory."

Forever to their honor be it remembered that a few of the Southern Democrats refused to retreat from their first position - among them, Stephen A. Douglas. Senator Hannegan reproached his party for breaking the pledges on which it had marched to victory.

The passage of the milk-and-water resolution restored to the timid of the country a feeling of relief and security; but to the others, and to the generations to come after them, helpless anger and undying shame.

The country yielded was ours. We gave it up solely because to retain it we must fight, and we were not in a position at that time to fight Great Britain.

When the Oregon Treaty, as it was called, was concluded by Secretary Buchanan and Minister Pakenham, we lost the splendid country now known as British Columbia, which, after our purchase of Alaska from Russia, would have given us an unbroken frontage on the Pacific Ocean from Southern California to Behring Strait, and almost to the mouth of the Mackenzie River on the Frozen Ocean.

Many reasons have been assigned by historians for the retreat of the Southern Democrats from their former bold and flaunting position ; but in the end the simple truth will be admitted - that they might brag, but were not in a position to fight. They were like Lieutenant Whidbey, whom Vancouver sent out to explore Lynn Canal in a small boat. Mr. Whidbey was ever ready and eager, when


he deemed it necessary, to fire upon a small party of Indians ; but when they met him, full front, in formidable numbers and with couched spears, he instantly fell into a panic and deemed it more " humane " to avoid a conflict with those poor, ignorant people.

The Southern Democrats who betrayed their country in 1846 were the Whidbeys of the United States. For no better reason than that of " humanity," they gave nearly four hundred thousand square miles of magnificent country to Great Britain.

Another problem in this famous boundary settlement question has interested American historians for sixty years : Why England yielded so much valuable territory to the United States, after protecting what she claimed as her rights so boldly and so unflinchingly for so many years.

Professor Schafer, the head of the Department of American History at the University of Oregon, claims to have recently found indisputable proof in the records of the British Foreign Office and those of the old Hudson's Bay Company, in London, that the abandonment of the British claim was influenced by the presence of American pioneers who had pushed across the continent and settled in the disputed territory, bringing their families and founding homes in the wilderness.

England knew, in her heart, that the whole disputed territory was ours ; and as our claims were strengthened by settlement, she was sufficiently far-sighted to be glad to compromise at that time. If the Oregon Treaty had been delayed for a few years, British Columbia would now be ours. Proofs which strengthen our claim were found in the winter of 1907-1908 in the archives of Sitka.

There would be more justice in our laying claim to British Columbia now, than there was in the claims of Great Britain in the famous lisiere matter which was settled in 1903.


By the treaties of 1824, between Russia and the United States, and of 1825, between Russia and Great Britain, the limits of Russian possessions are thus defined, and upon our purchase of Alaska from Russia, were repeated in the Treaty of Washington in 1807 -

"Commencing from the southernmost point of the island called Prince of Wales Island, which point lies in the parallel of fifty-four degrees and forty minutes north latitude, and between the one hundred and thirty-first and the one hundred and thirty-third degree of west longitude (meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend to the North along the channel called Portland Channel, as far as the point of the continent where it strikes the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude ; from this last mentioned point, the line of demarcation shall follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the coast as far as the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude (of the same meridian) ; and finally, from the said point of intersection, the said meridian line of the one hundred and forty-first degree, in its prolongation as far as the Frozen Ocean, shall form the limit between the Russian and British possessions on the Continent of America to the northwest.

" With reference to the line of demarcation laid down in the preceding article, it is understood : -

" First, That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong wholly to Russia.

" Second, That whenever the summit of the mountains which extend parallel to the coast from the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude to the point of intersection of the one hundred and forty-first degree of west longitude shall prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the ocean, the limit between the British possessions and the line of coast which is to belong to Russia as above mentioned shall be formed by a line


parallel to the windings of the coast, and which shall never exceed the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom.

" The western limit within which the territories and dominion conveyed are contained, passes through a point in Behring Strait on the parallel of sixty-five degrees, thirty minutes, north latitude, at its intersection by the meridian which passes midway between the islands of Krusenstern, or Ignalook, and the island of Ratmanoff, or Noonarbook, and proceeds due north, without limitation, into the same Frozen Ocean. The same western limit, beginning at the same initial point, proceeds thence in a course nearly southwest, through Behring Strait and Behring Sea, so as to pass midway between the northwest point of the island of St. Lawrence and the southeast point of Cape Choukotski, to the meridian of one hundred and seventy-two west longitude ; thence, from the intersection of that meridian in a southwesterly direction, so as to pass midway between the island of Attou and the Copper Island of the Kormandorski coup- let or group in the North Pacific Ocean, to the meridian of one hundred and ninety-three degrees west longitude, so as to include in the territory conveyed the whole of the Aleutian Islands east of that meridian."

In the cession was included the right of property in all public lots and squares, vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks, and other edifices, which were not private individual property. It was, however, understood and agreed that the churches which had been built in the ceded territory by the Russian government should remain the property of such members of the Greek Oriental Church resident in the territory as might choose to worship therein. All government archives, papers, and documents relative to the territory and dominion aforesaid which were existing there at the time of transfer


were left in possession of the agent of the United States ; with the understanding that the Russian government or any Russian subject may at any time secure an authenticated copy thereof.

The inhabitants of the territory were given their choice of returning to Russia within three years, or remaining in the territory and being admitted to the enjoyment of all rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States, protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion.

It must be confessed with chagrin that very few Russians availed themselves of this opportunity to free themselves from the supposed oppression of their government, to unite with the vaunted glories of ours.

Before 1825, Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, and the United States had no rights of occupation and assertion on the Northwest Coast. Different nations had "planted bottles " and " taken possession " wherever their explorers had chanced to land, frequently ignoring the same ceremony on the part of previous explorers ; but these formalities did not weigh against the rights of discovery and actual occupation by Russia - else Spain's rights would have been prior to Great Britain's.

Between the years of 1542 and 1774 Spanish explorers had examined and traced the western coast of America as far north as fifty-four degrees and forty minutes, Perez having reached that latitude in 1774, discovering Queen Charlotte Islands on the 16th of June, and Nootka Sound on the 9th of August.

Although he did not land, he had friendly relations with the natives, who surrounded his ship, singing and scattering white feathers as a beautiful token of peace. They traded dried fish, furs, and ornaments of their own making for knives and old iron ; and two, at least, boarded the ship.


Perez named the northernmost point of Queen Charlotte Islands Point Santa Margarita.

Proceeding south, he made a landfall and anchored in a roadstead in forty-nine degrees and thirty minutes, which he called San Lorenzo - afterward the famous Nootka of Vancouver Island. He also discovered the beautiful white mountain which dignifies the entrance to Puget Sound, and named it Santa Rosalia. It was renamed Mount Olympus fourteen years later by John Meares.

This was the first discovery of the Northwest Coast, and when Cook and Vancouver came, it was to find that the Spanish had preceded them.

Not content with occupying the splendid possessions of the United States through the not famous, but infamous, Oregon Treaty, Canada, upon the discovery of gold in the Cassiar district of British Columbia, brought up the question of the lisiere, or thirty-mile strip. This was the strip of land, "not exceeding ten marine leagues in width," which bordered the coast from the southern limit of Russian territory at Portland Canal (now the southern boundary of Alaska) to the vicinity of Mount St. Elias. The purpose of this strip was stated by the Russian negotiations to be " the establishment of a barrier at which would be stopped, once for all, to the North as to the West of the coast allotted to our American Company, the encroachments of the English agents of the Amalgamated Hudson Bay and Northwest English Company."

In 1824, upon the proposal of Sir Charles Bagot to assign to Russia a strip with the uniform width of ten marine leagues from the shore, limited on the south by a line between thirty and forty miles north from the northern end of the Portland Canal, the Russian Plenipotentiaries replied : -

" The motive which caused the adoption of the principle


of mutual expediency to be proposed, and the most important advantage of this principle, is to prevent the respective establishments on the Northwest Coast from injuring each other and entering into collision.

" The English establishments of the Hudson Bay and Northwest companies have a tendency to advance westward along the fifty-third and fifty-fourth degrees of north latitude.

"The Russian establishments of the American Company have a tendency to descend southward toward the fifty-fifth parallel and beyond; for it should be noted that, if the American Company has not yet made permanent establishments on the mathematical line of the fifty-fifth degree, it is nevertheless true that by virtue of its privilege of 1799, against which privilege no power has ever protested, it is exploiting the hunting and the fishing in these regions, and that it regularly occupies the islands and the neighboring coasts during the season, which allows it to send its hunters and fishermen there.

" It was, then, to the mutual advantage of the two Empires to assign just limits to this advance on both sides, which, in time, could not fail to cause most unfortunate complications.

" It was also to their mutual advantage to fix their limits according to natural partitions, which always constitute the most distinct and certain frontiers.

" For these reasons the Plenipotentiaries of Russia have proposed as limits upon the coast of the continent, to the South, Portland Channel, the head of which lies about (par) the fifty-sixth degree of north latitude, and to the East, the chain of mountains which follows at a very short distance the sinuosities of the coast."

Sir Charles Bagot urged the line proposed by himself and offered, on the part of Great Britain, to include the Prince of Wales Island within the Russian line.


Russia, however, insisted upon having her lisiere run to the Portland Canal, declaring that the possession of Wales Island, without a slice (portion) of territory upon the coast situated in front of that island, could be of no utility whatever to Russia ; that any establishment formed upon said island, or upon the surrounding islands, would find itself, as it were, flanked by the English establishments on the mainland, and completely at the mercy of these latter.

England finally yielded to the Russian demand that the lisiere should extend to the Portland Canal.

The claim that the Canadian government put forth, after the discovery of gold had made it important that Canada should secure a short line of traffic between the northern interior and the ocean, was that the wording of certain parts of the treaty of 1825 had been wrongly interpreted. The Canadians insisted that it was not the meaning nor the intention of the Convention of 1825 that there should remain in the exclusive possession of Russia a continuous fringe, or strip - the lisiere - of coast, separating the British possessions from the bays, ports, inlets, havens, and waters of the ocean.

Or, if it should be decided that this was the meaning of the treaty, they maintained that the width of the lisiere was to be measured from the line of the general direction of the mainland coast, and not from the heads of the many inlets.

They claimed, also, that the broad and beautiful " Portland's Canal " of Vancouver and the " Portland Channel " of the Convention of 1825, were the Pearse Channel or Inlet of more recent times. This contention, if sustained, would give them our Wales and Pearse islands.

It was early suspected, however, that this claim was only made that they might have something to yield when, as they hoped, their later claim to Pyramid Harbor and


the valley of the Chilkaht River should be made and upheld. This would give them a clear route into the Klondike territory.

In 1898 a Joint High Commission was appointed for the consideration of Pelagic Fur Sealing, Commercial Reciprocity, and the Alaska Boundary. The Commission met in Quebec. The discussion upon the boundary continued for several months, the members being unable to agree upon the meaning of the wording of the treaty of 1825.

The British and Canadian members, thereupon, un-blushingly proposed that the United States should cede to Canada Pyramid Harbor and a strip of land through the entire width of the lislere.

To Americans who know that part of our country, this proposal came as a shock. Pyramid Harbor is the best harbor in that vicinity; and its cession, accompanied by a highway through the lisiere to British possessions, would have given Canada the most desirable route at that time to the Yukon and the Klondike - the rivers upon which the eyes of all nations were at that time set. Many routes into that rich and picturesque region had been tested, but no other had proved so satisfactory.

It has since developed that the Skaguay route is the real prize. Had Canada foreseen this, she would not have hesitated to demand it.

From the disagreement of the Joint High Commission of 1898 arose the modus vivendi of the following year. There has been a very general opinion that the temporary boundary points around the heads of the inlets at the northern end of Lynn Canal, laid down in that year, were fixed for all time - although it seems impossible that this opinion could be held by any one knowing the definition of the term "modus vivendi."

By the modus vivendi Canada was given temporary


possession of valuable Chilkaht territory, and her new maps were made accordingly.

In 1903 a tribunal composed of three American members and three representing Great Britain, two of whom were Canadians, met in Great Britain, to settle certain questions relating to the lisiere.

The seven large volumes covering the arguments and decisions of this tribunal, as published by the United States government, make intensely interesting and valuable reading to one who cares for Alaska.

The majority of the tribunal, that is to say, Lord Alverstone and the three members from the United States, decided that the Canadians have no rights to the waters of any of the inlets, and that it was the meaning of the convention of 1825 that the lisiere should for all time separate the British possessions from the bays, ports, inlets, and waters of the ocean north of British Columbia ; and that, furthermore, the width of the lisiere was not to be measured from the line of the general direction of the mainland coast, leaping the bays and inlets, but from a line running around the heads of such indentations.

The tribunal, however, awarded Pearse and Wales islands, which belonged to us, to Canada ; it also narrowed the lisiere in several important points, notably on the Stikine and Taku rivers.

The fifth question, however, was the vital one ; and it was answered in our favor, the two Canadian members dissenting. The boundary lines have now been changed on both United States and Canadian maps, in conformity with the decisions of the tribunal.

Blaine, Bancroft, and Davidson have made the clearest statements of the boundary troubles.


The first landing made by United States boats after leaving Seattle is at Ketchikan. This is a comparatively new town. It is seven hundred miles from Seattle, and is reached early on the third morning out. It is the first town in Alaska, and glistens white and new on its gentle hills soon after crossing the boundary line in Dixon Entrance - which is always saluted by the lifting of hats and the waving of handkerchiefs on the part of patriotic Americans.

Ketchikan has a population of fifteen hundred people. It is the distributing point for the mines and fisheries of this section of southeastern Alaska. It is the present port of entry, and the Customs Office adds to the dignity of the town. There is a good court-house, a saw-mill with a capacity of twenty-five thousand feet daily, a shingle mill, salmon canneries, machine shops, a good water system, a cold storage plant, two excellent hotels, good schools and churches, a progressive newspaper, several large wharves, modern and well-stocked stores and shops, and a sufficient number of saloons. The town is lighted by electricity and many of the buildings are heated by steam. A creditable chamber of commerce is maintained.

There are seven salmon canneries in operation which are tributary to Ketchikan. The most important one " mild-cures " fish for the German market.

Among the " shipping " mines, which are within a radius of fifty miles, and which receive mails and supplies from



Ketchikan, are the Mount Andrews, the Stevenston, the Mamies, the Russian Brown, the Hydah, the Nibhick, and the Sulzer. From fifteen to twenty prospects are under development.

There are smelters in operation at Hadley and Copper Mountain, on Prince of Wales Island. From Ketchikan to all points in the mining and fishing districts safe and commodious steamers are regularly operated. The chief mining industries are silver, copper, and gold.

The residences are for the most part small, but, climbing by green terraces over the hill and surrounded by flowers and neat lawns, they impart an air of picturesque- ness to the town. There are several totem-poles ; the handsomest was erected to the memory of Chief " Captain John," by his nephew, at the entrance to the house now occupied by the latter. The nephew asserts that he paid $2060 for the carving and making of the totem. Owing to its freshly painted and gaudy appearance, it is as lacking in interest as the one which stands in Pioneer Square, Seattle, and which was raped from a northern Indian village.

Four times had I landed at Ketchikan on my way to far beautiful places ; with many people had I talked concerning the place ; folders of steamship companies and pamphlets of boards of trade had I read ; yet never from any person nor from any printed page had I received the faintest glimmer that this busy, commercially described northwestern town held, almost in its heart, one of the enduring and priceless jewels of Alaska. To the beauty-loving, Norwegian captain of the steamship Jefferson was I at last indebted for one of the real delights of my life.

It was near the middle of a July night, and raining heavily, when the captain said to us :

" Be ready on the stroke of seven in the morning, and I'll show you one of the beautiful things of Alaska."


" But - at Ketchikan, captain ! "

"Yes, at Ketchikan."

I thought of all the vaunted attractions of Ketchikan which had ever been brought to my observation ; and I felt that at seven o'clock in the morning, in a pouring rain, I could live without every one of them. Then - the charm of a warm berth in a gray hour, the cup of hot coffee, the last dream to the drowsy throb of the steamer -

" It will be raining, captain," one said, feebly.

The look of disgust that went across his expressive face !

" What if it is ! You won't know it's raining as soon as you get your eyes filled with what I want to show you. But if you're one of that kind - "

He made a gesture of dismissal with his hands, palms outward, and turned away.

" Captain, I shall be ready at seven. I'm not one of that kind," we all cried together.

" All right ; but I won't wait five minutes. There'll be two hundred passengers waiting to go."

" You know that letter that Thomas Bailey Aldrich wrote to Professor Morse," spoke up a lady from Boston, who had overheard. " You know Professor Morse wrote a hand that couldn't be deciphered, and among other things, Mr. Aldrich wrote : ' There's a singular and perpetual charm in a letter of yours ; it never grows old ; it never loses its novelty. One can say to one's self every day : " There's that letter of Morse's. I have not read it yet. I think I shall take another shy at it." Other letters are read and thrown away and forgotten ; but yours are kept forever - unread ! ' Now, that letter, somehow, in the vaguest kind of way, suggests itself when one considers this getting up anywhere from three to six in the morning to see things in Alaska. There's always something to be seen during these unearthly hours. Every night we are convinced that we will be on deck early, to see something, and we


leave au order to be wakened ; but when the dreaded knocking comes upon the door, and a hoarse voice announces ' Wrangell Narrows,' or ' Lama Pass,' our berths suddenly take on curves and attractions they possess at no other time. The side-rails into which we have been bumping seem to be cushioned with down, the space between berths to grow wider, the air in the room sweeter and more drowsily delicious. We say, ' Oh, we'll get up to-morrow morning and see something,' and we pull the berth-curtain down past our faces and go to sleep. After a while, it grows to be one of the perpetual charms of a trip to Alaska - this always going to get up in the morning and this never getting up. It never grows old ; it never loses its novelty. One can say to one's self every morning: ' There's that little matter to decide now about getting up. Shall I, or shall I not ? ' I have been to Alaska three times, but I've never seen Ketchikan. Other places are seen and admired and forgotten ; but it remains forever - unseen. . . . Now, I'll go and give an order to be called at half-past six, to see this wonderful thing at Ketchikan ! "

I looked around for her as I went down the slushy deck the next morning on the stroke of seven ; but she was not in sight. It was raining heavily and steadily - a cold, thick rain ; the wind was so strong and so changeful that an umbrella could scarcely be held.

Alas for the captain ! Out of his boasted two hundred passengers, there came forth, dripping and suspicious- eyed, openly scenting a joke, only four women and one man. But the captain was undaunted. He would listen to no remonstrances.

" Come on, now," he cried, cheerfully, leading the way. " You told me you came to Alaska to see things, and as long as you travel with me, you are going to see all that is worth seeing. Let the others sleep. Anybody can


sleep. You can sleep at home ; but you can't see what I am going to show you now anywhere but in Alaska. Do you suppose I would get up at this hour and waste my time on you, if I didn't know you'd thank me for it all the rest of your life ? "

So on and on we went ; up one street and down another ; around sharp corners ; past totem-poles, saloons, stylish shops, windows piled with Indian baskets and carvings : up steps and down terraces ; along gravelled roads : and at last, across a little bridge, around a wooded curve, - and then -

Something met us face to face. I shall always believe that it was the very spirit of the woods that went past us, laughing and saluting, suddenly startled from her morning bath in the clear, amber-brown stream that came foaming musically down over smooth stones from the mountains.

It was so sudden, so unexpected. One moment, we were in the little northern fishing- and mining-town, which sits by the sea, trumpeting its commercial glories to the world ; the next, we were in the forest, and under the spell of this wild, sweet thing that fled past us, returned, and lured us on.

For three miles we followed the mocking call of the spirit of the brown stream. Her breath was as sweet as the breath of wild roses covered with dew. Never in the woods have I been so impressed, so startled, with the feeling that a living thing was calling me.

We could find no words to express our delight as we climbed the path beside the brown stream, whose waters came laughingly down through a deep, dim gorge. They fell sheer in sparkling cataracts ; they widened into thin, singing shallows of palest amber, clinking against the stones ; narrow and foaming, they wound in and out among the trees ; they disappeared completely under wide


sprays of ferns and the flat, spreading branches of trees, only to " make a sudden sally " farther down.

At first we were level with them, walked beside them, and paused to watch the golden gleams in their clear depths ; but gradually we climbed, until we were hundreds of feet above them.

Down in those purple shadows they went romping on to the sea ; sometimes only a flash told us where they curved ; other times, they pushed out into open spaces, and made pause in deep pools, where they whirled and eddied for a moment before drawing together and hurrying on. But always and everywhere the music of their wild, sweet, childish laughter floated up to us.

In the dim light of early morning the fine mist of the rain sinking through the gorge took on tones of lavender and purple. The tall trees climbing through it seemed even more beautiful than they really were, by the touch of mystery lent by the rain.

I wish that Max Nonnenbruch, who painted the adorable, compelling " Bride of the Wind," might paint the elfish sprite that dwells in the gorge at Ketchikan. He, and he alone, could paint her so that one could hear her impish laughter, and her mocking, fluting call.

The name of the stream I shall never tell. Only an unimaginative modern Vancouver or Cook could have bestowed upon it the name that burdens it today. Let it be the " brown stream " at Ketchikan.

If the people of the town be wise, they will gather this gorge to themselves while they may ; treasure it, cherish it, and keep it " unspotted from the world " - jet for the world.

Metlakahtla means "the channel open at both ends." It was here that Mr. William Duncan came in 1857, from England, as a lay worker for the Church Mission Society.


It had been represented that existing conditions among the natives sorely demanded high-minded missionary work. The savages at Fort Simpson were considered the worst on the coast at that time, and he was urged not to locate there. Undaunted, however, Mr. Duncan, who was then a very young man, filled with the fire and zeal of one who has not known failure, chose this very spot in which to begin his work - among Indians so low in the scale of human intelligence that they had even been accused of cannibalism.

Port Simpson was then an important trading-post of the Hudson Bay Company. It had been established in the early thirties about forty miles up Nass River, but a few years later was removed to a point on the Tsimpsian Peninsula. In 1841 Sir George Simpson found about fourteen thousand Indians, of various tribes, living there. He found them " peculiarly comely, strong, and well-grown . . . remarkably clever and ingenious."

They carved neatly in stone, wood, and ivory. Sir George Simpson relates with horror that the savages frequently ate the dead bodies of their relatives, some of whom had died of smallpox, even after they had become putrid. They were horribly diseased in other ways ; and many had lost their eyes through the ravages of smallpox or other disease. They fought fiercely and turbulently with other tribes.

Such were the Indians among whom Mr. Duncan chose to work. He was peculiarly fitted for this work, being possessed of certain unusual qualities and attributes of character which make for success.

The unselfishness and integrity of his nature made themselves visible in his handsome face, and particularly in the direct gaze of his large and intensely earnest blue eyes ; his manners were simple, and his air was one of quiet command ; he had unfailing cheerfulness, faith, and


that quality which struggles on under the heaviest discouragement with no thought of giving up.

His word was as good as his bond ; his energy and enthusiasm were untiring, and he never attempted to work his Indians harder than he himself worked. The entire absence of that trait which seeks self-praise or self-glory, - in fact, his absolute self-effacement, his devotion of self and self-interest to others, and to hard and humble work for others, - all these high and noble parts of an unusual and lovable character, added to a most winning and attractive personality, gradually won for young Will- iam Duncan the almost Utopian success which many others in various parts of the world have so far worked for in vain.

The Indians grew to trust his word, to believe in his sincerity and single-heartedness, to accept his teachings, to love him, and finally, and most reluctantly of all, to work for him.

At first only fifty of the Tsimsheans, or Tsimpsians, accompanied him to the site of his first community settlement. Here the land was cleared and cultivated ; neat two-story cottages, a church, a schoolhouse, stores on the cooperative plan, a saw-mill, and a cannery, were erected by Mr. Duncan and the Indians. At first a corps of able assistants worked with Mr. Duncan, instructing the Indians in various industries and arts, until the young men were themselves able to carry along the different branches of work, - such as carpentry, shoemaking, cabinet building, tanning, rope-making, and boat building. The village band was instructed by a German, until one among them was qualified to become their band-master. The women were taught to cook, to sew, to keep house, to weave, and to care for the sick.

Here was a model village, an Utopian community, an ideal life, - founded and carried on by the genius of one


young, simple-hearted, high-minded, earnest, and self- devoted English gentleman.

But William Duncan's way, although strewn with the full sweet roses of success, was not without its bitter, stinging thorns. Mr. Duncan was not an ordained minister, and in 1881 it was decided by the Church of England authorities who had sent Mr. Duncan out, that his field should be formed into a separate diocese, and as this decision necessitated the residence of a bishop. Bishop Ridley was sent to the field - a man whose name will ever stand as a dark blot upon the otherwise clean page whereon is written the story which all men honor and all men praise - the story of the exalted life-work of William Duncan.

Mr. Duncan, being a layman, had conducted services of the simplest nature, and had not considered it advisable to hold communion services which would be embarrassing of explanation to people so recently won from the customs of cannibalism. Bigoted and opinionated, and failing utterly to understand the Indians, to win their confidence, or to exercise patience with them. Bishop Ridley declined to be under the direction of a man who was not ordained, and criticized the form of service held by Mr. Duncan. The latter, having been in sole charge of his work for more than thirty years, and being conscious of its full and unusual results, chafed under the Bishop's supervision and superintendence.

In the meantime, seven other missions had been established at various stations in southeastern Alaska. The Bishop undertook to inaugurate communion services. This was strongly opposed by Mr. Duncan, and he was supported by the Indians, who were sincerely attached to him, the Society in England sympathizing with the Bishop. Friction between the two was ceaseless and bitter, and continued until 1887. This has been given out as the


cause of the withdrawal of Mr. Duncan to New Metlakahtla ; but his own people - graduates of Eastern universities - claim that it is not the true reason. He and his Indians had for some time desired to be under the laws of the United States, and in 1887 Mr. Duncan went to Washington City to negotiate with the United States for Annette Island. The Bishop established him- self in residence, but failed ignominiously to win the respect of the Indians. He quarreled with them in the commonest way, struck them, went among them armed, and finally appealed to a man-of-war for protection from people whom he considered bloodthirsty savages.

Mr. Duncan, having been successful in his mission to Washington, his faithful followers, during his absence, removed to Annette Island, and here he found on his return all but one hundred out of the original eight hundred which had composed his village on the Bishop's arrival - the few having been persuaded to remain with the latter at Old Metlakahtla. Those who went to the new location on Annette were allowed by the Canadian government to take nothing but their personal property ; all their houses, public buildings, and community interests being sacrificed to their devotion to William Duncan - and this is, perhaps, the highest, even though a wordless, tribute that this great man will, living or dead, ever receive.

This story, brief and incomplete, of which we gather up the threads as best we may - for William Duncan dwells in this world to work, and not to talk about his work - - is one of the most pathetic in history. When one considers the low degree of savagery from which they had struggled up in thirty years of hardest, and at times most discouraging, labor, to a degree of civilization which, in one respect, at least, is reached by few white people in centuries, if ever; when one considers how they had


grown to a new faith and to a new. form of religious services, to confidence in the possession of homes and other community property, and to believe their title to them to be enduring ; when one considers the tenacity of an Indian's attachment to his home and belongings, and his sorrowful and heart-breaking reluctance to part with them - this shadowy, silent migration through northern waters to a new home on an uncleared island, taking almost nothing with them but their religion and their love for Mr. Duncan, becomes one of the sublime tragedies of the century.

On Annette Island, then, twenty years ago, Mr. Duncan's work was taken up anew. Homes were built ; a saw- mill, schools, wharf, cannery, store, town hall, a neat cottage for Mr. Duncan, and finally, in 1895, the large and handsome church, rose in rapid succession out of the wilderness. Roads were built, and sidewalks. A trading schooner soon plied the near-by waters. All was the work of the Indians under the direct supervision of Mr. Duncan, who, in 1870, had journeyed to England for the purpose of learning several simple trades which he might, in turn, teach to the Indians whom he fondly calls his "people." Thus personally equipped, and with such implements and machinery as were required, he had returned to his work.

Today, at the end of twenty years, the voyager approaching Annette Island, beholds rising before his reverent eyes the new Metlakahtla - the old having sunken to ruin, where it lies, a vanishing stain on the fair fame of the Church of England of the past ; for the church of to- day is too broad and too enlightened to approve of the action of its Mission Society in regard to its most earnest and successful worker, William Duncan.

The new town shines white against a dark hill. The steamer lands at a good wharf, which is largely occupied


by salmon canneries. Sidewalks and neat graveled paths lead to all parts of the village. The buildings are attractive in their originality, for Mr. Duncan has his own ideas of architecture. The church, adorned with two large square towers, has a commanding situation, and is a modern, steam-heated building, large enough to seat a thousand people, or the entire village. It is of handsome interior finish in natural woods. Above the altar are the following passages : The angel said unto them : Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. . . . Thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.

The cottages are one and two stories in height, and are surrounded by vegetable and flower gardens, of which the women seem to be specially proud. They and the smiling children stand at their gates and on corners and offer for sale baskets and other articles of their own making. These baskets are, without exception, crudely and inartistically made ; yet they have a value to collectors by having been woven at Metlakahtla by Mr. Duncan's Indian women, and no tourist fails to purchase at least one, while many return to the steamer laden with them.

There is a girls' school and a boys' school ; a hotel, a town hall, several stores, a saw-mill, a system of waterworks, a cannery capable of packing twenty thousand cases of salmon in a season, a wharf, and good warehouses and steam-vessels.

The community is governed by a council of thirty members, having a president. There is a police force of twenty members. Taxes are levied for public improvements, and for the maintenance of public institutions. The land belongs to the community, from which it may be obtained by individuals for the purpose of building homes. The cannery and the saw-mill, which is operated


by water, belong to companies in which stock is held by Indians who receive dividends. The employees receive regular wages.

The people seem happy and contented. They are deeply attached to Mr. Duncan, and very proud of their model town. They have an excellent band of twenty-one pieces, at the mere mention of which their dark faces take on an expression of pride and pleasure, and their black eyes shine into their questioner's eyes with intense interest ; in fact, if one desires to steady the gaze and hold the attention of a Metlakahtla Indian, he can most readily accomplish his purpose by introducing the subject of the village band.

It is a surprise that these Indians do not, generally, speak English more fluently ; but this is coming with the younger generations. Some of these young men and young women have been graduated from Eastern colleges, and have returned to take up missionary work in various parts of Alaska. Meeting one of these young men on a steamer, I asked him if he knew Mr. Duncan. The smile of affection and pride that went across his face! 'I am one of his boys' he replied, simply. This was the Reverend Edward Marsden, who, returning from an Eastern college in 1898, began missionary work at Saxman, near Juneau, where he has been very successful.

Mr. Duncan is exceedingly modest and unassuming in manner and bearing, seeming to shrink from personal attention, and to desire that his work shall speak for itself. He is frequently called " Father," which is exceedingly distasteful to him. Visitors seeking information are wel- come to spend a week or two at the guest-house and learn by observation and by conversation with the people what has been accomplished in this ideal community ; but, save on rare occasions, he cannot be persuaded to dwell upon his own work, and after he has given his reasons for this


attitude, only a person lost to all sense of decency and delicacy would urge him to break his rule of silence.

"I am here to work, and not to talk or write about my work," he says, kindly and cordially. " If 1 took the time to answer one-tenth of the questions I am asked, verbally and by letter, I would have no time left for my work, and my time for work is growing short. I am an old man," - his beautiful, intensely blue eyes smiled as he said this, and he at once shook his white-crowned head,

" that is what they are saying of me, but it is not true. I am young, I feel young, and have many more years of work ahead of me. Still, I must confess that I do not work so easily, and my cares are multiplying. Some to whom I make this explanation will not respect my wishes or understand my silence. They press me by letter, or personally, to answer only this question or only that. They are inconsiderate and hamper me in my work."

Possibly this is the key-note to Mr. Duncan's success. "Here is my work; let it speak for itself." He has devoted his whole life to his work, with no thought for the fame it may bring him. For the latter, he cares nothing.

This is the reason that pilgrims voyage to Metlakahtla as reverently as to a shrine. It is the noble and unselfish life-work of a man who has not only accomplished a great purpose, but who is great in himself. When he passes on, let him be buried simply among the Indians he has loved and to whom he has given his whole life, and write upon his headstone: "Let his work speak."

The settlement on Annette Island was provided for in the act of Congress, 1891, as follows : -

" That, until otherwise provided for by law, the body of lands known as Annette Islands, situated in Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska, on the north side of Dixon Entrance, be, and the same is hereby, set apart as


a reservation for the Metlakahtla Indians, and those people known as Metlakahtlans, who have recently emigrated from British Columbia to Alaska, and such other Alaskan natives as may join them, to be held and used by them in common, under such rules and regulations, and subject to such restrictions, as may be prescribed from time to time by the Secretary of the Interior."

The Indians of the Community are required to sign, and to fulfil the terms of, the following Declaration : -

" We, the people of Metlakahtla, Alaska, in order to se- cure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of a Chris- tian home, do severally subscribe to the following rules for the regulation of our conduct and town affairs : -

" To reverence the Sabbath and to refrain from all unnecessary secular work on that day ; to attend divine worship; to take the Bible for our rule of faith ; to regard all true Christians as our brethren ; and to be truthful, honest, and industrious.

" To be faithful and loyal to the Government and laws of the United States.

" To render our votes when called upon for the election of the Town Council, and to promptly obey the by-laws and orders imposed by the said Council.

" To attend to the education of our children and keep them at school as regularly as possible.

" To totally abstain from all intoxicants and gambling, and never attend heathen festivities or countenance hea- thenish customs in surrounding villages.

" To strictly carry out all sanitary regulations necessary for the health of the town.

" To identify ourselves with the progress of the settlement, and to utilize the land we hold.

" Never to alienate, give away, or sell our land, or any portion thereof, to any person or persons who have not subscribed to these rules."


Dixon Entrance belongs to British Columbia, but the boundary crosses its northern waters about three miles above Whitby Point on Dundas Island, and the steamer approaches Revilla-Gigedo Island. It is twenty-five by fifty miles, and was named by Vancouver in honor of the Viceroy of New Spain, who sent out several of the most successful expeditions. It is pooled by many bits of turquoise water which can scarcely be dignified by the name of lakes.

Carroll Inlet cleaves it half in twain. The exquisite gorges and mountains of this island are coming to their own very slowly, as compared with its attractions from a commercial point of view.

The island is in the centre of a rich salmon district, and during the " running " season the clear blue waters flash underneath with the glistening silver of the struggling fish. In some of the fresh-water streams where the hump- backed salmon spawn, the fortunate tourist may literally make true the frequent Western assertion that at certain times " one can walk across on the solid silver bridge made by the salmon" - so tightly are they wedged together in their desperate and pathetic struggles to reach the spawning-ground.

Vancouver found these " hunch-backs," as he called them, not to his liking, - probably on account of finding them at the spawning season.


Leaving Ketchikan, Revilla and Point Higgins are passed to starboard - Higgins being another of Vancouver's choice namings for the president of Chile.

" Did you ever see such a cluttering up of a landscape with odds and ends of names ? " said the pilot one day. " And all the ugliest by Vancouver. Give me an Indian name every time. It always means something. Take this Revilly-Gig Island; the Indians called it 'Na-a,' meaning ' the far lakes,' for all the little lakes scattered around. I don't know as we're doing much better in our own day, though," he added, staring ahead with a twinkle in his eyes. "They've just named a couple of mountains Mount Thomas Whitten and Mount Shoup ! Now those names are all right for men - even congressmen - but they're not worth shucks for mountains. Why, the Russians could do better! Take Mount St. Elias - named by Behring because he discovered it on St. Elias' day. I actually tremble every time I pass that mountain, for fear I'll look up and see a sign tacked on it, stating that the name has been changed to Baker or Bacon or Mudge, so that Vancouver's bones will rest more easily in the grave. Now look at that point! It's pretty enough in itself; but - Higgins ! "

The next feature of interest, however, proved to be blessed with a name sweet enough to take away the bitterness of many others - Clover Pass. It was not named for this most fragrant and dear of all flowers, but for Lieutenant, now Rear-Admiral, Clover, of the United States Navy.

Beyond Clover Pass, at the entrance to Naha Bay, is Loring, a large and important cannery settlement of the Alaska Packers' Association. There is only one salmon- canning establishment in Alaska, or even on the Northwest Coast, more picturesquely situated than this, and it is nearly two thousand miles " to Westward," at the mouth


of the famed Karluk River, where the same company maintains large canneries and successful hatcheries. It will be described in another chapter.

A trail leads from Loring through the woods to Dorr Waterfall, in a lovely glen. In Naha Bay thousands of fish are taken at every dip of the seine in the narrowest cove, which is connected with a chain of small lakes linked by the tiniest of streams. In summer these waters seem to be of living silver, so thickly are they swarmed with darting and curving salmon.

Not far from Naha Bay is Traitor's Cove, where Vancouver and his men were attacked in boats by savages in the masks of animals, headed by an old hag who commanded and urged them to bloodthirsty deeds.

This vixen seemed to be a personage of prestige and influence, judging both by the immense size of her lip ornament and her air of command. She seized the lead line from Vancouver's boat and made it fast to her own canoe, while another stole a musket.

Vancouver, advancing to parley with the chief, made the mistake of carrying his musket ; whereupon about fifty savages leaped at him, armed with spears and daggers.

The chief gave him to understand by signs that they would lay down their arms if he would set the example ; but the terrible old woman, scenting peace and scorning it, violently and turbulently harangued the tribe and urged it to attack.

The brandishing of spears and the flourishing of daggers became so uncomfortably close and insistent, that Vancouver finally overcame his "humanity," and fired into the canoes.

The effect was electrical. The Indians in the small canoes instantly leaped into the water and swam for the shore; those in the larger ones tipped the canoes to one


side, so that the higher side shielded them while they made the best of their way to the shore.

There they ascended the rocky cliffs and stoned the boats. Several of Vancouver's men were severely wounded, one having been speared completely through the thigh.

The point at the northern entrance to Naha Bay, where they landed to dress wounds and take account of stock not stolen, was named Escape Point ; a name which it still retains.

Kasa-an Bay is an inlet pushing fifteen miles into the eastern coast of Prince of Wales Island, which is two hundred miles in length and averages forty in width. Cholmondeley Sound penetrates almost as far, and Moira Sound, Niblack Anchorage on North Arm, Twelve Mile Arm, and Skowl Arm, are all storied and lovely inlets. Skowl was an old chief of the Eagle Clan, whose sway was questioned by none. He was the greatest chief of his time, and ruled his people as autocratically as the lordly, but blustering, Baranoff ruled his at Sitka. Skowl repulsed the advances of missionaries and scorned all attempts at Christianizing himself and his tribe. His was a powerful personality which is still mentioned with a respect not unmixed with awe. To say that a chief is as fearless as Skowl is a fine compliment, indeed, and one not often bestowed.

Although not on the regular run of steamers, Howkan, now a Presbyterian missionary village on Cordova Bay, on the southwestern part of Prince of Wales Island, must not be entirely neglected. In early days the village was a forest of totems, and the graves were almost as interesting as the totems. Both are rapidly vanishing and losing their most picturesque features before the march of civilization and Christianity; but Howkan is still one of the show-places of Alaska. The tourist who


is able to make this side trip on one of the small steamers that run past there, is the envy of the unfortunate ones who are compelled to forego that pleasure.

Totemism is the poetry of the Indian - or would be if it possessed any religious significance.

I once asked an educated Tsimpsian Indian what the Metlakahtla people believed, - meaning the belief that Mr. Duncan had taught them. He put the tips of his fingers together, and with an expression of great earnest- ness, replied: -

"They believed in a great Spirit, to whom they prayed and whom they worshipped everywhere, believing that this beautiful Spirit was everywhere and could hear. They worshipped it in the forest, in the trees, in the flowers, in the sun and wind, in the blades of grass, - alone and far from every one, - in the running water and the still lakes."

" Oh, how beautiful ! " I said, in all sincerity. " It must be the same as my own belief ; only I never heard it put into words before. And that is what Mr. Duncan has taught them ? "

He turned and looked at me squarely and steadily. It was a look of weariness, of disgust.

" Oh, no," he replied, coldly ; " that was what they believed before they knew better ; before they were taught the truth ; before Christianity was explained to them. That is what they believed while they were savages ! "

We were in the library of the Jefferson. The room is always warm, and at that moment it was warmer than I had ever known it to be. Under the steady gaze of those shining dark eyes it presently became too warm to be endured. With my curiosity quite satisfied, I withdrew to the hurricane deck, where there is always air.

Of the Indians in the territory of Alaska there are two stocks - the Thlinkits, or Coast Indians, and the Tinneh,


or those inhabiting the vast regions of the interior. The Thilinkits comprise the Tsimpsians, or Chimsyans, the Kygani, or Haidahs, the true Thlinkits, or Koloshes, and the Yakutats.

The Kygani, or Haidah, Indians inhabit the Queen Charlotte Archipelago, which, although belonging to British Columbia, must be taken into consideration in any description of the Indians of Alaska. They were formerly a warlike, powerful, and treacherous race, making frequent attacks upon neighboring tribes, even as far south as Puget Sound. They are noted, not only for these savage qualities, but also for the grace and beauty of their canoes and for their delicate and artistic carvings. Their small totems, pipes, and other articles carved out of a dark gray, highly polished slate stone obtained on their own islands, sometimes inlaid with particles of shell, are well known and command fancy prices. Haidah basketry and hats are of unusual beauty and workmanship. The peculiar ornamentation is painted upon the hats and not woven in. The designs which are most frequently seen are the head, wings, tail, and feet of a duck, - certain details somewhat resembling a large oyster-shell, or a human ear, - painted in black and rich reds. The hats are usually in the plain twined weaving, and of such fine, even workmanship that they are entirely waterproof. The Haidahs formerly wore the nose- and ear-rings, or other ornaments, and the labret in the lower lip.

The Thlinkits, or Koloshians, as the Russians and Aleuts called them, from their habit of wearing the labret,

are divided into two tribes, the Stikines and the Sitkans ; the former inhabiting the mainland in the vicinity of the Stikine River, straggling north and south for some distance along the coast.

The Sitkans dwell in the neighborhood of Sitka and on the near-by islands. They are among the tribes of Indians


who gave Baranoff much trouble. They formerly painted with vermilion or lamp-black mixed with oil, traced on their faces in startling patterns. At the present time they dress almost like white people, except for the everlasting blanket on the older ones. Some of the younger women are very handsome - clean, light-brown of skin, red-cheeked, of good figure, and having large, dark eyes, at once soft and bright. They also have good, white teeth, and are decidedly attractive in their coquettish and saucy airs and graces. The young Indian women at Sitka, Yakutat, and Dundas are the prettiest and the most attractive in Alaska ; nor have I seen any in the Klondike, or along the Yukon, to equal them in appearance. Also, one can barter with them for their fascinating wares without praying to heaven to be deprived of the sense of smell for a sufficient number of hours.

Among the Thlinkits, as well as among many of the Innuit, or Eskimo tribes, the strange and cruel custom prevails of isolating young girls approaching puberty in a hut set aside for this purpose. The period of isolation varies from a month to a year, during which they are considered unclean and are allowed only liquid food, which soon reduces them to a state of painful emaciation. No one is permitted to minister to their needs but a mother or a female slave, and they cannot hold conversation with any one.

When a maiden finally emerges from her confinement there is great rejoicing, if she be of good family, and feasting. A charm of peculiar design is hung around her neck, called a " Virgin Charm," or " Virtue Charm," which silently announces that she is " clean " and of marriageable age. Formerly, according to Dall and other authorities, the lower lip was pierced and a silver pin shaped like a nail inserted. This made the same announcement.


The chief diet of the Thlinkit is fish, fresh or smoked. Unlike the Aleutians, they do not eat whale blubber, as the whale figures in their totems, but are fond of the porpoise and seal. The women are fond of dress, and a voyager who will take a gay last year's useless hat along in her steamer trunk, will be sure to " swap " it for a handsome Indian basket. In many places they still employ their early methods of fishing - raking herring and salmon out of the streams, during a run, with long poles into which nails are driven, like a rake.

They are fond of game of all kinds. They weave blankets out of the wool of the mountain sheep. Large spoons, whose handles are carved in the form and designs of totems, are made out of the horns of sheep and goats.

The Thlinkits are divided into four totems - the whale, the eagle, the raven, and the wolf. The raven, which by the Tinnehs is considered an evil bird, is held in the highest respect by the Thlinkits, who believe it to be a good spirit.

Totemism is defined as the system of dividing a tribe into clans according to their totems. It comprises a class of objects which the savage holds in superstitious awe and respect, believing that it holds some relation to, and protection over, himself. There is the clan totem, common to a whole clan ; the sex totem, common to the males or females of a clan ; and the individual totem, belonging solely to one person and not descending to any member of the next generation. It is generally believed that the totem has some special religious significance ; but this is not true, if we are to believe that the younger and educated Indians of today know what totemism means. Some totems are veritable family trees. The clan totem is reverenced by a whole clan, the members of which are known by the name of their totem, and believe themselves to be descended from a common animal ancestor, and


bound together by ties closer and more sacred than those of blood.

The system of totemism is old ; but the word itself, according to J. G. Frazer, first appeared in literature in the nineteenth century, being introduced from an O-jib-way word by J. Long, an interpreter. The same authority claims that it had a religious aspect ; but this is denied, so far, at least, as the Thlinkits are concerned.

The Eagle clan believe themselves to be descended from an eagle, which they, accordingly, reverence and protect from harm or death, believing that it is a beneficent spirit that watches over them.

Persons of the same totem may neither marry nor have sexual intercourse with each other. In Australia the usual penalty for the breaking of this law was death. With the Thlinkits, a man might marry a woman of any save his own totem clan. The raven represented woman, and the wolf, man. A young man selected his individual totem from the animal which appeared most frequently and significantly in his dreams during his lonely fast and vigil in the heart of the forest for some time before reaching the state of puberty. The animals representing a man's different totems - clan, family, sex, and individual

were carved and painted on his tall totem-pole, his house, his paddles, and other objects ; they were also woven into hats, basketry, and blankets, and embroidered upon moccasins with beads. Some of the Haidah canoes have most beautifully carven and painted prows, with the totem design appearing. These canoes are far superior to those of Puget Sound. The very sweep of the prow, strong and graceful, as it cleaves the golden air above the water, proclaims its northern home. Their well-known outlines, the erect, rigid figures of the warriors kneeling in them, and the strong, swift, sure dip of the paddles, sent dread to the hearts of the Puget Sound Indians and


the few white settlers in the early part of the last century. The cry of "Northern Indians!" never failed to create a panic. They made many marauding expeditions to the south in their large and splendid canoes. The inferior tribes of the sound held them in the greatest fear and awe.

A child usually adopts the mother's totem, and at birth receives a name significant of her family. Later on he receives one from his father's family, and this event is always attended with much solemnity and ceremony.

A man takes wives in proportion to his wealth. If he be the possessor of many blankets, he takes trouble unto himself by the dozen. There are no spring bonnets, however, to buy. They do not indulge themselves with so many wives as formerly ; nor do they place such implicit faith in the totem, now that they are becoming " Christianized."

Dall gives the following interesting description of a Thlinkit wedding ceremony thirty years ago : A lover sends to his mistress's relations, asking for her as a wife. If he receives a favorable reply, he sends as many presents as he can get together to her father. On the appointed day he goes to the house where she lives, and sits down with his back to the door.

The father has invited all the relations, who now raise a song, to allure the coy bride out of the corner where she has been sitting. When the song is done, furs or pieces of new calico are laid on the floor, and she walks over them and sits down by the side of the groom. All this time she must keep her head bowed down. Then all the guests dance and sing, diversifying the entertainment, when tired, by eating. The pair do not join in any of the ceremonies. That their future life may be happy, they fast for two days more. Four weeks afterward they come together, and are then recognized as husband and wife.


The bridegroom is free to live with his father-in-law, or return to his own home. If he chooses the latter the bride receives a trousseau equal in value to the gifts received by her parents from her husband. If the husband becomes dissatisfied with his wife, he can send her back with her dowry, but loses his own gifts. If a wife is unfaithful he may send her back with nothing, and demand his own again. They may separate by mutual consent without returning any property. When the marriage festival is over, the silver pin is removed from the lower lip of the bride and replaced by a plug, shaped like a spool, but not over three-quarters of an inch long, and this plug is afterward replaced by a larger one of wood, bone, or stone, so that an old woman may have an ornament of this kind two inches in diameter. These large ones are of an oval shape, but scooped out above, below, and around the edge, like a pulley- wheel. When very large, a mere strip of flesh goes around the kalushka, or "little trough." From the name which the Aleuts gave the appendage when they first visited Sitka, the nick- name " Kolosh " has arisen, and has been applied to this and allied tribes.

Many years ago, when a man died, his brother or his sister's son was compelled to marry the widow.

That seems worth while. Naturally, the man would not desire the woman, and the woman would not desire the man ; therefore, the result of the forced union might prove full of delightful surprises. If such a law could have been passed in England, there would have been no occasion for the prolonged agitation over the "Deceased wife's sister " bill, which dragged its weary way through the courts and the papers. Nobody would desire to marry his deceased wife's sister ; or, if he did, she would decline the honor.

An ancient Thlinkit superstition is, that once a man -


a Thlinkit, of course - had a young wife whom he so idolized that he would not permit her to work. This is certainly the most convincing proof that an Indian could give of his devotion. From morning to night she dwelt in sweet idleness, guarded by eight little redbirds, that flew about her when she walked, or hovered over her when she reclined upon her furs or preciously woven blankets.

These little birds were good spirits, of course, but alas ! they resembled somewhat women who are so good that out of their very goodness evil is wrought. In the town in which I dwell there is a good woman, a member of a church, devout, and scorning sin, who keeps "roomers." On two or three occasions this good woman has found letters which belonged to her roomers, and she has done what an honorable woman would not do. She has read letters that she had no right to read, and she has found therein secrets that would wreck families and bow down heads in sorrow to their graves ; and yet, out of her goodness, she has felt it to be her duty " to tell," and she has told.

Since knowing the story of the eight little Thlinkit redbirds, I have never seen this woman without a red mist seeming to float round her ; her mouth becomes a twittering beak, her feet are claws that carry her noiselessly into secret places, her eyes are little black beads that flash from side to side in search of other people's sins, and her shoulders are folded wings. For what did the little good redbirds do but go and tell the Thlinkit man that his young and pretty and idolized wife had spoken to another man. He took her out into the forest and shut her up in a box. Then he killed all his sister's children because they knew his secret. His sister went in lamentations to the beach, where she was seen by her totem whale, who, when her cause of grief was made known to him, bade her be of good cheer.

" Swallow a small stone," said the whale, " which you


must pick up from the beach, drinking some sea-water at the same time."

The woman did as the whale directed. In a few months she gave birth to a son, whom she was compelled to hide from her brother. This child was Yehl (the raven), the beneficent spirit of the Thlinkits, maker of forests, mountains, rivers, and seas; the one who guides the sun, moon, and stars, and controls the winds and floods. His abiding- place is at the head waters of the Nass River, whence the Thlinkits came to their present home. When he grew up he became so expert in the use of the bow and arrow that it is told of his mother that she went clad in the rose, green, and lavender glory of the breasts of humming-birds which he had killed in such numbers that she was able to fashion her entire raiment of their most exquisite parts, - as befitted the mother of the good spirit of men.

Yehl performed many noble and miraculous deeds, the most dazzling of which was the giving of light to the world. He had heard that a rich old chief kept the sun, moon, and stars in boxes, carefully locked and guarded. This chief had an only daughter whom he worshipped. He would allow no one to make love to her, so Yehl, perceiving that only a descendant of the old man could secure access to the boxes, and knowing that the chief examined all his daughter's food before she ate it, and that it would therefore avail him nothing to turn himself into ordinary food, conceived the idea of converting himself into a fragrant grass and by springing up persistently in the maiden's path, he was one day eaten and swallowed. A grandson was then born to the old chief, who wrought upon his affections - as grandsons have a way of doing - to such an extent that he could deny him nothing.

One day the young Yehl, who seems to have been appropriately named, set up a lamentation for the boxes he desired and continued it until one was in his possession.


He took it out-doors and opened it. Millions of little milk-white, opaline birds instantly flew up and settled in the sky. They were followed by a large, silvery bird, which was so heavy and uncertain in her flight to the sky that, although she finally reached it, she never appeared twice the same thereafter, and on some nights could not be seen at all. The old chief was very angry, and it was not until Yehl had wept and fasted himself to death's very door that he obtained the sun ; whereupon, he changed himself back into a raven, and flying away from the reach of his stunned and temporary grandfather, who had commanded him not to open the box, he straightway lifted the lid - and the world was flooded with light.

One of the most interesting of the Thlinkit myths is the one of the spirits that guard and obey the shamans. The most important are those dwelling in the North. They were warriors ; hence, an unusual display of the northern lights was considered an omen of approaching war. The other spirits are of people who died a common- place death ; and the greatest care must be exercised by relatives in mourning for these, or they will have difficulty in reaching their new abode. Too many tears are as bad as none at all ; the former mistake mires and gutters the path, the latter leaves it too deep in dust. A decent and comfortable quantity makes it hard and even and pleasant.

Their deluge myth is startling in its resemblance to ours. When their flood came upon them, a few were saved in a great canoe which was made of cedar. This wood splits rather easily, parallel to its grain, under stress of storm, and the one in which the people embarked split after much buffeting. The Thlinkits clung to one part, and all other peoples to the other part, creating a difference in language. Chet'l, the eagle, was separated from his sister, to whom he said, " You may never see me again,


but you shall hear my voice forever." He changed him- self into a bird of tremendous size and flew away southward. The sister climbed Mount Edgecumbe, which opened and swallowed her, leaving a hole that has remained ever since. Earthquakes are caused by her struggles with bad spirits which seek to drive her away, and by her invariable triumph over them she sustains the poise of the world.

Chet'l returned to Mount Edgecumbe, where he still lives. When he comes forth, which is but seldom, the flapping of his great wings produces the sound which is called thunder. He is, therefore, known everywhere as the Thunder-bird. The glance of his brilliant eyes is the lightning.

Concerning the totem-pole which was taken from an Indian village on Tongas Island, near Ketchikan, by members of the Post-Intelligencer business men's excursion to Alaska in 1899 - and for which the city of Seattle was legally compelled to pay handsomely afterward - the following letter from a member of the family originally owning the totem is of quaint interest : -

" I have received your letter, and I am going to tell you the story of the totem-pole. Now, the top one is a crow himself, and the next one from the pole top is a man. That crow have told him a story. Crow have told him a good-looking woman want to married some man. So he did marry her. She was a frog. And the fourth one is a mink. One time, the story says, that one time it was a high tide for some time, and so crow got marry to mink, so crow he eats any kind of fishes from the water. After some time crow got tired of mink, and he leave her, and he get married to that whale-killer, and then crow he have all he want to eat. That last one on the totem-pole is the father of the crow. The story says that one time it got


dark for a long while. The darkness was all over the world, and only crow's father was the only one can give light to the world. He simply got a key. He keeps the sun and moon in a chest, that one time crow have ask his father if he play with the sun and moon in the house but, was not allowed, so he start crying for many days until he was sick. So his father let him play'' with it and he have it for many days. And one day he let the moon in the sky by mistake, but he keep the sun, and he which take time before he could get his chances to go outside of the house. As soon as he was out he let sun back to the sky again, and it was light all over the world again. (End of story.)

" Yours respectfully,

"David E. Kinninnook.

" P. S. The Indians have a long story, and one of the chiefs of a village or of a tribe only a chief can put up so many carvings on our totem-pole, and he have to fully know the story of what totem he is made. I may give you the whole story of it sometimes. Crow on top have a quart moon in his mouth, because he have ask his father for a light.

"D. E. K.

" If you can put this story on the Post-Intelligencer, of Seattle, Wash., and I think the people will be glad to know some of it."

The Thlinkits burned their dead, with the exception of the shamans, but carefully preserved the ashes and all charred bones from the funeral pyre. These were carefully folded in new blankets and buried in the backs of totems. One totem, when taken down to send to the Lewis and Clark Exposition, was found to contain the remains of a child in the butt-end of the pole which was in the ground ; the portion containing the child being sawed off and re-interred.


A totem-pole donated to the exposition by Yannate, a very old Thlinkit, was made by his own hands in honor of his mother. His mother belonged to the Raven Clan, and a large raven is at the crest of the pole ; under it is the brown bear - the totem of the Kokwouton Tribe, to which the woman's husband belonged ; underneath the bear is an Indian with a cane, representing the woman's brother, who was a noted shaman or sorcerer many years ago ; at the bottom are two faces, or masks, representing the shaman's favorite slaves.

The Haidahs did not burn their dead, but buried them, usually in the butts of great cedars. Frequently, however, they were buried at the base of totem-poles, and when in recent years poles have been removed, remains have been found and re-interred.

On the backs of some of the old totem-poles at Wrangell and other places, may be seen the openings that were made to receive the ashes of the dead, the portion that had been sawed out being afterward replaced.

The wealth of a Thlinkit is estimated according to his number of blankets ; his honor and importance by the number of potlatches he has given. Every member of his totem is called upon to contribute to the potlatch of the chief, working to that end, and " skimping " himself in his own indulgences for that object, for many years, if necessary. The potlatch is given at the full of the moon ; the chief's clan and totem decline all gifts ; it is not in good form for any member thereof to accept the slightest gift. Guests are seated and treated according to their rights, and the resentment of a slight is not postponed until the banquet is over and the blood has cooled. An immediate fight to the bitter end is the result ; so that the greatest care is exercised in this nice matter - which has proven a pitfall to many a white hostess in the most civilized lands ; so seldom does a guest have the right and the


honor to feel that where he sits is the head of the table. At these potlatches a " frenzied " hospitality prevails ; everything is bestowed with a lavish and reckless hand upon the visitors, from food and drink to the host's most precious possession, blankets. His wives are given freely, and without the pang which must go with every blanket. Visitors come and remain for days, or until the host is absolutely beggared and has nothing more to give.

But since every one accepting his potlatch is not only expected, but actually bound by tribal laws as fixed as the stars, to return it, the beggared chief gradually " stocks up " again ; and in a few years is able to launch forth brilliantly once more. This is the same system of give and take that prevails in polite society in the matter of party-giving. With neither, may the custom be considered as real hospitality, but simply a giving with the expectation of a sure return. Chiefs have frequently, however, given away fortunes of many thousands of dollars within a few days. These were chiefs who aspired to rise high above their contemporaries in glory ; and, therefore, would be disappointed to have their generosity equally returned.

A shaman is a medicine-man who is popularly supposed to be possessed of supernatural powers. A certain mystery, or mysticism, is connected with him. He spends much time in the solitudes of the mountains, working himself into a highly emotional mental state. The shaman has his special masks, carved ivory diagnosis-sticks, and other paraphernalia. The hair of the shaman was never cut ; at his death, his body was not burned, but was invariably placed in a box on four high posts. It first reposed for one whole night in each of the four corners of the house in which he died. On the fifth day it was laid to rest by the sea-shore ; and every time a Thlinkit passed it, he tossed a small offering into the water, to


secure the favor of the dead shaman, who, even in death, was believed to exercise an influence over the living, for good or ill.

Slavery was common, as - until the coming of the Russians - was cannibalism. The slaves were captives from other tribes. They were forced to perform the most disagreeable duties, and were subjected to cruel treatment, punished for trivial faults, and frequently tortured, or offered in sacrifice. A few very old slaves are said to be in existence at the present time ; but they are now treated kindly, and have almost forgotten that their condition is inferior to that of the remainder of the tribe.

The most famous slaves on the Northwest Coast were John Jewitt and John Thompson, sole survivors of the crew of the Boston., which was captured in 1802 by the Indians of Nootka Sound, on the western coast of Vancouver Island. The officers and all the other men were most foully murdered, and the ship was burned.

Jewitt and Thompson were spared because one was an armorer and the other a sailmaker. They were held as slaves for nearly three years, when they made their escape.

Jewitt published a book, in which he simply and effectively described many of the curious, cruel, and amusing customs of the people. The two men finally made their escape upon a boat which had appeared unexpectedly in the harbor.

The Yakutats belong to the Thlinkit stock, but have never worn the " little trough," the distinguishing mark of the true Thlinkit. They inhabit the country between Mount Fairweather and Mount St. Elias, and were the cause of much trouble and disaster to Baranoif, Lisiansky, and other early Russians. They have never adopted the totem ; and may, therefore, eat the flesh and blubber of


the whale, which the Thlinkits respect, because it figures on their totems. The graveyards of the Yakutats are very picturesque and interesting.

The tribes of the Tinneh, or interior Indians, wall be considered in another chapter.

Behm Canal is narrow, abruptly shored, and offers many charming vistas that unfold unexpectedly before the tourist's eyes. Alaskan steamers do not enter it and, therefore. New Eddystone Rock is missed by many. This is a rocky pillar that rises straight from the water, with a circumference of about one hundred feet at the base and a height of from two to three hundred feet. It is draped gracefully with mosses, ferns, and vines. Vancouver breakfasted here, and named it " for the famous Eddystone Light of England. Unuk River empties its foaming, glacial waters into Behm Canal.


Leaving Ketchikan, Clarence Strait is entered. This was named by Vancouver for the Duke of Clarence, and extends in a northwesterly direction for a hundred miles. The celebrated Stikine River empties into it. On Wrangell Island, near the mouth of the Stikine, is Fort Wrangell, where the steamer makes a stop of several hours.

Fort Wrangell was the first settlement made in southeastern Alaska, after Sitka. It was established in 1834, by Lieutenant Zarembo, who acted under the orders of Baron Wrangell, Governor of the Colonies at that time.

A grave situation had arisen over a dispute between the Russian American Company and the equally powerful Hudson Bay Company, the latter having pressed its operations over the Northwest and seriously undermined the trade of the former. In 1825, the Hudson Bay Company had taken advantage of the clause in the Anglo- Russian treaty of that year, - which provided for the free navigation of streams crossing Russian territory in their course from the British possessions to the sea, - and had pushed its trading operations to the upper waters of the Stikine, and in 1833 had outfitted the brig Dryad with colonists, cattle, and arms for the establishing of trading posts on the Stikine.

Lieutenant Zarembo, with two armed vessels, the Chichagoff and the Chilkaht, established a fort on a small peninsula, on the site of an Indian village, and named it



Redoubt St. Dionysius. All unaware of these significant movements, the Dryad approaching the mouth of the Stikine, was received by shots from the shore, as well as from a vessel in the harbor. She at once put back until out of range, and anchored. Lieutenant Zarembo went out in a boat, and, in the name of the Governor and the Emperor, forbade the entrance of a British vessel into the river. Representations from the agents of the Hudson Bay Company were unavailing ; they were warned to at once remove themselves and their vessel from the vicinity

which they accordingly did.

This affair was the cause of serious trouble between the two nations, which was not settled until 1839, when a commission met in London and solved the difficulties by deciding that Russia should pay an indemnity of twenty thousand pounds, and lease to the Hudson Bay Company the now celebrated lisiere, or thirty-mile strip from Dixon Entrance to Yakutat.

In 1840 the Hudson Bay Company raised the British flag and changed the name from Redoubt St. Dionysius to Fort Stikine. Sir George Simpson's men are said to have passed several years of most exciting and adventurous life there, owing to the attacks and besiegements of the neighboring Indians. An attempt to scale the stockade resulted in failure and defeat. The following year the fort's supply of water was cut off and the fort was besieged ; but the Britishers saved themselves by luckily seizing a chief as hostage.

A year later occurred another attack, in which the fort would have fallen had it not been for the happy arrival of two armed vessels in charge of Sir George Simpson, who tells the story in this brief and simple fashion : -

" By daybreak on Monday, the 25th of April (1842), we were in Wrangell's Straits, and toward evening, as we approached Stikine, my apprehensions were awakened by


observing the two national flags, the Russian and the English, hoisted half-mast high, while, on landing about seven, my worst fears were realized by hearing of the tragic end of Mr. John McLoughlin, Jr., the gentleman recently in charge. On the night of the twentieth a dispute had arisen in the fort, while some of the men, as I was grieved to hear, were in a state of intoxication ; and several shots were fired, by one of which Mr. McLoughlin fell. My arrival at this critical juncture was most opportune, for otherwise the fort might have fallen a sacrifice to the savages, who were assembled round to the number of two thousand, justly thinking that the place could make but a feeble resistance, deprived as it was of its head, and garrisoned by men in a state of complete insubordination."

In 1867 a United States military post was established on a new site. A large stockade was erected and garrisoned by two companies of the Twenty-first Infantry. This post was abandoned in 1870, the buildings being sold for six hundred dollars.

In the early eighties Lieutenant Schwatka found Wrangell "the most tumble-down-looking company of cabins I ever saw." He found its "Chinatown" housed in an old Stikine River steamboat on the beach, which had descended to its low estate as gradually and almost as imperceptibly as Becky Sharpe descended to the " soiled white petticoat " condition of life. As Queen of the Stikine, the old steamer had earned several fortunes for her owners in that river's heyday times ; then she was beached and used as a store ; then, as a hotel ; and, last of all, as a Chinese mess- and lodging-house.

In 1838 another attempt had been made by the Hudson Bay Company to establish a trading post at Dease Lake, about sixty miles from Stikine River and a hundred and fifty from the sea. This attempt also was a failure. The


tortures of fear and starvation were vividly described by Mr. Robert Campbell, who had charge of the party making the attempt, which consisted of four men.

" We passed a winter of constant dread from the savage Russian Indians, and of much suffering from starvation. We were dependent for subsistence on what animals we could catch, and, failing that, on tripe de roche (moss). We were at one time reduced to such dire straits that we were obliged to eat our parchment windows, and our last meal before abandoning Dease Lake, on the eighth of May, 1839, consisted of the lacings of our snow-shoes."

Had it not been for the kindness and the hospitality of the female chief of the Nahany tribe of Indians, who inhabited the region, the party would have perished.

The Indians of the coast in early days made long trading excursions into the interior, to obtain furs.

The discovery of the Cassiar mines, at the head of the Stikine, was responsible for the revival of excitement and lawlessness in Fort Wrangell, as it had been named at the time of its first military occupation, and a company of the Fourth Artillery was placed in charge until 1877, the date of the removal of troops from all posts in Alaska.

The first post and the ground upon which it stood were sold to W. K. Lear. The next company occupied it at a very small rental, contrary to the wishes of the owner. In 1884 the Treasury Department took possession, claiming that the first sale was illegal. A deputy collector was placed in charge. The case was taken into the courts, but it was not until 1890 that a decision was rendered in the Sitka court that, as the first sale was unconstitutional, Mr. Lear was entitled to his six hundred dollars with interest compounding for twenty years.

Wrangell gradually fell into a storied and picturesque decay. The burnished halo of early romance has always clung to her. At the time of the gold excitement and


the rush to the Klondike, the town revived suddenly with the reopening of navigation on the Stikine. This was, at first, a favorite route to the Klondike. At White Horse may today be seen steamers which were built on the Stikine in 1898, floated by piecemeal up that river and across Lake Teslin, and down the Hootalinqua River to the Yukon, having been packed by horses the many intervening miles between rivers and lakes, at fifty cents a pound. Reaching their destination at White Horse, they were put together, and started on the Dawson run.

Looking at these historic steamers, now lying idle at White Horse, the passenger and freight rates do not seem so exorbitant as they do before one comes to understand the tremendous difficulties of securing any transportation at all in these unknown and largely unexplored regions in so short a time. Even a person who owns no stock in steamship or railway corporations, if he be sensible and reasonable, must be able to see the point of view of the men who dauntlessly face such hardships and perils to furnish transportation in these wild and inaccessible places. They take such desperate chances neither for their health nor for sweet charity's sake.

Three years ago Wrangell was largely destroyed by fire. It is partially rebuilt, but the visitor today is doomed to disappointment at first sight of the modern frontier buildings. Ruins of the old fort, however, remain, and several ancient totems are in the direction of the old burial ground. One, standing in front of a modern cottage which has been erected on the site of the old lodge, is all sprouted out in green. Mosses, grasses, and ferns spring in April freshness out of the eyes of children, the beaks of eagles, and the open mouths of frogs ; while the very crest of the totem is crowned a foot or more high with a green growth. The effect is at once ludicrous and pathetic, - marking, as it does, the


vanishing of a picturesque and interesting race, its customs and its superstitions.

The famous chief of the Stikine region was Shakes, a fierce, fighting, bloodthirsty old autocrat, dreaded by all other tribes, and insulted with impunity by none. He was at the height of his power in the forties, but lived for many years afterward, resisting the advances of missionaries and scorning their religion to the day of his death. In many respects he was like the equally famous Skowl of Kasa-an, who went to the trouble and the expense of erecting a totem-pole for the sole purpose of perpetuating his scorn and derision of Christian advances to his people. The totem is said to have been covered with the images of priests, angels, and books.

Shakes was given one of the most brilliant funerals ever held in Alaska ; but whether as an expression of irreconcilable grief or of uncontrollable joy in the escape of his people from his tyrannic and overbearing sway, is not known. He belonged to the bear totem, and a stuffed bear figured in the pageant and was left to guard his grave.

The climate of Wrangell is charming, owing to the high mountains on the islands to the westward which shelter the town from the severity of the ocean storms. The growing of vegetables and berries is a profitable investment, both reaching enormous size, the latter being of specially delicate flavor. Flowers bloom luxuriantly.

The Wrangell shops at present contain some very fine specimens of basketry, and the prices were very reasonable, although most of the tourists from our steamer were speechless when they heard them. Some real Attn and Atka baskets were found here at prices ranging from one hundred dollars up. At Wrangell, therefore, the tourist begins to part with his money, and does not cease until he has reached Skaguay to the northward, or Sitka and


Yakutat to the westward ; and if be should journey out into the Aleutian Isles, he may borrow money to get home. The weave displayed is mostly twined, but some fine specimens of coiled and coiled imbricated were offered us in the dull, fascinating colors used by the Thompson River Indians of British Columbia, having probably been obtained in trade. These latter are treasures, and always worth buying, especially as Indian baskets are increasing in value with every year that passes. Baskets that I purchased easily for three dollars or three and a half in 1905 were held stubbornly at seven and a half or eight in 1907 ; while the difference in prices of the more expensive ones was even greater.

Squaws sit picturesquely about the streets, clad in gay colors, with their wares spread out on the sidewalk in front of them. They invariably sit with their backs against buildings or fences, seeming to have an aversion to permitting any one to stand or pass behind them. They have grown very clever at bargaining ; and the little trick, which has been practiced by tourists for years, of waiting until the gangway is being hauled in and then making an offer for a coveted basket, has apparently been worn threadbare, and is received with jeers and derision,which is rather discomfiting to the person making the offer if he chances to be upon a crowded steamer. The squaws point their fingers at him, to shame him, and chuckle and tee-bee among themselves, with many guttural duckings and side-glances so good-naturedly contemptuous and derisive as to be embarrassing beyond words, particularly as some greatly desired basket disappears into a filthy bag and is borne proudly away on a scornful dark shoulder.

Baskets are growing scarcer and more valuable, and the tourist who sees one that he desires, will be wise to pay the price demanded for it, as the conditions of trading


with the Alaskan Indians are rapidly changing. The younger Indians frequently speak and understand English perfectly ; while the older ones are adepts in reading a human face ; making a combination not easily imposed upon. Even the officers of the ship, who, being acquainted with "Mollie" or " Sallie," "Mrs. Sam" or " Pete's Wife," volunteer to buy a basket at a reduction for some enthusiastic but thin-pursed passenger, do not at present meet with any exhilarating success.

" S'pose she pay my price," " Mrs. Sam " replies, with smiling but stubborn indifference, as she sets the basket away.


Indian basketry is poetry, music, art, and life itself woven exquisitely together out of dreams, and sent out into a thoughtless world in appealing messages which will one day be farewells, when the poor lonely dark women who wove them are no more.

At its best, the basketry of the islands of Atka and Attn in the Aleutian chain is the most beautiful in the world. Most of the basketry now sold as Attn is woven by the women of Atka, we were told at Unalaska, which is the nearest market for these baskets. Only one old woman remains on Attn who understands this delicate and priceless work ; and she is so poorly paid that she was recently reported to be in a starving condition, al- though the velvety creations of her old hands and brain bring fabulous prices to some one. The saying that an Attn basket increases a dollar for every mile as it travels toward civilization, is not such an exaggeration as it seems. I saw a trader from the little steamer Bora - the only one regularly plying those far waters - buy a small basket, no larger than a pint bowl, for five dollars in Unalaska ; and a month later, on another steamer, between Valdez and Seattle, an enthusiastic young man from New York brought the same basket out of his stateroom and proudly displayed it.

" I got this one at a great bargain," he bragged, with shining eyes. "I bought it in Valdez for twenty-five dollars, just what it cost at Unalaska. The man needed



the money worse than the basket. I don't know how it is, but I'm always stumbling on bargains like that!" he concluded, beginning to strut.

Then I was heartless enough to laugh, and to keep on laughing. I had greatly desired that basket myself !

He had the satisfaction of knowing, however, that his little twined bowl, with the coloring of a Behring Sea sunset woven into it, would be worth fifty dollars by the time he reached Seattle, and at least a hundred in New York; and it was so soft and flexible that he could fold it up meantime and carry it in his pocket, if he chose, - to say nothing of the fact that Elizabeth Propokoffono, the young and famed dark-eyed weaver of Atka, may have woven it herself. Like the renowned " Sally-bags," made by Sally, a Wasco squaw, the baskets woven by Elizabeth have a special and sentimental value. If she would weave her initials into them, she might ask, and receive, any price she fancied. Sally, of the Wascos, on the other hand, is very old ; no one weaves her special bag, and they are be- coming rare and valuable. They are of plain, twined weaving, and are very coarse. A small one in the writer's possession is adorned with twelve fishes, six eagles, three dogs, and two and a half men. Sally is apparently a woman-suffragist of the old school, and did not consider that men counted for much in the scheme of Indian baskets ; yet, being a philosopher, as well as a suffragist, concluded that half a man was better than none at all.

At Yakutat " Mrs. Pete " is the best-known basket weaver. Young, handsome, dark-e ped, and clean, with a chubby baby in her arms, she willingly, and with great gravity, posed against the pilot-house of the old Santa Ana for her picture. Asked for an address to which I might send one of the pictures, she proudly replied, " Just Mrs. Pete, Yakutat." Her courtesy was in marked contrast to the exceeding rudeness with which the Sitkan


women treat even the most considerate and deferential photographers; glaring at them, turning their backs, covering their heads, hissing, and even spitting at them.

However, the Yakutats do not often see tourists, who, heaven knows, are not one of the novelties of the Sitkans' lives.

According to Lieutenant G. T. Emmons, who is the highest authority on Thlinkit Indians, not only so far as their basketry is concerned, but their history, habits, and customs, as well, nine-tenths of all their basketwork is of the open, cylindrical type which throws the chief wear and strain upon the borders. These are, therefore, of greater variety than those of any other Indians, except possibly the Haidahs.

As I have elsewhere stated, nearly all Thlinkit baskets are of the twined weave, which is clearly described by Otis Tufton Mason in his precious and exquisite work, " Aboriginal American Basketry " ; a work which every student of basketry should own. If anything could be as fascinating as the basketry itself, it would be this charmingly written and charmingly illustrated book.

Basketry is either hand-woven or sewed. Hand-woven work is divided into checker work, twilled work, wicker work, wrapped work, and twined work. Sewed work is called coiled basketry.

Twined work is found on the Pacific Coast from Attn to Chile, and is the most delicate and difficult of all woven work. It has a set of warp rods, and the weft elements are worked in by two-strand or three-strand methods. Passing from warp to warp, these weft elements are twisted in half-turns on each other, so as to form a two- strand or three-strand twine or braid, and usually with a deftness that keeps the glossy side of the weft outward.

"The Thlinkit, weaving," says Lieutenant Emmons, " sits with knees up-drawn to the chin, feet close to the


body, bent-shouldered, with the arms around the knees, the work held in front. Sometimes the knees fall slightly apart, the work held between them, the weft frequently held in the mouth, the feet easily crossed. The basket is held bottom down. In all kinds of weave, the strands are constantly dampened by dipping the fingers in water." The finest work of Attu and Atka is woven entirely under water. A rude awl, a bear's claw or tooth, are the only implements used. The Attu weaver has her basket inverted and suspended by a string, working from the bottom down toward the top.

Almost every part of plants is used - roots, stems, bark, leaves, fruit, and seeds. The following are the plants chiefly used by the Thlinkits : The black shining stems of the maidenhair fern, which are easily distinguished and which add a rich touch ; the split stems of the brome-grass as an overlaying material for the white patterns of spruce-root baskets ; for the same purpose, the split stem of bluejoint; the stem of wood reed-grass; the stem of tufted hair-grass ; the stem of beech-rye ; the root of horsetail, which works in a rich purple ; wolf moss, boiled for canary-yellow dye ; manna-grass ; root of the Sitka spruce tree ; juice of the blueberry for a purple dye.

The Attu weaver uses the stems and leaves of grass, having no trees and few plants. When she wants the grass white, it is cut in November and hung, points down, out-doors to dry ; if yellow be desired, as it usually is, it is cut in July and the two youngest full-grown blades are cut out and split into three pieces, the middle one being rejected and the others hung up to dry out-doors ; if green is wanted, the grass is prepared as for yellow, except that the first two weeks of curing is carried on in the heavy shade of thick grasses, then it is taken into the house and dried. Curing requires about a month, during which time the sun is never permitted to touch the grass.


Ornamentation by means of color is wrought by the use of materials which are naturally of a different color ; by the use of dyed materials ; by overlaying the weft and warp with strips of attractive material before weaving ; by embroidering on the texture during the process of manufacture, this being termed " false " embroidery ; by covering the texture with plaiting, called imbrication ; by the addition of feathers, beads, shells, and objects of like nature.

Some otherwise fine specimens of Atkan basketry are rendered valueless, in my judgment, by the present custom of introducing flecks of gaily dyed wool, the matchless beauty of these baskets lying in their delicate, even weaving, and in their exquisite natural coloring - the faintest old rose, lavender, green, yellow and purple being woven together in one ravishing mist of elusive splendor. So enchanting to the real lover of basketry are the creations of those far lonely women's hands and brains, that they seem fairly to breathe out their loveliness upon the air, as a rose.

This basketry was first introduced to the world in 1874, by William H. Dall, to whom Alaska and those who love Alaska owe so much. Warp and weft are both of beach grass or wild rye. One who has never seen a fine speci- men of these baskets has missed one of the joys of this world.

The Aleuts perpetuate no story or myth in their ornamentation. With them it is art for art's sake ; and this is, doubtless, one reason why their work draws the be- holder spellbound.

The symbolism of the Thlinkit is charming. It is found not alone in their basketry, but in their carvings in stone, horn, and wood, and in Chilkaht blankets. The favorite designs are : shadow of a tree, water drops, salmon berry cut in half, the Arctic tern's tail, flaking of the flesh of


a fish, shark's tooth, leaves of the fireweed, an eye, raven's tail, and the crossing. It must be confessed that only a wild imagination could find the faintest resemblance of the symbols woven into the baskets to the objects they represent. The symbol called " shadow of a tree " really resembles sunlight in moving water.

With the Haidah hats and Chilkaht blankets, it is very different. The head, feet, wings, and tail of the raven, for instance, are easily traced. In more recent basketry the swastika is a familiar design. Many Thlinkit baskets have " rattly " covers. Seeds found in the crops of quail are woven into these covers. They are " good spirits " which can never escape ; and will insure good fortune to the owner. Woe be to him, however, should he permit his curiosity to tempt him to investigate ; they will then escape and work him evil instead of good, all the days of his life.

In Central Alaska, the basketry is usually of the coiled variety, coarsely and very indifferently executed. Both spruce and willow are used. From Dawson to St. Michael, in the summer of 1907, stopping at every trading post and Indian village, I did not see a single piece of basketry that I would carry home. Coarse, unclean, and of slovenly workmanship, one could but turn away in pity and disgust for the wasted effort.

The Innuit in the Beliring Sea vicinity make both coiled and twined basketry from dried grasses ; but it is even worse than the Yukon basketry, being carelessly done, - the Innuit infinitely preferring the carving and decorating of walrus ivory to basket weaving. It is delicious to find an Innuit who never saw a glacier decorating a paperknife with something that looks like a pond lily, and labeling it Taku Glacier, which is three thousand miles to the southeastward. I saw no attempt on the Yukon, nor on Behring Sea, at what Mr. Mason calls imbrication,

the beautiful ornamentation which the Indians of Columbia, Frazer, and Thompson rivers and of many Salish tribes of Northwestern Washington use to distinguish their coiled work. It resembles knife-plaiting before it is pressed flat. This imbrication is frequently of an exquisite, dull, reddish brown over an old soft yellow. Baskets adorned with it often have handles and flat covers ; but papoose baskets and covered long baskets, almost as large as trunks, are common.

There was once a tide in my affairs which, not being taken at the flood, led on to everlasting regret.

One August evening several years ago I landed on an island in Puget Sound where some Indians were camped for the fishing season. It was Sunday ; the men were playing the fascinating gambling game of slahal, the children were shouting at play, the women were gathered in front of their tents, gossiping.

In one of the tents I found a coiled, imbricated Thompson River basket in old red-browns and yellows. It was three and a half feet long, two and a half feet high, and two and a half wide, with a thick, close-fitting cover. It was offered to me for ten dollars, and - that I should live to chronicle it ! - not knowing the worth of such a basket, I closed my eyes to its appealing and unforgettable beauty, and passed it by.

But it had, it has, and it always will have its silent revenge. It is as bright in my memory today as it was in my vision that August Sunday ten years ago, and more enchanting. My longing to see it again, to possess it, increases as the years go by. Never have I seen its equal, never shall I. Yet am I ever looking for that basket, in every Indian tent or hovel I may stumble upon - in villages, in camps, in out-of-the-way places. Sure am I that I should know it from all other baskets, at but a glance.

I knew nothing of the value of baskets, and I fancied


the woman was taking advantage of my ignorance. While I hesitated, the steamer whistled. It was all over in a moment ; my chance was gone. I did not even dream how greatly I desired that basket until I stood in the bow of the steamer and saw the little white camp fade from view across the sunset sea.

The original chaste designs and symbols of Thlinkit, Haidah, and Aleutian basketry are gradually yielding, before the coarse taste of traders and tourists, to the more modern and conventional designs. I have lived to see a cannery etched upon an exquisitely carved paperknife ; while the things produced at infinite labor and care and called cribbage-boards are in such bad taste that tourists buying them become curios themselves.

The serpent has no place in Alaskan basketry for the very good reason that there is not a snake in all Alaska, and the Indians and Innuit probably never saw one. A woman may wade through the swampiest place or the tallest grass without one shivery glance at her pathway for that little sinuous ripple which sends terror to most women's hearts in warmer climes. Indeed, it is claimed that no poisonous thing exists in Alaska.

The tourist must not expect to buy baskets farther north than Skaguay, where fine ones may be obtained at very reasonable prices. Having visited several times every place where basketry is sold, I would name first Dundas then Yakutat, and then Sitka as the most desirable places for "shopping," so far as southeastern Alaska is concerned; out "to Westward," first Unalaska and Dutch Harbor, then Kodiak and Seldovia.

But the tourists who make the far, beautiful voyage out among the Aleutians to Unalaska might almost be counted annually upon one's fingers - so unexploited are the attractions of that region ; therefore, I will add that fine specimens of the Attn and Atka work may be found at


Wrangell, Juneau, Skaguay, and Sitka, without much choice, either in workmanship or price. But fortunate may the tourist consider himself who travels this route on a steamer that gathers the salmon catch in August or September, and is taken through Icy Strait to the Dundas cannery. There, while a cargo of canned salmon is being taken aboard, the passengers have time to barter with the good-looking and intelligent Indians for the superb baskets laid out in the immense warehouse. No- where in Alaska have I seen baskets of such beautiful workmanship, design, shape, and coloring as at Dundas - excepting always, of course, the Attn and Atka ; nowhere have I seen them in such numbers, variety, and at such low prices.

My own visit to Dundas was almost pathetic. It was on my return from a summer's voyage along the coast of Alaska, as far westward as Unalaska. I had touched at every port between Dixon's Entrance and Unalaska, and at many places that were not ports ; had been lightered ashore, rope-laddered and dried ashore, had waded ashore, and been carried ashore on sailors' backs ; and then, with my top berth filled to the ceiling with baskets and things, with all my money spent and all my clothes worn out, I stood in the warehouse at Dundas and saw those dozens of beautiful baskets, and had them offered to me at but half the prices I had paid for inferior baskets. It was here that the summer hats and the red kimonos and the pretty collars were brought out, and were eagerly seized by the dark and really handsome Indian girls. A ten-dollar hat - at the end of the season - went for a fifteen-dollar basket ; a long, red woollen kimono, - whose warmth had not been required on this ideal trip, anyhow, secured another of the same price; and may heaven forgive me, but I swapped one twenty-two-inch gold-embroidered belt for a three-dollar basket, even while I



knew in my sinful heart that there was not a waist in that warehouse that measured less than thirty-five inches ; and from that to fifty!

However, in sheer human kindness, I taught the girl to whom I swapped it how it might be worn as a garter, and her delight was so great and so unexpected that it caused me some apprehension' as to the results. My very proper Scotch friend and traveling companion was so "aghast at my suggestion that she took the girl aside and advised her to wear the belt for collars, cut in half, or as a gay decoration up the front plait of her shirt-waist, or as armlets ; so that, with it all, I was at last able to retire to my stateroom and enjoy my bargains with a clear conscience, feeling that after some fashion the girl would get her basket's worth out of the belt.


Leaving Wrangell, the steamer soon passes, on the port side and at the entrance to Sumner Strait, Zarembo Island, named for that Lieutenant Zarembo who so successfully prevented the Britishers from entering Stikine River. Baron Wrangell bestowed the name, desiring in his gratitude and appreciation to perpetuate the name and fame of the intrepid young officer.

From Sumner Strait the famed and perilously beautiful Wrangell Narrows is entered. This ribbon-like water-way is less than twenty miles long, and in many places so narrow that a stone may be tossed from shore to shore. It winds between Mitkoff and Kupreanofl islands, and may be navigated only at certain stages of the tide. Deep-draught vessels do not attempt Wrangell Narrows, but turn around Cape Decision and proceed by way of Chatham Strait and Frederick Sound - a course which adds at least eighty miles to the voyage.

The interested voyager will not miss one moment of the run through the narrows, either for sleep or hunger. Better a sleepless night or a dinnerless day than one minute lost of this matchless scenic attraction.

The steamer pushes, under slow bell, along a channel which, in places, is not wider than the steamer itself. Its sides are frequently touched by the long' strands of kelp that cover the sharp and dangerous reefs, which may be plainly seen in the clear water.

The timid passenger, sailing these narrows, holds his



breath a good part of the time, and casts anxious glances at the bridge, whereon the captain and his pilots stand silent, stern, with steady, level gaze set upon the course. One moment's carelessness, ten seconds of inattention, might mean the loss of a vessel in this dangerous strait.

Intense silence prevails, broken only by the heavy, slow throb of the steamer and the swirl of the brown water in whirlpools over the rocks ; and these sounds echo far.

The channel is marked by many buoys and other signals. The island shores on both sides are heavily wooded to the water, the branches spraying out over the water in bright, lacy green. The tree trunks are covered with pale green moss, and long moss-fringes hang from the branches, from the tips of the trees to the water's edge. The effect is the same as that of festal decoration.

Eagles may always be seen perched motionless upon the tall tree-tops or upon buoys.

The steamship Colorado went upon the rocks between Spruce and Anchor points in 1900, where her storm- beaten hull still lies as a silent, but eloquent, warning of the perils of this narrow channel.

The tides roaring in from the ocean through Frederick Sound on the north and Sumner Strait on the south meet near Finger Point in the narrows.

Sunrise and sunset effects in this narrow channel are justly famed. I once saw a mist blown ahead of my steamer at sunset that, in the vivid brilliancy of its mingled scarlets, greens, and purples, rivaled the coloring of a humming-bird.

At dawn, long rays of delicate pink, beryl, and pearl play through this green avenue, deepening in color, fading, and withdrawing like Northern Lights. When the scene is silvered and softened by moonlight, one looks for elves and fairies in the shadows of the moss-dripping spruce trees.


The silence is so intense and the channel so narrow, that frequently at dawn wild birds on the shores are heard saluting the sun with song ; and never, under any other circumstances, has bird song seemed so nearly divine, so golden with magic and message, as when thrilled through the fragrant, green stillness of Wrangell Narrows at such an hour.

I was once a passenger on a steamer that lay at anchor all night in Sumner Strait, not daring to attempt the narrows on account of storm and tide. A stormy sunset burned about our ship. The sea was like a great, scarlet poppy, whose every wave petal circled upward at the edges to hold a fleck of gold. Island upon island stood out through that riot of color in vivid, living green, and splendid peaks shone burnished against the sky.

There was no sleep that night. Music and the dance held sway in the cabins for those who cared for them, and for the others there was the beauty of the night. In our chairs, sheltered by the great smoke-stacks of the hurricane-deck, we watched the hours go by - each hour a different color from the others - until the burned-out red of night had paled into the new sweet primrose of dawn. The wind died, leaving the full tide "  that, moving, seems asleep"; and no night was ever warmer and sweeter in any tropic sea than that.

Wrangell Narrows leads into Frederick Sound - so named by Whidbey and Johnstone, who met there, in 1794, on the birthday of Frederick, Duke of York.

Vancouver's expedition actually ended here, and the search for the "Strait of Anian" was finally abandoned.

Several glaciers are in this vicinity: Small, Patterson, Summit, and Le Conte. The Devil's Thumb, a spire-shaped peak on the mainland, rises more than two thousand feet above the level of the sea, and stands guard


over Wrangell Narrows and the islands and glaciers of the vicinity.

On Soukhoi Island fox ranches were established about five years ago; they are said to be successful.

The Thunder Bay Glacier is the first on the coast that discharges bergs. The thunder-like roars with which the vast bulks of beautiful blue-white ice broke from the glacier's front caused the Indians to believe this bay to be the home of the thunder-bird, who always produces thunder by the flapping of his mighty wings.

Baird Glacier is in Thomas Bay, noted for its scenic charms, - glaciers, forestation, waterfalls, and sheer heights combining to give it a deservedly wide reputation among tourists. Elephant's Head, Portage Bay, Farragut Bay, and Cape Fanshaw are important features of the vicinity. The latter is a noted landmark and storm- point. It fronts the southwest, and the full fury of the fiercest storms beats mercilessly upon it. Light craft frequently try for days to make this point, when a wild gale is blowing from the Pacific.

Of the scenery to the south of Cape Fanshaw, Whidbey reported to Vancouver, on his final trip of exploration in August, 1794, that " the mountains rose abruptly to a prodigious height ... to the South, a part of them presented an uncommonly awful appearance, rising with an inclination towards the water to a vast height, loaded with an immense quantity of ice and snow, and overhanging their base, which seemed to be insufficient to bear the ponderous fabric it sustained, and rendered the view of the passage beneath it horribly magnificent."

At the Cape he encountered such severe gales that a whole day and night were consumed in making a distance of sixteen miles.

There are more fox ranches on " The Brothers " Islands, and soon after passing them Frederick Sound narrows into


Stephens' Passage. Here, to starboard, on the mainland, is Mount Windham, twenty-vive hundred feet in height, in Windham Bay.

Gold was discovered in this region in the early seventies, and mines were worked for a number of years before the Juneau and Treadwell excitement. The mountains abound in game.

Sumdum is a mining town in Sumdum, or Holkham, Bay. The fine, live glacier in this arm is more perfectly named than any other in Alaska - Sum-dum, as the Indians pronounce it, more clearly describing the deep roar of breaking and falling ice, with echo, than any other syllables.

Large steamers do not enter this bay ; but small craft, at slack-tide, may make their way among the rocks and icebergs. It is well worth the extra expense and trouble of a visit.

To the southwest of Cape Fanshaw, in Frederick Sound, is Turnabout Island, whose suggestive name is as forlorn as Turnagain Arm, in Cook Inlet, where Cook was forced to "turn again" on what proved to be his last voyage.

Stephens' Passage is between the mainland and Admiralty Island. This island barely escapes becoming three or four islands. Seymour Canal, in the eastern part, almost cuts off a large portion, which is called Glass Peninsula, the connecting strip of land being merely a portage ; Kootznahoo Inlet cuts more than halfway across from west to east, a little south of the centre of the island ; and at the northern end had Hawk Inlet pierced but a little farther, another island would have been formed. The scenery along these inlets, particularly Kootznahoo, where the lower wooded hills rise from sparkling blue waters to glistening snow peaks, is magnificent. Whidbey reported that although this island appeared to be composed of a rocky substance covered with but little


soil, and that chiefly consisting of vegetables in an imperfect state of dissolution, yet it produced timber which he considered superior to any he had before observed on the western coast of America.

It is a pity that some steamship company does not run at least one or two excursions during the summer to the little- known and unexploited inlets of southeastern Alaska - to the abandoned Indian villages, graveyards, and totems ; the glaciers, cascades, and virgin spruce glades ; the roaring narrows and dim, sweet fiords, where the regular passenger and "tourist" steamers do not touch. A month might easily be spent on such a trip, and enough nature-loving, interested, and interesting people could be found to take every berth - without the bugaboo, the increasing nightmare of the typical tourist, to rob one of his pleasure.

At present an excursion steamer sails from Seattle, and from the hour of its sailing the steamer throbs through the most beautiful archipelago in the world, the least known, and the one most richly repaying study, making only five or six landings, and visiting two glaciers at most. It is quite true that every moment of this " tourist " trip of ten days is, nevertheless, a delight, if the weather be favorable ; that the steamer rate is remarkably cheap, and that no one can possibly regret having made this trip if he cannot afford a longer one in Alaska. But this does not alter the fact that there are hundreds of people who would gladly make the longer voyage each summer, if transportation were afforded. Local transportation in Alaska is so expensive that few can afford to go from place to place, waiting for steamers, and paying for boats and guides for every side trip they desire to make.

Admiralty Island is rich in gold, silver, and other minerals. There are whaling grounds in the vicinity, and a whaling station was recently established on the southwestern end of the Island, near Surprise Harbor and Murder


Cove. Directly across Chatham Strait from this station, on Baranoff Island, only twenty-five miles from Sitka, are the famous Sulphur Hot Springs.

There are fine marble districts on the western shores of Admiralty Island.

On the southern end are Woewodski Harbor and Pybas Bay.

Halfway through Stephens' Passage are the Midway Islands, and but a short distance farther, on the mainland, is Port Snettisham, a mining settlement on an arm whose northern end is formed by Cascades Glacier, and from whose southern arm musically and exquisitely leaps a cascade which is the only rival of Sarah Island in the affections of mariners - Sweetheart Falls.

Who so tenderly named this cascade, and for whom, I have not been able to learn ; but those pale green, foam- crested waters shall yet give up their secret. Never would Vancouver be suspected of such naming. Had he so prettily and sentimentally named it, the very waters would have turned to stone in their fall, petrified by sheer amazement.

The scenery of Snettisham Inlet is the finest in this vicinity of fine scenic effects, with the single exception of Taku Glacier.

In Taku Harbor is an Indian village, called Taku, where may be found safe anchorage, which is frequently required in winter, on account of what are called "Taku winds." Passing Grand Island, which rises to a wooded peak, the steamer crosses the entrance to Taku Inlet and enters Gastineau Channel.

There are many fine peaks in this vicinity, from two to ten thousand feet in height.

The stretch of water where Stephens' Passage, Taku Inlet, Gastineau Channel, and the southeastern arm of Lynn Canal meet is in winter dreaded by pilots. A


squall is liable to come tearing down Taku Inlet at any moment and meet one from some other direction, to the peril of navigation.

At times a kind of fine frozen mist is driven across by the violent gales, making it difficult to see a ship's length ahead. At such times the expressive faces on the bridge of a steamer are psychological studies.

In summer, however, no open stretch of water could be more inviting. Clear, faintly rippled, deep sapphire, flecked with the first glistening bergs floating out of the inlet, it leads the way to the glorious presence that lies beyond.

I had meant to take the reader first up lovely Gastineau Channel to Juneau ; but now that I have unintentionally drifted into Taku Inlet, the glacier lures me on. It is only an hour's run, and the way is one of ever increasing beauty, until the steamer has pushed its prow through the hundreds of sparkling icebergs, under slow bell, and at last lies motionless. One feels as though in the presence of some living, majestic being, clouded in mystery. The splendid front drops down sheer to the water, from a height of probably three hundred feet. A sapphire mist drifts over it, without obscuring the exquisite tintings of rose, azure, purple, and green that flash out from the glistening spires and columns. The crumpled mass pushing down from the mountains strains against the front, and sends towered bulks plunging headlong into the sea, with a roar that echoes from peak to peak in a kind of "linked sweetness long-drawn out " and ever diminishing.

There is no air so indescribably, thrillingly sweet as the air of a glacier on a fair day. It seems to palpitate with a fragrance that ravishes the senses. I saw a great, recently captured bear, chained on the hurricane deck of a steamer, stand with his nose stretched out toward the glacier, his nostrils quivering and a look of almost human


longing and rebellion in his small eyes. The feeling of pain and pity with which a humane person always be- holds a chained wild animal is accented in these wide and noble spaces swimming from snow mountain to snow mountain, where the very watchword of the silence seems to be " Freedom." The chained bear recognized the scent of the glacier and remembered that he had once been free.

In front of the glacier stretched miles of sapphire, sunlit sea, set with sparkling, opaline-tinted icebergs. Now and then one broke and fell apart before our eyes, sending up a funnel-shaped spray of color, - rose, pale green, or azure.

At every blast of the steamer's whistle great masses of ice came thundering headlong into the sea - to emerge presently, icebergs. Canoeists approach glaciers closely at their peril, never knowing when an iceberg may shoot to the surface and wreck their boat. Even larger craft are by no means safe, and tourists desiring a close approach should voyage with intrepid captains who sail safely through everything.

The wide, ceaseless sweep of a live glacier down the side of a great mountain and out into the sea holds a more compelling suggestion of power than any other action of nature. I have never felt the appeal of a mountain glacier - of a stream of ice and snow that, so far as the eye can discover, never reaches anywhere, although it keeps going forever. The feeling of forlornness with which, after years of anticipation, I finally beheld the renowned glacier of the Selkirks, will never be forgotten. It was the forlornness of a child who has been robbed of her Santa Claus, or who has found that her doll is stuffed with sawdust.

But to behold the splendid, perpendicular front of a live glacier rising out of a sea which breaks everlastingly upon it ; to see it under the rose and lavender of sunset


or the dull gold of noon; to see and hear tower, minaret, dome, go thundering down into the clear depths and pound them into foam - this alone is worth the price of a trip to Alaska.

We were told that the opaline coloring of the glacier was unusual, and that its prevailing color is an intense blue, more beautiful and constant than that of other glaciers ; and that even the bergs floating out from it were of a more pronounced blue than other bergs.

But I do not believe it. I have seen the blue of the Columbia Glacier in Prince William Sound ; and I have sailed for a whole afternoon among the intensely blue ice shallops that go drifting in an endless fleet from Glacier Bay out through Icy Straits to the ocean. If there be a more exquisite blue this side of heaven than I have seen in Icy Straits and in the palisades of the Columbia Glacier, I must see it to believe it.

There are three glaciers in Taku Inlet: two - Windham and Twin - which are at present "dead " ; and Taku, the Beautiful, which is very much alive. The latter was named Foster, for the former Secretary of the Treasury ; but the Indian name has clung to it, which is one more cause for thanksgiving.

The Inlet is eighteen miles long and about seven hundred feet wide. Taku River flows into it from the northeast, spreading out in blue ribbons over the brown flats ; at high tide it may be navigated, with caution, by small row-boats and canoes. It was explored in early days by the Hudson Bay Company, also by surveyors of the Western Union Telegraph Company.

Whidbey, entering the Inlet in 1794, sustained his reputation for absolute blindness to beauty. He found "a compact body of ice extending some distance nearly all around." He found " frozen mountains," " rock sides," "dwarf pine trees," and "un-dissolving frost and snow."


He lamented the lack of a suitable landing-place for boats; and reported the aspect in general to be " as dreary and inhospitable as the imagination can possibly suggest."

Alas for the poor chilly Englishman ! He, doubtless, expected silvery-gowned ice maidens to come sliding out from under the glacier in pearly boats, singing and kissing their hands, to bear him back into their deep blue grottos and dells of ice, and refresh him with Russian tea from old brass samovars ; he expected these maidens to be girdled and crowned with carnations and poppies, and to pluck winy grapes - with dust clinging to their bloomy roundness - from living vines for him to eat ; and most of all, he expected to find in some remote corner of the clear and sparkling cavern a big fireplace, " which would remind him pleasantly of England ; " and a brilliant fire on a well-swept hearth, with the smoke and sparks going up through a melted hole in the glacier.

About fifteen miles up Taku River, Wright Glacier streams down from the southeast and fronts upon the low and marshy lands for a distance of nearly three miles.

The mountains surrounding Taku Inlet rise to a height of four thousand feet, jutting out abruptly, in places, over the water.


Gastineau Channel is more than a mile wide at the entrance, and eight miles long ; it narrows gradually as it separates Douglas Island from the mainland, and, still narrowing, goes glimmering on past Juneau, like a silverblue ribbon. Down this channel at sunset burns the most beautiful coloring, which slides over the milky waters, producing an opaline effect. At such an hour this scene with Treadwell glittering on one side, and Juneau on the other, with Mount Juneau rising in one swelling sweep directly behind the town - is one of the fairest in this country of fair scenes.

The unique situation of Juneau appeals powerfully to the lover of beauty There is an unforgettable charm in its narrow, crooked streets and winding, mossed stairways; its picturesque shops, - some with gorgeous totem-poles for signs, - where a small fortune may be spent on a single Attn or Atka basket; the glitter and the music of its streets and its "places," the latter open all night; its people standing in doorways and upon corners, eager to talk to strangers and bid them welcome ; and its gaily clad squaws, surrounded by fine baskets and other work of their brown hands.

The streets are terraced down to the water, and many of the pretty, vine-draped cottages seem to be literally hung upon the side of the mountain. One must have good, strong legs to climb daily the flights of stairs that steeply lead to some of them.



In the heart of the town is an old Presbyterian Mission church, built of logs, with an artistic square tower, also of logs, at one corner. This church is now used as a brewery and soda-bottling establishment!

The lawns are well cared for, and the homes are furnished with refined taste, giving evidences of genuine comfort, as well as luxury.

By first sight of Juneau was at three o'clock of a dark and rainy autumn night in 1905. We had drifted slowly past the mile or more of brilliant electric lights which is Treadwell and Douglas ; and turning our eyes to the north, discovered, across the narrow channel, the lights of Juneau climbing out of the darkness up the mountain from the water's edge. Houses and buildings we could not see ; only those radiant lights, leading us on, like will-o'-the-wisps.

When we landed it seemed as though half the people of the town, if not the entire population, must be upon the wharf. It was then that we learned that it is always daytime in Alaskan towns when a steamer lands - even though it be three o'clock of a black night.

The business streets were brilliant. Everything was open for business, except the banks ; a blare of music burst through the open door of every saloon and dance- hall ; blond-haired "ladies" went up and down the streets in the rain and mud, bare-headed, clad in gauze and other airy materials, in silk stockings and satin slippers. They laughed and talked with men on the streets in groups ; they were heard singing ; they were seen dancing and inviting the young waiters and cabin boys of our steamer into their dance halls.

" How'd you like Juneau?" asked my cabin-boy the next day, teetering in the doorway with a plate of oranges in his hand, and a towel over his arm.

" It seemed very lively," I replied, "for three o'clock in the morning."


"Oh, hours don't cut any ice in Alaska," said he. " People in Alaska keep their clo's hung up at the head of their beds, like the harness over a fire horse. When the boat whistles, it loosens the clo's from the hook ; the people spring out of bed right under 'em ; the clo's fall onto 'em an' there they are on the wharf, all dressed, by the time the boat docks. They're all right here, but say ! they can't hold a candle to the people of Valdez for gettin' to the dock. They just cork you at Valdez."

At Juneau I went through the most brilliant business transaction of my life. I was in the post-office when I discovered that I had left my pocket-book on the steamer. I desired a curling-iron ; so I borrowed a big silver dollar of a friend, and hastened away to the largest dry-goods shop.

A sleepy clerk waited upon me. The curling-iron was thirty cents. I gave him the dollar, and he placed the change in my open hand. Without counting it, I went back to the post-office, purchased twenty-five cents' worth of stamps, and gave the balance to the friend from whom I had borrowed the dollar.

"Count it," said I, "and see how much I owe you."

She counted it.

" How much did you spend ? " she asked presently.

"Fifty-five cents."

She began to laugh wildly.

" You have a thirty-cent curling-iron, twenty-five cents' worth of stamps, and you've given me back a dollar and sixty-five cents - all out of one silver dollar ! "

I counted the money. It was too true.

With a burning face I took the change and went back to the store. My friend insisted upon going with me, although I would have preferred to see her lost on the Taku Glacier. I cannot endure people who laugh like children at everything.


The captain and several passengers were in the store. They heard my explanation ; and they all gathered around to assist the polite but sleepy clerk.

One would say that it would be the simplest thing in the world to straighten out that change ; but the postage stamps added complications. Everybody figured, explained, suggested, criticized, and objected. Several times we were quite sure we had it. Then, some one would titter - and the whole thing would go glimmering out of sight.

However, at the end of twenty minutes it was arranged to the clerk's and my own satisfaction. Several hours later, when we were well on our way up Lynn Canal, a calmer figuring up proved that I had not paid one cent for my curling-iron.

From the harbor Mount Juneau has the appearance of rising directly out of the town - so sheer and bold is its upward sweep to a height of three thousand feet. Down its many pale green mossy fissures falls the liquid silver of cascades.

It is heavily wooded in some places ; in others, the bare stone shines through its mossy covering, giving a soft rose-colored effect, most pleasing to the eye.

Society in Juneau, as in every Alaskan town, is gay. Its watchword is hospitality. In summer, there are many excursions to glaciers and the famed inlets which lie almost at their door, and to see which other people travel thousands of miles. In winter, there is a brilliant whirl of dances, card parties, and receptions. " Smokers " to which ladies are invited are common - although they are somewhat like the pioneer dish of "potatoes-and-point."

When the pioneers were too poor to buy sufficient bacon for the family dinner, they hung a small piece on the wall ; the family ate their solitary dish of potatoes and pointed at the piece of bacon.


So, at these smokers, the ladies must be content to see the men smoke, hut they might, at least, be allowed to point.

Most of the people are wealthy. Money is plentiful, and misers are unknown. The expenditure of money for the purchase of pleasure is considered the best investment that an Alaskan can make.

Fabulous prices are paid for luxuries in food and dress.

" I have lived in Dawson since 1897," said a lady last summer, "and have never been ill for a day. I attribute my good health to the fact that I have never flinched at the price of anything my appetite craved. Many a time I have paid a dollar for a small cucumber ; but I have never paid a dollar for a drug. I have always had fruit, regardless of the price, and fresh vegetables. No amount of time or money is considered wasted on flowers. Women of Alaska invariably dress well and present a smart appearance. Many wear imported gowns and liats - and I do not mean imported from ' the states,' either - and costly jewels and furs are more common than in any other section of America. We entertain lavishly, and our hospitality is genuine."

Every traveler in Alaska will testify to the truth of these assertions. If a man looks twice at a dollar before spending it, he is soon " jolted " out of the pernicious habit.

The worst feature of Alaskan social life is the " coming out "of many of the women in winter, leaving their hus- bands to spend the long, dreary winter months as they may. To this selfishness on the part of the women is due much of the intoxication and immorality of Alaska - few men being of sufficiently strong character to with- stand the distilled temptations of the country.

That so many women go " out " in winter, is largely


due to the proverbial kindness and indulgence of American husbands, who are loath to have their wives subjected to the rigors and the hardships of an Alaskan winter.

However, the winter exodus may scarcely be considered a feature of the society of Juneau, or other towns of southeastern Alaska. The climate resembles that of Puget Sound ; there is a frequent and excellent steamship service to and from Seattle ; and the reasons for the exodus that exist in cold and shut-in regions have no apparent existence here.

Every business and almost every industry - is represented in Juneau. The town has excellent schools and churches, a library, women's clubs, hospitals, a chamber of commerce, two influential newspapers, a militia company, a brass band - and a good brass band is a feature of real importance in this land of little music - an opera-house, and, of course, electric lights and a good water system.

Juneau has for several years been the capital of Alaska ; but not until the appointment of Governor Wilford B. Hoggatt, in 1906, to succeed Governor J. G. Brady, were the Executive Office and Governor's residence established here. So confident have the people of Juneau always been that it would eventually become the capital of Alaska, that an eminence between the town and the Auk village has for twenty years been called Capitol Hill. During all these years there has been a fierce and bitter rivalry between Juneau and Sitka.

Juneau was named for Joseph Juneau, a miner" who came, ".grubstaked," to this region in 1880. It was the fifth name bestowed upon the place, which grew from a single camp to the modern and independent town it is today - and the capital of one of the greatest countries in the world.

In its early days Juneau passed through many exciting


and charming vicissitudes. Anything but monotony is welcomed by a town in Alaska ; and existence in Juneau in the eighties was certainly not monotonous.

The town started with a grand stampede and rush, which rivaled that of the Klondike seventeen years later ; the Treadwell discovery and attendant excitement came during the second year of its existence, and a guard of marines was necessary to preserve order until, upon its withdrawal, a vigilance committee took matters into its own hands, with immediate beneficial results.

The population of Juneau is about two thousand, which like that of all other northern towns - is largely increased each fall by the miners who come in from the hills and inlets to "winter."

In the middle eighties there were Chinese riots. The little yellow men were all driven out of town, and their quarters were demolished by a mob.

A recent attempt to introduce Hindu labor in the Treadwell mines resulted as disastrously.


Treadwell! Could any mine employing stamps have a more inspiring name, unless it be Stampwell ? It fairly forces confidence and success.

Douglas Island, lying across the narrow channel from Juneau, is twenty-five miles long and from four to nine miles wide. On this island are the four famous Treadwell mines, owned by four separate companies, but having the same general managership.

Gold was first discovered on this island in 1881. Sorely against his will, John Treadwell was forced to take some of the original claims, having loaned a small amount upon them, which the borrower was unable to repay.

Having become possessed of these claims, a gambler's "hunch" impelled him to buy an adjoining claim from " French Pete " for four hundred dollars. On this claim is now located the famed " Glory Hole."

This is so deep that to one looking down into it the men working at the bottom and along the sides appear scarcely larger than flies. Steep stairways lead, winding, to the bottom of this huge quartz bowl ; but visitors to the dizzy regions below are not encouraged, on account of frequent blasting and danger of accidents.

It is claimed that Treadwell is the largest quartz mine in the world, and that it employs the largest number of stamps - nine hundred. The ore is low grade, not yielding an average of more than two dollars to the ton ; but it is so easily mined and so economically handled that the



mines rank with the Calumet and Hecha, of Michigan ; the Comstock Lode mines, of Nevada; the Homestake, of South Dakota ; and the Porthind, of Colorado.

The Treadwell is the pride of Alaska. Its poetic situation, romantic history, and admirable methods should make it the pride of America.

Its management has always been just and liberal. It has had fewer labor troubles than any other mine in America.

There are two towns on the island - Treadwell and Douglas. The latter is the commercial and residential portion of the community - for the towns meet and mingle together.

The entire population, exclusive of natives, is three thousand people - a population that is constantly increasing, as is the demand for laborers, at prices ranging from two dollars and sixty cents per day up to five dollars for skilled labor.

The island is so brilliantly lighted by electricity that to one approaching on a dark night it presents the appearance of a city six times its size.

The nine hundred stamps drop ceaselessly, day and night, with only two holidays in a year - Christmas and the Fourth of July. The noise is ferocious. In the stamp-mill one could not distinguish the boom of a cannon, if it were fired within a distance of twenty feet, from the deep and continuous thunder of the machinery.

In 1881 the first mill, containing five stamps, was built and commenced crushing ore that came from a streak twenty feet wide. This ore milled from eight to ten dollars a ton, proving to be of a grade sufficiently high to pay for developing and milling, and leave a good surplus.

It was soon recognized that the great bulk of the ore was extremely low grade, and that, consequently, a large milling capacity would be required to make the enterprise


a success. A one-hundred-and-twenty-stamp-mill was erected and began crushing ore in June, 1885. At the end of three years the stamps were doubled. In another year three hundred additional stamps were dropping. Gradually the three other mines were opened up and the stamps were increased until nine hundred were dropping.

The shafts are from seven to nine hundred feet below sea level, and one is beneath the channel ; yet very little water is encountered in sinking them. Most of the water in the mines comes from the surface and is caught up and pumped out, from the first level.

The net profits of these mines to their owners are said to be six thousand dollars a day ; and mountains of ore are still in sight.

Our captain obtained permission to take us down into the mine. This was not so difficult as it was to elude the other passengers. At last, however, we found ourselves shut into a small room, lined with jumpers, slickers, and caps.

Shades of the things we put on to go under Niagara Falls !

" Get into this ! " commanded the captain, holding a sticky and unclean slicker for me. "And make haste! There's no time to waste for you to examine it. Finicky ladies don't get two invitations into the Treadwell. Put in your arm."

My arm went in. When an Alaskan sea captain speaks, it is to obey. Who last wore that slicker, far be it from me to discover. Chinaman, leper, Jap, or Auk - it mattered not. I was in it, then, and curiosity was sternly stifled.

"Now put on this cap." Then beheld mine eyes a cap that would make a Koloshian ill.

"Must I put that on?"

I whispered it, so the manager would not hear.


"You must put this on. Take off your hat."

My hat came off, and the cap went on. It was pushed down well over my hair; down to my eyebrows in the front and down to the nape of my neck in the back.

"There! " said the captain, cheerfully. "You needn't be afraid of anything down in the mine now."

Alas! there was nothing in any mine, in any world, that I dreaded as I did what might be in that cap.

There were four of us, with the manager, and there was barely room on the rather dirty " lift " for us.

We stood very close together. It was as dark as a dungeon.

"Now - look out ! " said the manager.

As we started, I clutched somebody - it did not matter whom. I also drew one wild and amazed breath; before I could possibly let go of that one - to say nothing of drawing another - there was a bump, and we were in a level one thousand and eighty feet below the surface of the earth.

We stepped out into a brilliantly lighted station, with a high, glittering quartz ceiling. The swift descent had so affected my hearing that I could not understand a word that was spoken for fully five minutes. None of my companions, however, complained of the same trouble. 

It has been the custom to open a level at every hundred and ten feet; but hereafter the distance between levels in the Treadwell mine will be one hundred and fifty feet.

At each level a station, or chamber, is cut out, as wide as the shaft, from forty to sixty feet in length, and having an average height of eight feet. A drift is run from the shaft for a distance of twenty-five feet, varying in height from fifteen feet in front to seven at the back. The main crosscut is then started at right angles to the station drift.

From east and west the " drifts " run into this cross-cut, like little creeks into a larger stream.


No one has ever accused me of being shy in the matter of asking questions. It was the first time I had been down in one of the famous gold mines of the world, and I asked as many questions as a woman trying to rent a forty-dollar house for twenty dollars. Between shafts, stations, ore bins, crosscuts, stopes, drifts, levels, and winzes, it was less than fifteen minutes before I felt the cold moisture of despair breaking out upon my brow. Winzes proved to be the last straw. I could get a glimmering of what the other things were; but winzes!

The manager had been polite in a forced, friend-of-the- captain kind of way. He was evidently willing to answer every question once, but whenever I forgot and asked the same question twice, he balked instantly. Exerting every particle of intelligence I possessed, I could not make out the difference between a stope and a station, except that a stope had the higher ceiling.

"I have told you the difference three times already," cried the manager, irritably.

The captain, back in the shadow, grinned sympathetically.

" Nor'-nor'west, nor'-bywest, a-quarter-nor'," said he, sighing, " She'll learn your gold mine sooner than she'll learn my compass."

Then they both laughed. They laughed quite a while, and my disagreeable friend laughed with them. For my- self, I could not see anything funny anywhere.

I finally learned, however, that a station is a place cut out for a stable or for the passage of cars, or other things requiring space; while a stope is a room carried to the level of the top of the main crosscut. It is called a stope because the ore is " stoped " out of it.

But winzes !  What winzes are is still a secret of the ten-hundred-and-eighty-foot level of the Treadwell mine.

Tram-cars filled with ore, each drawn by a single horse.


passed us in every drift - or was it in crosscuts and levels ? One horse had been in the mine seven years without once seeing sunlight or fields of green grass; without once slipping cool water from a mountain creek with quivering, sensitive lips ; without once stretching his aching limbs upon the soft sod of a meadow, or racing with his fellows upon a hard road.

But every man passing one of these horses gave him an affectionate pat, which was returned by a low, pathetic whinny of recognition and pleasure.

" One old fellow is a regular fool about these horses," said the manager, observing our interest. "He's always carrying them down armfuls of green grass, apples, sugar, and everything a horse will eat. You'd ought to hear them nicker at sight of him. If they pass him in a drift, when he hasn't got a thing for them, they'll nicker and nicker, and keep turning their heads to look after him. Sometimes it makes me feel queer in my throat."

No one can by any chance know what noise is until he has stood at the head of a drift and heard three Ingersoll- Sergeant drills beating with lightning-like rapidity into the walls of solid quartz for the purpose of blasting.

Standing between these drills and within three feet of them, one suddenly is possessed of the feeling that his sense of hearing has broken loose and is floating around in his head in waves. This feeling is followed by one of suffocation. Shock succeeds shock until one's very mind seems to go vibrating away.

At a sign from the manager the silence is so sudden and so intense that it hurts almost as much as the noise.

There is a fascination in walking through these high- ceiled, brilliantly lighted stopes, and these low-ceiled, shadowy drifts. Walls and ceilings are gray quartz, glittering with gold. One is constantly compelled to turn


aside for cars of ore on their way to the dumping-places, where their burdens go thundering to the levels be- low.

At last the manager paused.

"I suppose," said he, sighing, "you wouldn't care to see the - "

I did not catch the last word, and had no notion what it was, but I instantly assured him that I would rather see it than anything in the whole mine.

His face fell.

" Really - " he began.

" Of course we'll see it," said the captain ; " we want to see everything."

The manager's face fell lower.

"All right," said he, briefly, "come on! "

We had gone about twenty steps when I, who was close behind him, suddenly missed him. He was gone.

Had he fallen into a dump hole ? Had he gone to atoms in a blast? I blinked into the shadows, standing motionless, but could see no sign of him.

Then his voice shouted from above me - " Come on ! "

I looked up. In front of me a narrow iron ladder led upward as straight as any flag-pole, and almost as high. Where it went, and why it went, mattered not. The only thing that impressed me was that the manager, halfway up this ladder, had commanded me to "come on."

I to "come on! " up that perpendicular ladder whose upper end was not in sight!

But whatever might be at the top of that ladder, I had assured him that I would rather see it than anything in the whole mine. It was not for me to quail. I took firm hold of the cold and unclean rungs, and started.

When we had slowly and painfully climbed to the top, we worked our way through a small, square hole and emerged into another stope, or level, and in a very dark


part of it. Each man worked by the light of a single candle. They were stoping out ore and making it ready to be dumped into lower levels - from which it would finally be hoisted out of the mine in skips.

The ceiling was so low that we could walk only in a stooping position. The laborers worked in the same position ; and what with this discomfort and the insufficient light, it would seem that their condition was unenviable. Yet their countenances denoted neither dissatisfaction nor ill-humor.

" Well," said the manager, presently, " you can have it to say that you have been under the bay, anyhow."

" Under the - "

" Yes ; under Gastineau Channel. That's straight. It is directly over us."

We immediately decided that we had seen enough of the great mine, and cheerfully agreed to the captain's suggestion that we return to the ship. We were compelled to descend by the perpendicular ladder ; and the descent was far worse than the ascent had been.

On our way to the " lift " by which we had made our advent into the mine, we met another small party. It was headed by a tall and handsome man, whose air of delicate breeding would attract attention in any gathering in the world. His distinction and military bearing shone through his greasy slicker and greasier cap - which he instinctively fumbled, in a futile attempt to lift it, as we passed.

It was that brave and gallant explorer, Brigadier-General Greely, on his way to the Yukon. He was on his last tour of inspection before retirement. It was his farewell to the Northern country which he has served so faith-fully and so well.

One stumbles at almost every turn in Alaska upon some world-famous person who has answered Beauty's far,


insistent call. The modest, low-voiced gentleman at one's side at the captain's table is more likely than not a celebrated explorer or geologist, writer or artist ; or, at the very least, an earl.

" After we've seen our passengers eat their first meal," said the chief steward, "we know how to seat them. You can pick out a lady or a gentleman at the table without fail. A boor can fool you every place except at the table. We never assign seats until after the first meal ; and oftener than you would suppose we seat them according to their manners at the first meal."

I smiled and smiled, then, remembering the first meal on our steamer. It was breakfast. We had been down to the dining room for something and, returning, found ourselves in a mob at the head of the stairs.

There were one hundred and sixty-five passengers on the boat, and fully one hundred and sixty of them were squeezed like compressed hops around that stairway. In two seconds I was a cluster of hops myself, simply that and nothing more. I do not know how the compressing of hops is usually accomplished ; but in my particular case it was done between two immensely big and disagreeable men. They ignored me as calmly as though I were a little boy, and talked cheerfully over my head, although it soon developed that they were not in the least acquainted.

A little black-ringleted, middle-aged woman who seemed to be mounted on wires, suddenly squeezed her head in under their arms, simpering.

" Oh, Doctor ! " twittered she, coquettishly. " You are talking to my husband."

" The deuce ! " ejaculated the Doctor, but whether with evil intent or not, I could not determine from his face.

"Yes, truly. Doctor Metcalf, let me introduce my husband, Mr. Wildey."


They shook hands on my shoulder - but I didn't mind a little thing like that.

"On your honeymoon, eh?" chuckled the Doctor, amiably. The other big man grew red to his hair, and the lady's black ringlets danced up and down.

" Now, now. Doctor," chided she, shaking a finger at him, - she was at least fifty, - " no teasing. No steamer serenades, you know. I was on an Alaskan steamer once, and they pinned red satin hearts all over a bride's state- room door. Just fancy getting up some morning and finding my stateroom door covered with red satin hearts ! "

" I can smell mackerel," said a shrill tenor behind me ; and alas ! so could I. If there be anything that I like the smell of less than a mackerel, it is an Esquimau hut only.

Somebody sniffed delightedly.

" Fried, too," said a happy voice. " Can't you squeeze down closer to the stairway ? "

Almost at once the big man behind me was tipped forward into the big man in front of me - and, as a mere incident in passing, of course, into me as well. We all went tipping and bobbing and clutching toward the stairway.

Life does not hold many half-hours so rich and so full as the one that followed. As a revelation of the baser side of human nature, it was precious.

My friend was tall ; and once, far down the saloon, I caught a glimpse of her handsome, well-carried head as the mob parted for an instant. The expression on her face was like that on the face of the Princess de Lamballe when Lorado Taft has finished with her.

Suddenly I began to move forward. Rather, I was borne forward without effort on my part. A great wave seemed to pick me up and carry me to the head of the stairway. I fairly floated down into the dining room.


I fell into the first chair at the first table I came to; but the mob flowed by, looking for something better. Every woman was on a mad hunt for the captain's table. My table remained un-peopled until my friend came in and found me. Gradually and reluctantly the chairs were filled and we devoted ourselves to the mackerel.

In a far corner at the other end of the room, there was a table with flowers on it. With a sigh of relief I saw black ringlets dancing thereat.

"Thank heaven!" I said. "The bride is at the captain's table."

" Ho, no, ma'am," said the gentle voice of the waiter in my ear. " You're hat hit yourself, ma'am. You're hin the captain's hown seat, ma'am. 'E don't come down to the first meal, though, ma'am," he added hastily, seeing my look of horror. For the first, last, and, I trust, only, time in my life I had innocently seated myself at a captain's table, without an invitation.

After breakfast we hastened on deck and went through deep-breathing exercises for an hour, trying to work ourselves back to our usual proportions.

I should like to see a chief steward seat that mob.

I was greatly amused, by the way, at a young waiter's description of an earl.

" We have lots of earls goin' up," said he, easily. " Oh, yes; they go up to Cook Inlet and Kodiak to hunt big game. I always know an earl the first meal. He makes me pull his corks, and he gives me a quarter or a half for every cork I pull. Sometimes I make six bits or a dollar at a meal, just pulling one earl's corks. I'd rather wait on earls than anybody - except ladies, of course," he added, with a positive jerk of remembrance; whereupon we both smiled.


on the starboard side. It is topped by a great crag which so closely resembles in outline our national emblem that it was so named by Admiral Beardslee, in 1879. The glacier itself is not of great importance.

On Benjamin Island, a fair anchorage may be secured for vessels bound north which have unfortunately been caught in a strong northwest gale.

After the dangerous Vanderbilt Reef is passed, Point Bridget and Point St. Mary's are seen at the entrance to Berner's Bay, where is situated the rich gold mine belonging to Governor Hoggatt.

A light was established in 1905 on Point Sherman ; also, on Eldred Rock, where the Clara Nevada went down, in 1898, with the loss of every soul on board. For ten years repeated attempts to locate this wreck have been made, on account of the rich treasure which the ship was supposed to carry; but not until 1908 was it discovered

when, upon the occurrence of a phenomenally low tide, it was seen gleaming in clear green depths for a few hours by the keeper of the lighthouse. There was a large loss of life.

There is a mining and mill settlement at Seward, in this vicinity.

William Henry Bay, lying across the canal from Berner's, is celebrated as a sportsman's resort, although this recommendation has come to bear little distinction in a country where it is so common. Enormous crabs, rivaling those to the far " Westward," are found here. Their meat is not coarse, as would naturally be supposed, because of their great size, but of a fine flavor.

Seduction Point, on the island bearing the same name, lies between Chilkaht Inlet on the west and Chilkoot Inlet on the east. For once, Vancouver rose to the occasion and bestowed a striking name, because at this point the treacherous Indians tried to lure Whidbey and his


men up the inlet to their village. Upon his refusal to go, they presented a warlike front, and the sincerity of their first advances was doubted.

At the entrance to Chilkaht Inlet, Davidson Glacier is seen sweeping down magnificently from near the summit of the White Mountains. Although this glacier does not discharge bergs, nor rise in splendid tinted palisades straight from the water, as do Taku and Columbia, it is, nevertheless, very imposing - especially if seen from the entrance of the inlet at sunset of a clear day.

The setting of the glaciers of Lynn Canal is superb. The canal itself, named by Vancouver for his home in England, is the most majestic slender water-way in Alaska. From Puget Sound, fiord after fiord leads one on in ever increasing, ever changing splendor, until the grand climax is reached in Lynn Canal.

For fifty-five .miles the sparkling blue waters of the canal push almost northward. Its shores are practically unbroken by inlets, and rise in noble sweeps or stately palisades, to domes and peaks of snow. Glaciers may be seen at every turn of the steamer. Not an hour - not one mile of this last fifty-five - should be missed.

In winter the snow descends to the water's edge and this stretch is exalted to sublimity. The waters of the canal take on deep tones of purple at sunset; fires of purest old rose play upon the mountains and glaciers ; and the clear, washed-out atmosphere brings the peaks forward until they seem to overhang the steamer throbbing up between them.

Lynn Canal is really but a narrowing continuation of Chatham Strait. Together they form one grand fiord, two hundred miles in length, with scarcely a bend, extending directly north and south. From an average width of four or five miles, they narrow, in places, to less than half a mile.


In July, 1794, Vancouver, lying at Port Al thorp, in Cross Sound, sent Mr. Whidbey to explore the continental shore to the eastward. Mr. Whidbey sailed through Icy Strait, seeing the glacier now known as the Brady Glacier, and rounding Point Couverden, sailed up Lynn Canal.

Here, as usual, he was simply stunned by the grandeur and magnificence of the scenery, and resorted to his pet adjectives.

" Both sides of this arm were bounded by lofty, stupendous mountains, covered with perpetual ice and snow, whilst the shores in this neighborhood appeared to be composed of cliffs of very fine slate, interspersed with beaches of very fine paving stone. . . . Up this channel the boats passed, and found the continental shore now take a direction N. 22 W., to a point where the arm narrowed to two miles across ; from whence it extended ten miles further in a direction N. 30 W., where its navigable extent terminated in latitude 59° 12', longitude 224° 33'. This station was reached in the morning of the 16th, after passing some islands and some rocks nearly in mid-channel." (It was probably on one of these that the Clara Nevada was wrecked a hundred years later.) " Above the northern-most of these (which lies four miles below the shoal that extends across the upper part of the arm, there about a mile in width) the water was found to be perfectly fresh. Along the edge of this shoal, the boats passed from side to side, in six feet water, and beyond it, the head of the arm extended about half a league, where a small opening in the land was seen, about the fourth of a mile wide, leading to the northwestward, from whence a rapid stream of fresh water rushed over the shoal " (this was Chilkaht River). "But this, to all appearance, was bounded at no great distance by a continuation of the same lofty ridge of snowy mountains so repeatedly mentioned, as stretching


eastwardly from Mount Fairweather, and which, in every point of view they had hitherto been seen, appeared to be a firm and close-connected range of stupendous mountains  forever doomed to support a burthen of undissolving ice and snow.''

Here, it will be observed, Whidbey was so unconsciously wrought upon by the sublimity of the country that he was moved to fairly poetic utterance. He seemed, however, to be himself doomed to support forever a burthen of gloom and undissolving weariness as heavy as that borne by the mountains.

Up this river, or, as Whidbey called it, brook, the Indians informed him, eight chiefs of great consequence resided in a number of villages. He was urged to visit them. Their behavior was peaceable, civil, and friendly ; but Mr. Whidbey declined the invitation, and returning, rounded, and named. Point Seduction, and passing into Chilkoot Inlet, discovered more " high, stupendous mountains, loaded with perpetual ice and snow."

After exploring Chilkoot Inlet, they returned down the canal, soon falling in with a party of friendly Indians, who made overtures of peace. Mr. Whidbey describes their chief as a tall, thin, elderly man. He was dressed superbly, and supported a degree of state, consequence, and personal dignity which had been found among no other Indians. His external robe was a very fine large garment that reached from his neck down to his heels, made of wool from the mountain goat - the famous Chilkaht blanket here described, for the first time, by the unappreciative Whidbey. It was neatly variegated with several colors, and edged and otherwise decorated with little tufts of woollen yarn, dyed of various colors. His head-dress was made of wood, resembling a crown, and adorned with bright copper and brass plates, whence hung a number of tails, or streamers, composed of wool and fur


worked together, dyed of various colors, and each terminating in a whole ermine skin.

His whole appearance, both as to dress and manner, was magnificent.

Mr. Whidbey was suspicious of the good intentions of these new acquaintances, and was therefore well prepared for the trouble that followed.

Headed by the splendid chief, the Indians attacked Whidbey 's party in boats, and, being repulsed, followed for two days.

As the second night came on boisterously, Mr. Whidbey was compelled to seek shelter. The Indians, understanding his design, hastened to shore in advance, got possession of the only safe beach, drew up in battle array, and stood with spears couched, ready to receive the exploring party. (This was on the northern part of Admiralty Island.)

Here appears the most delicious piece of unintentional humor in all Vancouver's narrative.

" There was now no alternative but either to force a landing by firing upon them, or to remain at their oars all night. The latter Mr. Whidbey considered to be not only the most humane, but the most prudent to adopt, concluding that their habitations were not far distant, and believing them, from the number of smokes that had been seen during the day, to be a very numerous tribe."

They probably appeared more " stupendous " than any snow-covered mountain in poor Mr. Whidbey's startled eyes.

To avoid a " dispute " with these " troublesome people," Mr. Whidbey withdrew to the main canal and stopped " to take some rest " at a point which received the felicitous name of Point Retreat, on the northern part of Admiralty Island - a name which it still retains.


In the following month Mr. Whidbey was compelled to rest again upon his extremely humane spirit, to the southward in Frederick Sound.

" The day being fair and pleasant," chronicles Vancouver, " Mr. Whidbey wished to embrace this opportunity of drying their wet clothes, putting their arms in order. . . . For this purpose the party landed on a commodious beach ; but before they had finished their business a large canoe arrived, containing some women and children, and sixteen stout Indian men, well appointed with the arms of the country. . . . Their conduct afterward put on a very suspicious appearance ; the children withdrew into the woods, and the rest fixed their daggers round their wrists, and exhibited other indications not of the most friendly nature. To avoid the chance of anything unpleasant taking place, Mr. Whidbey considered it most humane and prudent to withdraw " - which he did, with all possible dispatch.

They were pursued by the Indians ; this conduct "greatly attracting the observation of the party."

Mr. Whidbey did not scruple to fire into a fleeing canoe; nor did he express any sorrow when " most hideous and extraordinary noises " indicated that he had fired to good effect ; but the instant the Indians lined up in considerable numbers with " couched spears " and warlike attitude, the situation immediately became "stupendous" and Whidbey's ever ready " humaneness " came to his relief.


The Davidson Glacier was named for Professor George Davidson, who was one of its earliest explorers. A heavy forest growth covers its terminal moraine, and detracts from its lower beauty.

Pyramid Harbor, at the head of Chilkaht Inlet, has an Alaska Packers' cannery at the base of a mountain which rises as straight as an arrow from the water to a height of eighteen hundred feet. This mountain was named Lahouchere, for the Hudson Bay Company's steamer which, in 1862, was almost captured by the Hoonah Indians at Port Frederick in Icy Strait.

Pyramid Harbor was named for a small pyramid-shaped island which now bears the same name, but of which the Indian name is Schlayhotch. The island is but little more than a tiny cone, rising directly from the water. Indians camp here, in large numbers in the summer-time, to work in the canneries. The women sell berries, baskets, Chilkaht blankets of deserved fame, and other curios.

It was this harbor which the Canadians in the Joint High Commission of 1898 unblushingly asked the United States to cede to them, together with Chilkaht Inlet and River, and a strip of land through the lisiere owned by us.

The Chilkaht River flows into this inlet from the northwest. At its mouth it widens into low tide flats, over which, at low tide, the water flows in ribbonish loops. Here, during a " run," the salmon are taken in countless thousands.



The Chilkahts and Chilkoots are the great Indians of Alaska. They comprise the real aristocracy. They are a brave, bold, courageous race ; saucy and independent, constantly carrying a "chip on the shoulder," or a "feather pointing forward " in the head-gear. They are looked up to and feared by the Thlinkits of inferior tribes.

Their villages are located up the Chilkaht and Chilkoot rivers ; and their frequent mountain journeyings have developed their legs, giving them a well-proportioned, athletic physique, in marked contrast to the bowed-and scrawny- legged canoe dwellers to the southward and westward.

They are skilful in various kinds of work ; but their fame will eventually endure in the exquisite dance- blankets, known as the Chilkaht blanket. These blankets are woven of the wool of the mountain goat, whose winter coat is strong and coarse. At shedding time in the spring, as the goat leaps from place to place, the wool clings to trees, rocks, and bushes in thick festoons. These the indolent Indians gather for the weaving of their blankets, rather than take the trouble of killing the goats.

This delicate and beautiful work is, like the Thlinkit and Chilkaht basket, in simple twined weaving. The warp hangs loose from the rude loom, and the wool is woven upward, as in Attn and Haidah basketry.

The owner of one of the old Chilkaht blankets possesses a treasure beyond price. The demand has cheap- ened the quality of those of the present day ; but those of Baranoff's time were marvels of skill and coloring, considering that Indian women's dark hands were the only shuttles.

Black, white, yellow, and a peculiar blue are the colors most frequently' observed in these blankets ; and a deep, rich red is becoming more common than formerly. A wide black, or dark, band usually surrounds them,


border-wise, and a fringe as wide as the blanket falls magnificently from the bottom ; a narrower one from the sides.

The old and rare ones were from a yard and a half to two yards long. The modern ones are much smaller, and may be obtained as low as seventy-five dollars. The designs greatly resemble those of the Haidah hats and basketry.

The full face, with flaring nostrils, small eyes, and ferocious display of teeth, is the bear ; the eye which appears in all places and in all sizes is that of the thunderbird, or, with the Haidahs, the sacred raven.

There is an Indian mission, named Klukwan, at the head of the inlet.

The Chilkahts were governed by chiefs and sub-chiefs. At the time of the transfer "Kohklux" was the great chief of the region. He was a man of powerful will and determined character. He wielded a strong influence over his tribes, who believed that he bore a charmed life. He was friendly to Americans and did everything in his power to assist Professor George Davidson, who went to the head of Lynn Canal in 1869 to observe the solar total eclipse.

The Indians apparently placed no faith in Professor Davidson's announcement of approaching darkness in the middle of the day, however, and when the eclipse really occurred, they fled from him, as from a devil, and sought the safety of their mountain fastnesses.

The passes through these mountains they had held from time immemorial against all comers. The Indians of the vast interior regions and those of the coast could trade only through the Chilkahts - the scornful aristocrats and powerful autocrats of the country.


Coming out of Chilkaht Inlet and passing around Seduction Point into Chilkoot Inlet, Katschin River is seen flowing in from the northeast. The mouth of this river, like that of the Chilkaht, spreads into extensive flats, making the channel very narrow at this point.

Across the canal lies Haines Mission, where, in 1883, Lieutenant Schwatka left his wife to the care of Doctor and Mrs. Willard, while he was absent on his exploring expedition down the Yukon.

The Willards were in charge of this mission, which was maintained by the Presbyterian Board of Missions, until some trouble arose with the Indians over the death of a child, to whom the Willards had administered medicines.

" Crossing the Mission trail," writes Lieutenant Schwatka, " we often traversed lanes in the grass, which here was fully five feet high, while, in whatever direction the eye might look, wild flowers were growing in the greatest profusion. Dandelions as big as asters, buttercups twice the usual size, and violets rivaling the products of cultivation in lower latitudes were visible around. It produced a singular and striking contrast to raise the eyes from this almost tropical luxuriance, and allow them to rest on Alpine hills, covered halfway down their shaggy sides with the snow and glacier ice, and with cold mist condensed on their crowns. . . . Berries and berry blossoms grew in a profusion and



variety which I have never seen equaled within the same limits in lower latitudes."

This was early in June. Here the lieutenant first made the acquaintance of the Alaska mosquito and gnat, neither of which is to be ignored, and may be propitiated by good red blood only ; also, the giant devil's-club, which he calls devil's-sticks. He was informed that this nettle was formerly used by the shamans, or medicine- men, as a prophylactic against witchcraft, applied externally.

The point of this story will be appreciated by all who have come in personal contact with this plant, so tropical in appearance when its immense green leaves are spread out flat and motionless in the dusk of the forest.

From Chilkoot Inlet the steamer glides into Taiya inlet, which leads to Skaguay. Off this inlet are many glaciers, the finest of which is Ferebee.

Chilkoot Inlet continues to the northwestward. Chilkoot River flows from a lake of the same name into the inlet. There are an Indian village and large canneries on the inlet.

Taiya Inlet leads to Skaguay and Dyea. It is a narrow water-way between high mountains which are covered nearly to their crests with a heavy growth of cedar and spruce. They are crowned, even in summer, with snow, which flows down their fissures and canyons in small but beautiful glaciers, while countless cascades foam, sparkling, down to the sea, or drop sheer from such great heights that the beholder is bewildered by their slow, never ceasing fall.

Here, at the mouth of the Skaguay River, with mountains rising on all sides and the green waters of the inlet pushing restlessly in front ; with its pretty cottages climbing over the foot-hills, and with well-worn, flower-strewn paths enticing to the heights ; with the Skaguay's


waters winding over the grassy flats like blue ribbons ; with flower gardens beyond description and boxes in every window scarlet with bloom ; with cascades making liquid and most sweet music by day and irresistible lullabies by night, and with snow peaks seeming to float directly over the town in the upper pearl-pink atmosphere - is Skaguay, the romantic, the marvelous, the town which grew from a dozen tents to a city of fifteen thousand people almost in a night, in the golden year of ninety-eight.

I could not sleep in Skaguay for the very sweetness of the July night. A cool lavender twilight lingered until eleven o'clock, and then the large moon came over the mountains, first outlining their dark crests with fire ; then throbbing slowly on from peak to peak - bringing irresistibly to mind the lines : -

" Like a great dove with silver wings Stretched, quivering o'er the sea, The moon her glistening plumage brings And hovers silently."

The air was sweet to enchantment with flowers ; and all night long through my wide-open window came the far, dreamy, continuous music of the water-falls.

On all the Pacific Coast there is not a more interesting, or a more profitable, place in which to make one's headquarters for the summer, than Skaguay. More side trips may be made, with less expenditure of time and money, from this point than from any other. Launches may be hired for expeditions down Lynn Canal and up the inlets,

whose unexploited splendors may only be seen in this way ; to the Mendenhall, Davidson, Denver, Bertha, and countless smaller glaciers ; to Haines, Fort Seward, Pyramid Harbor, and Seduction Point ; while by canoe, horse, or his own good legs, one may get to the top of Mount


Dewey and to Dewey Lake ; up Face Mountain ; to Dyea ; and many hunting grounds where mountain sheep, bear, goat, ptarmigan, and grouse are plentiful.

The famous White Pass railway - which was built in eighteen months by the " Three H's," Heney, Hawkins, and Hislop, and which is one of the most wonderful engineering feats of the world - may be taken for a trip which is, in itself, worth going a thousand miles to enjoy. Every mile of the way is historic ground - not only to those who toiled over it in 'ninety-seven and 'ninety-eight, bent almost to the ground beneath their burdens, but to the whole world, as well. The old Brackett wagon road ; White Pass City; the "summit"; Bennett Lake; Lake Lindeman ; White Horse Rapids ; Grand Canyon ; Porcupine Ridge - to whom do these names not stand for tragedy and horror and broken hearts?

The town of Skaguay itself is more historic than any other point. Here the steamers lightered or floated ashore men, horses, and freight. " You pay your money and you take your chance," the paraphrase went in those days. Many a man saw every dollar he had in provisions

and often it was a grubstake, at that - sink to the bottom of the canal before his eyes. Others saw their outfits soaked to ruin with salt water. For those who landed safely, there were horrors yet to come.

And here, between these mountains, in this wind-racked canyon, the town of Skaguay grew ; from one tent to hundreds in a day, from hundreds to thousands in a week ; from tents to shacks, from shacks to stores and saloons. Here " Soapy " Smith and his gang of outlaws and murderers operated along the trail ; here he was killed ; here is his dishonored grave, between the mountains which will not endure longer than the tale of his desperate crimes, and his desperate expiation.

Not the handsome style of man that one would expect


of such a bold and daring robber was "Soapy.'' No flashing black eyes, heavy black hair, and long black mustache made him " a living flame among women," as Rex Beach would put it. Small, spare, insignificant in appearance, it has been said that he looked more like an ill- paid frontier minister than the head of a lawless and desperate gang of thieves.

His "spotters" were scattered along the trail all the way to Dawson. They knew what men were " going in," what ones " coming out," "heeled." Such men were al- ways robbed ; if not on the road, then after reaching Skaguay ; when they could not safely, or easily, be robbed alive, they were robbed dead. It made no difference to "Soapy" or his gang of men and women. It was a reign of terror in that new, unknown, and lawless land.

There is nothing in Skaguay today - unless it be the sinking grave of " Soapy " Smith, which is not found by every one - to suggest the days of the gold rush, to the transient visitor. It is a quiet town, where law and order prevail. It is built chiefly on level ground, with a few very long streets - running out into the alders, balms, spruces, and cottonwoods, growing thickly over the river's flats.

In all towns in Alaska the stores are open for business on Sunday when a steamer is in. If the door of a curio- store, which has tempting baskets or Chilkaht blankets displayed in the window, be found locked, a dozen small boys shout as one, " Just wait a minute, lady. Proprietor's on the way now. He just stepped out for breakfast. Wait a minute, lady."

We arrived at Skaguay early on a Sunday morning, and were directed to the "'bus " of the leading hotel. We rode at least a mile before reaching it. We found it to be a wooden structure, four or five stories in height; the large office was used as a kind of general living-room as well.


The rooms were comfortable and the table excellent. The proprietress grows her own vegetables and flowers, and keeps cows, chickens, and sheep, to enrich her table.

About ten o'clock in the forenoon we went to the station to have our trunks checked to Dawson. The doors stood open. We entered and passed from room to room. There was no one in sight. The square ticket window was closed.

We hammered upon it and upon every closed door. There was no response. We looked up the stairway, but it had a personal air. There are stairways which seem to draw their steps around them, as a duchess does her furs, and to give one a look which says, " Do not take liberties with me ! " - while others seem to be crying, " Come up; come up ! " to every passer-by. I have never seen a stairway that had the duchess air to the degree that the one in the station at Skaguay has it. If any one doubts, let him saunter around that station until he finds the stairway and then take a good look at it.

We went outside, and I, being the questioner of the party, asked a man if the ticket office would be open that day.

He squared around, put his hands in his pockets, bent his wizened body backward, and gave a laugh that echoed down the street.

" God bless your soul, lady," said he, " on Sunday ! Only an extry goes out on Sundays, to take round-trip tourists to the summit and back while the steamer waits. Today's extry has gone."

" Yes," said I, mildly but firmly, " but we are going to Dawson to-morrow. Our train leaves at nine o'clock, and there will be so many to get tickets signed and baggage checked - "

He gave another laugh.

" Don't you worry, lady. Take life easy, the way we


do here. If we miss one train, we take the next - unless we miss it, too! " He laughed again.

At that moment, bowing and smiling in the window of the ticket office, appeared a man - the nicest man !

" Will you see him bow ! " gasped my friend. " Is he bowing at us ? Why - are you bowing back? "

" Of course I am."

" What on earth does he want ? "

" He wants to be nice to us," I replied; and she followed me inside.

The nice face was smiling through the little square window.

"I was upstairs," he said, he had descended by way of the   ' Duchess," " and I heard you rapping on windows and doors " - the smile deepened, " so I came down to see if I could serve you."

We related our woes ; we got our tickets signed and our baggage checked ; had all our questions answered - and they were not few - and the following morning ate our breakfast at our leisure and were greatly edified by our fellow-travelers' wild scramble to get their bills paid and to reach the station in time to have their baggage checked.


Sailing down Lynn Canal, Chatham Strait, and the narrow, winding Peril Strait, the sapphire-watered and exquisitely islanded Bay of Sitka is entered from the north. Six miles above the Sitka of today a large wooden cross marks the site of the first settlement, the scene of the great massacre.

On one side are the heavily and richly wooded slopes of Baranoff Island, crested by many snow-covered peaks which float in the higher primrose mist around the bay; on the other, water avenues - growing to paler, silvery blue in the distance - wind in and out among the green islands to the far sea, glimpses of which may be had; while over all, and from all points for many miles, the round, deeply cratered dome of Edgecumbe shines white and glistening in the sunlight. It is the superb feature of the landscape; the crowning glory of a scene that would charm even without it.

Mount Edgecumbe is the home of Indian myth and legend - as is Nass River to the southeastward. In appearance, it is like no other mountain. It is only eight thousand feet in height, but it is so round and symmetrical, it is so white and sparkling, seen either from the ocean or from the inner channels, and its crest is sunken so evenly into an unforgettable crater, that it instantly impresses upon the beholder a kind of personality among mountains.

In beauty, in majesty, in sublimity, it neither approaches



nor compares with twenty other Alaskan mountains which I have seen ; but, like the peerless Shishaldin, to the far westward, it stands alone, distinguished by its unique features from all its sister peaks.

Not all the streams of lava that have flowed down its sides for hundreds of years have dulled its brilliance or marred its graceful outlines.

I have searched Vancouver's chronicles, expecting to fined Edgecumbe described as " a mountain having a very elegant hole in the top," - to match his " elegant fork " on Mount Olympus of Puget Sound.

Peril Strait is a dangerous reach leading in sweeping curves from Chatham Strait to Salisbury Sound. It is the watery dividing line between Chichagoff and Baranoff islands. It has two narrows, where the rapids at certain stages of the tides are most dangerous.

Upon entering the strait from the east, it is found to be wide and peaceful. It narrows gradually until it finally reaches, in its forty-mile windings, a width of less than a hundred yards.

There are several islands in Peril Strait : Fairway and Trader's at the entrance ; Broad and Otstoi on the starboard ; Pouverstoi,Elovoi, Rose, and Kane. Between Otstoi and Pouverstoi islands is Deadman's Reach. Here are Peril Point and Poison Cove, where Baranoff lost a hundred Aleuts by their eating of poisonous mussels in 1799. For this reason the Russians gave it the name, Pogibshi, which, interpreted, means " Destruction," instead of the " Pernicious " or " Peril " of the present time,

Deadman's Reach is as perilous for its reefs as for its mussels. Hoggatt Reef, Dolph Rock, Ford Rock, Elovoi Island, and Krugloi Reef are all dangerous obstacles to navigation, making this reach as interestingly exciting as it is beautiful.

Fierce tides race through Sergius Narrows, and steamers


going to and from Sitka are guided by the careful calculation of their masters, that they may arrive at the narrows at the favorable stage of the tides. Bores, racing several feet high, terrific whirlpools, and boiling geysers make it impossible for vessels to approach when the tides are at their worst. This is one of the most dangerous reaches in Alaska.

Either Rose or Adams Channel may be used going to Sitka, but the latter is the favorite.

Kakul Narrows leads into Salisbury Sound ; but the Sitkan steamers barely enter this sound ere they turn to the southeastward into Neva Strait. It was named by Portlock for the Marquis of Salisbury.

Entrance Island rises between Neva Strait and St. John the Baptist Bay. There are both coal and marble in the latter bay.

Halleck Island is completely surrounded by Nakwasina Passage and Olga Strait, joining into one grand canal of uniform width.

All these narrow, tortuous, and perilous water-ways wind around the small islands that lie between Baranoif Island on the east and Kruzoff Island on the west. Baranoff is one hundred and thirty miles long and as wide as thirty miles in places. Kruzoff Island is small, but its southern extremity, lying directly west of Sitka, shelters that favored place from the storms of the Pacific.

Whitestone Narrows in the southern end of Neva Strait is extremely narrow and dangerous, owing to sunken rocks. Deep-draught vessels cannot enter at low tide, but must await the favorable half -hour.

Sitka Sound is fourteen miles long and from five to eight wide. It is more exquisitely islanded than any other bay in the world ; and after passing the site of Baranoff's first settlement and Old Sitka Rocks, the steamer's course leads through a misty emerald maze. Sweeping


slowly around the green shore of one island, a dozen others dawn upon the beholder's enraptured vision, frequently appearing like a solid wall of green, which presently parts to let the steamer slide through, - when, at once, another dazzling vista opens to the view.

Before entering Sitka Sound, Halleck, Partoffs-Chigoff, and Krestoff are the more important islands ; in Sitka Sound, Crow, Apple, and Japonski. The latter island is world-famous. It is opposite, and very near, the town ; it is about a mile long, and half as wide ; its name, " Japan," was bestowed because, in 1805, a Japanese junk was wrecked near this island, and the crew was forced to dwell upon it for weeks. It is greenly and gracefully draped with cedar and spruce trees, and is an object of much interest to tourists.

Around Japonski cluster more than a hundred small islands of the Harbor group ; in the whole sound there are probably a thousand, but some are mere green or rocky dots floating upon the pale blue water.

A magnetic and meteorological observatory was established on Japonski by the Russians and was maintained until 1867.


The Northwest Coast of America extended from Juan de Fuca's Strait to the sixtieth parallel of north latitude. Under the direction of the powerful mind of Peter the Great explorations in the North Pacific were planned. He wrote the following instructions with his own hand, and ordered the Chief Admiral, Count Fedor Apraxin, to see that they were carried into execution : -

First. One or two boats, with decks, to be built at Kamchatka, or at any other convenient place, with which

Second. Inquiry should be made in relation to the northerly coasts, to see whether they were not contiguous with America, since their end was not known. And this done, they should

Third. See whether they could not somewhere find an harbor belonging to Europeans, or an European ship. They should likewise set apart some men who were to inquire after the name and situation of the coasts discovered. Of all this an exact journal should be kept, with which they should return to St. Petersburg.

Before these instructions could be carried out, Peter the Great died.

His Empress, Catherine, however, faithfully carried out his plans.

The first expedition set out in 1725, under the command of Vitus Behring, a Danish captain in the Russian service, with Lieutenants Spanberg and Chirikoff as assistants. They carried several officers of inferior rank ;



also seamen and ship-builders. Boats were to be built at Kamchatka, and they started overland through Siberia on February the fifth of that year. Owing to many trials and hardships, it was not until 1728 that Behring sailed along the eastern shore of the peninsula, passing and naming St. Lawrence Island, and on through Behring Strait. There, finding that the coast turned westward, his natural conclusion was that Asia and America were not united, and he returned to Kamchatka. In 1734, under the patronage of the Empress Elizabeth, Peter the Great's daughter, a second expedition made ready ; but owing to insurmountable difficulties, it was not until September, 1740, that Behring and Chirikoff set sail in the packet-boats St. Peter and St. Paul - Behring commanding the former - from Kamchatka. They wintered at Avatcha on the Kamchatkan Peninsula, where a few buildings, including a church, were hastily erected, and to which the name of Petropavlovsk was given.

On June 4, 1741, the two ships finally set sail on their eventful voyage - how eventful to us of the United States we are only, even now, beginning to realize. They were accompanied by Lewis de Lisle de Cro pere, professor of astronomy, and Georg Wilhelm Steller, naturalist.

Miller, the historian, and Gmelin, professor of chemistry and natural history, also volunteered in 1733 to accompany the expedition ; but owing to the long delay, and ill-health arising from arduous labors in Kamchatka, they were compelled to permit the final expedition to depart without them.

On the morning of June 20, the two ships became separated in a gale and never again sighted one an- other. Chirikoff took an easterly course, and to him, on the fifteenth of July, fell, by chance, the honor of the first discovery of land on the American continent, opposite


Kamchatka, in 55° 21'. Here he lost two boatloads of seamen whom he sent ashore for investigation, and whose tragic fate may only be guessed from the appearance of savages later, upon the shore.

That the first Russians landing upon the American continent should have met with so horrible a fate as theirs is supposed to have been, has been considered by the superstitious as an evil omen. The first boat sent ashore contained ten armed sailors and was commanded by the mate, Abraham Mikhailovich Dementief. The latter is described as a capable young man, of distinguished family, of fine personal appearance, and of kind heart, who, having suffered from an unfortunate love affair, had offered him- self to serve his country in this most hazardous expedition. They were furnished with provisions and arms, including a small brass cannon, and given a code of signals by Chirikoff, by which they might communicate with the ship. The boat reached the shore and passed behind a point of land. For several days signals which were supposed to indicate that the party was alive and well, were observed rising at intervals. At last, however, great anxiety was experienced by those on board lest the boat should have sustained damage in some way, making it impossible for the party to return. On the fifth day another boat was sent ashore with six men, including a carpenter and a calker. They effected a landing at the same place, and shortly afterward a great smoke was ob- served, pushing its dark curls upward above the point of land behind which the boats had disappeared.

The following morning two boats were discovered putting off from the shore. There was great rejoicing on the ship, for the night had been passed in deepest anxiety, and without further attention to the boats, preparations were hastily made for immediate sailing. Soon, however, to the dread and horror of all, it was discovered that the


boats were canoes filled with savages, who, at sight of the ship, gave unmistakable signs of astonishment, and shouting " Agai! Agai! " turned hastily back to the shore.

Silence and consternation fell upon all. Chirikoff, humane and kind-hearted, bitterly bewailed the fate of his men. A wind soon arising, he was forced to make for the open sea. He remained in the vicinity, and as soon as it was possible, returned to his anchorage ; but no signs of the unfortunate sailors were ever discovered.

Without boats, and without sufficient men, no attempt at a rescue could be made ; nor was further exploration possible ; and heavy-hearted and discouraged, notwith-standing his brilliant success, Chirikoff again weighed anchor and turned his ship homeward.

He and his crew were attacked by scurvy ; provisions and water became almost exhausted ; Chirikoff was confined to his berth, and many died; some islands of the chain now known as the Aleutians were discovered ; and finally, on the 8th of October, 1741, after enduring inexpressible hardships, great physical and mental suffering, and the loss of twenty-one men, they arrived on the coast of Kamchatka near the point of their departure.

In the meantime, on the day following Chirikoff 's discovery of land. Commander Behring, far to the northwestward, saw, rising before his enraptured eyes, the splendid presence of Mount St. Elias, and the countless, and scarcely less splendid, peaks which surround it, and which, stretching along the coast for hundreds of miles, whitely and silently people this region with majestic beauty. S teller, in his diary, claims to have discovered land on the fifteenth, but was ridiculed by his associates, although it was clearly visible to all in the same place on the following day.

They effected a landing on an island, which they named St. Elias, in honor of the day upon which it was dis-


covered. It is now known as Kayak Island, but the mountain retains the original name. Having accomplished the purpose of his expedition, Behring hastily- turned the St. Peter homeward.

For this haste Behring has been most severely criticized. But when we take into consideration the fact that preparations for this second expedition had begun in 1733 ; that during all those years of difficult traveling through Siberia, of boat building and the establishment of posts and magazines for the storing of provisions, he had been hampered and harassed almost beyond endurance by the quarrelling, immorality, and dishonesty of his subordinates ; that for all dishonesty and blunders he was made responsible to the government ; and that so many complaints of him had been forwarded to St. Petersburg by officers whom he had reprimanded or otherwise punished that at last, in 1739, officers had been sent to Ohkotsk to investigate his management of the preparations ; that he had now discovered that portion of the American continent which he had set out to discover, had lost Chirikoff, upon whose youth and hopefulness he had been, perhaps unconsciously, relying; and - most human of all - that he had a young and lovely wife and two sons in Russia whom he had not seen for years (and whom he was destined never to see again) ; when we take all these things into consideration, there seems to be but little justice in these harsh criticisms.

Today, there is no portion of the Alaskan coast more unreliable, nor more to be dreaded by mariners, than that in the vicinity of Behring's discovery. Even in summer violent winds and heavy seas are usually encountered. Steamers cannot land at Kayak, and passengers and freight are lightered ashore ; and when this is accomplished without disaster or great difficulty, the trip is spoken of as an exceptional one. Yet Behring remained


in this dangerous anchorage five days. Several landings were made on the two Kayak Islands, and on various smaller ones. Some Indian huts, without occupants, were found and entered. They were built of logs and rough bark and roofed with tough dried grasses. There were, also, some sod cellars, in which dried salmon was found. In one of the cabins were copper implements, a whetstone, some arrows, ropes, and cords made of sea-weed, and rude household utensils ; also herbs which had been prepared according to Kamchatkan methods.

Returning, Behring discovered and named many of the Aleutian Islands and exchanged presents with the friendly natives. They were, however, overtaken by storms and violent illness ; they suffered of hunger and thirst ; so many died that barely enough remained to manage the ship. Finally on November 5, in attempting to land, the St. Peter was wrecked on a small island, where, on the 8th of December, in a wretched hut, half covered with sand which sifted incessantly through the rude boards that were his only roof, and after suffering unimaginable agonies, the illustrious Dane, Vitus Behring, died the most miserable of deaths. The island was named for him, and still retains the name, being the larger of the Commander Islands.

The survivors of the wreck remaining on Behring Island dragged out a wretched existence until spring, in holes dug in the sand and roofed with sails. Water they had ; but their food consisted chiefly of the flesh of sea- otters and seals. In May, weak, emaciated, and hopeless though they were, and with their brave leader gone, they began building a boat from the remnants of the St. Peter. It was not completed until August ; when, with many fervent prayers, they embarked, and, after nine days of mingled dread and anxiety in a frail and leaking craft, they arrived safely on the Kamchatkan shore.


All hope of their safety had long been abandoned, and there was great rejoicing upon their return. Out of their own deep gratitude a memorial was placed in the church at Petropavlovsk, which is doubtless still in existence, as it was in a good state of preservation a few years ago.

Russian historians at first seemed disposed to depreciate Behring's achievement, and to over-exalt the Russian, Chirikoff. They made the claim that the latter was a man of high intellectual attainments, courageous, hopeful, and straightforward ; kind-hearted, and giving thought to and for others. He was instructor of the marines of the guard, but after having been recommended to Peter the Great as a young man highly qualified to accompany the expedition under Behring, he was promoted to a lieutenancy and accompanied the latter on his first expedition in 1725 ; and on the second, in 1741, he was made commander of the St. Pevril, or "St. Paul," not by seniority but on account of superior knowledge and worth." Despite the fact that Behring was placed by the emperor in supreme command of both expeditions, the Russians looked upon Chirikoff as the real hero. He was a favorite with all, and in the accounts of quarrels and dissensions among the heads of the various detachments of scientists and naval officers of the expedition, the name of Chirikoff does not appear. His wife and daughter accompanied him to Siberia.

Captain Vitus Behring - or Ivan Ivanovich, as the Russians called him - is described as a man of intelligence, honesty, and irreproachable conduct, but rather inclined in his later years to vacillation of purpose and indecision of character, yielding easily to an irritable and capricious temper. Whether these facts were due to age or disease is not known ; but that they seriously affected his fitness for the command of an exploration is not denied, even by his admirers. Even so sane and conscientious


an historian as Dall calls him timid, hesitating, and indolent, and refers to his " characteristic imbecility," "utter incapacity," and "total incompetency." It is incredible, however, that a man of such gross faults should have been given the command of this brilliant expedition by so wise and great a monarch as Peter. Behring died,

old, discouraged, in indescribable anguish ; suspicious of every one, doubting even Steller, the naturalist who accompanied the expedition and who was his faithful friend. Chirikoff returned, young, flushed with success, popular and in favor with all, from the Empress down to his subordinates. Favored at the outset by youth and a cheerful spirit, his bright particular star guided him to the discovery of land a few hours in advance of Behring. This was his good luck and his good luck only. Vitus Behring, the Dane in the Russian service, was in supreme command of the expedition ; and to him belongs the glory. One cannot today sail that magnificent sweep of purple water between Alaska and Eastern Siberia without a thrill of thankfulness that the fame and the name of the illustrious Dane are thus splendidly perpetuated.

Today, his name is heard in Alaska a thousand times where Chirikoff's is heard once. The glory of the latter is fading, and Behring is coming to his own - Russians speaking of him with a pride that approaches veneration.

Captain Martin Petrovich Spanberg, the third in command of the expedition, was also a Dane. He is everywhere described as an illiterate, coarse, cruel man; grasping, selfish, and unscrupulous in attaining ends that made for his own advancement. In his study of the character of Spanberg, Bancroft - who has furnished the most complete and painstaking description of these expeditions - makes comment which is, perhaps unintentionally, humorous. After describing Spanberg as exceedingly avaricious and cruel, and stating that his bad


reputation extended over all Siberia, and that his name appears in hundreds of complaints and petitions from victims of his licentiousness, cruelty, and avarice, Bancroft naively adds, "He was just the man to become rich." Wealthy people may take such comfort as they can out of the comment.