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Alaska : The Great Country
by Ella Higginson


Inspired by the important discoveries of this expedition and by the hope of a profitable fur trade with China, various Russian traders and adventurers, known as " promyshleniki," made voyages into the newly discovered regions, pressing eastward island by island, and year by year ; beginning that long tale of cruelty and bloodshed in the Aleutian Islands which has not yet reached an end. Men as harmless as the pleading, soft-eyed seals were butchered as heartlessly and as shamelessly, that their stocks of furs might be appropriated and their women ravished. In 1745 Alexei Beliaief and ten men inveigled fifteen Aleutians into a quarrel with the sole object of killing them and carrying off their women. In 1762, the crew of the Gravril persuaded twenty-five young Aleutian girls to accompany them " to pick berries and gather roots for the ship's company." On the Kamchatkan coast several of the crew and sixteen of these girls were landed to pick berries. Two of the girls made their escape into the hills; one was killed by a sailor; and the others cast themselves into the sea and were drowned. Gavril Pushkaref, who was in command of the vessel, ordered that all the remaining natives, with the exception of one boy and an interpreter, should be thrown overboard and drowned.

These are only two instances of the atrocious outrages perpetrated upon these innocent and childlike people by the brutal and licentious traders who have frequented



these far beautiful islands from 1745 to the present time. From year to year now dark and horrible stories float down to us from the far northwestward, or vex our ears when we sail into those pale blue water-ways. Nor do they concern " promyshleniki " alone. Charges of the gravest nature have been made against men of high position who spend much time in the Aleutian Islands. That these gentle people have suffered deeply, silently, and shamefully, at the hands of white men of various nationalities, has never been denied, nor questioned. It is well known to be the simple truth. From 1760 to about 1766 the natives rebelled at their treatment and active hostilities were carried on. Many Russians were killed, some were tortured. Solovief, upon arriving at Unalaska and learning the fate of some of his countrymen, resolved to avenge them. His designs were carried out with unrelenting cruelty. By some writers, notably Berg, his crimes have been palliated, under the plea that nothing less than extreme brutality could have so soon reduced the natives to the state of fear and humility in which they have ever since remained - failing to take into consideration the atrocities perpetrated upon the natives for years before their open revolt.

In 1776 we find the first mention of Grigor Ivanovich Shelikoff; but it was not until 1781 that he succeeded in making the first permanent Russian settlement in America, on Kodiak Island, - forty-three dark and strenuous years after Vitus Behring saw Mount St. Elias rising out of the sea. Shelikoff was second only to Baranoff in the early history of Russian America, and is known as "the founder and father of Russian colonies in America." His wife, Natalie, accompanied him upon all his voyages. She was a woman of very unusual character, energetic and ambitious, and possessed of great business and executive ability. After her husband's death, her management for


many years of not only her own affairs, but those of the Shelikoff Company as well, reflected great credit upon herself.

It was the far-sighted Shelikoff who suggested and carried out the idea of a monopoly of the fur trade in Russian America under imperial charter. As a result of his forceful presentation of this scheme and the able - and doubtless selfish - assistance of General Jacobi, the governor-general of Eastern Siberia, the Empress became interested. In 1788 an imperial ukase was issued, granting to the Shelikoff Company exclusive control of the territory already occupied by them. Assistance from the public coffers was at that time withheld; but the Empress graciously granted to Shelikoff and his partner, Golikof, swords and medals containing her portrait. The medals were to be worn around their necks, and bore inscriptions explaining that they " had been conferred for services rendered to humanity by noble and bold deeds."

Although Shelikoff greatly preferred the pecuniary assistance from the government, he nevertheless accepted with a good grace the honor bestowed, and bided his time patiently.

In accordance with commands issued by the commander at Ohkotsk and by the Empress herself, Shelikoff adopted a policy of humanity in his relations with the natives, although it is suspected that this was on account of his desire to please the Empress and work out his own designs, rather than the result of his own kindness of heart.

With the clearness of vision which distinguished his whole career, Shelikoff selected Alexander Baranoff as his agent in the territory lying to the eastward of Kodiak. In Voskressenski, or Sunday, Harbor - now Resurrection Bay, on which the town of Seward is situated - Baranoff built in 1794 the first vessel to glide into the waters of Northwestern America - the Phoenix. At the request of


Shelikoff a colony of two hundred convicts, accompanied by twenty priests, were sent out by imperial ukase, and established at Yakutat Bay, under Baranoff. During the years that followed many complaints were entered by the clerg-y against Baranoff for cruelty, licentiousness, and mismanagement of the company's affairs. But, whatever his faults may have been, it is certain that no man could have done so much for the promotion of the company's interests at that time as Baranoff; nor could any other so efficiently have conducted its affairs.

It was during his governorship that the rose of success bloomed brilliantly for the Russian-American Company in the colonies. He was a shrewd, tireless, practical business man. His successors were men distinguished in army and navy circles, haughty and patrician, but abso- lutely lacking in business ability, and ignorant of the unique conditions and needs of the country.

After Baranoff's resignation and death, the revenues of the company rapidly declined, and its vast operations were conducted at a loss.

It was in 1791 that Baranoff assumed command of all the establishments on the island of the Shelikoff Company which, under imperial patronage, had already secured a partial monopoly of the American fur trade. Owing to competition by independent traders, the large company, after the death of Shelikoff, united with its most influential rival, under the name of the Shelikoff United Company. The following year this company secured an imperial ukase which granted to it, under the name of the Russian-American Company, " full privileges, for a period of twenty years, on the coast of Northwestern America, beginning from latitude fifty-five degrees North, and including the chain of islands extending from Kamchatka northward to America and southward to Japan ; the exclusive right to all enterprises, whether hunting, trading, or building, and to new discoveries,


with strict prohibition from profiting by any of these pursuits, not only to all parties who might engage in them on their own responsibility, but also to those who formerly had ships and establishments there, except those who have united with the new company."

In the same year a fort was established by Baranoff, on what is now Sitka Sound. This was destroyed by natives ; and in 1804 another fort was erected by Baranoff, near the site of the former one, which he named Fort Archangel Michael. This fort is the present Sitka. Its establishment enabled the Russian -American Company to extend its operations to the islands lying southward and along the continental shore.

We now come to the most fascinating portion of the history of Alaska. Not even the wild and romantic days of gold excitement in the Klondike can equal Baranoff's reign at Sitka for picturesqueness and mysterious charm. The strength and personality of the man were such that today one who is familiar with his life and story, entering Sitka, will unconsciously feel his presence ; and will turn, with a sigh, to gaze upon the commanding height where once his castle stood.

There were many dark and hopeless days for Baranoff during his first years with the company, and it was while in a state of deep discouragement and hopelessness that he received the news of his appointment as chief manager of the newly organized Russian-American Company. Most of his plans and undertakings had failed ; many Russians and natives had been lost on hunting voyages ; English and American traders had superseded him at every point to the eastward of Kodiak ; many of his Aleutian hunters had been killed in conflict with the savage Thlinkits ; he had lost a sloop which had been constructed at Voskressenski Bay ; and finally, he had returned to Kodiak enduring the agonies of inflammatory rheumatism, only to be


reproached by the subordinates, who were suffering of actual hunger - so long had they been without relief from supply ships.

In this dark hour the ship arrived which carried not only good tidings, but plentiful supplies as well. Baranoff's star now shone brightly, leading him on to hope and renewed effort.

In the spring of the following year, 1799, Baranoff, with two vessels manned by twenty-two Russians, and three hundred and fifty canoes, set sail for the eastward. Many of the natives were lost by foundering of the canoes, and many more by slaughter at the hands of the Kolosh, but finally they arrived at a point now known as Old Sitka, six miles north of the present Sitka, and bartered with the chief of the natives for a site for a settlement. Captain Cleveland, whose ship Caroline, of Boston, was then lying in the harbor, describes the Indians of the vicinity as follows : " A more hideous set of beings in the form of men and women, I had never before seen. The fantastic manner in which many of the faces were painted was probably intended to give them a more ferocious appearance ; and some groups looked really as if they had escaped from the dominions of Satan himself. One had a perpendicular line dividing the two sides of the face, one side of which was painted red, the other black, with the hair daubed with grease and red ochre, and filled with the down of birds. Another had the face divided with a horizontal line in the middle, and painted black and white. The visage of a third was painted in checkers, etc. Most of them had little mirrors, .before the acquisition of which they must have been dependent on each other for those correct touches of the pencil which are so much in vogue, and which daily require more time than the toilet of a Parisian belle."

These savages were known to be treacherous and


dangerous, but they pretended to be friendly, and fears were gradually allayed by continued peace. The story of the great massacre and destruction of the fort is of poignant interest, as simply and pathetically told by one of the survivors, a hunter : " In this present year 1802, about the twenty-fourth of June - I do not remember the exact date, but it was a holiday - about two o'clock in the afternoon, I went to the river to look for our calves, as I had been detailed by the commander of the fort, Vassili Medvednikof, to take care of the cattle. On returning soon after, I noticed at the fort a great multitude of Kolosh people, who had not only surrounded the barracks below, but were already climbing over the balcony and to the roof with guns and cannon ; and standing upon a little knoll in front of the out-houses, was the Sitka toyon, or chief, Mikhail, giving orders to those who were around the barracks, and shouting to some people in canoes not far away, to make haste and assist in the fight. In answer to his shouts sixty-two canoes emerged from behind the points of rocks." (One is inclined to be skeptical concerning the exact number of canoes ; the frightened hunter would scarcely pause to count the war canoes as they rounded the point.) " Even if I had reached the barracks, they were already closed and barricaded, and there was no safety outside ; therefore, I rushed away to the cattle yard, where I had a gun. I only waited to tell a girl who was employed in the yard to take her little child and fly to the woods, when, seizing my gun, I closed up the shed. Very soon after this four Kolosh came to the door and knocked three times. As soon as I ran out of the shed, they seized me by the coat and took my gun from me. I was compelled to leave both in their hands, and jumping through a window, ran past the fort and hid in the thick underbrush of the forest, though two Kolosh ran after me, but could not find me in the woods. Soon after, I emerged from


the underbrush, and approached the barracks to see if the attack had been repulsed, but I saw that not only the barracks, but the ship recently built, the warehouse and the sheds, the cattle sheds, bath house and other small buildings, had been set on fire and were already in full blaze. The sea-otter skins and other property of the company, as well as the private property of Medvednikof and the hunters, the savages were throwing from the balcony to the ground on the water side, while others seized them and carried them to the canoes, which were close to the fort. . . . All at once I saw two Kolosh running toward me armed with guns and lances, and I was compelled to hide again in the woods. I threw myself down among the underbrush on the edge of the forest, covering myself with pieces of bark. From there I saw Nakvassin drop from the upper balcony and run toward the woods ; but when nearly across the open space he fell to the ground, and four warriors rushed up and carried him back to the barracks on the points of their lances and cut off his head. Kabanof was dragged from the barracks into the street, where the Kolosh pierced him with their lances ; but how the other Russians who were there came to their end, I do not know. The slaughter and incendiarism were continued by the savages until the evening, but finally I stole out among the ruins and ashes, and in my wanderings came across some of our cows, and saw that even the poor dumb animals had not escaped the bloodthirsty fiends, having spears stuck in their sides. Exercising all my strength, I was barely able to pull out some of the spears, when I was observed by two Kolosh, and compelled to leave the cows to their fate and hide again in the woods.

" I passed the night not far from the ruins of the fort. In the morning I heard the report of a cannon and looked out of the brush, but could see nobody, and not wishing to expose myself again to further danger, went


higher up in the mountain through the forest. While advancing cautiously through the woods, I met two other persons who were in the same condition as myself, - a girl from the Chiniatz village, Kodiak, with an infant on her breast, and a man from the Kiliuda village, who had been left behind by the hunting party on account of sickness. I took them both with me to the mountain, but each night I went with my companions to the ruins of the fort and bewailed the fate of the slain. In this miserable condition we remained for eight days, with nothing to eat and nothing but water to drink. About noon of the last day we heard from the mountain two cannon-shots, which raised some hopes in me, and I told my companions to follow me at a little distance, and then went down toward the river through the woods to hide myself near the shore and see whether there was a ship in the bay."

He discovered, to his unspeakable joy, an English ship in the bay. Shouting to attract the attention of those on board, he was heard by six Kolosh, who made their way toward him and had almost captured him ere he saw them and made his escape in the woods. They forced him to the shore at a point near the cape, where he was able to make himself heard by those on the vessel. A boat put off at once, and he was barely able to leap into it when the Kolosh, in hot pursuit, came in sight again. When they saw the boat, they turned and fled.

When the hunter had given an account of the massacre to the commander of the vessel, an armed boat was sent ashore to rescue the man and girl who were in hiding. They were easily located and, with another Russian who was found in the vicinity, were taken aboard and supplied with food and clothing.

The commander himself then accompanied them, with armed men, to the site of the destroyed fort, where they


examined and buried the dead. They found that all but Kabanof had been beheaded.

Three days later the chief, Mikhail, went out to the ship, was persuaded to go aboard, and with his nephew was held until all persons captured during the massacre and still living had been surrendered. The prisoners were given up reluctantly, one by one; and when it was believed that all had been recovered, the chief and his nephew were permitted to leave the ship.

The survivors were taken to Kodiak, where the humane captain of the ship demanded of Baranoff a compensation of fifty thousand roubles in cash. Baranoff, learning that the captain's sole expense had been in feeding and clothing the prisoners, refused to pay this exorbitant sum ; and after long wrangling it was settled for furs worth ten thousand roubles.

Accounts of the massacre by survivors and writers of that time vary somewhat, some claiming that the massacre was occasioned by the broken faith and extreme cruelty of the Russians in their treatment of the savages; others, that the Sitkans had been well treated and that Chief Mikhail had falsely pretended to be the warm and faithful friend of Baranoff, who had placed the fullest confidence in him.

Baranoff was well-nigh broken-hearted by his new and terrible misfortune. The massacre had been so timed that the most of the men of the fort were away on a hunting expedition; and Baranoff himself was on Afognak Island, which is only a few hours' sail from Kodiak. Several Kolosh women lived at the fort with Russian men; and these women kept their tribesmen outside informed as to the daily conditions within the garrison. On the weakest day of the fort, a holiday, the Kolosh had, therefore, suddenly surrounded it, armed with guns, spears, and daggers, their faces covered with masks representing animals.


About this time Krusenstern and Lisiansky sailed from Kroustadt, in the hope - which was fulfilled - of being the first to carry the Russian flag around the world. Lisiansky arrived at Kodiak, after many hardships, only to receive a written request from Baranoff to proceed at once to Sitka and assist him in subduing the savages and avenging the officers and men lost in the fearful massacre. On the 15th of August, 1804, he therefore sailed to eastward, and on the twentieth of the same month entered Sitka Sound. The day must have been gloomy and Lisiansky's mood in keeping with the day, for he thus describes a bay which is, under favorable conditions, one of the most idyllically beautiful imaginable : " On our entrance into Sitka Sound to the place where we now were, there was not to be seen on the shore the least vestige of habitation. Nothing presented itself to our view but impenetrable woods reaching from the water-side to the very tops of the mountains. I never saw a country so wild and gloomy; it appeared more adapted for the residence of wild beasts than of men."

Shortly afterward Baranoff arrived in the harbor with several hundred Aleutians and many Russians, after a tempestuous and dangerous voyage from Yakutat, the site of the convict settlement. He learned that the savages had taken up their position on a bluff a few miles distant, where they had fortified themselves. This bluff was the noble height upon which Baranoff's castle was afterward erected, and which commands the entire bay upon which the Sitka of today is located. Lisiansky, in his " Voyage around the World," describes the Indians' fort as " an irregular polygon, its longest side facing the sea. It was protected by a breastwork two logs in thick- ness, and about six feet high. Around and above it tangled brushwood was piled. Grape-shot did little damage, even at the distance of a cable's length. There


were two embrasures for cannon in the side facing the sea, and two gates facing the forest. Within were fourteen large huts, or, as they were called then, and are called at the present time by' the natives, barabaras. Judging from the quantity of provisions and domestic implements found there, it must have contained at least eight hundred warriors."

An envoy from the Kolosh fort came out with friendly overtures, but was informed that peace conditions could only be established through the chiefs. He departed, but soon returned and delivered a hostage.

Baranoff made plain his conditions ; agreement with the chiefs in person, the delivery of two more hostages, and permanent possession of the fortified bluff.

The chiefs did not appear, and the conditions were not accepted. Then, on October 1, after repeated warnings, Baranoff gave the order to fire upon the fort. Immediately afterward, Baranoff, Lieutenant Arlusof, and a party of Russians and Aleutians landed with the intention of storming the fort. They were repulsed, the panic- stricken Aleutians stampeded, and Baranoff was left al- most without support. In this condition, he could do nothing but retreat to the boats, -   which they were barely able to reach before the Kolosh were upon them. They saved their field-pieces, but lost ten men. Twenty-six were wounded, including Baranoff himself. Had not their retreat at this point been covered by the guns of the ship, the loss of life would have been fearful.

The following day Lisiansky was placed in command. He opened a rapid fire upon the fort, with such effect that soon after noon a peace envoy arrived, with promise of hostages. His overtures were favorably received, and during the following three days several hostages were returned to the Russians. The evacuation of the fort was demanded ; but, although the chief consented, no movements


in that direction could be discovered from the ships. Lisiansky moved his vessel farther in toward the fort and sent an interpreter to ascertain how soon the occupants would be ready to abandon their fortified and commanding position. The reply not being satisfactory, Lisiansky again fired repeatedly upon the stronghold of the Kolosh. On the 3d of October a white flag was hoisted, and the firing was discontinued. Then arose from the rocky height and drifted across the water until far into the night the sound of a mournful, wailing chant.

When dawn came the sound had ceased. Absolute silence reigned ; nor was there any living object to be seen on the shore, save clouds of carrion birds, whose dark wings beat the still air above the fort. The Kolosh had fled ; the fort was deserted by all save the dead. The bodies of thirty Kolosh warriors were found; also those o'f many children and dogs, which had been killed lest any cry from them should betray the direction of their flight.

The fort was destroyed by fire, and the construction of magazines, barracks, and a residence for Baranoff was at once begun. A stockade surrounded these buildings, each corner fortified with a block-house. The garrison received the name of Novo Arkangelsk, or New Archangel. The tribal name of the Indians in that locality was Sitkah pronounced Seetkah - and this short and striking name soon attached itself permanently to the place.

Immense houses were built solidly and with every consideration for comfort and safety, and many families lived in each. They ranged in size from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet in length, and about eighty in width, and were from one to three stories high with immense attics. They were well finished and richly papered. The polished floors were covered with costly rugs and carpets, and the houses were furnished with heavy


and splendid furniture, which had been brought from St. Petersburg. The steaming brass samovar was everywhere a distinctive feature of the hospitality and good cheer which made Sitka famous.

To the gay and luxurious life, the almost prodigal entertainment of guests by Sitkans from this time on to 1867, every traveler, from writers and naval officers down to traders, has enthusiastically testified. At the first signal from a ship feeling its way into the dark harbor, a bright light flashed a welcome across the water from the high cupola on Baranoff' s castle, and fires flamed up on Signal Island to beacon the way.

The officers were received as friends, and entertained in a style of almost princely magnificence during their entire stay - the only thing asked in return being the capacity to eat like gluttons, revel like roisterers, and drink until they rolled helplessly under the table ; and, in Baranoff's estimation, these were small returns, indeed, to ask of a guest for his ungrudging and regal hospitality.

Visions of those high revels and glittering banquets of a hundred years ago come glimmering down to us of to- day. Beautiful, gracious, and fascinating were the Russian ladies who lived there, - if we are to believe the stories of voyagers to the Sitka of Baranoff's and WrangelFs times. Baranoff's furniture was of specially fine workmanship and exceeding value ; his library was remarkable, containing works in nearly all European languages, and a collection of rare paintings - the latter having been presented to the company at the time of its organization.

Baranoff had left a wife and family in Russia. He never saw them again, although he sent allowances to them regularly. He was not bereft of woman's companionship, however, and we have tales of revelry by night when Baranoff alternately sang and toasted everybody,


from the Emperor down to the woman upon his knee with whom he shared every sparkling glass. He had a beautiful daughter by a native woman, and of her he was exceedingly careful. A governess whom he surprised in the act of drinking a glass of liquor was struck in sudden blind passion and turned out of the house. The following day he sent for her, apologized, and reinstalled her with an increased salary, warning her, however, that his daughter must never see her drink a drop of liquor. When in his most gloomy and hopeless moods, this daughter could instantly soothe and cheer him by playing upon the piano and singing to him songs very different from those sung at his drunken all-night orgies.

That there was a very human and tender side to Baranoff's nature cannot be doubted by those making a careful study of his tempestuous life. He was deeply hurt and humiliated by the insolent and supercilious treatment of naval officers who considered him of inferior position, not-withstanding the fact that he was in supreme command of all the Russian territory in America. From time to time the Emperor conferred honors upon him, and he was always deeply appreciative ; and it is chronicled that when a messenger arrived with the intelligence that he had been appointed by the Emperor to the rank of Collegiate Councillor, Baranoff, broken by the troubles, hardships, and humiliations of his stormy life, was suddenly and completely overcome by joy. He burst into tears and gave thanks to God.

" I am a nobleman ! " he exclaimed. " I am the equal in position and the superior in ability of these insolent naval officers."

In 1812 Mr. Wilson P. Hunt, of the Pacific Fur Company, sailed from Astoria for Sitka on the Beaver with supplies for the Russians. By that time Baranoff had risen to the title and pomp of governor, and was living


in splendid style befitting his position and his triumph over the petty officers, whose names are now insignificant in Russian history.

Mr. Hunt found this hyperborean veteran ensconced in a fort which crested the whole of a high, rocky promontory. It mounted one hundred guns, large and small, and was impregnable to Indian attack unaided by artillery. Here the old governor lorded it over sixty Russians, who formed the corps of the trading establishment, besides an indefinite number of Indian hunters of the Kodiak tribe, who were continually coming and going, or lounging and loitering about the fort like so many hounds round a sportsman's hunting quarters. Though a loose liver among his guests, the governor was a strict disciplinarian among his men, keeping them in perfect subjection and having seven guards on duty night and day.

Besides those immediate serfs and dependents just mentioned, the old Russian potentate exerted a considerable sway over a numerous and irregular class of maritime traders, who looked to him for aid and munitions, and through whom he may be said to have, in some degree, extended his power along the whole Northwest Coast. These were American captains of vessels engaged in a particular department of trade. One of the captains would come, in a manner, empty-handed, to New Archangel. Here his ship would be furnished with about fifty canoes and a hundred Kodiak hunters, and fitted out with provisions and everything necessary for hunting the sea-otter on the coast of California, where the Russians had another establishment. The ship would ply along the California coast, from place to place, dropping parties of otter hunters in their canoes, furnishing them only with water, and leaving them to depend upon their own dexterity for a maintenance. When a sufficient cargo was collected, she would gather up her canoes and hunters


and return with them to Archangel, where the captain would render in the returns of his voyage and receive one-half of the skins as his share.

Over these coasting captains the old governor exerted some sort of sway, but it was of a peculiar and characteristic kind ; it was the tyranny of the table. They were obliged to join in his " prosnics " or carousals and his heaviest drinking-bouts. His carousals were of the wildest and coarsest, his tempers violent, his language strong. " He is continually," said Mr. Hunt, " giving entertainment by way of parade ; and if you do not drink raw rum, and boiling punch as strong as sulphur, he will insult you as soon as he gets drunk, which is very shortly after sitting down at table."

A "temperance captain" who stood fast to his faith and kept his sobriety inviolate might go elsewhere for a market; he was not a man after the governor's heart. Rarely, however, did any captain made of such unusual stuff darken the doors of Baranoff's high-set castle. The coasting captains knew too well his humor and their own interests. They joined with either real or well-affected pleasure in his roistering banquets; they ate much and drank more ; they sang themselves hoarse and drank themselves under the table ; and it is chronicled that never was Baranoff satisfied until the last-named condition had come to pass. The more the guests that lay sprawling under the table, upon and over one another, the more easily were trading arrangements effected with Baranoff later on.

Mr. Hunt relates the memorable warning to all " flinchers " which occurred shortly after his arrival. A young Russian naval officer had recently been sent out by the Emperor to take command of one of the company's vessels. The governor invited him to one of his " prosnics " and plied him with fiery potations. The young officer stoutly maintained his right to resist - which called out all the


fury of the old ruffian's temper, and he proceeded to make the youth drink, whether he would or not. As the guest began to feel the effect of the burning liquors, his own temper rose to the occasion. He quarreled violently with his almost royal host, and expressed his young opinion of him in the plainest language - -if Russian language ever can be plain. For this abuse of what Baranoff considered his magnificent hospitality, he was given seventy-nine lashes when he was quite sober enough to aiDpreciate them.

With all his drinking and prodigal hospitality, Baranoff always managed to get his own head clear enough for busi- ness before sobriety returned to any of his guests, who were not so accustomed to these wild and constant revels of their host's ; so that he was never caught napping when it came to bargaining or trading. His own interests were ever uppermost in his mind, which at such times gave not the faintest indication of any befuddlement by drink or by licentiousness of other kinds.

For more than twenty years Baranoff maintained a princely and despotic sway over the Russian colonies. His own commands were the only ones to receive consideration, and but scant attention was given by him to orders from the Directory itself. Complaints of his rulings and practices seldom reached Russia. Tyrannical, coarse, shrewd, powerful, domineering, and of absolutely iron will, all were forced to bow to his desires, even men who considered themselves his superiors in all save sheer brute force of will and character. Captain Krusenstern, a contemporary, in his account of Baranoff, says : " None but vagabonds and adventurers ever entered the company's services as Promishleniks ; " - uneducated Russian traders, whose inferior vessels were constructed usually of planks lashed to timbers and calked with moss; they sailed by dead reckoning, and were men controlled only by


animal instincts and passions ; - "it was their invariable destiny to pass a life of wretchedness in America." " Few," adds Krusenstern, " ever had the good fortune to touch Russian soil again."

In the light of present American opinion of the advantages and joys of life in Russia, this naive remark has an almost grotesque humor. Like many of the brilliantly successful, but unscrupulous, men of the world, Baranoff seemed to have been born under a lucky star which ever led him on. Through all his desperate battles with Indians, his perilous voyages by sea, and the plottings of subordinates who hated him with a helpless hate, he came unharmed.

During his later years at Sitka, Baranoff, weighed down by age, disease, and the indescribable troubles of his long and faithful service, asked frequently to be relieved. These requests were ignored, greatly to his disappointment.

When, finally, in 1817, Hagemeister was sent out with instructions to assume command in Baranoff's place, if he deemed it necessary, the orders were placed before the old governor so suddenly and so unexpectedly that he was completely prostrated. He was now failing in mind, as well as body; and in this connection Bancroft adds another touch of ironical humor, whether intentional or accidental it is impossible to determine. " One of his symptoms of approaching imbecility," writes Bancroft, " being in his sudden attachment to the church. He kept constantly about him the priest who had established the first church at Sitka, and, urged by his spiritual adviser, made large donations for religious purposes."

The effect of the unexpected announcement is supposed to have shortened Baranoff's days. Lieutenant Yanovsky, of the vessel which had brought Hagemeister, was placed in charge by the latter as his representative. Yanovsky


fell in love with Baranoff's daughter and married her. It was, therefore, to his own son-in-law that the old governor at last gave up the sceptre.

By strength of his unbreakable will alone, he arose from a bed of illness and painfully and sorrowfully arranged all the affairs of his office, to the smallest and most insignificant detail, preparatory to the transfer to his successor.

It was in January, 1818, that Hagemeister had made known his appointment to the office of governor; it was not until September that Baranoff had accomplished his difficult task and turned over the office.

There was then, and there is today, halfway between the site of the castle and Indian River, a gray stone about three feet high and having a flat, table-like surface. It stands on the shore beside the hard, white road. The lovely bay, set with a thousand isles, stretches sparkling before it; the blue waves break musically along the curving shingle; the wooded hills rise behind it; the winds murmur among the tall trees.

The name of this stone is the " blarney " stone. It was a favorite retreat of Baranoff's and there, when he was sunken in one of his lonely or despondent moods, he would sit for hours, staring out over the water. What his thoughts were at such times, only God and he knew, - for not even his beloved daughter dared to approach him when one of his lone moods was upon him.

In the first hour that he was no longer governor of the country he had ruled so long and so royally, he walked with bowed head along the beach until he reached his favorite retreat. There he sat himself down and for hours remained in silent communion with his own soul. He had longed for relief from his arduous duties, but it had come in a way that had broken his heart. His government had at last listened to complaints against him,


and, ungrateful for his long and faithful service, had finally relieved him with but scant consideration; with an abruptness and a lack of courtesy that had sorely wounded him.

Nearly thirty of his best years he had devoted to the company. He had conquered the savages and placed the fur trade upon a highly- profitable basis; he had built many vessels and had established trading relations with foreign countries; forts, settlements, and towns had risen at his indomitable will. Sitka, especially, was his own; her storied splendor, whose fame has endured through all the years, she owed entirely to him; she was the city of his heart. He was her creator; his life-blood, his very heart beats, were in her; and now that the time had really come to give her up forever, he found the hour of farewell the hardest of his hard life. No man, of whatsoever material he may be made, nor howsoever insensible to the influence of beauty he may deem himself to be, could dwell for twenty years in Sitka without finding, when it came to leaving her, that the tendrils of her loveliness had twined themselves so closely about his heart that their breaking could only be accomplished by the breaking of the heart itself.

Of his kin, only a brother remained. The offspring of his connection with a Koloshian woman was now married and settled comfortably. A son by the same mistress had died. He had first thought of going to his brother, who lived in Kamchatka; but Golovnin was urging him to return to Russia, which he had left forty years before. This he had finally decided to do, it having been made clear to him that he could still be of service to his country and his beloved colonies by his experience and advice. Remain in the town he had created and ruled so tyrannically, and which he still loved so devotedly, he could not. The mere thought of that was unendurable.

All was now in readiness for his departure, but the old


man he was now seventy-two - had not anticipated that the going would be so hard. The blue waves came sparkling in from the outer sea and broke on the curving shingle at his feet ; the white and lavender wings of sea- birds floated, widespread, upon the golden September air; vessels of the fleet he had built under the most distressing difliculties and disadvantages lay at anchor under the castle wherein he had banqueted every visitor of any distinction or position for so many years, and the light from whose proud tower had guided so many worn voyagers to safety at last ; the yellow, red-roofed buildings, the great ones built of logs, the chapel, the significant block-houses - all arose out of the wilderness before his sorrowful eyes, taking on lines of beauty he had never discovered before.

From this hour Baranoff failed rapidly from day to day. His time was spent in bidding farewell to the Russians and natives - to many of whom he was sincerely attached - and to places which had become endeared to him by long association. He was frequently found in tears. Those who have seen fair Sitka rising out of the blue and islanded sea before their raptured eyes may be able to appreciate and sympathize with the old governor's emotion as, on the 27th of November, 1818, he stood in the stern of the Kutusof and watched the beloved city of hp creation fade lingeringly from his view. He was weeping, silently and hopelessly, as the old weep, when, at last, he turned away.

Baranoff never again saw Sitka. In March the Kutusof landed at Batavia, where it remained more than a month. There he was very ill ; and soon after the vessel had again put to sea, he died, like Behring, a sad and lonely death, far from friends and home. On the 16th of April, 1819, the waters of the Indian Ocean received the body of Alexander Baranoff.


Notwithstanding his many and serious faults, or, possibly because of their existence in so powerful a character - combined as they were with such brilliant talent and with so many admirable and conscientious qualities - Baranoff remains through all the years the most fascinating figure in the history of the Pacific Coast. None is so well worth study and close investigation ; none is so rich in surprises and delights ; none has the charm of so lone and beautiful a setting. There was no littleness, no niggardliness, in his nature. " He never knew what avarice was," wrote Khlebnikof, " and never hoarded riches. He did not wait until his death to make provision for the living, but gave freely to all who had any claim upon him."

He spent money like a prince. He received ten shares of stock in the company from Shelikoff and was later granted twenty more ; but he gave many of these to his associates who were not so well remunerated for their faithful services. He provided generously during his life for his family; and for the families in Russia of many who lost their lives in the colonies, or who were unable through other misfortunes to perform their duties in this respect.

Born of humble parentage in Kargopal, Eastern Russia, in 1747, he had, at an early age, drifted to Moscow, where he was engaged as a clerk in retail stores until 1771, when he established himself in business.

Not meeting with success, he four years later emigrated to Siberia and undertook the management of a glass factory at Irkutsk. He also interested himself in other industries ; and on account of several valuable communications to the Civil Economical Society on the subject of manufacture he was in 1789 elected a member of the society.

His life here was a humdrum existence, of which his


restless spirit soon wearied. Acquainting himself with the needs, resources, and possibilities of Kamchatka, he set out to the eastward with an assortment of goods and liquors, which he sold to the savages of that and adjoining countries.

At first his operations were attended by success ; but when, in 1789, two of his caravans were captured by Chuckchi, he found himself bankrupt, and soon yielded to Shelikoff's urgent entreaties to try his fortunes in America.

Such is the simple early history of this remarkable man. Not one known descendant of his is living today. But men like Baranoff do not need descendants to perpetuate their names.

Bancroft is the highest authority on the events of this period, his assistant being Ivan Petroff, a Russian, who was well-informed on the history of the colonies.

Many secret reasons have been suspected for the sale of the magnificent country of Alaska to the United States for so paltry a sum.

The only revenue, however, that Russia derived from the colonies was through the rich fur trade ; and when, after Baranoff's death, this trade declined and its future seemed hopeless, the country's vast mineral wealth being unsuspected, Russia found herself in humor to consider, any offer that might be of immediate profit to herself. For seven millions and two hundred thousands of dollars Russia cheerfully, because unsuspectingly, yielded one of the most marvelously rich and beautiful countries of the world - its valleys yellow with gold, its mountains green with copper and thickly veined with coal, its waters alive with fish and fur-bearing animals, its scenery sublime - to the scornful and unappreciative United States.

As early as the fifties it became rumored that Russia,


foreseeing the entire decline of the fur trade, considered Alaska a white elephant upon its hands, and that an offer for its purchase would not meet with disfavor. The matter was discussed in Washington at various times, but it was not until 1866 that it was seriously considered. The people of the present state of Washington were among those most desirous of its purchase ; and there was rumor of the organization of a trading company of the Pacific Coast for the purpose of purchasing the rights of the Russian-American Company and acquiring the lease of the lisiere which was to expire in 1868. The Russian-American Company was then, however, awaiting the reply of the Hudson Bay Company concerning a renewal of the lease ; and the matter drifted on until, in the spring of 1867, the Russian minister opened negotiations for the purchase of the country with Mr. Seward. There was some difficulty at first over the price, but the matter was one presenting so many mutual advantages that this was soon satisfactorily arranged.

On Friday evening, March 25, 1867, Mr. Seward was playing whist with members of his family when the Russian minister was announced. Baron Stoeckl stated that he had received a dispatch from his government by cable, conveying the consent of the Emperor to the cession.

" To-morrow," he added, " I will come to the department, and we can enter upon the treaty."

With a smile of satisfaction, Seward replied: -

" Why wait till to-morrow? Let us make the treaty to-night."

" But your department is closed. You have no clerks, and my secretaries are scattered about the town."

" Never mind that," said Seward ; " if you can muster your legation together before midnight, you will find me awaiting you at the department."


By four o'clock on the following morning the treaty was engrossed, sealed, and ready for transmission by the President to the Senate. The end of the session was approaching, and there was need of haste in order to secure action upon it.

Leutze painted this historic scene. Mr. Seward is seen sitting at his table, pen in hand, listening to the Russian minister. The gaslight, streaming down on the table, illuminates the outline of "the great country."

When, immediately afterward, the treaty was presented for consideration in the Senate, Charles Sumner delivered his famous and splendid oration which stands as one of the masterpieces of history, and which revealed an enlightened knowledge and understanding of Alaska that were remarkable at that time - and which probably surpassed those of Seward, Among other clear and beautiful things he said : -

" The present treaty is a visible step in the occupation of the whole North American Continent. As such it will be recognized by the world and accepted by the American people. But the treaty involves something more. By it we dismiss one more monarch from this continent. One by one they have retired ; first France, then Spain, then France again, and now Russia - all giving way to that absorbing unity which is declared in the national motto : E Pluribus Unum . ' '

There is yet one more monarch to be retired, in all kindness and good-will, from our continent ; and that event will take place when our brother-Canadians unite with us in deed as they already have in spirit.

For years the purchase was unpopular, and was ridiculed by the press and in conversation. Alaska was declared to be a "barren, worthless, God-forsaken region," whose only products were "icebergs and polar bears"; vegetation was " confined to mosses " ; and " Walrussia "


was wittily suggested as an appropriate name for our new possession - as well as " Icebergia " ; but in the face of all the opposition and ridicule, those two great Americans, Seward and Sumner, stood firmly for the acquisition of this splendid country. They looked through the mist of their own day and saw the day that is ours.


Since Sitka first dawned upon my sight on a June day, in her setting of vivid green and glistening white, she has been one of ray dearest memories. Four times in all have the green islands drifted apart to let her rise from the blue sea before my enchanted eyes ; and with each visit she has grown more dear, and her memory more tormenting.

Something gives Sitka a different look and atmosphere from any other town. It may be her whiteness, glistening against the rich green background of forest and hill, with the whiteness of the mountains shining in the higher lights ; or it may be the severely white and plain Greek church, rising in the centre of the main street, not more than a block from the water, that gives Sitka her chaste and immaculate appearance.

No buildings obstruct the view of the church from the water. There it is, in the form of a Greek cross, with its green roof, steeple, and bulbous dome.

This church is generally supposed to be the one that Baranoff built at the beginning of the century ; but this is not true. Baranoff did build a small chapel, but it was in 1848 that the foundation of the present church was laid - almost thirty years after the death of Baranoff. It was under the special protection of the Czar, who, with other members of the imperial family, sent many costly furnishings and ornaments.

Veniaminoff - who was later made Archpriest, and still



later the Archbishop of Kamchatka, and during the last years of his noble life, the Metropolitan of Moscow - sent many of the rich vestments, paintings, and furnishings. The chime of silvery bells was also sent from Moscow.

Upon landing at Sitka, one is confronted by the old log storehouse of the Russians. This is an immense building, barricading the wharf from the town. A narrow, dark, gloomy passage-way, or alley, leads through the centre of this building. It seems as long as an ordinary city square to the bewildered stranger groping through its shadows.

In front of this building, and inside both ends of the passage as far as the light reaches, squat squaws, young and old, pretty and hideous, starry-eyed and no-eyed, saucy and kind, arrogant and humble, taciturn and voluble, vivacious and weary-faced. Surely no known variety of squaw may be asked for and not found in this long line that reaches from the wharf to the green-roofed church.

There is no night so wild and tempestuous, and no hour of any night so late, or of any morning so early, that the passenger hastening ashore is not greeted by this long line of dark-faced women. They sit like so many patient, noiseless statues, with their tempting wares clustered around the flat, "toed-in" feet of each.

Not only is this true of Sitka, but of every landing-place on the whole coast where dwells an Indian or an Aleut that has something to sell. Long before the boat lands, their gay shawls by day, or their dusky outlines by night, are discovered from the deck of the steamer.

How they manage it, no ship's officer can tell ; for the whistle is frequently not blown until the boat is within a few 3'ards of the shore. Yet there they are, waiting !

Sometimes, at night, they appear simultaneously, fluttering


down into their places, swiftly and noiselessly, like a flock of birds settling down to rest for a moment in their flight.

Some of these women are dressed in skirts and waists, but the majority are wrapped in the everlasting gay blankets. No lip or nose ornaments are seen, even in the most aged. Two or three men are scattered down the line, to guard the women from being cheated.

These tall and lordly creatures strut noiselessly and superciliously about, clucking out guttural advice to the squaws, as well as, to all appearances, the frankest criticism of the persons examining their wares with a view to purchasing.

The women are very droll, and apparently have a keen sense of humor ; and one is sure to have considerable fun poked at one, going down the line.

Mild-tempered people do not take umbrage at this ridicule ; in fact, they rather enjoy it. Being one of them, I lost my temper only once. A young squaw offered me a wooden dish, explaining in broken English that it was an old eating dish.

It had a flat handle with a hole in it ; and as cooking and eating utensils are never washed, it had the horrors of ages encrusted within it to the depth of an inch or more.

This, of course, only added to its value. I paid her a dollar for it, and had just taken it up gingerly and shudderingly with the tips of my fingers, when, to my amazement and confusion, the girl who had sold it to me, two older women who were squatting near, and a tall man leaning against the wall, all burst simultaneously into jeering and uncontrollable laughter.

As I gazed at them suspiciously and with reddening face, the young woman pointed a brown and unclean finger at me ; while, as for the chorus of chuckles and


duckings that assailed my ears - I hope I may never hear their like again.

To add to my embarrassment, some passengers at that moment approached.

" Hello, Sally," said one ; " what's the matter ? "

Laughing too heartily to reply, she pointed at the wooden dish, which I was vainly trying to hide. They all looked, saw, and laughed with the Indians.

For a week afterward they smiled every time they looked at me; and I do believe that every man, woman, and child on the steamer came, smiling, to my cabin to see my " buy." But the ridicule of my kind was as nothing compared to that of the Indians themselves. To be " taken in " by the descendant of a Koloshian, and then jeered at to one's very face !

The only possession of an Alaskan Indian that may not be purchased is a rosary. An attempt to buy one is met with glances of aversion.

" It has been blessed ! " one woman said, almost in a whisper.

But they have most beautiful long strings of big, evenly cut, sapphire-blue beads. They call them Russian beads, and point out certain ones which were once used as money among the Indians.

Their wares consist chiefly of baskets; but there are also immense spoons carved artistically out of the horns of mountain sheep; richly beaded moccasins of many different materials; carved and gay ly painted canoes and paddles of the fragrant Alaska cedar or Sitka pine; totem-poles carved out of dark gray slate stone ; lamps, carved out of wood and inlaid with a fine pearl-like shell. These are formed like animals, with the backs hollowed to hold oil. There are silver spoons, rings, bracelets, and chains, all delicately traced with totemic designs; knives, virgin charms, Chilkaht blankets, and now and then a


genuine old spear, or bow and arrow, that proves the dearest treasure of all.

Old wooden, or bone, gambling sticks, finely carved, polished to a satin finish, and sometimes inlaid with fragments of shell, or burnt with totemic designs, are also greatly to be desired.

The main features of interest in Sitka are the Greek- Russian church and the walk along the beach to Indian River Park.

A small admission fee is charged at the church door. This goes to the poor-fund of the parish. It is the only church in Alaska that charges a regular fee, but in all the others there are contribution boxes. When one has, with burning cheeks, seen his fellow-Americans drop dimes and nickels into the boxes of these churches, which have been specially opened at much inconvenience for their accommodation, he is glad to see the fifty-cent fee at the door charged.

There are no seats in the church. The congregation stands or kneels during the entire service. There are three sanctuaries and as many altars. The chief sanctuary is the one in the middle, and it is dedicated to the Archi-Strategos Michael.

The sanctuary is separated from the body of the church by a screen - which has a " shaky " look, by the way - adorned with twelve icons, or images, in costly silver and gold casings, artistically chased.

The middle door leading into the sanctuary is called the Royal Gates, because through it the Holy Sacrament, or Eucharist, is carried out to the faithful. It is most beautifully carved and decorated. Above it is a magnificent icon, representing the Last Supper. The heavy silver casing is of great value. The casings alone of the twelve icons on the screen cost many thousands of dollars.

An interesting story is attached to the one of the patron


saint of the church, the Archangel Michael. The ship Neva, on her way to Sitka, was wrecked at the base of Mount Edgecumbe. A large and valuable cargo was lost, but the icon was miraculously cast upon the beach, uninjured.

Many of the icons and other adornments of the church were presented by the survivors of wrecked vessels ; others by illustrious friends in Russia. One that had paled and grown dim was restored by Mrs. Emmons, the wife of Lieutenant Emmons, whose work in Alaska was of great value.

When the Royal Gates are opened the entire sanctuary

or Holy of Holies, in which no woman is permitted to set foot, lest it be defiled - may be seen.

To one who does not understand the significance of the various objects, the sanctuary proves a disappointment until the splendid old vestments of cloth of gold and silver are brought out. These were the personal gifts of the great Baranoff. They are exceedingly rich and sumptuous, as is the bishop's stole, made of cloth woven of heavy silver threads.

The left-hand chapel is consecrated to " Our Lady of Kazan." It is adorned with several icons, one of which, " The Mother of God, " is at once the most beautiful and the most valuable object in the church. An offer of fifteen thousand dollars was refused for it. The large dark eyes of the madonna are so filled with sorrowful tenderness and passion that they cannot be forgotten. They follow one about the chapel; and after he has gone out into the fresh air and the sunlight he still feels them upon him. Those mournful eyes hold a message that haunts the one who has once tried to read it. The appeal which the unknown Russian artist has painted into them produces an effect that is enduring.

But most precious of all to me were those objects, of


whatsoever value, which were presented by Innocentius, the Metropolitan of Moscow, the Noble and the Devoted. If ever a man went forth in search of the Holy Grail, it was he; and if ever a man came near finding the Holy Grail, it was, likewise, he.

From Sitka to Unalaska, and up the Yukon so far as the Russian influence goes, his name is still murmured with a veneration that is almost adoration.

Historians know him and praise him, without a dissenting voice, as Father Veniaminoff ; for it was under this simple and unassuming title that the pure, earnest, and devout young Russian came to the colonies in 1823, carrying the high, white light of his faith to the wretched natives, among whom his life work was to be, from that time on, almost to the end.

No man lias ever done as much for the natives of Alaska as he, not even Mr. Duncan. His heart being all love and his nature all tenderness, he grew to love the gentle Aleutians and Sitkans, and so won their love and trust in return.

In the Sitka church is a very costly and splendid vessel, used for the Eucharist, which was once stolen, but afterward returned. There are censers of pure silver and chaste design, which tinkle musically as they swing.

A visit to the building of the Russian Orthodox Mission is also interesting. There will be found some of the personal belongings of Father Veniaminoff - his clock, a writing-desk which was made by his own hands, of massive and enduring workmanship, and several articles of furniture ; also the icon which once adorned his cell - a gift of Princess Potemkin.

Sir George Simpson describes an Easter festival at Sitka in 1842. He found all the people decked in festal attire upon his arrival at nine o'clock in the morning. They were also, men and women, quite "tipsy."


Upon arriving at Governor Etholin's residence, he was ushered into the great banqueting room, where a large party was rising from breakfast. This party was composed of the bishop and priests, the Lutheran clergyman, the naval officers, the secretaries, business men, and masters and mates of vessels, - numbering in all about seventy, - all arrayed in uniforms or, at the least, in elegant dress.

From morning till night Sir George was compelled to " run a gantlet of kisses." When two persons met, one said, " Christ is risen " - and this was a signal for prolonged kissing. "Some of them," adds Sir George, naively, " were certainly pleasant enough ; but many, even when the performers were of the fair sex, were perhaps too highly flavored for perfect comfort."

He was likewise compelled to accept many hard-boiled, gilded eggs, as souvenirs.

During the whole week every bell in the chimes of the church rang incessantly - from morning to night, from night to morning ; and poor Sir George found the jangling of " these confounded bells " harder to endure than the eggs or the kisses.

Sir George extolled the virtues of the bishop - Veniaminoff. His appearance impressed the Governor-in-Chief with awe ; his talents and attainments seemed worthy of his already exalted station ; while the gentleness which characterized his every word and deed insensibly moulded reverence into love.

Whymper visited Sitka in 1865, and found Russian hospitality under the administration of Matsukoff almost as lavish as during Baranoff's famous reign.

" Russian hospitality is proverbial," remarks Whymper, " and we all somewhat suffered therefrom. The first phrase of their language acquired by us was ' petnatchit copla' - fifteen drops." This innocently sounding phrase


really meant a good half-tumbler of some undiluted liquor, ranging from cognac to raw vodka, which was pressed upon the visitors upon, every available occasion. A refusal to drink meant an insult to their host ; and they were often sorely put to it to carry graceful p the burden of entertainment which they dared not decline.

The big brass samovar was in every household, and they were compelled to drink strong Russian tea, served by the tumblerful. Balls, banquets, and fetes in the gardens of the social clubs were given in their honor ; while their fleet of four vessels in the harbor was daily visited by large numbers of Russian ladies and gentlemen from the town.

At all seasons of the year the tables of the higher classes were supplied with game, chickens, pork, vegetables, berries, and every luxury obtainable ; while the food of the common laborers was, in summer, fresh fish, and in winter, salt fish.

Sir George Simpson attended a Koloshian funeral at Sitka, or New Archangel, in 1842. The body of the deceased, arrayed in the gayest of apparel, lay in state for two or three days, during which time the relatives fasted and bewailed their loss. At the end of this period, the body was placed on a funeral pyre, round which the relatives gathered, their faces painted black and their hair covered with eagles' down. The pipe was passed around several times ; and then, in obedience to a secret sign, the fire was kindled in several places at once. Wailings and loud lamentations, accompanied by ceaseless drumming, continued until the pyre was entirely consumed. The ashes were, at last, collected into an ornamental box, which was elevated on a scaffold. Many of these monuments were seen on the side of a neighboring hill.

A wedding witnessed at about the same time was quite


as interesting as the funeral, presenting several unique features. A good-looking Creole girl, named Archimanditoffra, married the mate of a vessel lying in port.

Attended by their friends and the more important residents of Sitka, the couple proceeded at six o'clock in the evening to the church, where a tiresome service, lasting an hour and a half, was solemnized by a priest.

The bridegroom then led his bride to the ballroom. The most startling feature of this wedding was of Russian, rather than savage, origin. The person compelled to bear all the expense of the wedding was chosen to give the bride away; and no man upon whom this honor was conferred ever declined it.

This custom might be followed with beneficial results today, a bachelor being always honored, until, in sheer self-defense, many a young man would prefer to pay for his own wedding to constantly paying for the wedding of some other man. It is more polite than the proposed tax on bachelors.

At this wedding the beauty and fashion of Sitka were assembled. The ladies were showily attired in muslin dresses, white satin shoes, silk stockings, and kid gloves ; they wore flowers and carried white fans.

The ball was opened by the bride and the highest officer present; and quadrille followed waltz in rapid succession until daylight.

The music was excellent ; and the unfortunate host and paymaster of the ceremonies carried out his part like a prince. Tea, coffee, chocolate, and champagne were served generously,' varied with delicate foods, "petnatchit coplas " of strong liquors, and expensive cigars.

According to the law of the church, the bridesmaids and bridesmen were prohibited from marrying each other ; but, owing to the limitations in Sitka, a special dispensation had been granted, permitting such marriages.


From the old Russian cemetery on the hill, a panoramic view is obtained of the town, the harbor, the blue waterways winding among the green islands to the ocean, and the snow mountains floating above the pearly clouds on all sides. In a quiet corner of the cemetery rests the first Princess Matsukoff, an Englishwoman, who graced the " Castle on the Rock " ere she died, in the middle sixties. Her successor was young, beautiful, and gay ; and her reign was as brilliant as it was brief. She it was who, through bitter and passionate tears, dimly beheld the Russian flag lowered from its proud place on the castle's lofty flagstaff and the flag of the United States sweeping up in its stead. But the first proud Princess Matsukoff slept on in her quiet resting-place beside the blue and alien sea, and grieved not.

From all parts of the harbor and the town is seen the kekoor, the "rocky promontory," from which Baranoff and Lisiansky drove the Koloshians after the massacre, and upon which Baranoff's castle later stood.

It rises abruptly to a height of about eighty feet, and is ascended by a long flight of wooden steps.

The first castle was burned ; another was erected, and was destroyed by earthquake ; was rebuilt, and was again destroyed - the second time by fire. The eminence is now occupied by the home of Professor Georgeson, who conducts the government agricultural experimental work in Alaska.

The old log trading house which is on the right side of the street leading to the church is wearing out at last. On some of the old buildings patches of modern weatherboarding mingle with the massive and ancient logs, producing an effect that is almost grotesque.

In the old hotel Lady Franklin once rested with an uneasy heart, during the famous search for her husband.

The barracks and custom-house front on a vivid green


parade ground that slopes to the water. Slender graveled roads lead across this well-kept green to the quarters and to the building formerly occupied by Governor Brady as the Executive Offices. His residence is farther on, around the bay, in the direction of the Indian village.

There are fine fur and curio stores on the main street.

The homes of Sitka are neat and attractive. The window boxes and carefully tended gardens are brilliant with bloom in summer.

Passing through the town, one soon reaches the hard, white road that leads along the curving shingle to Indian River. The road curves with the beach and goes glimmering on ahead, until it disappears in the green mist of the forest.

Surely no place on this fair earth could less deserve the offensive name of " park " than the strip of land bordering Indian River, - five hundred feet wide on one bank, and two hundred and fifty feet on the other, between the falls and the low plain where it pours into the sea, - which in 1890 was set aside for this purpose.

It has been kept undefiled. There is not a sign, nor a painted seat, nor a little stiff flower bed in it. There is not a striped paper bag, nor a peanut shell, nor the peel of an orange anywhere.

It must be that only those people who live on beauty, instead of food, haunt this beautiful spot.

The spruce, the cedar, and the pine grow gracefully and luxuriantly, their lacy branches spreading out flat and motionless upon the still air, tapering from the ground to a fine point. The hard road, velvet-napped with the spicy needles of centuries, winds through them and under them, the branches often touching the wayfarer's bared head.

The devil's-club grows tall and large ; there are thickets of salmon-berry and thimbleberry; there are banks of


velvety green, and others blue with violets ; there are hedges of wild roses, the bloom looking in the distance like an amethyst cloud floating upon the green.

The Alaskan thimbleberry is the most delicious berry that grows. Large, scarlet, velvety, yet evanescent, it scarcely touches the tongue ere its ravishing flavor has become a memory.

The vegetation is all of tropical luxuriance, and, owing to its constant dew and mist baths, it is of an intense and vivid green that is fairly dazzling where the sun touches it. One of the chief charms of the wooded reserve is its stillness - broken only by the musical rush of waters and the lyrical notes of birds. A kind of lavender twi- light abides beneath the trees, and, with the narrow, spruce-aisled vistas that open at every turn, gives one a sensation as of being in some dim and scented cathedral.

Enticing paths lead away from the main road to the river, where the voices of rapids and cataracts call; but at last one comes to an open space, so closely walled round on all sides by the forest that it may easily be passed without being seen - and to which one makes his way with difficulty, pushing aside branches of trees and tall ferns as he proceeds.

Here, producing an effect that is positively uncanny, are several great totems, shining out brilliantly from their dark green setting.

One experiences that solemn feeling which every one has known, as of standing among the dead ; the shades of Baranoff, Behring, Lisiansky, Veniaminoff, Chirikoff,

all the unknown murdered ones, too, - go drifting noiselessly, with reproachful faces, through the dim wood.

It was on the beach near this grove of totems that Lisiansky's men were murdered by Koloshiaus in 1804, while obtaining- water for the ship.


The Sitka Industrial Training School was founded nearly thirty years ago by ex-Governor Brady, who was then a missionary to the Indians of Alaska.

It was first attended by about one hundred natives, ranging from the very young to the very old. This school was continued, with varied success, by different people - including Captain Glass, of the Jamestown - until Dr. Sheldon Jackson became interested, and, with Mr. Brady and Mr. Austin, sought and obtained aid from the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church.

A building was erected for a Boys' Home, and this was followed, a year later, by a Girls' Home.

The girls weere taught to speak the English language, cook, wash, iron, sew, mend, and to become cleanly, cheerful, honest, honorable women.

The boys were taught to speak the English language ; the trades of shoemaking, coopering, boat-building, carpentry, engineering, rope-making, and all kinds of agricultural work. The rudiments of bricklaying, painting, and paper-hanging are also taught.

During the year 1907 a Bible Training Department was added for those among the older boys and girls who desired to obtain knowledge along such lines, or who aspired to take up missionary work among their people.

Twelve pupils took up the work, and six continued it throughout the year. The work in this department is, of course, voluntary on the part of the student.

The Sitka Training School is not, at present, a government school. During the early nineties it received aid from the government, under the government's method of subsidizing denominational schools, where they were al- ready established, instead of incurring the extra expense of establishing new government schools in the same localities.

When the government ceased granting such subsidies,


the Sitka School - as well as many other denominational schools - lost this assistance.

The property of the school has always belonged to the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions.

For many years it was customary to keep pupils at the schools from their entrance until their education was finished.

In the summer of 1905 the experiment was tried of permitting a few pupils to go to their homes during vacation. All returned in September cheerfully and willingly; and now, each summer, more than seventy boys and girls return to their homes to spend the time of vacation with their families.

In former years, it would have been too injurious to the child to be subjected to the influence of its parents, who were but slightly removed from savagery. Today, al- though many of the old heathenish rites and customs still exist, they have not so deep a hold upon the natives; and it is hoped, and expected, that the influence of the students for good upon their people will far exceed that of their people for ill upon them.

During the past year ninety boys and seventy-four girls were enrolled - or as many as can be accommodated at the schools. They represent the three peoples into which the Indians of southeastern Alaska are now roughly divided - the Thlinkits, the Haidahs, and the Tsimpsians. They come from Katalla, Yakutat, Skagway, Klukwan, Haines, Douglas, Juneau, Kasaan, Howkan, Metlakahtla, Hoonah - and, indeed, from almost every point in southeastern Alaska where a handful of Indians are gathered together.


The many people who innocently believe that there are no birds in Alaska may be surprised to learn that there are, at least, fifty different species in the southeastern part of that country.

Among these are the song sparrow, the rufous humming- bird, the western robin, of unfailing cheeriness, the russet- backed thrush, the barn swallow, the golden-crowned kinglet, the Oregon Junco, the winter wren, and the bird that, in liquid clearness and poignant sweetness of note, is second only to the western meadow-lark - the poetic hermit thrush.

He that has heard the impassioned notes of this shy bird rising from the woods of Sitka will smile at the assertion that there are no birds in Alaska.

On the way to Indian River is the museum, whose interesting and valuable contents were gathered chiefly by Sheldon Jackson, and which still bears his name.

Dr. Jackson has been the general Agent of Education in Alaska since 1885, and the Superintendent of Presbyterian Missions since 1877. His work in Alaska in early years was, undoubtedly, of great value.

The museum stands in an evergreen grove, not far from the road. Here may be found curios and relics of great value. It is to be regretted, however, that many of the articles are labeled with the names of collectors instead of those of the real donors - at least, this is the information voluntarily given me by some of the donors.



In the collection is an interesting war bonnet, which was donated by Chief Kath-le-an, who planned and carried out the siege of 1878.

It was owned by one of Kath-le-an's ancestors. It is made of wood, carved into a raven's head. It has been worked and polished until the shell is more like velvet than wood, and is dyed black.

It was many years ago a polite custom of the Thlinkits to paint and oil the face of a visitor, as a matter of hospitality and an indication of friendly feeling and respect.

A visitor from another tribe to Sitka fell ill and died, shortly after having been so oiled and honored, and his people claimed that the oil was rancid, - or that some evil spell had been oiled into him, - and a war arose.

The Sitka tribe began the preparation of the raven war bonnet and worked upon it all summer, while actual hostilities were delayed.

As winter came on, Kath-le-an's ancestor one day addressed his young men, telling them that the new war bonnet on his head would serve as a talisman to carry them to a glorious victory over their enemies.

Through the battle that followed, the war bonnet was everywhere to be seen in the centre of the most furious fighting. Only once did it go down, and then only for a moment, when the chief struggled to his feet; and as his young men saw the symbol of victory rising from the dust, the thrill of renewed hope that went through them impelled them forward in one splendid, simultaneous movement that won the day.

In 1804 Kath-le-an himself wore the hat when his people were besieged for many days by the Russians.

On this occasion the spell of the war bonnet was broken; and upon his utter defeat, Kath-le-an, feeling that it had lost its charm for good luck, buried the unfortunate symbol in the woods.


Many years afterward Kath-le-an exhumed the hat and presented it to the museum.

" We will hereafter dwell in peace with the white people," he said; "so my young men will never again need the war bonnet."

Kath-le-an has to this day kept his word. He is still alive, but is nearly ninety years old.

Interesting stories and myths are connected with a large number of the relics in the museum - to which the small admission fee of fifty cents is asked.

One of the early picturesque block-houses built by the Russians still stands in a good state of preservation on a slight eminence above the town, on the way to the old cemetery.

The story of the lowering of the Russian flag, and the hoisting of the American colors at Sitka, is fraught with significance to the superstitious.

The steamship John L. Stevens carrying United States - troops from San Francisco, arrived in Sitka Harbor on the morning of October 9, 1867. The gunboats Jamestown and Resaca had already arrived and were lying at anchor. The Ossipee did not enter the harbor until the morning of the eighteenth.

At three o'clock of the same day the command of General Jefferson C. Davis, about two hundred and fifty strong, in full uniform, armed and handsomely equipped, were landed, and marched to the heights where the famous Governor's Castle stood. Here they were met by a company of Russian soldiers who took their place upon the left of the flagstaff.

The command of General Davis formed on the right. The United' States flag, which was to float for the first time in possession of Sitka, was in the care of a color guard - a lieutenant, a sergeant, and ten men.

Besides the officers and troops, there were present the


Prince and Princess Matsukoff, many Russian and American residents, and some interested Indians.

It was arranged by Captain Pestchouroff and General Lovell N. Rosseau, Commissioner for the United States, that the United States should lead in firing the first salute, but that there should be alternate guns from the American and Russian batteries - thus giving the flag of each nation a double national salute.

The ceremony was begun by the lowering of the Russian flag - which caused the princess to burst into passionate weeping, while all the Russians gazed upon their colors with the deepest sorrow and regret marked upon their faces.

As the battery of the Ossipee led off in the salute and the deep peals crashed upon ]Mount Verstovi and reverberated across the bay, an accident occurred which has ever been considered an omen of misfortune.

The Russian flag became entangled about the ropes, owing to a high wind, and refused to be lowered.

The staff was a native pine, about ninety feet in height. Russian soldiers, who were sailors as well, at once set out to climb the pole. It was so far to the flag, however, that their strength failed ere they reached it.

A " boatswain's chair " was hastily rigged of rope, and another Russian soldier was hoisted to the flag. On reaching it, he untangled it and then made the mistake of dropping it to the ground, not understanding Captain Pestchouroff's energetic commands to the contrary.

It fell upon the bayonets of the Russian soldiers - which was considered an ill omen for Russia.

The United States flag was then slowly hoisted by George Lovell Rosseau, and the salutes were fired as before, the Russian water battery leading this time.

The hoisting of the flag was so timed that at the exact instant of its reaching its place, the report of the last big gun of the Ossipee roared out its final salute.


Upon the completion of the salutes, Captain Pestchouroff approached the commissioner and said : -

" General Rosseau, by authority of his Majesty, the Emperor of Russia, I transfer to the United States the Territory of Alaska."

The transfer was simply accepted, and the ceremony was at an end.

No one understanding the American spirit can seriously condemn the Americans present for the three cheers which burst spontaneously forth ; yet there are occasions upon which an exhibition of good taste, repression, and consideration for the people of other nationalities present is more admirable and commendable than a spread-eagle burst of patriotism.

The last trouble caused by the Sitkan Indians was in 1878. The sealing schooner San Diego carried among its crew seven men of the Kake-sat-tee clan. The schooner was wrecked and six of the Kake-sat-tees were drowned. Chief Kath-le-an demanded of Colonel M. D. Ball, collector of customs and, at that time, the only representative of the government in Sitka, one thousand blankets for the life of each man drowned.

Colonel Ball, appreciating the gravity of the situation, and desiring time to prepare for the attack which he knew would be made upon the town, promised to write to the company in San Francisco and to the government in Washington.

After a long delay a reply to his letter arrived from the company, which refused, as he had expected, to allow the claim, and stated that no wages, even, were due the men who were drowned.

The government which at that time had a vague idea that Alaska was a great iceberg floating between America

and Siberia - paid no attention to the plea for assistance.


When Chief Kath-le-an learned that payment in blankets would not be made, he demanded the lives of six white men. This, also, being refused, he withdrew to prepare for battle.

Then hasty preparations were made in the settlement to meet the hourly expected attack. All the firearms were made ready for action, and a guard kept watch day and night. The Russian women and children were quartered in the home of Father Nicolai Metropolsky ; the Americans in the custom-house.

The Indians held their war feast many miles from Sitka. On their way to attack the village they passed the White Sulphur Hot Springs, on the eastern shore of Baranoff Island, and murdered the man in charge.

They then demanded the lives of five white men, and when their demand was again refused, they marched stealthily upon the settlement.

However, Sitka possessed a warm and faithful friend in the person of Anna-Hoots, Chief of the Kak-wan-tans. He and his men met the hostile party and, while attempting to turn them aside from their murderous purpose, a general fight among the two clans was precipitated.

Before the Kake-sat-tees could again advance, a mail-boat arrived, and the war passion simmered.

When the boat sailed, a petition was sent to the British authorities at Esquimault, asking, for humanity's sake, that assistance be sent to Sitka.

Kath-le-an had retreated for re-enforcement ; and on the eve of his return to make a second attack, H.M.S. Osprey arrived in the harbor.

The appeal to another nation for aid, and the bitter newspaper criticism of its own indifference, had at last aroused the United States government to a realization of its responsibilities. The revenue cutter Wolcott dropped anchor in the Sitka Harbor a few days after the Osprey ;


and from that time on Sitka was not left without protection.

Along the curving road to Indian River stands the soft gray Episcopal Church, St. Peter's-by-the-Sea. Built of rough gray stone and shingles, it is an immediate pleasure and rest to the eye,

" Its doors stand open to the sea, The wind goes thro' at will,
And bears the scent of brine and blue To the far emerald hill."

Any stranger may enter alone, and passing into any pew, may kneel in silent communion with the God who has created few things on this earth more beautiful than Sitka.

No admission is asked. The church is free to the prince and the pauper, the sinner and the saint; to those of every creed, and to those of no creed at all.

The church has no rector, but is presided over by P.T. Rowe, the Bishop of All Alaska and the Beloved of All Men ; him who carries over land and sea, over ice and Everlasting snow, over far tundra wastes and down the lone and mighty Yukon in his solitary canoe or bidarka, by dog team and on foot, to white people and dark, and to whomsoever needs - the simple, sweet, and blessed message of Love.

It was in 1895 that Reverend P. T. Rowe, Rector of St. James' Church, Sault Sainte Marie, was confirmed as Bishop of Alaska. He went at once to that far and unknown land ; and of him and his work there no words are ever heard save those of love and praise. He is bishop, rector, and traveling missionary'; he is doctor, apothecary, and nurse ; he is the hope and the comfort of the dying and the pall-bearer of the dead. He travels many hundreds of miles every year, by lone and perilous ways, over


the ice and snow, with only an Indian guide and a team of huskies, to carry the word of God into dark places. He is equally at ease in the barabara and in the palace- like homes of the rich when he visits the large cities of the world.

Bishop Rowe is an exceptionally handsome man, of courtly bearing and polished manners. The moment he enters a church his personality impresses itself upon the people assembled to hear him speak.

On a gray August Sunday in Nome - three thousand miles from Sitka - I was surprised to see so many people on their way to midday service, Alaska not being famed for its church-going qualities.

" Oh, it is the Bishop," said the hotel clerk, smiling. " Bishop Rowe," he added, apparently as an after-thought. " Everybody goes to church when he comes to town."

I had never seen Bishop Rowe, and I had planned to spend the day alone on the beach, for the surf was rolling high and its musical thunder filled the town. Its lonely, melancholy spell was upon me, and its call was loud and insistent ; and my heart told me to go.

But I had heard so much of Bishop Rowe and his self- devoted work in Alaska that I finally turned my back upon temptation and joined the narrow stream of humanity wending its way to the little church.

When Bishop Rowe came bending his dark head through the low door leading from the vestry, clad in his rich scarlet and purple and gold-embroidered robes, I thought I had never seen so handsome a man.

But his appearance was forgotten the moment he began to speak. He talked to us ; but he did not preach. And we, gathered there from so many distant lands - each with his own hopes and sins and passions, his own desires and selfishness - grew closer together and leaned upon the words that were spoken there to us. They were so


simple, and so earnest, and so sweet ; they were so seriously and so kindly uttered.

And the text it went with us, out into the sea-sweet, surf-beaten streets of Nome ; and this was it, " Love me ; and tell me so." Like the illustrious Veniaminoff, Bishop Rowe, of a different church and creed, and working in a later, more commercial age, has yet won his hold upon northern hearts by the sane and simple way of Love. The text of his sermon that gray day in the surf-beaten, tundra-sweet city of Nome is the text that he is patiently and cheerfully working out in his noble life-work.

Mr. Duncan, at Metlakahtla, has given his life to the Indians who have gathered about him ; but Bishop Rowe, of All Alaska, has given his life to dark men and white, wherever they might be. Year after year he has gone out by perilous ways to find them, and to scatter among them his words of love - as softly and as gently as the Indians used to scatter the white down from the breasts of sea- birds, as a message of peace to all men.

The White Sulphur Hot Springs, now frequently called the Sitka Hot Springs, are situated on Hot Springs Bay on the eastern shore of Baranoff Island, almost directly east of Sitka.

The bay is sheltered by many small green islands, with lofty mountains rising behind the sloping shores. It is an ideally beautiful and desirable place to visit, even aside from the curative qualities of the clear waters which bubble from pools and crevices among the rocks. These springs have been famous since their discovery by Lisiansky in 1805. Sir George Simpson visited them in 1842; and with every year that has passed their praises have been more enthusiastically sung by the fortunate ones who have voyaged to that dazzlingly green and jeweled region.

The main spring has a temperature of one hundred and


fifty-three degrees Fahrenheit, its waters cooking eggs in eight minutes. From this spring the baths are fed, their waters, flowing down to the sea, being soon reduced in temperature to one hundred and thirty degrees.

Filmy vapors float over the vicinity of the springs and rise in funnel-shaped columns which may be seen at a considerable distance, and which impart an atmosphere of mystery and unreality to the place.

Vegetation is of unusual luxuriance, even for this land of tropical growth ; and in recent years experiments with melons and vegetables which usually mature in tropic climes only, have been entirely successful in this steamy and balmy region.

There are four springs, in whose waters the Indians, from the time of their discovery, have sought to wash away the ills to which flesh is heir. They came hundreds of miles and lay for hours at a time in the healing baths with only their heads visible. The bay was neutral ground where all might come, but where none might make settlement or establish claims.

The waters near abound in fish and water-fowl, and the forests with deer, bears, and other large game.

The place is coming but slowly to the recognition of the present generation. When the tropic beauty of its location and the curative powers of its waters are more generally known, it will be a Mecca for pilgrims.

The main station of Government Agricultural Experimental work in Alaska is located at Sitka. Professor C. Georgeson is the special agent in charge of the work, which has been very successful. It has accomplished more than anything else in the way of dispelling the erroneous impressions which people have received of Alaska by reading the descriptions of early explorers who fancied that every drift of snow was a living glacier and every feather the war bonnet of a savage.



In 1906, at Coldfoot, sixty miles north of the Arctic Circle, were grown cucumbers eight inches long, nineteen-inch rhubarb, potatoes four inches long, cabbages whose matured heads weighed eight pounds, and turnips weighing sixteen pounds - all of excellent quality.

At Bear Lake, near Seward and Cook Inlet, were grown good potatoes, radishes, lettuce, carrots, beets, rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, Logan berries, blackberries ; also, roses, lilacs, and English ivy. In this locality cows and chickens thrive and are profitable investments for those who are not too indolent to take care of them.

Alaskan lettuce must be eaten to be appreciated. During the hot days and the long, light hours of the nights it grows so rapidly that its crispness and delicacy of flavor cannot be imagined.

Everything in Alaska is either the largest, the best, or most beautiful, in the world, the people who live there maintain ; and this soon grows to be a joke to the traveler. But when the assertion that lettuce grown in Alaska is the most delicious in the world is made, not a dissenting voice is heard.

Along the coast, seaweed and fish guano are used as fertilizers ; and soil at the mouth of a stream where there is silt is most desirable for vegetables.

In southeastern Alaska and along the coast to Kodiak, at Fairbanks and Copper Centre, at White Horse, Dawson, Rampart, Tanana, Council City, Eagle, and other places on the Yukon, almost all kinds of vegetables, berries, and flowers grow luxuriantly and bloom and bear in abundance. One turnip, of fine flavor, has been found sufficient for several people.

In the vicinity of the various hot springs, even corn, tomatoes, and muskmelons were successful to the highest degree.

On the Yukon cabbages form fine white, solid heads;


cauliflower is unusually fine and white ; beets grow to a good size, are tender, sweet, and of a bright red ; peas are excellent ; rhubarb, parsley, and celery were in many places successful. Onions seem to prove a failure in nearly all sections of the country ; and potatoes, turnips, and lettuce are the prize vegetables.

Grain growing is no longer attempted. The experiment made by the government, in the coast region, proved entirely unsatisfactory. It will usually mature, but August, September, and October are so rainy that it is not possible to save the crop. It is, however, grown as a forage crop, for which purpose it serves excellently.

The numerous small valleys, coves, and pockets afford desirable locations for gardens, berries, and some varieties of fruit trees.

In the interior encouraging success has been obtained with grain. The experiments at Copper Centre have not been so satisfactory as at Rampart, three and a half degrees farther north, on the Yukon.

At Copper Centre heavy frosts occur as early as August 14 ; while at Rampart no " killing " frosts have been known before the grain had ripened, in the latter part of August.

Rampart is the loveliest settlement on the Yukon, with the exception of Tanana. Across the river from Rampart, the green fields of the Experimental Station slope down to the water. The experiments carried on here by Superintendent Rader, under the general supervision of professor Georgeson - who visits the stations yearly - have been very satisfactory.

Experimental work was begun at Rampart in 1900, and grain has matured there every year, while at Copper Centre only one crop of four has matured. In 1906, owing to dry weather, the growth was slow until the middle of July ; from that date on to the latter part of August there were frequent rains, causing a later growth


of grain than usual. The result of these conditions was that when the first " killing " frost occurred, the grain was still growing, and all plats, save those seeded earliest, were spoiled for the finer purposes. The frosted grain was, however, immediately cut for hay, twenty tons of which easily sold for four thousand, one hundred and fifty-two dollars.

These results prove that even where grain cannot be grown to the best advantage, it may be profitably grown for hay. For the latter purpose larger growing varieties would be sown, which would produce a much heavier yield and bring larger profits. At present all the feed consumed in the interior by the horses of pack trains and of travelers is hauled in from tidewater, - a hundred miles, at least, and frequently two or three times as far, - and two hundred dollars a ton for hay is a low price. The actual cost of hauling a ton of hay from Valdez to Copper Centre, one hundred miles, is more than two hundred dollars.

Road-house keepers advertise " specially low " rates on hay at twenty cents a pound, the ordinary retail price at that distance from tide-water being five hundred dollars a ton.

The most serious drawback to the advancement of agriculture in Alaska is the lack of interest on the part of the inhabitants. Probably not fifty people could be found in the territory who went there for the purpose of making homes. Now and then a lone dreamer of dreams may be found who lives there - or who would gladly live there, if he might - only for the beauty of it, which can be found nowhere else ; and which will soon vanish before the brutal tread of civilization.

The others go for gold. If they do not expect to dig it out of the earth themselves, they plan and scheme to get it out of those who have so acquired it. There is


no scheme that has not been worked upon Alaska and the real workers of Alaska.

The schemers go there to get gold ; honestly, if possible, but to get gold ; to live " from hand to mouth," while they are there, and to get away as quickly as possible and spend their gold far from the country which pelted it. They have neither the time nor the desire to do anything toward the development of the country itself.

Ex-Governor John G. Brady is one of the few who have devoted their lives to the interest and the up-building of Alaska.

Thirty years ago he went to Alaska and established his home at Sitka. There he has lived all these years with his large and interesting family ; there he still lives.

He has a comfortable home, gardens and orchards that leave little to be desired, and has demonstrated beyond all doubt that the man who wishes to establish a modern, comfortable - even luxurious - home in Alaska, can accomplish his purpose without serious hardship to his family, however delicate the members thereof may be.

The Bradys are enthusiasts and authorities on all matters pertaining to Alaska.

Governor Brady has been called the " Rose Governor " of Alaska, because of his genuine admiration for this flower. He can scarcely talk five minutes on Alaska without introducing the subject of roses ; and no enthusiast has ever talked more simply and charmingly of the roses of any land than he talks of the roses of Alaska, - the cherished ones of the garden, and the big pink ones of Unalaska and the Yukon.

As missionary and governor, Mr. Brady has devoted many years to this splendid country ; and the distressful troubles into which he has fallen of late, through no fault of his own, can never make a grateful people forget his unselfish work for the up-building and the civilization of Alaska.


Today, Sitka is idyllic. Her charm is too poetic and too elusive to be described in prose. A greater contrast than she presents to such hustling, commercial towns as Juneau, Valdez, Cordova, and Katalla, could scarcely be conceived. To drift into the harbor of Sitka is like entering another world.

The Russian influence is still there, after all these years

as it is in Kodiak and Unalaska.


In rough weather, steamers bound for Sitka from the westward frequently enter Cross Sound and proceed by way of Icy Straits and Chatham to Peril.

Icy Straits are filled, in the warmest months, with icebergs floating down from the many glaciers to the north. Of these Muir has been the finest, and is a world-famous glacier, owing to the charming descriptions written of it by Mr. John Muir. For several years it was the chief object of interest on the "tourist" trip ; but early in 1900 an earthquake shattered its beautiful front and so choked the bay with immense bergs that the steamer Spokane could not approach closer than Marble Island, thirteen miles from the front. The bergs were compact and filled the whole bay. Since that time excursion steamers have not attempted to enter Glacier Bay.

In the summer of 1907, however, a steamer entered the bay and, finding it free of ice, approached close to the famed glacier - only to find it resembling a great castle whose towers and turrets have fallen to ruin with the passing of years. Where once shone its opaline palisades is now but a field of crumpled ice.

There are no less than seven glaciers discharging into Glacier Bay and sending out beautiful bergs to drift up and down Icy Straits with the tides and winds. Rendu, Carroll, Grand Pacific, Johns Hopkins, Hugh Miller, and Geikie front on the bay or its narrow inlets.



Brady Glacier has a three-mile frontage on Wimbledon, or Taylor, Bay, which opens into Icy Straits.

When, on her mid-June voyage from Seattle in 1905, the Santa Ana drew out and away from Sitka, and turning with a wide sweep, went drifting slowly through the maze of green islands and set her prow " to Westward," one of the dreams of my life was "come true."

I was on my way to the far, lonely, and lovely Aleutian Isles, - the green, green isles crested with fire and snow that are washed on the north by the waves of Behring Sea.

It was a violet day. There were no warm purple tones anywhere ; but the cool, sparkling violet ones that mean the nearness of mountains of snow. One could almost feel the crisp ting of ice in the air, and smell the sunlight that opalizes, without melting, the ice.

Round and white, with the sunken nest of the thunderbird on its crest, Mount Edgecumbe rose before us ; the pale green islands leaned apart to let us through ; the sea- birds, white and lavender and rose-touched, floated with us ; the throb of the steamer was like a pulse beating in one's own blood ; there were words in the violet light that lured us on, and a wild sweet song in the waves that broke at our prow.

" There can be nothing more beautiful on earth," I said ; but I did not know. An hour came soon when I stood with bared head and could not speak for the beauty about me ; when the speech of others jarred upon me like an insult, and the throb of the steamer, which had been a sensuous pleasure, pierced my exaltation like a blow.

The long violet day of delight wore away at last, and night came on. A wild wind blew from the southwest, and the mood of the North Pacific Ocean changed. The ship rolled heavily ; the waves broke over our decks. We


could see them coming - black, bowing, rimmed with white. Then came the shock - followed by the awful shudder and struggle of the boat. The wind was terrific. It beat the breath back into the breast.

It was terrible and it was glorious. Those were big moments on the texas of the Santa Ana ; they were worth living, they were worth while. But on account of the storm, darkness fell at midnight ; and as the spray was now breaking in sheets over the bridge and texas, I was assisted to my cabin - drenched, shivering, happy.

" Shut your door," said the captain, " or you will be washed out of your berth; and wait till to-morrow."

I wondered what he meant, but before I could ask him, before he could close my cabin door, a great sea towered and poised for an instant behind him, then bowed over him and carried him into the room. It drenched the whole room and everything and everybody in it ; then swept out again as the ship rolled to starboard.

My traveling companion in the middle berth uttered such sounds as I had never heard before in my life, and will probably never hear again unless it be in the North Pacific Ocean in the vicinity of Yakutat or Katalla. She made one attempt to descend to the floor ; but at sight of the captain who was struggling to take a polite departure after his anything but polite entrance, she uttered the most dreadful sound of all and fell back into her berth.

I have never seen any intoxicated man teeter and lurch as he did, trying to get out of our cabin. I sat upon the stool where I had been washed and dashed by the sea, and laughed.

He made it at last. He uttered no apologies and no adieux; and never have I seen a man so openly relieved to escape from the presence of ladies.

I closed the window. Disrobing was out of the question. I could neither stand nor sit without holding


tightly to something with both hands for support ; and when I had lain down, I found that I must hold to both sides of the berth to keep myself in,

" Serves you right," complained the occupant of the middle berth, "for staying up on the texas until such an unearthly hour. I'm glad you can't undress. Maybe you'll come in at a decent hour after this! "

It is small wonder that Behring and Chirikoff disagreed and drifted apart in the North Pacific Ocean. It is my belief that two angels would quarrel if shut up in a state- room in a " Yakutat blow " - than which only a " Yakataga blow " is worse; and it comes later.

I am convinced, after three summers spent in voyaging along the Alaskan coast to Nome and down the Yukon, that quarrelling with one's room-mate on a long voyage aids digestion. My room-mate and I have never agreed upon any other subject; but upon this, we are as one.

Neither effort nor exertion is required to begin a quarrel. It is only necessary to ask with some querulous- ness, "Are you going to stand before that mirror all day and hey, presto! we are instantly at it with hammer and tongs.

Toward daylight the storm grew too terrible for further quarrelling; too big for all little petty human passions. A coward would have become a man in the face of such a conflict. I have never understood how one can commit a cowardly act during a storm at sea. One may dance a hornpipe of terror on a public street when a man thrusts a revolver into one's face and demands one's money. That is a little thing, and inspires to little sensations and little actions. But when a ship goes down into a black hollow of the sea, down, down, so low that it seems as though she must go on to the lowest, deepest depth of all - and then lies still, shudders, and begins to mount, higher, higher, higher, to the very crest of a mountainous wave; if


God put anything at all of courage and of bravery into the soul of the human being that experiences this, it conies to the front now, if ever.

In that most needlessly cruel of all the ocean disasters of the Pacific Coast, the wreck of the Valencia on Seabird Reef of the rock-ribbed coast of Vancouver Island, more than a hundred people clung to the decks and rigging in a freezing storm for thirty-six hours. There was a young girl on the ship who was traveling alone. A young man, an athlete, of Victoria, who had never met her before, assisted her into the rigging when the decks were all awash, and protected her there. On the last day before the ship went to pieces, two life-rafts were successfully launched. Only a few could go, and strong men were desired to manage the rafts. The young man in the rigging might have been saved, for the ones who did go on the raft were the only ones rescued. But when summoned, he made simple answer : -

"No; I have some one here to care for. I will stay."

Better to be that brave man's wave-battered and fish- eaten corpse, than any living coward who sailed away and left those desperate, struggling wretches to their awful fate.

The storm died slowly with the night; and at last we could sleep.

It was noon when we once more got ourselves up on deck. The sun shone like gold upon the sea, which stretched, dimpling, away for hundreds upon hundreds of miles, to the south and west. I stood looking across it for some time, lost in thought, but at last something led me to the other side of the ship.

All unprepared, I lifted my eyes - and beheld before me the glory and the marvel of God. In all the splendor of the drenched sunlight, straight out of the violet, sparkling sea, rose the magnificent peaks of the Fair-


weather Range and towered against the sky. No great snow mountains rising from the land have ever affected me as did that long and noble chain glistening out of the sea. They seemed fairly to thunder their beauty to the sky.

From Mount Edgecumbe there is no significant break in the mountain range for more than a thousand miles ; it is a stretch of sublime beauty that has no parallel. The Fairweather Range merges into the St. Elias Alps ; the Alps are followed successively by the Chugach Alps, the Kenai and Alaskan ranges, - the latter of which holds the loftiest of them all, the superb Mount McKinley,

and the Aleutian Range, which extends to the end of the Aliaska Peninsula. The volcanoes on the Aleutian and Kurile islands complete the ring of snow and fire that circles around the Pacific Ocean.


Our ship having been delayed by the storm, it was mid-afternoon when we reached Yakutat. A vast plateau borders the ocean from Cross Sound, north of Baranoff and Chicagoff islands, to Yakutat ; and out of this plateau rise four great snow peaks - Mount La Perouse, Mount Crillon, Mount Lituya, and Mount Fairweather - ranging in height from ten thousand to fifteen thousand nine hundred feet.

In all this stretch there are but two bays of any size, Lituya and Dry, and they have only historical importance.

Lituya Bay was described minutely by La Perouse, who spent some time there in 1786 in his two vessels, the Astrolabe and Boussole.

The entrance to this bay is exceedingly dangerous ; the tide enters in a bore, which can only be run at slack tide. La Perouse lost two boatloads of men in this bore, on the eve of his departure, - a loss which he describes at length and with much feeling.

Before finally departing, he caused to be erected a monument to the memory of the lost officers and crew on a small island which he named Cenotaphe, or Monument, Isle. A bottle containing a full account of the disaster and the names of the twenty-one men was buried at the foot of the monument.

La Perouse named this bay Port des Frangais.

The chronicles of this modest French navigator seem, 225


somehow, to stand apart from those of the other early voyagers, There is an appearance of truth and of fine feeling in them that does not appear in all.

He at first attempted to enter Yakutat Bay, which he called the Bay of Monti, in honor of the commandant of an exploring expedition which he sent out in advance ; but the sea was breaking with such violence upon the beach that he abandoned the attempt.

He described the savages of Lituya Bay as treacherous and thievish. They surrounded the ships in canoes, offering to exchange fresh fish and otter skins for iron, which seemed to be the only article desired, although glass beads found some small favor in the eyes of the women.

La Perouse supposed himself to be the first discoverer of this bay. The Russians, however, had been there years before.

Tiie savages appeared to be worshippers of the sun. La Perouse pronounced the bay itself to be the most extraordinary spot on the whole earth. It is a great basin, the middle of which is unfathomable, surrounded by snow peaks of great height. During all the time that he was there, he never saw a puff of wind ruffle the surface of the water, nor was it ever disturbed, save by the fall of masses of ice which were discharged from five different glaciers with a thunderous noise which reechoed from the farthest recesses of the surrounding mountains. The air was so tranquil and the silence so undisturbed that the human voice and the cries of sea-birds lying among the rocks were heard at the distance of half a league.

The climate was found to be " infinitely milder " than that of Hudson Bay of the same latitude. Vegetation was extremely vigorous, pines measuring six feet in diameter and rising to a height of one hundred and forty feet.

Celery, sorrel, lupines, wild peas, yarrow, chicory,


angelica, violets, and many varieties of grass were found in abundance, and were used in soups and salads, as remedies for scurvy.

Strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, the elder, the willow, and the broom were found then as they are to- day. Trout and salmon were taken in the streams, and in the bay, halibut.

It is to be feared that La Perouse was not strong on birds ; for in the copses he heard singing " linnets, nightingales, blackbirds, and water quails," whose songs were very agreeable. It was July, which he called the "pairing-time." He found one very fine blue jay; and it is surprising that he did not hear it sing.

For the savages - especially the women - the fastidious Frenchman entertained feelings of disgust and horror. He could discover no virtues or traits in them to praise, conscientiously though he tried.

They lived in the same kind of habitations that all the early explorers found along the coast of Alaska: large buildings consisting of one room, twenty-five by twenty feet, or larger. Fire was kindled in the middle of these rooms on the earth floor. Over it was suspended fish of several kinds to be smoked. There was always a large hole in the roof - when there was a roof at all - to receive the smoke.

About twenty persons of both sexes dwelt in each of these houses. Their habits, customs, and relations were indescribably disgusting and indecent.

Their houses were more loathsome and vile of odor than the den of any beast. Even at the present time in some of the native villages - notably Belkoffski on the Aliaskan Peninsula - all the most horrible odors ever experienced in civilization, distilled into one, could not equal the stench with which the natives and their habitations reek. As their customs are somewhat cleanlier


now than they were a hundred and thirty years ago, and as upon this one point all the early navigators forcibly agree, we may well conclude that they did not exaggerate.

The one room was used for eating, sleeping, cooking, smoking fish, washing their clothes - in their cooking and eating wooden utensils, by the way, which are never cleansed - and for the habitation of their dogs.

The men pierced the cartilage of the nose and ears for the wearing of ornaments of shell, iron, or other material. They filed their teeth down even with the gums with a piece of rough stone. The men painted their faces and other parts of their bodies in a " frightful manner " with ochre, lamp-black, and black lead, mixed with the oil of the "sea-wolf." Their hair was frequently greased and dressed with the down of sea-birds ; the women's, also. A plain skin covered the shoulders of the men, while the rest of the body was left entirely naked.

The women filled the Frenchman with a lively horror. The labret in the lower lip, or ladle, as he termed it, wore unbearably upon his fine nerves. He considered that the whole world would not afford another custom equally revolting and disgusting. When the ornament was removed, the lower lip fell down upon the chin, and this second picture was more hideous than the first.

The gallant Captain Dixon, on his voyage a year later, was more favorably impressed with the women. He must have worn rose-colored glasses. He describes their habits and habitations almost as La Perouse did, but uses no expression of disgust or horror. He describes the women as being of medium size, having straight, well- shaped limbs. They painted their faces ; but he prevailed upon one woman by persuasion and presents to wash her face and hands. Whereupon " her countenance had all the cheerful glow of an English milkmaid's ; and the healthy red which suffused her cheeks was even


beautifully contrasted with the white of her neck ; her eyes were black and sparkling ; her eyebrows of the same color and most beautifully arched; her forehead so remarkably clear that the translucent veins were seen meandering even in their minutest branches - in short, she would be considered handsome even in England." The worst adjectives he applied to the labret were "singular" and "curious."

Don Maurello and other navigators found now and then a woman who might compete with the beauties of Spain and other lands ; but none shared the transports of Dixon, who idealized their virtues and condoned their faults.

Tebenkof located two immense glaciers in the bay of Lituya, one in each arm, describing them briefly : -

" The icebergs fall from the mountains and float over the waters of the bay throughout the year. Nothing disturbs the deep silence of this terribly grand gorge of the mountains but the thunder of the falling icebergs."-

La Perouse found enormous masses of ice detaching themselves from five different glaciers. The water was covered with icebergs, and nearness to the shore was exceedingly dangerous. His small boat was upset half a mile from shore by a mass of ice falling from a glacier.

Mr. Muir describes La Perouse Glacier as presenting grand ice bluffs to the open ocean, into which it occasionally discharged bergs.

All agree that the appearance and surroundings of the bay are extraordinary.

Yakutat Bay is two hundred and fifteen miles from Sitka. It was called Behring Bay by Cook and Vancouver, who supposed it to be the bay in which the Dane anchored in 1741. It was named Admiralty Bay by Dixon, and the Bay of Monti by La Perouse. The Indian name is the only one which has been preserved.


It is so peculiarly situated that although several islands lie in front of it, the full force of the North Pacific Ocean sweeps into it. At most seasons of the year it is full of floating ice which drifts down from the glaciers of disenchantment Bay.

At the point on the southern side of the bay which Dixon named Mulgrave, and where there is a fine harbor, Baranoff established a colony of Siberian convicts about 1796. His instructions from Shelikoff for the laying-out of a city in such a wilderness make interesting reading.

" And now it only remains for us to hope that, having selected on the mainland a suitable place, you will lay out the settlement with some taste and with due regard for beauty of construction, in order that when visits are made by foreign ships, as cannot fail to happen, it may appear more like a town than a village, and that the Russians in America may live in a neat and orderly way, and not, as in Ohkotsk, in squalor and misery, caused by the absence of nearly everything necessary to civilization. Use taste as well as practical judgment in locating the settlement. Look to beauty, as well as to convenience of material and supplies. On the plans, as well as in reality, leave room for spacious squares for public assemblies. Make the streets not too long, but wide, and let them radiate from the squares. If the site is wooded, let trees enough stand to line the streets and to fill the gardens, in order to beautify the place and preserve a healthy atmosphere. Build the houses along the streets, but at some distance from each other, in order to increase the extent of the town. The roofs should be of equal height, and the architecture as uniform as possible. The gardens should be of equal size and provided with good fences along the streets. Thanks be to God that you will at least have no lack of timber."

In the same letter poor Baranoff was reproached for


exchanging visits with captains of foreign vessels, and warned that he might be carried off to California or some other " desolate " place.

The colony of convicts had been intended as an " agricultural " settlement ; but the bleak location at the foot of Mount St. Elias made a farce of the undertaking. The site had been chosen by a mistake. A post and fortifications were erected, but it is not chronicled that Shelikoff's instructions were carried out. There was great mortality among the colonists and their families, and constant danger of attack by the Kolosh. Finally, in 1805, the fort and settlement were entirely destroyed by their cruel and revengeful enemies.

The new town of Yakutat is three or four miles from the old settlement. There is a good wharf at the foot of a commanding plateau, which is a good site for a city. On the wharf are a saw-mill and cannery. A stiff climb along a forest road brings one to a store, several other business houses, and a few residences.

There are good coal veins in the vicinity. The Yakutat and Southern Railway leads several miles into the interior, and handles a great deal of timber.

In 1794 Puget sailed the Chatham through the narrow channel between the mainland and the islands, leading to Port Mulgrave - where Portoff was established in a tent with nine of his countrymen and several hundred Kadiak natives. He found the channel narrow and dangerous ; his vessel grounded, but was successfully floated at returning tide. Passage to Mulgrave was found easy, however, by a channel farther to the westward and southward.

In this bay, as in nearly all other localities on the Northwest Coast, the Indians coming out to visit them paddled around the ship two or three times singing a ceremonious song, before offering to come aboard. They


gladly exchanged bows, arrows, darts, spears, fish-gigs - whatever they may be - karaelaykas, or walrus-gut coats, and needlework for white shirts, collars, cravats, and other wearing apparel.

An Indian chief stole Mr. Puget's gold watch chain and seals from his cabin; but it was discovered by Portoff and returned.

The cape extending into the ocean south of the town was the Cape Phipps of the Russians. It has long been known, however, as Ocean Cape. Cape Manby is on the opposite side of the bay.

Sailing up Yakutat Bay, the Bay of Disenchantment is entered and continues for sixty miles, when it merges into Russell Fiord, which bends sharply to the south and al- most reaches the ocean.

Enchantment Bay would be a more appropriate name. The scenery is of varied, magnificent, and ever increasing beauty. The climax is reached in Russell Fiord - named for Professor Russell, who explored it in a canoe in 1891.

From Yakutat Bay to the very head of Russell Fiord supreme splendor of scenery is encountered, surpassing the most vaunted of the Old World. Within a few miles, one passes from luxuriant forestation to lovely lakes, lacy cascades, bits of green valley; and then, of a sudden, all unprepared, into the most sublime snow-mountain fast- nesses imaginable, surrounded by glaciers and many of the most majestic mountain peaks of the world.

Cascades spring, foaming, down from misty heights, and flowers bloom, large and brilliant, from the water to the line of snow.

Malaspina, an Italian in the service of Spain, named Disenchantment Bay. Turner Glacier and the vast Hubbard Glacier discharge into this bay; and from the reports of the Italian, Tabenkoif, and Vancouver, it has been considered possible that the two glaciers may have


reached, more than a hundred years ago, across the narrowest bend at the head of Yakutat Bay.

The fiord is so narrow that the tops of the high snow mountains have the appearance of overhanging their bases ; and to the canoeist floating down the slender, translucent water-way, this effect adds to the austerity of the scene.

Captains of regular steamers are frequently offered good prices to make a side trip up Yakutat Bay to the beginning of Disenchantment; but owing to the dangers of its comparatively uncharted waters, they usually decline with vigor.

One who would penetrate into this exquisitely beautiful, lone, and enchanted region must trust himself to a long canoe voyage and complete isolation from his kind. But what recompense - what life-rememberable joy!

Each country has its spell; but none is so great as the spell of this lone and splendid land. It is too sacred for any light word of pen-or lip. The spell of Alaska is the spell of God; and it holds all save the basest, whether they acknowledge it or deny. Here are sphinxes and pyramids built of century upon century's snow ; the pale green thunder of the cataract ; the roar of the avalanche and the glacier's compelling march; the flow of mighty rivers ; the unbroken silences that swim from snow mountain to snow mountain ; and the rose of sunset whose petals float and fade upon mountain and sea.

As one sails past these mountains days upon days, they seem to lean apart and withdraw in pearly aloofness, that others more beautiful and more remote may dawn upon the enraptured beholder's sight. For hundreds of miles up and down the coast, and for hundreds into the interior, they rise in full view from the ocean which breaks upon the nearer ones. At sunrise and at sunset each is wrapped in a different color from the others,


each in its own light, its own glory - caused by its own peculiar shape and its position among the others.

While the steamer lies at Yakutat passengers may, if they desire, walk through the forest to the old village, where there is an ancient Thlinkit settlement. There is a new one at the new town. The tents and cabins climb picturesquely among the trees and ferns from the water up a steep hill.

In 1880 there was a great gold excitement at Yakutat. Gold was discovered in the black-sand beaches. A number of mining camps were there until the late 'eighties, and by the use of rotary hand amalgamators, men were able to clean up forty dollars a day.

The bay was flooded by a tidal wave which left the beach covered with fish. The oil deposited by their decay prevented the action of the mercury, and the camp was abandoned.

The sea is now restoring the black sand, and a second Nome may one day spring up on these hills in a single night.

As I have said elsewhere, the Yakutat women are among the finest basket weavers of the coast. A finely twined Yakutat basket, however small it may be, is a prize; but the bottom should be woven as finely and as carefully as the body of the basket. Some of the younger weavers make haste by weaving the bottom coarsely, which detracts from both its artistic and commercial value.

The instant the end of the gangway touches the wharf at Yakutat, the gapy-clad, dark-eyed squaws swarm aboard. They settle themselves noiselessly along the promenade decks, disposing their baskets, bracelets, carved horn spoons, totem-poles, inlaid lamps, and beaded moccasins about them.


If, during the hours of animated barter that follow, one or two of the women should disappear, the wise woman-passenger will saunter around the ship and take a look into her stateroom, to make sure that all is well; else, when she does return to it, she may miss silver-backed mirrors, bottles of lavender water, bits of jewelry that may have been carelessly left in sight, pretty collars and even waists and hats - to say nothing of the things which she may later on find.

These poor dark people were born thieves ; and neither the little education they have received, nor the treatment accorded them by the majority of white people with whom they have been brought into contact, has served to wean them entirely from the habits and the instincts of centuries.

At Yakutat, no matter how much good sound sense he may possess, the traveler parts with many large silver dollars. He thinks of Christmas, and counts his friends on one hand, then on the other; then over again, on both.

When the steamer has whistled for the sixth time to call in the wandering passengers, and the captain is on the bridge; when the last squaw has pigeon-toed herself up the gangway, flirting her gay shawl around her and chuckling and clucking over the gullibility of the innocent white people; when the last strain from the phonograph in the big store on the hill has died across the violet water widening between the shore and the with- drawing ship - the spendthrift passenger retires to his cabin and finds the berths overflowing and smelling to heaven with Indian things. Then - too late - he sits down, anywhere, and reflects.

The western shore of Yakutat Bay is bounded by the largest glacier in the world - the Malaspina. It has a sea-frontage of more than sixty miles extending from the


bay " to Westward"; and the length of its splendid sweep from its head to the sea at the foot of Mount St. Elias is ninety miles.

For one whole day the majestic mountain and its beautiful companion peaks were in sight of the steamer, before the next range came into view. The sea breaks sheer upon the ice-palisades of the glacier. Icebergs, pale green, pale blue, and rose-colored, march out to meet and, bowing, pass the ship.

One cannot say that he knows what beauty is until he has cruised leisurely past this glacier, with the mountains rising behind it, on a clear day, followed by a moonlit night.

On one side are miles on miles of violet ocean sweeping away into limitless space, a fleck of sunlight flashing like a fire-fly in every hollowed wave; on the other, miles on miles of glistening ice, crowned by peaks of softest snow.

At sunset warm purple mists drift in and settle over the glacier; above these float banks of deepest rose; through both, and above them, glimmer the mountains pearlily, in a remote loveliness that seems not of earth.

But by moonlight to see the glacier streaming down from the mountains and out into the ocean, into the midnight - silent, opaline, majestic - is worth ten years of dull, ordinary living.

It is as if the very face of God shone through the silence and the sublimity of the night.


There is an open roadstead at Yaktag, or Yakataga. The ship anchors several miles from shore - when the fierce storms which prevail in this vicinity will permit it to anchor at all - and passengers and freight are lightered ashore.

I have seen horses hoisted from the deck in their wooden cages and dropped into the sea, where they were liberated. After their first frightened, furious plunges, they headed for the shore, and started out bravely on their long swim. The surf was running high, and for a time it seemed that they could not escape being dashed upon the rocks; but with unerring instinct, they struggled away from one rocky place after another until they reached a strip of smooth sand up which they were borne by the breaking sea, and where they fell for a few moments, exhausted. Then they arose, staggered, threw up their heads and ran as I have never seen horses run - with such wildness, such gladness, such utterance of the joy of freedom in the fling of their legs, in the streaming of mane and tail.

They had been penned in a narrow stall under the forward deck for twelve days; they had been battered by the storms and unable to lie down and rest; they had been plunged from this condition unexpectedly into the ocean and compelled to strike out on a long swim for their lives.

The sudden knowledge of freedom; the smell of sun and air; the very sweet of life itself - all combined to make them almost frantic in the animal expression of their joy.



We put down the powerful glasses with which we had painfully watched every yard of their progress toward the land.

I looked at the pilot. There was a moisture in his eyes, which was not entirely a reflection of that in my own.

It is one hundred and seventy miles from Yakutat to Kayak. Off this stretch of coast, between Lituya and Cape Suckling, the soundings are moderate and by whalers have long been known as " Fairweather Grounds."

Just before reaching Kayak, Cape Suckling is passed.

The point of this cape is low. It runs up into a considerable hill, which, in turn, sinking to very low land has the appearance of an island. It was named by Cook.

Around this cape lies Comptroller Bay - the bay which should have been named Behring's Bay. It was on the two islands at its entrance that Behring landed in 1741. He named one St. Elias; and to this island Cook, in 1778, gave the name of Kaye, for the excellent reason that the " Reverend Doctor Kaye " gave him two silver two-penny pieces of the date of 1772, which he buried in a bottle on the island, together with the names of his ships and the date of discovery.

Unhappily this immortal island retains the name which Cook lightly bestowed upon it, instead of the name given it by the illustrious Dane. It is now, however, more frequently known as Wingham Island. The settlement of Kayak is upon it. The southern extremity of the larger island retains the name St. Elias for the splendid headland that plunges boldly and challengingly out into the sea. It is a magnificent sight in a storm, when sea-birds are shrieking over it and a powerful surf is breaking upon its base. At all times it is a striking landmark.

I have been to Kayak four times. Landings have always been made by passengers in dories or in tiny launches


which come out from the settlement, and which bob up and down like corks.

It requires a cool head to descend a rope-ladder twenty or thirty feet from the deck to a dory that rolls away from the ship with every wave and which may only be entered as it rolls back. There is art in the little kick which one must give each rung against the side of the ship to steady the ladder. At the last comes an awful moment when a woman must hang alone on the last swaying rung and await the return of the dory. If the sea is rough, the ship will probably roll away from the boat. When the sailors, therefore, sing out, "Now I Jump!" she must close her eyes, put her trust in heaven and foreordination, and jump.

If she chances to jump just at the right moment ; if one. sailor catches her just right and another catches him just right, she will know by the cheer that arises from hurricane and texas that all is well and she may open her eyes. Under other conditions, other situations arise; but let no woman be deterred by the possibility of the latter from descending a rope-ladder when she has an opportunity. The hair-crinkling moments in an ordinary life are few enough, heaven knows.

There are several business houses and dwellings at Kayak; and an Indian village. The Indian graveyard is very interesting. Tiny houses are built over the graves and surrounded by picket fences. Both are painted white. Through the windows may be seen some of the belongings of the dead. In dishes are different kinds of food and drink, that the deceased may not suffer of hunger or thirst in the bourne to which he may have journeyed. There are implements and weapons for the men ; unfinished baskets for the women, with the long strands of warp and woof left ready for the idle hand ; for the children, beads and rattles made of bear claws and shells. The houses are on posts a few feet above the graves.


For a number of years Kayak was the base of operation for oil companies. In 1898 the Akska Development Company staked the country, but later leased their lands to the Alaska Oil and Coal Company - commonly known as the " English " company - for a long term of years, with the privilege of taking up the lease in 1906. This company spent millions of dollars and drilled several wells.

The Alaska Petroleum and Coal Company - known as the Lippy Company - put down two holes, one seventeen hundred feet deep. The cost of drilling is about five thousand dollars a hole of two thousand feet ; the rig, laid down, six thousand five hundred dollars.

These wells are situated at Katalla, sixteen miles from Kayak, at the mouth of the Copper River. The oil lands extend from the coast to the Malaspina and Behring glaciers.

Since the recent up-springing of a new town at Katalla, the centre of trade has been transferred from Kayak to this point. Katalla was founded in 1904 by the Alaska Petroleum and Coal Company ; but not until the actual commencement of work on the Bruner Railway Company's road, in 1907, from Katalla into the heart of the coal and oil fields, did the place rise to the importance of a northern town.

It has attained a wide fame within a few months on account of the remarkable discoveries of high-grade petroleum and coal in the vicinity.

For many years these two products of Alaska were considered of inferior quality ; but it has recently been discovered that they rival the finest of Pennsylvania.

The town has grown as only a new Alaskan, or Puget Sound, town can grow. At night, perhaps, there will be a dozen shacks and as many tents on a town site ; the next morning a steamer will anchor in the bay bearing government


offices, stores, hotels, saloons, dance-halls, banks, offices for several large companies, electric light plants, gas works, telephones - and before another day dawns, business is in full swing.

For fifteen miles along the Comptroller Bay water front oil wells may be seen, some of the largest oil seepages existing close to the shore. The coal and oil lands of this vicinity, however, are about a hundred miles in length and from twenty to thirty in width.

During the fall and early winter of 1907, Katalla suffered a serious menace to its prosperity, owing to its total lack of a harbor.

The bay is but a mere indentation, and an open roadstead sends its surf to curl upon the unprotected beach. The storms in winter are ceaseless and terrific. Steamers cannot land and anchors will not hold.

As Nome, similarly situated, is cut off from the world for several months by ice, so is Katalla cut off by storms.

Steamer after steamer sails into the roadstead, rolls and tosses in the trough of the sea, lingers regretfully, and sails away, without landing even a passenger, or mail.

In October, 1907, one whole banking outfit, including everything necessary for the opening of a bank, save the cashier, - who was already there, - and the building, - which was waiting, - was taken up on a steamer. Not being able to lighter it ashore, the steamer carried the bank to Cook Inlet.

Upon its return, conditions again made it impossible to enter the bay, and the bank was carried back to Seattle. When the steamer again went north, the bank went, too ; when the steamer returned, the bank returned.

In the meantime, other events were shaping themselves in such wise as to render the situation extremely interesting.

A few miles northwest of Katalla, the town of Cordova


was established three years ago, with the terminus of the Copper River Railway located there. Mr. M. J. Heney, who had built the White Pass and Yukon Railway, received the contract for the work. The building of wharves in the excellent harbor and the laying out of a town site capable of accommodating twenty thousand people - and one that might have pleased even the fastidious Shelikoff - was energetically begun.

Early in 1907 the Copper River Railway sold its interests to the Northwestern and Copper River Valley Railway, promoted by John Rosene, and financed by the Guggenheims. It was semi-officially announced that the new company would tear up the Cordova tracks and that Katalla would be the terminus of the consolidated line. The announcement precipitated the " boom " at Katalla.

Mr. Heney retired from the new company and spent the summer voyaging down the Yukon.

Immediately upon his return to Seattle in September, he journeyed to New York. In a few days, newspapers devoted columns to the sale of the Rosene interests in the railway, also a large fleet of first-class steamers, and wharves, to the Copper River and Northwestern Railway Company.

The contract for the immediate building of the road had been secured by Mr. Heney, who had returned to his original surveys. The terminus at once traveled back to Cordova ; and the itinerant bank may yet thank its guiding star which prevented it from getting itself landed at Katalla.

Important " strikes " are made constantly in the Tanana country, in the Sushitna, and in the Koyukuk, where pay is found surpassing the best of the Klondike.

The trail from Valdez to Fairbanks may yet be as thickly strewn with eager-eyed stampeders as were the Dyea and Skagway trails a decade ago. Never again,


however, in any part of Alaska, can the awful conditions of that time prevail. Steamer, rail, and stage transportation have made traveling in the North luxurious, compared to the horrors endured in the old days.

The Guggenheims have been compelled to carry on a fantastic fight for right of way for the Copper River and Northwestern Railroad. In the summer of 1907, they attempted to lay track at Katalla over the disputed Bruner right of way. The Bruner Company had constructed an immense "go-devil" of railway rails, which, operated by powerful machinery, could be swung back and forth over the disputed point. It was operated by armed men behind fortifications.

The Bruner concern was known as the Alaska-Pacific Transportation and Terminal Company, financed by Pitts- burg capital, and proposed building a road to the coal regions, thence to the Copper River. They sought right of way by condemnation proceedings.

The town site of Katalla is owned by the Alaska Petroleum and Coal Company, which had deeded a right of way to the Guggenheims; also, a large tract of land for smelter purposes. At one point it was necessary for the latter to cross the right of way of the Bruner road.

The trouble began in May, when the Bruner workmen dynamited a pile-driver and trestle belonging to the Guggenheims, who had then approached within one hundred feet of the Bruner right of way.

On July 3 a party of Guggenheim laborers, under the protection of a fire from detachments of armed men, succeeded in laying track over the disputed right of way.

Tony de Pascal daringly led the construction party and received the reward of a thousand dollars offered by the Guggenheims to the man who would successfully lead the attacking forces. Soon afterward, he was shot dead by one of his own men who mistook him for a member


of the opposing force. Ten other men were seriously injured by bullets from the Bruner block-houses.

In the autumn of the same year a party of men surveying for the Reynolds Home Railway, from Valdez to the Yukon, met armed resistance in Keystone Canyon from a force of men holding right of way for the Guggenheims. A battle occurred in which one man was killed and three seriously wounded.

The wildest excitement prevailed in fiery Valdez, and probably only the proximity of a United States military post prevented the lynching of the men who did the killing.

Ever since the advent of the Russians, Copper River has been considered one of the bonanzas of Alaska. It was discovered in 1783 by Nagaief, a member of Potap Zaikoff's party. He ascended it for a short distance and traded with the natives, who called the river Atnah. Rufus Serrebrennikof and his men attempted an exploration, but were killed. General Miles, under Abercrombie, attempted to ascend the river in 1884, with the intention of coming out by the Chilkaht country; but the expedition was a failure. In the following year Lieu- tenant H. T. Allen successfully ascended the river, crossed the divide to the Tanana, sailed down that stream to the Yukon, explored the Koyukuk, and then proceeded down the Yukon to St. Michael and returned to San Francisco by ocean.

His description of Miles Glacier was the first to be printed. This glacier fronts for a distance of six miles in splendid palisades on Copper River. This and Childs Glacier afford the chief obstacles to navigation on this river, and Mr. A. H. Brooks reports their rapid recession.

The river is regarded as exceedingly dangerous for steamers, but may, with caution, be navigated with small boats. Between the mouth of the Chitina and the head of the broad delta of the Copper River, is the


only canyon. It is the famous Wood Canyon, several miles in length and in many places only forty yards wide, with the water roaring through perpendicular stone walls. The Tiekel, Tasnuna, and other streams tributary to this part of the Copper also flow through narrow valleys with precipitous slopes.

The Copper River has its source in the mountains east of its great plateau, whose eastern margin it traverses, and then, passing through the Chugach Mountains, debouches across a wide delta into the North Pacific Ocean between Katalla and Cordova. It rises close to Mount Wrangell, flows northward for forty miles, south and southwest for fifty more, when the Chitina joins it from the east and swells its flood for the remaining one hundred and fifty miles to the coast.

The Copper is a silt-laden, turbulent stream from its source to the sea. Its average fall is about twelve feet to the mile. From the Chitina to its mouth, it is steep-sided and rock-bound; for its entire length, it is weird and impressive.

By land, the distance from Katalla to Cordova is insignificant. It is a distance, however, that cannot as yet be traversed, on account of the delta and other impassable topographic features, which only a railroad can overcome. The distance by water is about one hundred and fifty miles.

In the entrance to Cordova Bay is Hawkins Island, and to the southwest of this island lies Hinchingbroke Island, whose southern extremity, at the entrance to Prince William Sound, was named Cape Hinchingbroke by Cook in 1778. At a point named Snug Corner Bay Cook keeled and mended his ships.

This peerless sound itself - brilliantly blue, greenly islanded, and set round with snow peaks and glaciers, including among the latter the most beautiful one of


Alaska, if not the most beautiful of the world, the Columbia - was known as Chugach Gulf - a name to which I hope it may some day return, - until Cook renamed it.

A boat sent out by Cook was pursued by natives in canoes. They seemed afraid to approach the ship; but at a distance sang, stood up in the canoes, extending their arms and holding out white garments of peace. One man stood up, entirely nude, with his arms stretched out like a cross, motionless, for a quarter of an hour.

The following night a few natives came out in the skin-boats of the Eskimos. These boats are still used from this point westward and northward to Nome and vip the Yukon as far as the Eskimos have settlements. They are of three kinds. One is a large, open, flat- bottomed boat. It is made of a wooden frame, covered with walrus skin or sealskin, held in place by thongs of the former. This is called an oomiak by the Innuits or Eskimos, and a bidarra by the Russians. It is used by women, or by large parties of men.

A boat for one man is made in the same fashion, but covered completely over, with the exception of one hole in which the occupant sits, and around which is an up- right rim. When at sea he wears a walrus-gut coat, completely waterproof, which he ties around the outside of the rim. The coat is securely tied around the wrists, and the hood is drawn tightly around the face ; so that no water can possibly enter the boat in the most severe storm. This boat is called a bidarka.

The third, called a kayak, differs from the bidarka only in being longer and having two or three holes.

The walrus-gut coats are called kamelinkas or kamelaykas. They may be purchased in curio stores, and at Seldovia and other places on Cook Inlet. They are now gaily decorated with bits of colored wool and range in


price from ten to twenty dollars, according to the amount of work upon them.

There is a difference of opinion regarding the names of the boats. Dall claims that the one-holed boat was called a kayak by the natives, and by the Russians a bidarka; and that the others were simply known as two or three holed bidarkas. The other opinion, which I have given, is that of people living in the vicinity at present.

Each of the men who came out in the bidarkas to visit Cook had a stick about three feet long, the end of which was decorated with large tufts of feathers. Behring's men were received in precisely the same manner at the Shumagin Islands, far to westward, in 1741; their sticks, according to Miller, being decorated with hawks' wings.

These natives were found to be thievish and treacherous, attempting to capture a boat under the ship's very guns and in the face of a hundred men.

Cook then sailed southward and discovered the largest island in the sound, the Sukluk of the natives, which he named Montagu.

Nutchek, or Port Etches, as it was named by Portlock, is just inside the entrance to the sound on the western shore of the island that is now known as Hinchingbroke, but which was formerly called Nutchek.

Here Baranoff, several years later, built the ships that bore his first expedition to Sitka. The Russian trading post was called the Redoubt Constantine and Elena. It was a strong, stockaded fort with two bastions.

There is a salmon cannery at Nutchek, and the furs of the Copper River country were brought here for many years for barter.

Orca is situated about three miles north of Cordova, in Cordova Bay. There is a large salmon cannery at Orca ; and the number of sea-birds to be seen in this small bay,


filling the air in snowy clouds and covering the precipitous cliffs facing the wharf, is surpassed in only one place on the Alaskan coast - Karluk Bay.

For several years before the founding of Valdez, Orca was used as a port by the argonauts who crossed by way of Valdez Pass to the Copper River mining regions, and by way of the Tanana River to the Yukon.

Prince William Sound is one of the most nobly beautiful bodies of water in Alaska. Its wide blue water-sweeps, its many mountainous, wooded, and snow-peaked islands, the magnificent glaciers which palisade its ice- inlets, and the chain of lofty, snowy mountains that float mistily, like linked pearls, around it through the amethystine clouds, give it a poetic and austere beauty of its own. Every slow turn of the prow brings forth some new delight to the eye. Never does one beautiful snow-dome fade lingeringly from the horizon, ere another pushes into the exquisitely colored atmosphere, in a chaste beauty that fairly thrills the heart of the beholder.

The sound, or gulf, extends winding blue arms in every direction, - into the mainland and into the many islands. It covers an extent of more than twenty-five hundred square miles. The entrance is about fifty miles wide, but is sheltered by countless islands. The largest and richest are Montagu, Hinchingbroke, La Touche, Knight's, and Hawkins. There are many excellent harbors on the shores of the gulf and on the islands, and the Russians built several ships here. In Chalmers Bay Vancouver discovered a remarkable point, which bore stumps of trees cut with an axe, but far below low-water mark at the time of his discovery. He named it Sinking Point.

There is a portage from the head of the gulf to Cook Inlet, which, the earliest Russians learned, had long been used by the natives, who are of the Innuit, or Eskimo, tribe, similar to those of the Inlet, and are called Chugaches. The


northern shore of Kenai and the western coast of the Inlet are occupied by Indians of the Athabascan stock.

Cook found the natives of the gulf of medium size, with square chests and large heads. The complexion of the children and some of the younger women was white ; many of the latter having agreeable features and pleasing appearance. They were vivacious, good-natured, and of engaging frankness.

These people, of all ages and both sexes, wore a close robe reaching to the ankles - sometimes only to the knees - made of the skins of sea-otter, seal, gray fox, raccoon, and pine-marten. These garments were worn with the fur outside. Now and then one was seen made of the down of sea-birds, which had been glued to some other substance. The seams were ornamented with thongs, or tassels, of the same skins.

In rain they wore kamelinkas over the fur robes. Cook's description of a kamelinka as resembling a "goldbeater's leaf " is a very good one.

His understanding of the custom of wearing the labret, however, differs from that of other early navigators. The incision in the lip, he states, was made even in the chil- dren at the breast ; while La Perouse and others were of the impression that it was not made until a girl had arrived at a marriageable age.

It appears that the incision in time assumes the shape of real lips, through which the tongue may be thrust.

One of Cook's seamen, seeing for the first time a woman having the incision from which the labret had been removed, fell into a panic of horror and ran to his companions, crying that he " had seen a man with two mouths," - evidently mistaking the woman for a man. Cook reported that both sexes wore the labret ; but this was doubtless an error. When they are clad in the fur


garments, which are called parkas, it is difficult to distinguish one sex from the other among the younger people.

I had a rather amusing experience myself at the small native settlement of Anvik on the Yukon. It was midnight, but broad daylight, as we were in the Arctic Circle. The natives were all clad in parkas. Two sitting side by side resembled each other closely. After buying some of their curios, I asked one, indicating the other, '  Is she your sister ? "

To my confusion, my question was received with a loud burst of laughter, in which a dozen natives, sitting around them, hoarsely and hilariously joined.

They poked the unfortunate object of my curiosity in the ribs, pointed at him derisively, and kept crying - "She! She!" until at last the poor young fellow, not more embarrassed than myself, sprang to his feet and ran away, with laughter and cries of "She! She!" following him.

I have frequently recalled the scene, and feared that the innocent dark-eyed and sweet-smiling youth may have retained the name which was so mirthfully bestowed upon him that summer night.

But since the mistake in sex may be so easily made, I am inclined to the belief that Cook and his men were misled in this particular.

A most remarkable difference of opinion existed between Cook and other early explorers as to the cleanliness of the natives. He found their method of eating decent and cleanly, their persons neat, without grease or dirt, and their wooden dishes in excellent order.

The white-headed eagle was found here, as well as the shag, the great kingfisher of brilliant coloring, the humming-bird, water-fowl, grouse, snipe, and plover. Many other species of water and land fowl have been added to these.


The flora of the islands is brilliant, varied, and luxuriant.

In 1786 John Meares - who is dear to my heart be- cause of his confidence in Juan de Fuca - came to disaster in the Chugach Gulf. Overtaken by winter, he first tried the anchorage at Snug Corner Cove, in his ship, the Nootka, but later moved to a more sheltered nook closer to the mainland, in the vicinity of the present native village of Tatithk.

The ill-provisioned vessel was covered for the winter ; spruce beer was brewed, but the men preferred the liq- uors, which were freely served, and, fresh fish being scarce, scurvy became epidemic. The surgeon was the first to die ; but he was followed by many others.

At first, graves were dug under the snow ; but soon the survivors were too few and too exhausted for this last service to their mates. The dead were then dropped in fissures of the ice which surrounded their ship.

At last, when the lowest depth of despair had been reached. Captains Portlock and Dixon arrived and furnished relief and assistance.

In 1787-1788 the Chugach Gulf presented a strange appearance to the natives, not yet familiar with the presence of ships. Englishmen under different flags, Russians and Spaniards, were sailing to all parts of the gulf, taking possession in the names of different nations of all the harbors and islands.

In Voskressenski Harbor - now known as Resurrection Bay, where the new railroad town of Seward is situated - the first ship ever built in Alaska was launched by Baranoff, in 1791. It was christened the Phoenix, and was followed by many others.

Preparations for ship-building were begun in the winter of 1791. Suitable buildings, storehouses, and quarters for the men were erected. There were no large saws, and planks were hewn out of whole logs. The iron


required was collected from wrecks in all parts of the colonies ; steel for axes was procured in the same way. Having no tar, Baranoff used a mixture of spruce gum and oil.

Provisions were scarce, and no time was allowed for hunting or fishing. So severe were the hardships endured that no one but Baranoff could have kept up his courage and that of his suffering men, and cheered them on to final success.

The Phoenix which was probably named for an English ship which had visited the Chugach Gulf in 1792 - was built of spruce timber, and was seventy-three feet long. It was provided with two decks and three masts. The calking above the water-line was of moss. The sails were composed of fragments of canvas gathered from all parts of the colonies.

On her first voyage to Kadiak, the Phoenix encountered a storm which brought disaster to her frail rigging ; and instead of sailing proudly into harbor, as Baranoff had hoped, she was ignominiously towed in.

But she was the first vessel built in the colonies to enter that harbor in any fashion, and the Russian joy was great. The event was celebrated by solemn Mass, followed by high eating and higher drinking.

The Phoenix was refitted and re-rigged and sent out on her triumphal voyage to Okhotsk. There she arrived safely and proudly. She was received with volleys of artillery, the ringing of bells, the celebration of Mass, and great and joyous feasting.

A cabin and deck houses were added, the vessel was painted, and from that time until her loss in the Alaskan Gulf, the Phoenix regularly plied the waters of Behring Sea and the North Pacific Ocean between Okhotsk and the Russian colonies in America.


Ellamar is a small town on Virgin Bay, Prince William Sound, at the entrance to Puerto de Valdes, or Valdez Narrows. It is very prettily situated on a gently rising hill.

It has a population of five or six hundred, and is the home of the Ellamar Mining Company. Here are the headquarters of a group of copper properties known as the Gladdaugh mines.

One of the mines extends under the sea, whose waves wash the buildings. It has been a large and regular shipper for several years. In 1903 forty thousand tons of ore were shipped to the Tacoma smelter, and shipments have steadily increased with every year since.

The mine is practically a solid mass of iron and copper pyrites. It has a width of more than one hundred and twenty -five feet where exposed, and extends along the strike for a known distance of more than three hundred feet.

The vast quantities of gold found in Alaska have, up to the present time, kept the other rich mineral products of the country in the background. Copper is, at last, coming into her own. The year of 1907 brought forth tremendous developments in copper properties. The Guggenheim-Morgan-Rockefeller syndicate has kept experts in every known, or suspected, copper district of the North during the last two years. Cordova, the sea terminus of the new railroad, is in the very heart of one of the richest copper districts. The holdings of this syndicate are al-



ready immense and cover every district. The railroad will run to the Yukon, with branches extending into every rich region.

Other heavily financed companies are preparing to rival the Guggenheims, and individual miners will work their claims this year. Experts predict that within a decade Alaska will become one of the greatest copper-producing countries of the world. In the Copper River country alone, north of Valdez, there is more copper, according to expert reports, than Montana or Michigan ever has produced, or ever will produce.

The Ketchikan district is also remarkably rich. At Niblack Anchorage, on Prince of Wales Island, the ore carries five per cent of copper, and the mines are most favorably located on tide-water.

Native copper, associated with gold, has been found on Turnagain Arm, in the country tributary to the Alaska Central Railway.

A half interest in the Bonanza, a copper mine on the western side of La Touche Island, Prince William Sound, was sold last year for more than a million dollars. This mine is not fully developed, but is considered one of the best in Alaska. It has an elevation of two hundred feet. Several tunnels have been driven, and the ore taken out runs high in copper, gold, and silver. One shipment of one thousand two hundred and thirty-five pounds gave net returns of fifty dollars to the ton, after deducting freight to Tacoma, smelting, refining, and an allowance of ninety-five per cent for the silver valuation. A sample taken along one tunnel for sixty feet gave an assay of over nine per cent copper, with one and a quarter ounces of silver.

The Bonanza was purchased in 1900 by Messrs. Beatson and Robertson for seventy-two thousand dollars. There is a good wharf and a tramway line to the mine.


Adjoining the Bonanza on the north is a group of eleven claims owned by Messrs. Esterly, Meenach, and Keyes, which are in course of development. There are many other rich claims on this island, on Knight's, and on others in the sound. Timber is abundant, the water power is excellent, and ore is easily slapped.

There is an Indian village two or three miles from Ellamar. It is the village of Tatithk, the only one now remaining on the sound, so rapidly are the natives vanishing under the evil influence of civilization. Ten years ago there were nine hundred natives in the various villages on the shores of the sound ; while now there are not more than two hundred, at the most generous calculation.

White men prospecting and fishing in the vicinity of the village supply them with liquor. When a sufficient quantity can be purchased, the entire village, men and women, indulges in a prolonged and horrible debauch which frequently lasts for several weeks.

The death rate at Tatithk is very heavy, - more than a hundred natives having died during 1907.

Passengers have time to visit this village while the steamer loads ore at Ellamar.

The loading of ore, by the way, is a new experience. A steamer on which I was traveling once landed at Ella- mar during the night.

We were rudely awakened from our dreams by a sound which Lieutenant Whidbey would have called "most stupendously dreadful." We thought that the whole bottom of the ship must have been knocked off by striking a reef, and we reached the floor simultaneously.

I have no notion how my own eyes looked, but my friend's eyes were as large and expressive as bread-and-butter plates.

" We are going down ! " she exclaimed, with tragic brevity.


At that instant the dreadful sound was repeated. We were convinced that the ship was being pounded to pieces under us upon rocks. Without speech we began dressing with that haste that makes fingers become thumbs.

But suddenly a tap came upon our door, and the watch- man's voice spoke outside.

" Ladies, we are at Ellamar."

"At Ellamar!"

" Yes. You asked to be called if it wasn't midnight when we landed."

"But what is that awful noise, watchman?"

" Oh, we're loading ore," he answered cheerfully, and walked away.

All that night and part of the next day tons upon tons of ore thundered into the hold. We could not sleep, we could not talk ; we could only think ; and the things we thought shall never be told, nor shall wild horses drag them from us.

We dressed, in desperation, and went up to " the store " ; sat upon high stools, ate stale peppermint candy, and listened to " Uncle Josh " telling his parrot story through the phonograph.

Somehow, between the ship and the store, we got ourselves through the night and the early morning hours. After breakfast we found the green and flowery slopes back of the town charming ; and a walk of three miles along the shore to the Indian village made us forget the ore for a few hours. But to this day, when I read that an Alaskan ship has brought down hundreds of tons of ore to the Tacoma smelter, my heart goes out silently to the passengers who were on that ship when the ore was loaded.


When seen under favorable conditions, the Columbia Glacier is the most beautiful thing in Alaska. I have visited it twice ; once at sunset, and again on an all-day excursion from Valdez.

The point on the western side of the entrance to Puerto de Valdes, as it was named by Fidalgo, was named Point Fremantle by Vancouver. Just west of this point and three miles north of the Conde, or Glacier, Island is the nearly square bay upon which the glacier fronts.

Entering this bay from the Puerto de Valdes, one is instantly conscious of the presence of something wonderful and mysterious. Long before it can be seen, this presence is felt, like that of a living thing. Quick, vibrant, thrilling, and inexpressibly sweet, its breath sweeps out to salute the voyager and lure him on ; and with every sense alert, he follows, but with no conception of what he is to behold.

One may have seen glaciers upon glaciers, yet not be prepared for the splendor and the magnificence of the one that palisades the northern end of this bay.

The Fremantle Glacier was first seen by Lieutenant Whidbey, to whose cold and unappreciative eyes so many of the most precious things of Alaska were first revealed. He simply described it as " a solid body of compact, elevated ice . . . bounded at no great distance by a continuation of the high ridge of snowy mountains."

He heard "thunder-like" noises, and found that they



had been produced by the breaking off and headlong plunging into the sea of great bodies of ice.

In such wise was one of the most marvelous things of the world first seen and described.

The glacier has a frontage of about four miles, and its glittering palisades tower upward to a height of from three to four hundred feet. There is a small island, named Heather, in the bay. Poor Whidbey felt the earth shake at a distance of three miles from the falling ice.

In ordinary light, the front of the glacier is beautifully blue. It is a blue that is never seen in anything save a glacier or a floating iceberg - a pale, pale blue that seems to flash out fire with every movement. At sunset, its beauty holds one spellbound. It sweeps down magnificently from the snow peaks which form its fit setting and pushes out into the sea in a solid wall of spired and pinnacled opal which, ever and anon breaking off, flings over it clouds of color which dazzle the eyes. At times there is a display of prismatic colors. Across the front grow, fade and grow again, the most beautiful rainbow shadings. They come and go swiftly and noiselessly, affecting one somewhat like Northern Lights - so still, so brilliant, so mysterious.

There was silence upon our ship as it throbbed in, slowly and cautiously, among the floating icebergs - some of which were of palest green, others of that pale blue I have mentioned, and still others of an enchanting rose color. Even the woman who had, during the whole voyage, taken the finest edge off our enjoyment of every mountain by drawling out, "Oh - how - pretty! George, will you just come here and look at this pretty mountain ? It looks good enough to eat " - even this woman was speech- less now, for which blessing we gave thanks to God, of which we were not even conscious at the time.

It was still fired as brilliantly upon our departure as


upon our entrance into its presence. The June sunset in Alaska draws itself out to midnight ; and ever since, I have been tormented with the longing to lie before that glacier one whole June night ; to hear its falling columns thunder off the hours, and to watch the changing colors play upon its brilliant front.

Even in the middle of the day a peculiarly soft and rich rose color flashes from it and over it. One who has seen the first snow sifting upon a late rose of the garden may guess what a delicate, enchanting rose color it is.

There are many fine glaciers barricading the inlets and bays in this vicinity; in Port Nell Juan, Applegate Arm, Port Wells, Passage Canal - which leads to the portage to Cook Inlet - and Unakwik Bay; but they are scarcely to be mentioned in the same breath with the Fremantle. The latter has been known as the Columbia since the Harriman expedition in 1899. It has had no rival since the destruction of the Muir.

Either the disagreeable features of the Alaskan climate have been grossly exaggerated, or I have been exceedingly fortunate in the three voyages I have made along the coast to Unalaska, and down the Yukon to Nome. On one voyage I traveled continuously for a month by water, experiencing only three rainy days and three cloudy ones. All the other days were clear and golden, with a blue sky, a sparkling sea, and air that was sweet with sunshine, flowers, and snow. I have never been in Alaska in winter, but I have for three years carefully compared the weather reports of different sections of that country with those of other cold countries ; and no intelligent, thoughtful person can do this without arriving at conclusions decidedly favorable to Alaska.

Were Alaska possessed of the same degree of civilization that is enjoyed by St. Petersburg, Chicago, St. Paul,


Minneapolis, and New York, we would hear no more .of the rigors of the Alaskan climate than we hear of those of the cities mentioned. It is more agreeable than the climate of Montana, Nebraska, or the Dakotas.

With large cities, rich and gay cities ; prosperous inhabitants clad in costly furs ; luxurious homes, well warmed and brilliantly lighted ; railway trains, sleighs, and auto- mobiles for transportation ; splendid theatres, libraries, art galleries, - with these and the hundreds of advantages enjoyed by the people of other cold countries, Alaska's winters would hold no terrors.

It is the present loneliness of the winter that appalls. The awful spaces and silences ; the limitless snow plains ; the endless chains of snow mountains ; the silent, frozen rivers ; the ice-stayed cataracts ; the bitter, moaning sea ; the hastily built homes, lacking luxuries, sometimes even comforts ; the poverty of congenial companionship ; the dearth of intelligent amusements - these be the conditions that make all but the stoutest hearts pause.

But the stout heart, the heart that loves Alaska! Pity him not, though he spend all the winters of his life in its snow-bound fastnesses. He is not for pity. Joys are his of which those that pity him know not.

According to a report prepared by Lieutenant- Colonel Glassford, of the United States Signal Corps Service, on February 5, 1906, the temperature was twenty-six degrees above zero in Grand Junction, Colorado, and in Salchia, Alaska ; twenty-two degrees in Flagstaff, Arizona, Memphis, Salt Lake, Spokane, and Summit, Alaska ; fourteen degrees in Cairo, Illinois, Cincinnati, Little Rock, Pittsburgh, and Delta, Alaska ; twelve degrees in Santa Fe and in Fort Egbert and Eagle, on the Yukon ; ten degrees in Helena, Buffalo, and Workman's, Alaska ; zero in Denver, Dodge, Kansas, and Fairbanks and Chena, Alaska; live degrees below in Dubuque, Omaha, and


Copper Centre and Matanuska, Alaska ; ten degrees below in Huron, Michigan, and in Gokona, Alaska ; fifteen degrees below in Bismarck, St. Paul, and in Tanana Crossing, Alaska ; twenty degrees below in Fort Brady, Michigan, and in Ketchumstock, Alaska.

Statistics giving the absolute mean minimum temperature in the capital cities of the United States prove that out of the forty-seven cities, thirty-one were as cold or colder than Sitka, and four were colder than Valdez.

On the southern coast of Alaska there are few points where zero is recorded, the average winter weather at Juneau, Sitka, Valdez, and Seward being milder than in Washington, D.C. In the interior, the weather is much colder, but it is the dry, light cold. At Fairbanks, it is true that the thermometer has registered sixty degrees below zero ; but it has done the same in the Dakotas and other states, and is unusual. Severely cold weather occurs in Alaska as rarely as in other cold countries, and remains but a few days.

Alaska has unfortunately had the reputation of having an unendurable climate thrust upon her, first by such chill-blooded navigators as Whidbey and Vancouver ; and later, by the gold seekers who rushed, frenziedly, into the unsettled wastes, with no preparation for the intense cold which at times prevails.

Almost every winter in Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, and the Dakotas, children of the prairies and their teachers freeze to death going to or from school, and it is accepted as a matter of course. In Alaska, where hundreds of men traverse hundreds of miles by dog sleds and snow-shoes, with none of the comforts of more civilized countries and with road houses few and far, if two or three in a winter freeze to death, the tragedy is wired to all parts of the world as another mute testimony to the " tremendously horrible " climate of Alaska.


The intense heat, of which dozens of people perish every summer in New York and other eastern states is unknown in Alaska. Cyclones and cloud-bursts are unchronicled. Fatal epidemics of disease among white people have never yet occurred.

As for the summer climate of Alaska, both along the coast and in the interior, it is possessed of a charm and fascination which cannot be described in words.

" You can just taste the Alaska climate," said an old Klondiker, on a White Pass and Yukon train. We were standing between cars, clinging to the brakes - sooty- eyed, worn-out with joy as we neared White Horse, but standing and looking still, unwilling to lose one moment of that beautiful trip.

"It tastes different every hundred miles," he went on. Math that beam in his eye which means love of Alaska in the heart. " You begun to taste it in Grenville Channel. It tasted different in Skagway, and there's a big change when you get to White Horse. I golly! at White Horse, you'll think you never tasted anything like it ; but it don't hold a candle there to the way it tastes going down the Yukon. If you happen to get into the Artic Circle, say, about two in the morning, you dress yourself and hike out on deck, an' I darn! you can taste more'n climate. You can taste the Ar'tic Circle itself ! Say, can you guess what it tastes like ? "

I could not guess what the Arctic Circle tasted like, and frankly confessed it.

"Well, say, weepin' Sinew! It tastes like icicles made out of them durn little blue flowers you call voylets. I picked some out from under the snow once, an' eat 'em. There was moisture froze all over 'em - so I know how they taste; and that's the way the Ar'tic Circle tastes, with - well, maybe a little rum mixed in, the way they fix things up at the Butler down in Seattle. I darn! . . .


Just you remember, when you get to the Circle, an' say, straight goods, if Cyanide Bill ain't right."

" Talkin' about climate," he resumed, as the train hesi- tated in passing the Grand Canyon, "there's a well at White Horse that's got the climate of the hull Yukon country in it. It's about two blocks toward the rapids from White Pass Hotel. It stands on a vacant lot about fifty steps from the sidewalk, on your right hand goin' toward the Rapids. Well, I darn ! I've traipsed over every country on this earth, an' I never tasted such water. Not anywheres ! You see, it's dug right down into solid ice an' the sun just melts out a little water at a time, an' ever pthing nice in Alaska tastes in that water - ice an' snow, an' flowers an' sun - "

" Do you write poetry ? " I asked, smiling.

His face lightened.

"No; but say - there's a young fellow in White Horse that does. He's wrote a whole book of it. His name's Robert Service. Say, I'd shoot up anybody that said his poetry wasn't the real thing."

" I'm sure it is," said I, hastily.

" You bet it is. You can hear the Yukon roar, an' the ice break up an' go down the river, standin' up on end in chunks twenty feet high, an' carryan' everything with it ; you can wade through miles an' miles of flowers an' gether your hands full of 'em an' think there's a woman somewhere waitin' for you to take 'em to her ; you can tromp through tundra an' over rocks till your feet bleed ; you can go blind lookin' for gold ; you can get kissed by the prettiest girl in a Dawson dance hall, an' then get jilted for some younger fellow ; you can hear glaciers grindin' up, an' avylanches tearin' down the mountains ; you can starve to death an' freeze to death ; you can strike a gold mine an' go home to your family a millionnaire an' have 'em like you again ; you can drink champagne an' eat sour-dough ; you


can feel the heart break up inside of you - an' yes, I God ! you can go down on your knees an' say your prayers again like your mother showed you how ! You can do every one of them damn fool things when you're readin' that Service fellow's poetry. So that's why I'm ready to shoot up anybody that says, or intimates, that his poetry ain't the genuine article."


Port Valdez or the Puerto de Valdes, as it was named by Vancouver after Whidbey's exploration - is a fiord twelve miles long and of a beauty that is simply enchanting.

On a clear day it winds like a pale blue ribbon between colossal mountains of snow, with glaciers streaming down to the water at every turn. The peaks rise, one after an- other, sheer from the water, pearl-white from summit to base.

It has been my happiness and my good fortune always to sail this fiord on a clear day. The water has been as smooth as satin, with a faint silvery tinge, as of frost, shimmering over its blue.

At the end, Port Valdez widens into a bay, and upon the bay, in the shadow of her mountains, and shaded by her trees, is Valdez.

Valdez! The mere mention of the name is sufficient to send visions of loveliness glimmering through the memor3% Through a soft blur of rose-lavender mist shine houses, glacier, log-cabins, and the tossing green of trees ; the wild, white glacial torrents pouring down around the town ; and the pearly peaks linked upon the sky.

Valdez was founded in 1898. During the early rush to the Klondike, one of the routes taken was directly over the glacier. In 1898 about three thousand people landed at the upper end of Port Valdez, followed the glacier, crossed over the summit of the Chugach Mountains,



and thence down a fork of the Copper River. The route was dangerous, and attended by many hardships and real suffering.

At first hundreds of tents whitened the level plain at the foot of the glacier ; then, one by one, cabins were built, stocks were brought in for trading purposes, saloons and dance halls sprang up in a night, - and Valdez was.

In this year Captain Abercrombie, of the United States Army, crossed the glacier with his entire party of men and horses and reached the Tanana. In the following year, surveys were made under his direction for a military wagon trail over the Chugach Mountains from Valdez to the Tanana, and during the following three years this trail was constructed.

It has proved to be of the greatest possible benefit, not only to the vast country tributary to Valdez, but to the various Yukon districts, and to Nome. After many experiments, it has been chosen by the government as the winter route for the distribution of mail to the interior of Alaska and to Nome. Steamers make connection with a regular line of stages and sleighs. There are frequent and comfortable road houses, and the danger of accident is not nearly so great as it is in traveling by railway in the eastern states.

The Valdez military trail follows Lowe River and Keystone Canyon. Through the canyon the trail is only wide enough for pack trains, and travel is by the frozen river.

The Signal Corps of the Army has constructed many hundreds of miles of telegraph lines since the beginning of the present decade. Nome, the Yukon, Tanana, and Copper River valleys are all connected with Valdez and with Dawson by telegraph. Nome has outside connection by wireless, and all the coast towns are in communication with Seattle by cable.


The climate of Valdez is delightful in summer. In winter it is ten degrees colder than at Sitka, with good sleighing. The annual precipitation is fifty per cent less than along the southeastern coast. Snow falls from November to April.

The long winter nights are not disagreeable. The moon and the stars are larger and more brilliant in Alaska than can be imagined by one who has not seen them, and, with the changeful colors of the Aurora playing upon the snow, turn the northern world into Fairyland.

Valdez has a population of about twenty-five hundred people. It is four hundred and fifty miles north of Sitka, and eighteen hundred miles from Seattle. It is said to be the most northern port in the world that is open to navigation the entire year.

There are two good piers to deep water, besides one at the new town site, an electric light plant and telephone system, two newspapers, a hospital, creditable churches of five or six denominations, a graded school, private club-rooms, a library, a brewery, several hotels and restaurants, public halls, a court-house, several merchandise stores carrying stocks of from fifty to one hundred thousand dollars, a tin and sheet metal factory, saw-mills, - and almost every business, industry, and profession is well represented. There are saloons without end, and dance halls ; a saloon in Alaska that excludes women is not known, but good order prevails and disturbances are rare.

The homes are, for the most part, small, - building being excessively high, - but pretty, comfortable, and frequently artistic. There are flower-gardens everywhere. There is no log-cabin so humble that its bit of garden-spot is not a blaze of vivid color. Every window has its box of bloom. La France roses were in bloom in July in the garden of ex-Governor Leedy, of Kansas, whose home is now in Valdez.


The civilization of the town is of the highest. The whole world might go to Alaska and learn a lesson in genuine, simple, refined hospitality - for its key-note is kindness of heart.

The visitor soon learns that he must be chary of his admiration of one of the curios on his host's wall, lest he be begged to accept it.

The Tillicum Club is known in all parts of Alaska. It has a very comfortable club-house, where all visitors of note to the town are entertained. The club occasionally has what its own self calls a " dry night," when ladies are entertained with cards and music. (The adjective does not apply to the entertainment.)

The dogs of Valdez are interesting. They are large, and of every color known to dog-dom, the malamutes predominating. They are all "heroes of the trail," and are respected and treated as "good fellows." They lie by twos and threes clear across the narrow board sidewalks ; and unless one understands the language of the trail, it is easier to walk around them or to jump over them than it is to persuade them to move. A string of oaths, followed by "Mush !" all delivered like the crack of a whip, brings quick results. The dogs hasten to the pier, on a long, wolf-like lope, when the whistle of a steamer is heard, and offer the hospitality of the town to the stranger, with waving tails and saluting tongues.

It is a heavy expense to feed these dogs in Alaska, yet few men are known to be so mean as to grudge this expense to dogs who have faithfully served them, frequently saving their lives, on the trail.

The situation of Valdez is absolutely unique. The dauntlessness of a city that would boldly found itself upon a glacier has proved too much for even the glacier, and it is rapidly withdrawing, as if to make room for its intrepid rival in interest. Yet it still is so close that,


from the water, it appears as though one might reach out and touch it. The wide blue bay sparkles in front, and snow peaks surround it.

Beautiful, oh, most beautiful, are those peaks at dawn, at sunset, at midnight, at noon. The summer nights in Valdez are never dark ; and I have often stood at midnight and watched the amethyst lights on the mountains darken to violet, purple, black, - while the peaks themselves stood white and still, softly outlined against the sky.

But in winter, when mountains, glacier, city, trees, lie white and sparkling beneath the large and brilliant stars, and the sea alone is dark - to stand then and see the great golden moon rising slowly, vibrating, pushing, oh, so silently, so beautifully, above the clear line of snow into the dark blue sky - that is worth ten years of living.

" Why do you not go out to ' the states,' as so many other ladies do in winter ? " I asked a grave-eyed young wife on my first visit, not knowing that she belonged to the great Alaskan order of " Stout Hearts and Strong Hearts" - the only order in Alaska that is for women and men.

She looked at me and smiled. Her eyes went to the mountains, and they grew almost as wistful and sweet as the eyes of a young mother watching her sleeping child. Then they came back to me, grave and kind.

"Oh," said she, "how can I tell you why ? You have never seen the moon come over those mountains in winter, nor the winter stars shining above the sea."

That was all. She could not put it into words more clearly than that ; but he that runs may read.

The site of Valdez is as level as a parade ground to the bases of the near mountains, which rise in sheer, bold sweeps. A line of alders, willows, cottonwoods, and balms follows the glacial stream that flows down to the sea on each side of the town.


The glacier behind the town - now called a " dead " glacier - once discharged bergs directly into the sea. The soil upon which the town is built is all glacial deposit. Flowers spring up and bloom in a day. Vegetables thrive and are crisp and delicious - particularly lettuce.

Society is gay in Valdez, as in most Alaskan towns. Fort Liscum is situated across the bay, so near that the distance between is traveled in fifteen minutes by launch. Dances, receptions, card-parties, and dinners, at Valdez and at the fort, occur several times each week, and the social line is drawn as rigidly here as in larger communities.

There is always a dance in Valdez on " steamer night." The officers and their wives come over from the fort ; the officers of the ship are invited, as are any passengers who may bear letters of introduction or who may be introduced by the captain of the ship. A large and brightly lighted ballroom, beautiful women, handsomely and fashionably gowned, good music, and a genuine spirit of hospitality make these functions brilliant.

The women of Alaska dress more expensively than in "the states." Paris gowns, the most costly furs, and dazzling jewels are everywhere seen in the larger towns.

All travelers in Alaska unite in enthusiastic praise of its unique and generous hospitality. From the time of Baranoff's lavish, and frequently embarrassing, banquets to the refined entertainments of today, northern hospitality has been a proverb.

" Petnatchit copla " is still the open sesame.


The trip over " the trail " from Valdez to the Tanana country is one of the most fascinating in Alaska.

At seven o'clock of a July morning five horses stood at our hotel door. Two gentlemen of Valdez had volunteered to act as escort to the three ladies in our party for a trip over the trail.

I examined with suspicion the red-bay horse that had been assigned to me.

" Is he gentle ? " I asked of one of the gentlemen.

" Oh, I don't know. You can't take any one's word about a horse in Alaska. They call regular buckers ' gentle ' up here. The only way to find out is to try them."

This was encouraging.

" Do you mean to tell me," said one of the other ladies, "that you don't know whether these horses have ever been ridden by women ? "

"No, I do not know."

She sat down on the steps.

" Then there's no trail for me. I don't know how to ride nor to manage a horse."

After many moments of persuasion, we got her upon a mild-eyed horse, saddled with a cross-saddle. The other lady and myself had chosen side-saddles, despite the assurance of almost every man in Valdez that we could not get over the trail sitting a horse sidewise, without accident.



" Your skirt'll catch in the brush and pull you off," said one, cheerfully.

" Your feet'll hit against the rocks in the canyon," said another.

" You can't balance as even on a horse's back, sideways, and if you don't balance even along the precipice in the canyon, your horse'll go over," said a third.

" Your horse is sure to roll over once or twice in the glacier streams, and you can save yourself if you're riding astride," said a fourth.

" You're certain to get into quicksand somewhere on the trip, and if all your weight is on one side of your horse, you'll pull him down and he'll fall on top of you," said a fifth.

In the face of all these cheerful horrors, our escort said: -

" Ride any way you please. If a woman can keep her head, she will pull through everything in Alaska. Besides, we are not going along for nothing ! "

So we chose side-saddles, that having been our manner of riding since childhood.

We had waited three weeks for the glacial flood at the eastern side of the town to subside, and could wait no longer. It was roaring within ten steps of the back door of our hotel ; and in two minutes after mounting, before our feet were fairly settled in the stirrups, we had ridden down the sloping bank into the boiling, white waters.

One of the gentlemen rode ahead as guide. I watched his big horse go down in the flood - down, down; the water rose to its knees, to its rider's feet, to his knees -

He turned his head and called cheerfully, " Come on ! " and we went on - one at a time, as still as the dead, save for the splashing and snorting of our horses. I felt the water, icy cold, rising high, higher ; it almost washed my foot from the red-slippered stirrup ; then I felt it mounting higher, my skirts floated out on the flood, and then fell,


limp, about me. My glance kept flying from my horse's head to our guide, and back again. He was tall, and his horse was tall.

" When it reaches Ms waist," was my agonized thought, "it will be over my head! "

The other gentleman rode to my side.

" Keep a firm hold of your bridle," said he, gravely, "and watch your horse. If he falls - "

"Falls! In here!''

" They do sometimes ; one must be prepared. If he falls - of course you can swim ? "

"I never swam a stroke in my life ; I never even tried! "

" Is it possible ? " said he, in astonishment, " Why, we would not have advised you to come at this time if we had known that. We took it for granted that you wouldn't think of going unless you could swim."

" Oh," said I, sarcastically, " do all the women in Valdez swim? "

" No," he answered, gravely, "but then, they don't go over the trail. Well, we can only hope that he will not fall. When he breaks into a swim. "

" Swim ! Will he do that ? "

" Oh, yes, he is liable to swim any minute now."

"What will I do then ? " I asked, quite humbly ; I could hear tears in my own voice. He must have heard them, too, his voice was so kind as he answered.

"Sit as quietly and as evenly as possible, and lean slightly forward in the saddle ; then trust to heaven and give him his head."

" Does he give you any warning? "

"Not the faintest - ah-h! "

Well might he say "ah-h !" for my horse was swimming. Well might we all say " ah-h ! " for one wild glance ahead revealed to my glimmering vision that all our horses were swimming.


I never knew before that horses swam so low down in the water. I wished when I could see nothing but my horse's ears that I had not been so stubborn about the saddle.

The water itself was different from any water I had ever seen. It did not flow like a river ; it boiled, seethed, rushed, whirled ; it pushed up into an angry bulk that came down over us like a deluge. I had let go of my reins and, leaning forward in the saddle, was clinging to my horse's mane. The rapidly flowing water gave me the impression that we were being swept down the stream.

The roaring grew louder in my ears ; I was so dizzy that I could no longer distinguish any object ; there was just a blur of brown and white water, rising, falling, about me ; the sole thought that remained was that I was being swept out to sea with my struggling horse.

Suddenly there was a shock which, to my tortured nerves, seemed like a ship striking on a rock. It was some time before I realized that it had been caused by my horse striking bottom. He was walking - staggering. rather, and plunging ; his whole neck appeared, then his shoulders ; I released his mane mechanically, as I had acted in all things since mounting, and gathered up the reins.

" That was a nasty one, wasn't it ? " said my escort, joining me. " I stayed behind to be of service if  you required it. We're getting out now, but there are, at least, ten or fifteen as bad on the trail - if not worse."

As if anything could be worse!

I chanced to lift my eyes then, and I got a clear view of the ladies ahead of me. Their appearance was of such a nature that I at once looked myself over - and saw my- self as others saw me ! It was the first and only time that I have ever wished myself at home when I have been traveling in Alaska.


" Cheer up ! " called our guide, over his broad shoulder. "The worst is yet to come."

He spoke more truthfully than even he knew. There was one stream after another - and each seemed really worse than the one that went before. From Valdez Glacier the ice, melted by the hot July sun, was pouring out in a dozen streams that spread over the immense flats between the town and the mouth of Lowe River. There were miles and miles of it. Scarcely would we struggle out of one place that had been washed out deep - and how deep, we never knew until we were into it - when we would be compelled to plunge into another.

At last, wet and chilled, after several narrow escapes from whirlpools and quicksand, we reached a level road leading throu

gh a cool wood for several miles. From this, of a sudden, we began to climb. So steep was the ascent and so narrow the path - no wider than the horse's feet - that my horse seemed to have a series of movable humps on him, like a camel ; and riding sidewise, I could only lie forward and cling desperately to his mane, to avoid a shameful descent over his tail.

Actually, there were steps cut in the hard soil for the horses to climb upon! They pulled themselves up with powerful plunges. On both sides of this narrow path the grass or " feed, " as it is called, grew so tall that we could not see one another's heads above it, as we rode ; yet it had been growing only six weeks.

Mingling with young alders, fireweed, devil's-club and elder-berry - the latter sprayed out in scarlet - it formed a network across our path, through which we could only force our way with closed eyes, blind as Love.

Bad as the ascent was, the sudden descent was worse. The horse's humps all turned the other way, and we turned with them. It was only by constant watchfulness that we kept ourselves from sliding over their heads.


After another ascent, we emerged into the open upon the brow of a cliff. Below us stretched the valley of the Lowe River. Thousands of feet below wound and looped the blue reaches of the river, set here and there with islands of glistening sand or rosy fireweed ; while over all trailed the silver mists of morning. One elderberry island was so set with scarlet sprays of berries that from our height no foliage could be seen.

After this came a scented, primeval forest, through which we rode in silence. Its charm was too elusive for speech. Our horses' feet sank into the moss without sound. There was no underbrush ; only dim aisles and arcades fashioned from the gray trunks of trees. The pale green foliage floating above us completely shut out the sun. Soft gray, mottled moss dripped from the limbs and branches of the spruce trees in delicate, lacy festoons.

Soon after emerging from this dreamlike wood we reached Camp Comfort, where we paused for lunch.

This is one of the most comfortable road houses in Alaska, It is situated in a low, green valley ; the river winds in front, and snow mountains float around it. The air is very sweet.

It is only ten miles from Valdez ; but those ten miles are equal to fifty in taxing the endurance.

We found an excellent vegetable garden at Camp comfort. Pansies and other flowers were as large and fra- grant as I have ever seen, the coloring of the pansies being unusually rich. They told us that only two other women had passed over the trail during the summer.

While our lunch was being prepared, we stood about the immense stove in the immense living room and tried to dry our clothing.

This room was at least thirty feet square. It had a high ceiling and a rough board floor. In one corner was


a piano, in another a phonograph. The ceiling was hung with all kinds of trail apparel used by men, including long boots and heavy stockings, guns and other weapons, and other articles that added a picturesque, and even startling, touch to the big room.

In one end was a bench, buckets of water, tin cups hanging on nails, washbowls, and a little wavy mirror swaying on the wall. The gentlemen of our party played the phonograph while we removed the dust and mud which we had gathered on our journey ; afterward, we played the phonograph.

Then we all stood happily about the stove to "dry out," and listened to our host's stories of the miners who came out from the Tanana country, laden with gold. As many as seventy men, each bearing a fortune, have slept at Camp Comfort on a single night. We slept there ourselves, on our return journey, but our riches were in other things than gold, and there was no need to guard them. Any man or woman may go to Alaska and enrich himself or herself forever, as we did, if he or she have the desire. Not only is there no need to guard our riches, but, on the contrary, we are glad to give freely to whomsoever would have.

Each man, we were told, had his own way of caring for his gold. One leaned a gunnysack full of it outside the house, where it stood all night unguarded, su]3posed to be a sack of old clothing, from the carelessness with which it was left, there. The owner slept calmly in the attic, surrounded by men whose gold made their hard pillows.

They told us, too, of the men who came back, dull-eyed and empty-handed, discouraged and footsore. They slept long and heavily ; there was nothing for them to guard.

Every road house has its " talking-machine," with many of the most expensive records. No one can appreciate one of these machines until he goes to Alaska. Its influence


is not to be estimated in those far, lonely places, where other music is not.

In a big store " to Westward " we witnessed a scene that would touch any heart. The room was filled with people. There were passengers and officers from the ship, miners, Russian half-breeds, and full-blooded Aleuts. After several records had filled the room with melody. Calve, herself, sang " The Old Folks At Home." As that voice of golden velvet rose and fell, the unconscious workings of the faces about me spelled out their life tragedies. At last, one big fellow in a blue flannel shirt started for the door. As he reached it, another man caught his sleeve and whispered huskily: -

" Where you goin'. Bill?"

" Oh, anywheres," he made answer, roughly, to cover his emotion ; " anywheres, so's I can't hear that damn piece," - and it was not one of the least of Calve's compliments.

Music in Alaska brings the thought of home ; and it is the thought of home that plays upon the heart-strings of the North. The hunger is always there, - hidden, repressed, but waiting, - and at the first touch of music it leaps forth and casts its shadow upon the face. Who knows but that it is this very heart-hunger that puts the universal human look into Alaskan eyes ?

After a good lunch at Camp Comfort, we resumed our journey. There was another bit of enchanting forest ; then, of a sudden, we were in the famed Keystone Canyon.

Here, the scenery is enthralling. Solid walls of shaded gray stone rise straight from the river to a height of from twelve to fifteen hundred feet. Along one cliff winds the trail, in many places no wider than the horses' feet. One feels that he must only breathe with the land side of him, lest the mere weight of his breath on the other side should topple him over the sheer, dizzy precipice.


It was amusing to see every woman lean toward the rock cliff. Not for all the gold of the Klondike would I have willingly given one look down into the gulf, sinking away, almost under my horse's feet. Somewhere in those purple depths I knew that the river was roaring, white and swollen, between its narrow stone walls.

Now and then, as we turned a sharp, narrow corner, I could not help catching a glimpse of it ; for a moment, horse and rider, as we turned, would seem to hang suspended above it with no strip of earth between. There were times, when we were approaching a curve, that there seemed to be nothing ahead of us but a chasm that went sinking dizzily away ; no solid place whereon the horse might set his feet. It was like a nightmare in which one hangs half over a precipice, struggling so hard to recover himself that his heart almost bursts with the effort.

Then, while I held my breath and blindly trusted to heaven, the curve would be turned and the path would glimmer once more before my eyes.

But one false step of the horse, one tiniest rock-slide striking his feet, one unexpected sound to startle him - the mere thought of these possibilities made my heart stop beating.

We finally reached a place where the descent was almost perpendicular and the trail painfully narrow. The horses sank to their haunches and slid down, taking gravel and stones down with them. I had been imploring to be permitted to walk ; but now, being far in advance of all but one, I did not ask permission. I simply slipped off my horse and left him for the others to bring with them. The gentleman with me was forced to do the same.

We paused for a time to rest and to enjoy the most beautiful waterfall I saw in Alaska- Bridal Veil. It is on the opposite side of the canyon, and has a slow, musical fall of six hundred feet.


When we went on, the other members of our party had not yet come up with us, nor had our horses appeared. In the narrowest of all narrow places I was walking ahead, when, turning a sharp corner, we met a government pack train, face to face.

The bell-horse stood still and looked at me with big eyes, evidently as scared at the sight of a woman as an old prospector who has not seen one for years.

I looked at him with eyes as big as his own. There was only one thing to do. Behind us was a narrow, V- shaped cave in the stone wall, not more than four feet high and three deep. Into this we backed, Grecian-bend wise, and waited.

We waited a very long time. The horse stood still, blowing his breath loudly from steaming nostrils, and contemplated us. I never knew before that a horse could express his opinion of a person so plainly. Around the curve we could hear whips cracking and men swearing ; but the horse stood there and kept his suspicious eyes on me.

" I'll stay here till dark," his eyes said, " but you don't get me past a thing like that ! "

I didn't mind his looking, but his snorting seemed like an insult.

At last a man pushed past the horse. When he saw us backed gracefully up into the V-shaped cave, he stood as still as the horse. Finding that neither he nor my escort could think of anything to say to relieve the mental and physical strain, I called out graciously ; -

" How do you do, sir ? Would you like to get by ? "

" I'd like it damn well, lady," he replied, with what I felt to be his very politest manner.

" Perhaps," I suggested sweetly, " if I came out and let the horse get a good look at me - "

" Don't you do it, lady. That 'u'd scare him plumb to death ! "


I have always been convinced that he did not mean it exactly as it sounded, but I caught the flicker of a smile on my escort's face. It was gone in an instant.

Suddenly the other horses came crowding upon the bell-horse. There was nothing for him to do but to go past me or to go over the precipice. He chose me as the least of the two evils.

" Nice pony, nice boy," I wheedled, as he went sliding and snorting past.

Then we waited for the next horse to come by ; but he did not come. Turning my head, I found him fixed in the same place and the same attitude as the first had been ; his eyes were as big and they were set as steadily on me.

Well there were fifty horses in that government pack train. Every one of the fifty balked at sight of a woman. There were horses of every color - gray, white, black, bay, chestnut, sorrel, and pinto. The sorrel were the stubbornest of all. To this day, I detest the sight of a sorrel horse.

We stood there in that position for a time that seemed like hours ; we coaxed each horse as he balked ; and at the last were reduced to such misery that we gave thanks to God that there were only fifty of them and that they couldn't kick sidewise as they passed.

I forgot about the men. There were seven men ; and as each man turned the bend in the trail, he stood as still as the stillest horse, and for quite as long a time ; and naturally I hesitated to say, " Nice boy, nice fellow," to help him by.

There were more glacier streams to cross. These were floored with huge boulders instead of sand and quicksand. The horses stumbled and plunged powerfully. One misstep here would have meant death ; the rapids immediately below the crossing would have beaten us to pieces upon the rocks.


Then came more perpendicular climbing ; but at last, at five o 'clock, with our bodies aching with fatigue, and our senses finally dulled, through sheer surfeit, to the beauty of the journey, we reached " Wortman's " road house.

This is twenty miles from Valdez ; and when we were lifted from our horses we could not stand alone, to say nothing of attempting to walk.

But " Wortman's " is the paradise of road houses. In it, and floating over it, is an atmosphere of warmth, comfort and good cheer that is a rest for body and heart. The beds are comfortable and the meals excellent.

But it was the welcome that cheered, the spirit of genuine kind-heartedness.

The road house stands in a large clearing, with barns and other buildings surrounding it. I never saw so many dogs as greeted us, except in Valdez or on the Yukon. They crowded about us, barking and shrieking a welcome. They were all big malamutes.

After a good dinner we went to bed at eight o'clock. The sun was shining brightly, but we darkened our rooms as much as possible, and instantly fell into the sleep of utter exhaustion.

At one o'clock in the morning we were eating break- fast, and half an hour later we were in our saddles and off for the summit of Thompson Pass to see the sun rise. This brought out the humps in the horses' backs again. We went up into the air almost as straight as a telegraph pole. Over heather, ice, flowers, and snow our horses plunged, unspurred.

It was seven miles to the summit. There were no trees nor shrubs, - only grass and moss that gave a velvety look to peaks and slopes that seemed to be floating around us through the silvery mists that were wound over them like turbans. Here and there a hollow was banked with frozen snow.


When we dismounted on the very summit we could hardly step without crushing bluebells and geraniums.

We set the flag of our country on the highest point beside the trail, that every loyal-hearted traveler might salute it and take hope again, if he chanced to be discouraged. Then we sat under its folds and watched the mists change from silver to pearl-gray ; from pearl-gray to pink, amethyst, violet, purple, - and back to rose, gold, and flame color.

One peak after another shone out for a moment, only to withdraw. Suddenly, as if with one leap, the sun came over the mountain line ; vibrated brilliantly, dazzlingly, flashing long rays like signals to every quickened peak. Then, while we gazed, entranced, other peaks whose presence we had not suspected were brought to life by those searching rays ; valleys appeared, filled with purple, brooding shadows ; whole slopes blue with bluebells ; and, white and hard, the narrow trail that led on to the pitiless land of gold.

We were above the mountain peaks, above the clouds, level with the sun.

Absolute stillness was about us ; there was not one faintest sound of nature; no plash of water, nor sough of wind, nor call of a bird. It was so still that it seemed like the beginning of a new world, with the birth of mountains taking place before our reverent eyes, as one after another dawned suddenly and goldenly upon our vision.

Every time we had stopped on the trail we had heard harrowing stories of saddle-horses or pack-horses having missed their footing and gone over the precipice. The horses are so carefully packed, and the packs so securely fastened on - the last cinch being thrown into the " diamond hitch " - that the poor beasts can roll over and over to the bottom of a canyon without disarranging a


pack weighing two hundred pounds - a feat which they very frequently perform.

The military trail is, of necessity, poor enough ; but it is infinitely superior to all other trails in Alaska, and is a boon to the prospector. It is a well-defined and well- traveled highway. The trees and bushes are cut in places for a width of thirty feet, original bridges span the creeks when it is possible to bridge them at all, and some corduroy has been laid ; but in many places the trail is a mere path, not more than two feet wide, shoveled or blasted from the hillside.

In Alaska there were practically no roads at all until the appointment in 1905 of a road commission consisting of Major W. P. Richardson, Captain G. B. Pillsbury and Lieutenant L. C. Orchard. Since that year eight hundred miles of trails, wagon and sled roads, numerous ferries, and hundreds of bridges have been constructed. The wagon road-beds are all sixteen feet wide, with free side strips of a hundred feet ; the sled roads are twelve feet wide ; the trails, eight ; and the bridges, fourteen. In the interior, laborers on the roads are paid five dollars a day, with board and lodging ; they are given better food than any laborers in Alaska, with the possible exception of those employed at the Treadwell mines and on the Cordova Railroad. The average cost of road work in Alaska is about two thousand dollars a mile ; two hundred and fifty for sled road, and one hundred for trails. These roads have reduced freight rates one-half and have helped to develop rich regions that had been inaccessible. Their importance in the development of the country is second to that of railroads only.

The scenery from Ptarmigan Drop down the Tsina River to Beaver Dam is magnificent. Huge mountains, saw-toothed and covered with snow, jut diagonally out across the valley, one after another ; streams fall, riffling,


down the sides of the mountains ; and the cloud-effects are especially beautiful.

Tsina River is a narrow, foaming torrent, confined, for the most part, between sheer hills, - although, in places, it spreads out over low, gravelly flats. Beaver Dam huddles into a gloomy gulch at the foot of a vast, overhanging mountain. Its situation is what Whidbey would have called "gloomily magnificent." In 1905 Beaver Dam was a road house which many chose to avoid, if possible.

The Tiekel road house on the Kanata River is pleasantly situated, and is a comfortable place at which to eat and rest.

For its entire length, the military trail climbs and falls and winds through scenery of inspiring beauty. The trail leading off to the east at Tonsina, through the Copper River, Nizina, and Chitina valleys, is even more beautiful.

Vast plains and hillsides of bloom are passed. Some mountainsides are blue with lupine, others rosy with fireweed ; acres upon acres are covered with violets, bluebells, wild geranium, anemones, spotted moccasin and other orchids, buttercups, and dozens of others - all large and vivid of color. It has often been said that the flowers of Alaska are not fragrant, but this is not true.

The mountains of the vicinity are glorious. Mount Drum is twelve thousand feet high. Sweeping up splendidly from a level plain, it is more imposing than Mount Wrangell, which is fourteen thousand feet high, and Mount Blackburn, which is sixteen thousand feet.

The view from the summit of Sour-Dough Hill is unsurpassed in the interior of Alaska. Glacial creeks and roaring rivers ; wild and fantastic canyons ; moving glaciers ; gorges of royal purple gloom ; green valleys and flowery slopes; the domed and towered Castle


Mountains ; the lone and majestic peaks pushing up above all others, above the clouds, cascades spraying down sheer precipices ; and far to the south the linked peaks of the Coast Range piled magnificently upon the sky, dim and faintly blue in the great distance, - all blend into one grand panorama of unrivalled inland grandeur.

Crossing the Copper River, when it is high and swift, is dangerous, - especially for a " chechaco " of either sex. (A chechaco is one who has not been in Alaska a year.) Packers are often compelled to unpack their horses, putting all their effects into large whipsawed boats. The halters are taken off the horses and the latter are driven into the roaring torrent, followed by the packers in the boats.

The horses apparently make no effort to reach the opposite shore, but use their strength desperately to hold their own in the swift current, fighting against it, with their heads turned pitifully up-stream. Their bodies being turned at a slight angle, the current, pushing violently against them, forces them slowly, but surely, from sand bar to sand bar, and, finally, to the shore.

It frequently requires two hours to get men, horses, and outfit from shore to shore, where they usually arrive dripping wet. Women who make this trip, it is needless to say, suffer still more from the hardship of the crossing than do men.

In riding horses across such streams, they should be started diagonally up-stream toward the first sand bar above. They lean far forward, bracing themselves at every step against the current and choosing their footing carefully. The horses of the trail know all the dangers, and scent them afar - holes, boulders, irresistible currents, and quicksand ; they detect them before the most experienced " trailer " even suspects them.

I will not venture even to guess what the other two


women in ray party did when they crossed dangerous streams ; but for myself, I wasted no strength in trying to turn my horse's head up-stream, or down-stream, or in any other direction. When we went down into the foaming water, I gave him his head, clung to his mane, leaned forward in the saddle, - and prayed like anything. I do not believe in childishly asking the Lord to help one so long as one can help one's self ; but when one is on the back of a half -swimming, half-floundering horse in the middle of a swollen, treacherous flood, with holes and quicksand on all sides, one is as helpless as he was the day he was born; and it is a good time to pray.

According to the report of Major Abercrombie, who probably knows this part of Alaska more thoroughly than any one else, there are hundreds of thousands of acres in the Copper River Valley alone where almost all kinds of vegetables, as well as barley and rye, will grow in abundance and mature. Considering the travel to the many and fabulously rich mines already discovered in this valley and adjacent ones, and the cost of bringing in grain and supplies, it may be easily seen what splendid opportunities await the small farmer who will select his homestead judiciously, with a view to the accommodation of man and beast, and the cultivation of food for both. The opportunities awaiting such a man are so much more enticing than the inducements of the bleak Dakota prairies or the wind-swept valleys of the Yellowstone as to be beyond comparison.

Major Abercrombie believes that the valleys of the subdrainage of the Copper River Valley will in future years supply the demands for cereals and vegetables, if not for meats, of the thousands of miners that will be required to extract the vast deposits of metals from the Tonsina, Chitina, Kotsina, Nizina, Chesna, Xanana, and other famous districts.


The vast importance to the whole territory of Alaska, and to the United States, as well, of the building of the Gugenheim railroad from Cordova into this splendid inland empire may be realized after reading Major Abercrombie's report.

We have been accustomed to mineralized zones of from ten to twelve miles in length; in the Wrangell group alone we have a circle eighty miles in diameter, the mineralization of which is simply marvelous ; yet, valuable though these concentrates are, they are as valueless commercially as so much sandstone, without the aid of a rail- road and reduction works.

If the group of mines at Butte could deflect a great transcontinental trunk-line like the Great Northern, what will this mighty zone, which contains a dozen properties already discovered, - to say nothing of the unfound, undreamed-of ones, - of far greater value as copper propositions than the richest of Montana, do to advance the commercial interests of the Pacific Coast ?

The first discovery of gold in the Nizina district was made by Daniel Kain and Clarence Warner. These two prospectors were urged by a crippled Indian to accompany him to inspect a vein of copper on the head waters of a creek that is now known as Dan Creek.

Not being impressed by the copper outlook, the two prospectors returned. They noticed, however, that the gravel of Dan Creek had a look of placer gold.

They were out of provisions, and were in haste to reach their supplies, fifty miles away ; but Kain was reluctant to leave the creek unexamined. He went to a small lake and caught sufficient fish for a few days' subsistence; then, with a shovel for his only tool, he took out five ounces of coarse gold in two days.

In this wise was the rich Nizina district discovered. The Nizina River is only one hundred and sixty miles


from Valdez. In Rex Gulch as much as eight ounces of gold have been taken out by one man in a single day. The gold is of the finest quality, assaying over eighteen dollars an ounce.

There is an abundance of timber suitable for building houses and for firewood on all the creeks. There is water at all seasons for sluicing, and, if desired, for hydraulic work.


The famous Bonanza Copper Mine is on the mountainside high above the Kennicott Valley, and near the Kennicott Glacier - the largest glacier of the Alaskan interior. This glacier does not entirely fill the valley, and one travels close to its precipitous wall of ice, which dwindles from a height of one hundred feet to a low, gravel-darkened moraine. From the summit of Sourdough Hill it may be seen for its whole forty-mile length sweeping down from Mounts Wrangell and Regal.

The Bonanza Mine has an elevation of six thousand feet, and was discovered by the merest chance.

The history of this mine from the day of its discovery is one of the most fascinating of Alaska. In the autumn of 1899 a prospecting party was formed at Valdez, known as the "McClellan" party. The ten individuals composing the party were experienced miners and they contributed money, horses, and " caches," as well as experience. The principal cache was known as the "McCarthy Cabin" cache, and was about fifteen miles east of Copper River on the trail to the Nicolai Mine.

The Nicolai had been discovered early in the summer by R. F. McClellan, who was one of the men composing the " McClellan " party, and others. Another important cache of three thousand pounds of provisions was the "Amy" cache, thirty-five miles from Valdez, just over the summit of Thompson Pass.

The agreement was that the McClellan party was to



prospect in the interior in 1900 and 1901, all property- located to be for their joint benefit.

The members of the party scattered soon after the organization was completed. Clarence Warner, John Sweeney, and Jack Smith remained in Valdez for the winter, all the others going "out to the states."

In March of 1900 Warner and Smith set out for the interior over the snow. There was no government trail then, and the hardships to be endured were as terrific as were those of the old Chilkoot Pass, on the way to the Klondike. The snow was from six to ten feet deep, and their progress was slow and painful. One went ahead on snow- shoes, the other following ; when the trail thus made was sufficiently hard, the hand sleds, loaded with provisions and bedding, were drawn over it by ropes around the men's shoulders. From two to three hundred pounds was a heavy burden for each man to drag through the soft snow.

Climbing the summit, and at other steep places, they were compelled to " relay," by leaving the greater portion of their load beside the trail, pulling only a few pounds for a short distance and returning for more. By the most constant and exhaustive labor they were able to make only five or six miles a day.

They replenished their stores at the " Amy " cache, near the summit, and in May reached the " McCarthy Cabin " cache. Here they found that the Indians had broken in and stolen nearly all the supplies.

When they left Valdez, it was with the expectation that McClellan, or some other member of the party, would bring in their horses to the McCarthy cabin, that their supplies might be packed from that point on horse- back, - the snow melting in May making it impossible to use sleds, and no man being able to carry more than a few pounds on his back for so long a journey as they expected to make.


However, McClellan had, during the winter, entered into a contract with the Chitina Exploration Company at San Francisco to do a large amount of development work on the Nicolai Mine during the summer of 1900. He returned to Valdez after Warner and Smith had left, bringing twenty horses, a large outfit of tools and supplies, and fifteen men - among them some of the McClellan prospecting party, who had agreed to work for the season for the Chitina Company.

When this party reached the McCarthy cabin, they found Warner and Smith there. An endless dispute thereupon began as to the amount of provisions the two men had when the Chitina party arrived, - Warner and Smith claiming that they had five hundred pounds, and the Chitina Company claiming that they were entirely " out of grub," to use miner's language.

Warner and Smith demanded that McClellan should give them two horses belonging to the McClellan prospecting party, which he had brought. This matter was finally settled by McClellan's packing in what remained of Smith and Warner's provisions to the Nicolai Mine, a distance of nearly a hundred miles.

McClellan, as superintendent of the Chitina Company, used, with that company's horses, four of the McClellan party's horses during the entire season, sending them to and from Valdez, packing supplies.

In the meantime, upon reaching the Nicolai Mine, on the 1st of July, Warner and Smith, packing supplies on their backs, set out to prospect. The Chitina Company, in the famous and bitterly contested lawsuit which followed, claimed that they were supplied with the Chitina Company's " grub " ; while Smith and Warner claimed that their provisions belonged to the McClellan party.

After a few days' aimless wandering, they reached a point on the east side of Kennicott Glacier, about twenty



miles west of the Nicolai Mine. Here they camped at noon, near a small stream that came running down from a great height.

Their camp was about halfway up a mountain which was six thousand feet high. After a miner's lunch of bacon and beans, they were packing up to resume their wanderings, when Warner, chancing to glance upward, discovered a green streak near the top of the mountain. It looked like grass, and at first he gave it no thought ; but presently it occurred to him that, as they were camped above timber-line, grass would not be growing at such a height.

They at once decided to investigate the peculiar and mysterious coloring. The mountain was steep, and it was after a slow and painful climb that they reached the top. Jack Smith stooped and picked up a piece of shining metal.

"My God, Clarence," he said fervently, "it's copper."

It was copper ; the richest copper, in the greatest quantities, ever found upon the earth. There were hundreds of thousands of tons of it. There was a whole mountain of it. It was so bright and shining that they, at first, thought it was Galena ore; but they soon discovered that it was copper glance, - a copper ore bearing about seventy-five per cent of pure copper.

The Havemeyers, Guggenheims, and other eastern capitalists became interested. Then, when the marvelous richness of the discovery of Jack Smith and Clarence Warner became known, a lawsuit was begun - hinging upon the grub-stake - which was so full of dramatic incidents, attempted bribery, charges of corruption reaching to the United States Senate and the President him- self, that the facts would make a long story, vivid with life, action, and fantastic setting - the scene reaching from Alaska to New York, and from New York to Manila.


The lawsuit was at last settled in favor of the discoverers.

On January 14, 1908, Mr. Smith disposed of his interest in a mine which he had located across McCarthy Creek from the Bonanza, for a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It will be "stocked " and named " The Bonanza Mine Extension." It is said to be as rich as the great Bonanza itself.


In the district which comprises the entire coast from the southern boundary of Oregon to the northernmost point of Alaska there are but forty-five lighthouses. Included in this district are the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Washington Sound, the Gulf of Georgia, and all the tidal waters tributary to the sea straits and sounds of this coast. There are also twenty-eight fog signals, operated by steam, hot air, or oil engines ; six fog signals operated by clockwork ; two gas-lighted buoys in position ; nine whistling-buoys and five bell-buoys in position; three hundred and twenty-two other buoys in position; and four tenders, to visit lighthouses and care for buoys.

The above list does not include post lights, the Umatilla Reef Light vessel, and unlighted day beacons.

It is the far, lonely Alaskan coast that is neglected. The wild, stormy, and immense stretch of coast reaching from Chichagoff Island to Point Barrow in the Arctic Ocean has two light and fog signal stations on Unimak Island and two fixed lights on Cape Stephens. A light and fog signal station is to be built at Cape Hinching- broke, and a light is to be established at Point Romanoff.

No navigator should be censured for disaster on this dark and dangerous coast. The little Bora, running regularly from Seward and Valdez to Unalaska, does not pass a light. Her way is wild and stormy in winter, and the coasts she passes are largely uninhabited ; yet there is not a flash of light, unless it be from some volcano,



to guide her into difficult ports and around the perilous reefs with which the coast abounds.

A prayer for a lighthouse at the entrance to Resurrection Bay was refused by the department, with the advice that the needs of commerce do not require a light at this point, particularly as there are several other points more in need of such aid. The department further advised that it would require a hundred thousand dollars to establish a light and fog signal station at the place designated, instead of the twenty-five thousand dollars asked.

Meanwhile, ships are wrecked and lives and valuable cargoes are lost, - and will be while the Alaskan coast remains unlighted.

Along the intricate, winding, and exceedingly dangerous channels, straits, and narrows of the " inside passage " of southeastern Alaska, there are only seven light and fog signals, and ten lights ; but where the sea-coast be- longs to Canada there is sufficient light and ample buoyage protection, as all mariners admit.

Is our government's rigid, and in some instances stubborn, economy in this matter a wise one ? Is it a humane one? The nervous strain of this voyage on a conscientious and sensitive master of a ship heavily laden with human beings is tremendous. The anxious faces and unrelaxing vigilance of the officers on the bridge when a ship is passing through Taku Open, Wrangell Narrows, or Peril Straits speak plainly and unmistakably of the ceaseless burden of responsibility and anxiety which they bear. The charting of these waters is incomplete as yet, notwithstanding the faithful service which the Geodetic Survey has performed for many years. Many a rock has never been discovered until a ship went down upon it.

Political influence has been known to establish lights, at immense cost, at points where they are practically luxuries, rather than needs ; therefore the government should not be censured for cautiousness in this matter.


But it should be, and it is, censured for not investigating carefully the needs of the Alaskan Coast - the " Great Unlighted Way."

Seward is situated almost as beautifully as Valdez. It is only five years old. It is the sea terminal of the Alaska Central Railway, which is building to the Tanana, through a rich country that is now almost unknown. It will pass within ten miles of Mount McKinley, which rises from a level plain to an altitude of nearly twenty- one thousand feet.

This mountain has been known to white men for nearly a century ; yet until very recently it did not appear upon any map, and had no official name. More than fifty years ago the Russian fur traders knew it and called it " Bulshaia,"

signifying "high mountain " or " great mountain." The natives called it " Trolika," a name having the same meaning.

Explorers, traders, and prospectors have seen it and commented upon its magnificent height, yet without realizing its importance, until Mr. W. A. Dickey saw it in 189G and proposed for it the name of McKinley. In 1902 Mr. Alfred Hulse Brooks, of the United States Geological Survey, with two associates and four camp men, made an expedition to the mountain. Mr. Brooks' report of this expedition is exceedingly interesting. He spent the summer of 1906, also, upon the mountain.

The town site of Seward was purchased from the Lowells, a pioneer family, by Major J. E. Ballaine, for four thousand dollars. It has grown very rapidly. Stumps still stand upon the business streets, and silver-barked log-cabins nestle modestly and picturesquely beside imposing buildings. The bank and the railway company have erected handsome homes. Every business and profession is represented. There are good schools and churches, an electric-


light plant, two newspapers, a library and hospital, progressive clubs, and all the modern luxuries of western towns.

When Mr. Seward was asked what he considered the most important measure of his political career, he replied, "The purchase of Alaska; but it will take the people a generation to find it out."

Since the loftiest and noblest peak of North America was doomed to be named for a man, it should have borne the name of this dauntless, loyal, and far-seeing friend of Alaska and of all America. Since this was not to be, it was very fitting that a young and ambitious town on the historic Voskressenski Harbor should bear this honored and forever-to-be-remembered name. If Seward and Valdez would but work together, the region extending from Prince William Sound to Cook Inlet would soon be- come the best known and the most influential of Alaska, as it is, with the addition of the St, Elias Alps, the most sublimely and entrancingly beautiful.

Voskressenski Harbor, or Resurrection Bay, pushes out in purple waves in front of Seward, and snow peaks circle around it, the lower hills being heavily wooded. There . is a good wharf and a safe harbor; the bay extends inland eighteen miles, is completely land-locked, and is kept free of ice the entire year, as is the Bay of Valdez and Cook Inlet, by the Japan current.

It is estimated that the Alaska Central Railway will cost, when completed to Fairbanks, at least twenty-five millions of dollars. Several branches will be extended into different and important mining regions.

The road has a general maximum grade of one per cent. The Coast Range is crossed ten miles from Seward, at an elevation of only seven hundred feet. The road follows the shore of Lake Kenai, Turnagain Arm, and Knik Arm on Cook Inlet; then, reaching the Sushitna River, it


follows the sloping plains of that valley for a hundred miles, when, crossing the Alaskan Range, it descends into the vast valley at the head of navigation on the Tanana River, in the vicinity of Chena and Fairbanks.

All of the country which this road is expected to traverse when completed is rich in coal, copper, and quartz and placer gold.

There is a large amount of timber suitable for domestic use throughout this part of the country, spruce trees of three and four feet in diameter being common near the coast ; inland, the timber is smaller, but of fair quality.

There is much good agricultural land along the line of the road; the soil is rich and the climatic conditions quite as favorable as those of many producing regions of the northern United States and Europe. Grass, known as " red-top," grows in abundance in the valleys and provides food for horses and cattle. It is expected that, so soon as the different railroads connect the great interior valleys with the sea, the government's offer of three hundred and twenty acres to the homesteader will induce many people to settle there. The Alaska Central Railroad is completed for a distance of fifty-three miles, - more than half the distance to the coal-fields north of Cook Inlet.

Arrangements have been made for the building of a large smelter at Seward, to cost three hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in 1908.

Cook Inlet enjoys well-deserved renown for its scenery. Between it and the Chugach Gulf is the great Kenai Peninsula, whose shores are indented by many deep inlets and bays. The most important of these is Resurrection Bay.

Wood is plentiful along the coast of the peninsula. Cataracts, glaciers, snow peaks, green valleys, and lovely lakes abound.

The peninsula is shaped somewhat like a great pear.


Turnagain Arm and an inlet of Prince William Sound almost meet at the north; but the portage mentioned on another page prevents it from being an island. It is crowned by the lofty and rugged Kenai Mountains.

Off its southern coast are several clusters of islands - Pye and Chugatz islands, Seal and Chiswell rocks.

In the entrance to Cook Inlet lie Barren Islands, Amatuli Island, and Ushugat Island.

On a small island off the southern point of the peninsula is a lofty promontory, which Cook named Cape Elizabeth because it was sighted on the Princess Elizabeth's birth- day. The lofty, two-peaked promontory on the opposite side of the entrance he named Douglas, in honor of his friend, the Canon of Windsor.

Between the capes, the entrance is sixty-five miles wide; but it steadily diminishes until it reaches a width of but a few miles. There is a passage on each side of Barren Islands.

The Inlet receives the waters of several rivers : the Sushitna, Matanuska, Knik, Yentna, - which flows into the Sushitna near its mouth, - Kaknu, and Kassitof.

Lying near the western shore of the inlet, and just inside the entrance, is an island which rises in graceful sweeps on all sides, directly from the water to a smooth, broken-pointed, and beautiful cone. This cone forms the entire island, and there is not the faintest break in its symmetry until the very crest is reached. It is the volcano of St. Augustine.

A chain of active volcanoes extends along the western shore. Of these, Iliamna, the greatest, is twelve thousand sixty-six feet in height, and was named " Miranda, the Admirable " by Spanish navigators, who may usually be relied upon for poetically significant, or soft-sounding, names. It is clad in eternal snow, but smoke-turbans are wound almost constantly about its brow. It was in eruption


in 1854, and running lava has been found near the lower crater. There are many hot and sulphurous springs on its sides.

North of Iliamna is Goryalya, or " The Redoubt," which is a lesser " smoker," eleven thousand two hundred and seventy feet high. It was in eruption in 1867, and ashes fell on islands more than a hundred and fifty miles away.

Iliamna Lake is one of the two largest lakes in Alaska. It is from fifty to eighty miles long and from fifteen to twenty-five wide. A pass at a height of about eight hundred feet affords an easy route of communication between the upper end of the lake and a bay of the same name on Cook Inlet, near the volcano, and has long been in use by white, as well as native, hunters and prospectors. The country surrounding the lake is said to abound in large and small game. Lake Clark, to the north, is connected with Lake Iliamna by the Nogheling River. It is longer than Iliamna, but very much narrower. It lies directly west of the Redoubt Volcano.

Iliamna Lake is connected with Behring Sea by Kvichak River, which flows into Bristol Bay. The lake is a natural hatchery of king salmon, and immense canneries are located on Bristol Bay, which lies directly north of the Aliaska Peninsula.

It is comparatively easy for hunters to cross by the chain of lakes and water-ways from Bristol Bay to Cook Inlet - which is known to sportsmen of all countries, both shores offering everything in the way of game. The big brown bear of the inlet is the same as the famous Kadiak ; and hunters come from all parts of the world when they can secure permits to kill them. Moose, caribou, mountain sheep, mountain goat, deer, and all kinds of smaller game are also found. There are many trout and salmon streams on the eastern shore of the inlet, and the lagoons and marshes are the haunts of water-fowl.


The voyage up Cook Inlet is one of the most fascinating that may be taken, as a side trip, in Alaska.

Large steamers touch only at Homer and Seldovia, just inside the entrance. There is a good wharf at Homer, but at Seldovia there is another rope-ladder descent and dory landing. There are a post-office, several stores and houses, and a little Greek-Russian church. Scattered over a low bluff at one side of the settlement are the native huts, half hidden in tall reeds and grasses, and a native graveyard.

Seldovia is not the place to buy baskets, as the only ones to be obtained are of very inferior coloring and workmanship.

My Scotch friend was so fearful that some one else might secure a treasure that she seized the first basket in sight at Seldovia, paying five dollars for it. It was not large, and as for its appearance - !

But with one evil mind we all pretended to envy her and to regret that we had not seen it first ; so that, for some time, she stepped out over the tundra with quite a proud and high step, swinging her " buy " proudly at her right side, where all might see and admire.

Presently, however, we came to a hut wherein we stumbled upon all kinds of real treasures - old bows and arrows, kamelinkas, bidarkas, virgin charms, and ivory spears. We all gathered these things unto ourselves - all but my Scotch friend. She stood by, watching us, silent, ruminative.

She had spent all that she cared to spend on curios in one day on the single treasure which she carried in her hand. We observed that presently she carried it less proudly and that her carriage had less of haughtiness in it, as we went across the beach to the dory.

She took the basket down to the engine-room to have it steamed. I do not know what the engineer said to her


about her purchase, but when she came back, her face was somewhat flushed. The Scotch are not a demonstrative race, and when she ever after referred to the chief engineer simply as "that engineer down there," I felt that it meant something. She never again mentioned that basket to me ; but I have seen it in six different curio stores trying to get itself sold.

At Seldovia connection is made with small steamers running up the inlet to the head of the arm. Hope and Sunrise are the inspiring names of the chief settlements of the arm.

The tides of Cook Inlet are tremendous. There are fearful tide-rips at the entrance and again about halfway up the inlet, where they appeared " frightful " to Cook and his men. The tide enters Turnagain Arm, at the head of the inlet, in a huge bore, which expert canoe-men are said to be able to ride successfully, and to thus be carried with great speed and delightful danger on their way.

Cook thought that the inlet was a river, of which the arm was an eastern branch. Therefore, at the entrance of the latter, he exclaimed in disappointment and chagrin, " Turn again ! " - and afterward bestowed this name upon the slender water-way.

He modestly left only a blank for the name of the great inlet itself ; and after his cruel death at the hands of natives in the Sandwich Islands, Lord Sandwich directed that it be named Cook's River.

The voyage of two hundred miles to the head of the arm by steamer is slow and sufficiently romantic to satisfy the most sentimental. The steamer is compelled to tie up frequently to await the favorable stage of the tide, affording ample opportunity and time for the full enjoyment of the varied attractions of the trip. The numerous waterfalls are among the finest of Alaska.


Even today the trip is attended by the gravest dangers and is only attempted by experienced navigators who are familiar with its unique perils. The very entrance is the dread of mariners. The tide-rips that boil and roar around the naked Barren Islands subject ships to graver danger than the fiercest storms on this wild and stormy coast.

The tides of Turnagain Arm rival those of the Bay of Fundy, entering in tremendous bores that advance faster than a horse can run and bearing everything with resist- less force before them. After the first roar of the entering tide is heard, there is but a moment in which to make for safety. There is a tide fall in the arm of from twenty to twenty-seven feet.

The first Russian settlement of the inlet was by the establishment of a fort by Shelikoff, near the entrance, named Alexandrovsk. It was followed in 1786 by the establishment of the Lebedef-Lastuchkin Company on the Kussilof River in a settlement and fort named St. George.

Fort Alexandrovsk formed a square with two bastions, and the imperial arms shone over the entrance, which was protected by two guns. The situation, however, was not so advantageous for trading as that of the other company.

In 1791 the Lebedef Company established another fort, the Redoubt St. Nicholas, still farther up the inlet, just below that narrowing known as the " Forelands," at the Kaknu, or Kenai, River. At this place the shores jut out into three steep, cliffy points which were named by Vancouver West, North, and East Forelands.

Here Vancouver found the flood-tide running with such a violent velocity that the best bower cable proved unable to resist it, and broke. The buoy sank by the strength of the current, and both the anchor and the cable were irrecoverably lost.

Cook did not enter Turnagain Arm, but Vancouver learned from the Russians that neither the arm nor the


inlet was a river ; that the arm terminated some thirty miles from its mouth; and that from its head the Russians walked about fifteen versts over a mountain and entered an inlet of Prince William Sound, - thereby keeping themselves in communication with their fellow-countrymen at Port Etches and Kaye Island.

Vancouver sent Lieutenant Whidbey and some men to explore the arm ; but having entered with the bore and finding no place where he might escape its ebb, he was compelled to return with it, without making as complete an examination as was desired.

The country bordering upon the bays along Turnagain Arm is low, richly wooded, and pleasant, rising with a gradual slope, until the inner point of entrance is reached. Here the shores suddenly rise to bold and towering eminences, perpendicular cliffs, and mountains which to poor Whidbey, as usual, appeared "stupendous" - cleft by " awfully grand " chasms and gullies, down which rushed immense torrents of water.

The tide rises thirty feet with a roaring rush that is really terrifying to hear and see.

At a Russian settlement Whidbey found one large house, fifty by twenty-four feet, occupied by nineteen Russians. One door afforded the only ventilation, and it was usually closed.

Whidbey and his men were hospitably received and were offered a repast of dried fish and native cranberries; but because of the offensive odor of the house, owing to the lack of ventilation and other unmentionable horrors, they were unable to eat. Perceiving this, their host ordered the cranberries taken away and beaten up with train-oil, when they were again placed before the visitors. This last effort of hospitality proved too much for the politeness of the Englishmen, and they rushed out into the cool air for relief.


Indeed, the Russians appeared to live quite as filthily and disgustingly as the natives, and to have fallen into all their cooking, living, and other customs, save those of painting their faces and wearing ornaments in lips, noses, and ears.

The name "inlet," instead of "river," was first applied to this torrential water-way in 1794 by Vancouver, who also bestowed upon Turnagain the designation of "arm."

Vancouver, upon the invitation of the commanding officer who came out to his ships for that purpose, paid the Redoubt St. Nicholas, near the Forelands, a visit. He was saluted by two guns from a kind of balcony, above which the Russian flag floated on top of a house situated upon a cliff.

Captain Dixon, the most pious navigator I have found, with the exception of the Russians, extolled the Supreme Being for having so bountifully provided in Cook Inlet for the needs of the wretched natives who inhabited the region. The fresh fish and game of all kinds, so easily procured, the rich skins with which to clothe their bodies,

inspired him to praise and thanksgiving.

For the magnificent water-way pushing northward, glaciered, cascaded, blue-bayed, and emerald-valed, with unbroken chains of snow peaks and volcanoes on both sides, - up which the voyager sails charmed and fascinated today, - he spoke no enthusiastic word of praise. On the contrary, he found the aspect dreary and uncomfortable. Even Whidbey, the Chilly, could not have given way to deeper shudders than did Dixon in Cook Inlet.

The low land and green valleys close to the shore, grown with trees, shrubbery, and tall grasses, he found " not altogether disagreeable," but it was with shock upon shock to his delicate and outraged feelings that he sailed between the mountains covered with eternal snow. Their " prodigious extent and stupendous precipices . . . chilled


the blood of the beholder." They were "awfully dreadful."

Dixon, as well as Cook, mentions the wearing of the labret by men, but I still cling to the opinion that they could not distinguish a man from a woman, owing to the attire.

Dixon also reported that the natives have a keen sense of smell, which they quicken by the use of snakeroot. One would naturally have supposed that they would have hunted the forests through and through for some herb, or some dark charm of witchcraft, that would have deprived them utterly and forever of this sense, which is so undesirable a possession to the person living or traveling in Alaska.

The climate of Cook Inlet is more agreeable than that of any other part of Alaska. In the low valleys near the shore the soil is well adapted to the growing of fruits, vegetables, and grain, and to the raising of stock and chickens. Good butter and cheese are made, which, with eggs, bring excellent prices. Roses and all but the tenderest flowers thrive, and berries grow large and of delicious flavor, bearing abundantly.

" Awfully dreadful " scenes are not to be found. It is a pleasure to confess, however, that many features, by their beauty, splendor, and sublimity, fill the appreciative beholder with awe and reverence.

The coal deposits of the region surrounding the inlet are now known to be numerous and important. Coal is found in Kachemak Bay, and Port Graham, at Tyonook, and on Matanuska River, about fifty miles inland from the head of the inlet. It is lignitic and bituminous, but semi-anthracite has been found in the Matanuska Valley.

Lignitic coals have a very wide distribution, but have been, as yet, mined only on Admiralty Island, at Homer


and Coal Bay in Cook Inlet, at Chignik and Unga, at several points on the Yukon, and on Seward Peninsula.

The new railroad now building from Cordova will open up not only vast copper districts, but the richest and most extensive oil and coal fields in Alaska, as well.

Semi-anthracite coal exists in commercial quantities, so far as yet discovered, only at Comptroller Bay. A fine quality of bituminous coal also exists there, extending inland for twenty-five miles on the northern tributaries of Behring River and about thirty-five miles east of Copper River, covering an area of about one hundred and twenty square miles.

Southwestern Alaska includes the Cook Inlet region, Kodiak and adjacent islands, Aliaska Peninsula, and the Aleutian Islands. Coal, mostly of a lignitic character, is widely distributed in all these districts. It has also been discovered in different localities in the Sushitna Basin.

All coal used by the United States government's naval vessels on the Pacific is purchased and transported there from the East at enormous expense. Alaska has vast coal deposits of an exceedingly fine quality lying undeveloped in the Aliaskan Peninsula, two hundred miles farther west than Honolulu, and directly on the route of steamers plying from this country to the Orient. (It is not generally known that the smoke of steamers on their way from Puget Sound to Japan may be plainly seen on clear days at Unalaska.)

This coal is in the neighborhood of Portage Bay where there is a good harbor and a coaling station. It is reported by geological survey experts to be as fine as Pocahontas coal, and even higher in carbon.

Possibly, in time, the United States government may awaken to a realization of the vast fortunes lying hidden in the undeveloped, neglected, and even scorned resources of Alaska, - not to mention the tremendous advantages of being able to coal its war vessels with Pacific Coast coal.


During the spring of 1908 the Alaska-coal land situation was discouraging. A great area of rich coal-bearing land had been withdrawn from entry, because of the amazing presumption of the interior department that the removal of prohibitive restrictions upon entry-men would encourage the formation of monopolies in the mining and marketing of coal.

Secretary Garfield at first inclined strongly to the opinion that the Alaska coal lauds should be held by the government for leasing purposes, and that there should be a separate reservation for the navy ; and he has not entirely abandoned this opinion.

The withdrawal of the coal lands from entry caused the Copper River and Northwestern Railway Company to discontinue all work on the Katalla branch of the road ; nor will it resume until the question of title to the coal lands is settled and the lands themselves admitted to entry.

The fear of monopolies, which is making the interior department uneasy, is said to have arisen from the fact that it has been absolutely necessary for several entry-men in a coal region to associate themselves together and combine their claims, on account of the enormous expense of opening and operating mines in that country. The surveys alone, which, in accordance with an act passed in 1904, must be borne by the entry-man, although this burden is not imposed upon entry-men in the states, are so expensive, particularly in the Behring coal-fields near Katalla, that an entry-man cannot bear it alone ; while the expense of getting provisions and tools from salt-water into the interior is simply prohibitive to most locators, unless they can combine and divide the expense.

These early discoverers and locators acted in good faith. The lands were entered as coal lands ; there was no fraud and no attempt at fraud ; not one person sought


to take up coal land as homestead, nor with scrip, nor in any fraudulent manner.

There was some carelessness in the observance of new rules and regulations, but there was excuse for this in the fact that Alaska is far from Congress and news travels slowly ; also, it has been the belief of Alaskans that when a man, after the infinite labor and deprivation necessary to successful prospecting in Alaska, has found anything of value on the public domain, he could appropriate it with the surety that his right thereto would be recognized and respected; and that any slight mistakes that might be made technically would be condoned, provided that they were honest ones and not made with the intent to defraud the government.

The oldest coal mine in Alaska is located just within the entrance to Cook Inlet, on the western shore, at Coal Harbor. There, in the early fifties, the Russians began extensive operations, importing experienced German miners to direct a large force of Muscovite laborers sent from Sitka, and running their machinery by steam.

Shafts were sunk, and a drift run into the vein for a distance of one thousand seven hundred feet. During a period of three years two thousand seven hundred tons of coal were mined, but the result was a loss to the enterprising Russians.

Its extent was practically unlimited, but the quality was found to be too poor for the use of steamers.

It is only within the past three years that the fine quality of much of the coal found in Alaska has been made known by government experts.

It was inconceivable that Congress should hesitate to enact such laws as would help to develop Alaska ; yet it was not until late in the spring that bills were passed which greatly relieved the situation and insured the building of the road upon which the future of this district depends.


Cook Inlet is so sheltered and is favored by a climate so agreeable that it was called " Summer-land " by the Russians.

Across Kachemak Bay from Seldovia is Homer - another town of the inlet blessed with a poetic name. When I landed at its wharf, in 1905, it was the saddest, sweetest place in Alaska. It was but the touching phantom of a town.

We reached it at sunset of a June day.

A low, green, narrow spit runs for several miles out into the waters of the inlet, bordered by a gravelly beach. Here is a railroad running eight miles to the Cook Inlet coal-fields, a telephone line, roundhouses, machine-shops, engines and cars, a good wharf, some of the best store buildings and residences in Alaska, - all painted white with soft red roofs, and all deserted !

On this low and lovely spit, fronting the divinely blue sea and the full glory of the sunset, there was only one human being, the postmaster. When the little Dora swung lightly into the wharf, this poor lonely soul showed a pitiable and pathetic joy at this fleeting touch of companionship. We all went ashore and shook hands with him and talked to him. Then we returned to our cabins and carried him a share of all our daintiest luxuries.

When, after fifteen or twenty minutes, the Dora with- drew slowly into the great Safrano rose of the sunset, leaving him, a lonely, gray figure, on the wharf, the look



on his face made us turn away, so that we could not see one another's eyes.

It was like the look of a dog who stands helpless, lonely, and cannot follow.

I have never been able to forget that man. He was so gentle, so simple, so genuinely pleased and grateful - and so lonely !

As I write, Homer is once more a town, instead of a phantom. I no longer picture him alone in those empty, echoing, red-roofed buildings ; but one of my most vivid and tormenting memories of Alaska is of a gray figure, with a little pathetic stoop, going up the path from the wharf, in the splendor of that June sunset, with his dog at his side.

The Act of 1902, commonly known as the Alaska Game Law, defines game, fixes open seasons, restricts the number which may be killed, declares certain methods of hunting unlawful, prohibits the sale of hides, skins, or heads at any time, and prohibits export of game animals, or birds - except for scientific purposes, for propagation, or for trophies - under restrictions prescribed by the Department of Agriculture. The law also authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, when such action shall be necessary, to place further restrictions on killing in certain regions. The importance of this provision is already apparent. Owing to the fact that nearly all persons who go to Alaska to kill big game visit a few easily accessible localities - notably Kadiak Island, the Kenai Peninsula, and the vicinity of Cook Inlet - it has become necessary to protect the game of these localities by special regulations, in order to prevent its speedy destruction.

The object of the act is to protect the game of the terri- tory so far as possible from the mere " killer," but without causing unnecessary hardship. Therefore, Indians, Eskimos,


miners, or explorers actually in need of food, are permitted to kill game for their immediate use. The exception in favor of natives, miners, and explorers must be construed strictly. It must not be used merely as a pretext to kill game out of season, for sport or for market, or to supply canneries or settlements ; and, under no circum- stances, can the hides or heads of animals thus killed be lawfully offered for sale.

Every person who has traveled in Alaska knows that these laws are violated daily. An amusing incident occurred on the Dora, on the first morning "to Westward" from Seward. Far be it from me to eat anything that is forbidden ; but I had seen fried moose steak in Seward. It resembles slices of pure beef tenderloin, fried.

It chanced that at our first breakfast on the Dora I found fried beef tenderloin on the bill of fare, and ordered it. Scarcely had I been served when in came the gentleman from Boston, who, through his alert and insatiable curiosity concerning all things Alaskan and his keen desire to experience every possible Alaskan sensation, - – all with the greatest naivete and good humor, - had endeared himself to us all on our long journey together.

" What's that ? " asked he, briskly, scenting a new experience on my plate.

" Moose," said I, sweetly.

" Moose - 7noose ! " cried he, excitedly, seizing his bill of fare. " I'll have some. Where is it ? I don't see it ! "

" Hush-h-h," said I, sternly. " It is not on the bill of fare. It is out of season."

" Then how shall I get it ? " he cried, anxiously. " I must have some."

" Tell the waiter to bring you the same that he brought me."

When the dear, gentle Japanese, "Charlie," came to serve him, he shamelessly pointed at my plate.


" I'll have some of that," said he, mysteriously.

Charlie bowed, smiled like a seraph, and withdrew, to return presently with a piece of beef tenderloin.

The gentleman from Boston fairly pounced upon it. We all watched him expectantly. His expression changed from anticipation to satisfaction, delight, rapture.

" That's the most delicious thing I ever ate," he burst forth, presently.

" Do you think so ? " said I. " Really, I was disappointed. It tastes very much like beefsteak to me."

" Beefsteak ! " said he, scornfully. " It tastes no more like beefsteak than pie tastes like cabbage ! What a pity to waste it on one who cannot appreciate its delicate wild flavor!"

Months afterward he sent me a marked copy of a Boston newspaper, in which he had written enthusiastically of the " rare, wild flavor, haunting as a poet's dream," of the moose which he had eaten on the Doi-a.

In addition to the animals commonly regarded as game, walrus and brown bear are protected; but existing laws relating to the fur-seal, sea-otter, or other fur-bearing animals are not affected. The act creates no close season for black bear, and contains no prohibition against the sale or shipment of their skins or heads ; but those of brown bear may be shipped only in accordance with regulations.

The Act of 1908 amends the former act as follows : -

It is unlawful for any person in Alaska to kill any wild game, animals, or birds, except during the following seasons : north of latitude sixty-two degrees, brown bear may be killed at any time ; moose, caribou, sheep, walrus and sea-lions, from August 1 to December 10, inclusive ; south of latitude sixty -two degrees, moose, caribou, and mountain sheep, from August 20 to December 31, inclusive ; brown bear, from October 1 to July 1, inclusive ;


deer and mountain goats, from August 1 to February 1, inclusive ; grouse, ptarmigan, shore birds, and water fowl, from September 1 to March 1, inclusive.

The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized, whenever he may deem it necessary for the preservation of game animals or birds, to make and publish rules and regulations which shall modify the close seasons established, or to provide different close seasons for different parts of Alaska, or to place further limitations and restrictions on the killing of such animals or birds in any given locality, or to prohibit killing entirely for a period not exceeding two years in such locality.

It is unlawful for any person at any time to kill any females or yearlings of moose, or for any one person to kill in one year more than the number specified of each of the following game animals : Two moose, one walrus or sea-lion, three caribou,- sheep, or large brown bear ; or to kill or have in his possession in any one day more than twenty-five grouse or ptarmigan, or twenty-five shore birds or water fowl.

The killing of caribou on the Kenai Peninsula is prohibited until August 20, 1912.

It is unlawful for any non-resident of Alaska to hunt auy of the protected game animals, except deer and goats, without first obtaining a hunting license; or to hunt on the Kenai Peninsula without a registered guide, such license not being transferable and valid only during the year of issue. The fee for this license is fifty dollars to citizens of the United States, and one hundred dollars to foreigners; it is accompanied by coupons authorizing the shipment of two moose, - if killed north of sixty-two degrees, - four deer, three caribou, sheep, goats, brown bear, or any part of said animals. A resident of Alaska may ship heads or trophies by obtaining a shipping license for this purpose. A fee of forty dollars permits the shipment


of heads or trophies as follows: one moose, if killed north of sixty-two degrees ; four deer, two caribou, two sheep, goats, or brown bear. A fee of ten dollars permits the shipment of a single head or trophy of caribou or sheep; and one of five, that of goat, deer, or brown bear. It costs just one hundred and fifty dollars to ship any part of a moose killed south of sixty-two degrees. Furthermore, before any trophy may be shipped from Alaska, the person desiring to make such shipment shall first make and file with the customs office of the port where the shipment is to be made, an affidavit to the effect that he has not violated any of the provisions of this act ; that the trophy has been neither bought nor sold, and is not to be shipped for sale, and that he is the owner thereof.

The Governor of Alaska, in issuing a license, requires the applicant to state whether the trophies are to be shipped through the ports of entry of Seattle, Portland, or San Francisco, and he notifies the collector at the given port as to the name of the license holder, and name and address of the consignee.

After reading these rigid laws, I cannot help wondering whether the Secretary of Agriculture ever saw an Alaskan mountain sheep. If he has seen one and should unexpectedly come across some poor wretch smuggling the head of one out of Alaska, he would - unless his heart is as hard as " stun-cancer," as an old lady once said - just turn his eyes in another direction and refuse to see what was not meant for his vision.

The Alaskan sheep does not resemble those of Montana and other sheep countries. It is more delicate and far more beautiful. There is a deerlike grace in the poise of its head, a fine and sensitive outline to nostril and mouth, a tenderness in the great dark eyes, that is at once startled and appealing; while the wide, graceful sweep of the horns is unrivalled.


The head of the moose, as well as of the caribou, is imposing, but coarse and ugly. The antlers of the delicate- headed deer are pretty, but lack the power of the horns of the Alaskan sheep. The Montana sheep's head is almost as coarse as that of the moose. The dainty ears and soft-colored hair of the Alaskan sheep are fawnlike. From the Alaska Central trains near Lake Kenai, the sheep may be seen feeding on the mountain that has been named for them.

Cape Douglas, at the entrance to Cook Inlet, is the admiration of all save the careful navigator who usually at this point meets such distressing winds and tides that he has no time to devote to the contemplation of scenery.

This noble promontory thrusts itself boldly out into the sea for a distance of about three miles, where it sinks sheer for a thousand feet to the pale green surf that breaks everlastingly upon it. It is far more striking and imposing than the more famous Cape Elizabeth on the eastern side of the entrance to the inlet.


The heavy forestation of the Northwest Coast ceases finally at the Kenai Peninsula. Kadiak Island is sparsely wooded in sylvan groves, with green slopes and valleys between; but the islands lying beyond are bare of trees. Sometimes a low, shrubby willow growth is seen; but for the most part the thousands of islands are covered in summer with grasses and mosses, which, drenched by frequent mists and rain, are of a brilliant and dazzling green.

The Aleutian Islands drift out, one after another, toward the coast of Asia, like an emerald rosary on the blue breast of Behring Sea. The only tree in the Aleutian Islands is a stunted evergreen growing at the gate of a residence in Unalaska, on the island of the same name.

The prevailing atmospheric color of Alaska is a kind of misty, rosy lavender, enchantingly blended from different shades of violet, rose, silver, azure, gold, and green. The water coloring changes hourly. One passes from a narrow channel whose waters are of the most delicate green into a wider reach of the palest blue; and from this into a gulf of sun-flecked purple.

The summer voyage out among the Aleutian Islands is lovely beyond all description. It is a sweet, dreamlike drifting through a water world of rose and lavender, along the pale green velvety hills of the islands. There are no adjectives that will clearly describe this greenness to one who has not seen it. It is at once so soft and so vivid; it flames out like the dazzling green fire of an emerald, and pales to the lighter green of the chrysophrase.



Marvelous sunset effects are frequently seen on these waters. There was one which we saw in broad gulfs, which gathered in a point on the purple water about nine o'clock. Every color and shade of color burned in this point, like a superb fire opal ; and from it were flung rays of different coloring - so far, so close, so mistily brilliant, and so tremulously ethereal, that in shape and fabric it resembled a vast thistle-down blowing before us on the water. Often we sailed directly into it and its fragile color needles were shattered and fell about us ; but immediately another formed farther ahead, and trembled and throbbed until it, too, was overtaken and shattered before our eyes.

At other times the sunset sank over us, about us, and upon us, like a cloud of gold and scarlet dust that is scented with coming rain ; but of all the different sunset effects that are but memories now, the most unusual was a great mist of brilliant, vivid green just touched with fire, that went marching down the wide straits of Shelikoff late one night in June.

Early on the morning after leaving Cook Inlet, the " early-decker " will find the Dora steaming lightly past Afognak Island through the narrow channel separating it from Marmot Island. This was the most silvery, divinely blue stretch of water I saw in Alaska, with the exception of Behring Sea. The morning that we sailed into Marmot Bay was an exceptionally suave one in June; and the color of the water may have been due to the softness of the day.

We had passed Sea Lion Rocks, where hundreds of these animals lie upon the rocky shelves, with lifted, narrow heads, moving nervously from side to side in serpent fashion, and whom a boat's whistle sends plunging headlong into the sea.

The southern point of Marmot Island is the Cape St.


Hermogenes of Behring, a name that has been perpetuated to this day. The steamer passes between it and Pillar Point, and at one o'clock of the same day through the winding, islanded harbor of Kadiak.

This settlement is on the island that won the heart of John Burroughs when he visited it with the famous Harriman Expedition - the Island of Kadiak.

I voyaged with a pilot who had accompanied the expedition.

"Those scientists, now," he said, musingly, one day as he paced the bridge, with his hands behind him. " They were a real study for a fellow like me. The genuine big-bugs in that party were the finest gentle- men you ever saw; but the little-hugs - say, they put on more dog than a bogus prince ! They were always demanding something they couldn't get and acting as if they was afraid somebody might think they didn't amount to anything. An officer on a ship can always tell a gentleman in two minutes - his wants are so few and his tastes so simple. John Burroughs? Oh, say, every man on the ship liked Mr. Burroughs. I don't know as you'd ought to call him a gentleman. You see, gentlemen live on earth, and he was way up above the earth - in the clouds, you know. He'd look right through you with the sweetest eyes, and never see you. But flowers - well, Jeff Davis ! Mr. Burroughs could see a flower half a mile away ! You could talk to him all day, and he wouldn't hear a word you said to him, any more than if he was deef as a post. I thought he was, the longest while. But Jeff Davis ! just let a bird sing on shore when we) were sailing along close. His deafness wasn't particularly noticeable then ! . . . He'd go ashore and dawdle 'way off from everybody else, and come back with his arms full of flowers."


Mr. Burroughs was charmed with the sylvan beauty of Kadiak Island ; its pale blue, cloud-dappled skies and deep blue, islanded seas ; its narrow, winding waterways ; its dimpled hills, silvery streams, and wooded dells ; its acres upon acres of flowers of every variety, hue and size ; its vivid green, grassy, and mossy slopes, crests, and meadows ; its delightful air and singing birds.

He was equally charmed with Wood Island, which is only fifteen minutes' row from Kadiak, and spent much time in its melodious dells, turning his back upon both islands with reluctance, and afterward writing of them appreciative words which their people treasure in their hearts and proudly quote to the stranger who reaches those lovely shores.

The name Kadiak was originally Kaniag, the natives calling themselves Kaniagists or Kaniagmuts. The island was discovered in 1763, by Stephen Glottoff.

His reception by the natives was not of a nature to warm the cockles of his heart. They approached in their skin-boats, but his godson, Ivan Glottoff, a young Aleut interpreter, could not make them understand him, and they fled in apparent fear.

Some days later they returned with an Aleutian boy whom they had captured in a conflict with the natives of the Island of Sannakh, and he served as interpreter.

The natives of Kadiak differ greatly from those of the Aleutian Islands, notwithstanding the fact that the islands drift into one another.

The Kadiaks were more intelligent and ambitious, and of much finer appearance, than the Aleutians.

They were of a fiercer and more warlike nature, and refused to meet the friendly advances of Glottoff. The latter, therefore, kept at some distance from the shore, and a watch was set night and day.


Nevertheless, the Kadiaks made an early-morning attack, firing upon the watches with arrows and attempting to set tire to the ship. They fled in the wildest disorder upon the discharge of firearms, scattering in their flight ludicrous ladders, dried moss, and other materials with which they had expected to destroy the ship.

Within four days they made another attack, provided with wooden shields to ward off the musket-balls.

They were again driven to the shore. At the end of three weeks they made a third and last attack, protected by immense breastworks, over which they cast spears and arrows upon the decks.

As these shields appeared to be bullet-proof and the natives continued to advance, Glottoff landed a body of men and made a fierce attack, which had the desired effect. The savages dropped their shields and fled from the neighborhood.

When Von H. J. Holmberg was on the island, he persuaded an old native to dictate a narrative to an interpreter, concerning the arrival of the first ship - which was undoubtedly Glottoff's. This narrative is of poignant interest, presenting, as it does, so simply and so eloquently, the "other" point of view - that of the first inhabitant of the country, which we so seldom hear. For this reason, and for the charm of its style, I reproduce it in part: -

" I was a boy of nine or ten years, for I was already set to paddle a bidarka, when the first Russian ship, with two masts, appeared near Cape Aleulik. Before that time we had never seen a ship. We had intercourse with the Ag- legnutes, of the Aliaska Peninsula, with the Tnaianas of the Kenai Peninsula, and with the Koloshes, of southeastern Alaska. Some wise men even knew something of the Californias ; but of white men and their ships we knew nothing.

" The ship looked like a great whale at a distance. We


went out to sea in our bidarkas, but we soon found that it was no whale, but another unknown monster of which we were afraid, and the smell of which made us sick."

(In all literature and history and real life, I know of no single touch of unintentional humor so entirely delicious as this : that any odor could make an Alaskan native, of any locality or tribe, sick ; and of all things, an odor connected with a white person ! It appears that in more ways than one this old native's story is of value.)

" The people on the ship had buttons on their clothes, and at first we thought they must be cuttle-fish." (More unintentional, and almost as delicious, humor !) " But when we saw them put fire into their mouths and blow out smoke we knew that they must be devils.'''

(Did any early navigator ever make a neater criticism of the natives than these innocent ones of the first white visitors to their shores ?)

" The ship sailed by . . . into Kaniat, or Alitak, Bay, where it anchored. We followed, full of fear, and at the same time curious to see what would become of the strange  apparition, but we did not dare to approach the ship.

" Among our people was a brave warrior named Ishinik, who was so bold that he feared nothing in the world ; he undertook to visit the ship, and came back with presents in his hand, - a red shirt, an Aleut hood, and some glass beads." (Glottoff describes this visit, and the gifts bestowed.)

"He said there was nothing to fear; that they only wished to buy sea-otter skins, and to give us glass beads and other riches for them. We did not fully believe this statement. The old and wise people held a council. Some thought the strangers might bring us sickness.

" Our people formerly were at war with the Fox Island people. My father once made a raid on Unalaska and brought back, among other booty, a little girl left by her


fleeing people. As a prisoner taken in war, she was our slave, but my father treated her like a daughter, and brought her up with his own children. We called her Plioo, which means ashes, because she was taken from the ashes of her home. On the Russian ship which came from Unalaska were many Aleuts, and among them the father of our slave. He came to my father's house, and when he found that his daughter was not kept like a slave, but was well cared for, he told him confidentially, out of gratitude, that the Russians would take the sea-otter skins without payment, if they could.

"This warning saved my father. The Russians came ashore with the Aleuts, and the latter persuaded our peo- ple to trade, saying, ' Why are you afraid of the Russians? Look at us. We live with them, and they do us no harm.'

" Our people, dazzled by the sight of such quantities of goods, left their weapons in the bidarkas and went to the Russians with the sea-otter skins. While they were busy trading, the Aleuts, who carried arms concealed about them, at a signal from the Russians, fell upon our people, killing about thirty and taking away their sea-otter skins. A few men had cautiously watched the result of the first intercourse from a distance - among them my father." (The poor fellow told this proudly, not understanding that he thus confessed a shameful and cowardly act on his father's part.)

" These attempted to escape in their bidarkas, but they were overtaken by the Aleuts and killed. My father alone was saved by the father of his slave, who gave him his bidarka when my father's own had been pierced by arrows and was sinking.

" In this he fled to Akhiok. My father's name was Penashigak. The time of the arrival of this ship was August, as the whales were coming into the bays, and the berries were ripe.


"The Russians remained for the winter, but could not find sufficient food in Kaniat Bay. They were compelled to leave the ship in charge of a few watchmen and moved into a bay opposite Aiakhtalik Island. Here was a lake full of herrings and a kind of smelt. They lived in tents through the winter. The brave Ishinik, who first dared to visit the ship, was liked by the Russians, and acted as mediator. When the fish decreased in the lake during the winter, the Russians moved about from place to place. Whenever we saw a boat coming, at a distance, we fled to the hills, and when we returned, no dried fish could be found in the houses.

"In the lake near the Russian camp there was a poisonous kind of starfish. We knew it very well, but said nothing about it to the Russians. We never ate them, and even the gulls would not touch them. Many Russians died from eating them. We injured them, also, in other ways. They put up fox-traps, and we removed them for the sake of obtaining the iron material. The Russians left during the following year."

This native's name was Arsenti Aminak. There are several slight discrepancies between his narrative and Glottoff's account, especially as to time. He does not mention the hostile attacks of his people upon the Russians ; and these differences puzzle Bancroft and make him skeptical concerning the veracity of the native's account.

It is barely possible, however, that Glottoff imagined these attacks, as an excuse for his own merciless slaughter of the Kadiaks.

As to the discrepancy in time, it must be remembered that Arsenti Aminak was an old man when he related the events which had occurred when he was a young lad of nine or ten. White lads of that age are not possessed of vivid memories ; and possibly the little brown lad, just


'' set to paddle a bidarka," was not more brilliant than his white brothers.

It is wiser to trust the word of the early native than that of the early navigator - with a few illustrious exceptions.

Kadiak is the second in size of Alaskan islands, - Prince of Wales Island in southeastern Alaska being slightly larger, - and no island, unless it be Baranoff, is of more historic interest and charm. It was from this island that Gregory Shelikoff and his capable wife directed the vast and profitable enterprises of the Shelikoff Company, having finally succeeded, in 1784, in making the first permanent Russian settlement in America at Three Saints Bay, on the southeastern coast of this island. Barracks, offices, counting-houses, storehouses, and shops of various kinds were built, and the settlement was guarded against native attack by two armed vessels.

It was here that the first missionary establishment and school of the Northwest Coast of America were located ; and here was built the first great warehouse of logs.

Shelikoff's welcome from the fierce Kadiaks, in 1784, was not more cordial than Glottoff's had been. His ships were repeatedly attacked, and it was not until he had fired upon them, causing great loss of life and general consternation among them, that he obtained possession of the harbor.

Shelikoff lost no time in preparing for permanent occupancy of the island. Dwellings and fortifications were erected. His own residence was furnished with all the comforts and luxuries of civilization, which he collected from his ships, for the purpose of inspiring the natives with respect for a superior mode of living. They watched the construction of buildings with great curiosity, and at last volunteered their own services in the work.


Shelikoff personally conducted a school, endeavoring to teach both children and adults the Russian language and arithmetic, as well as religion.

In 1796 Father Juvenal, a young Russian priest who had been sent to the colonies as a missionary, wrote as follows concerning his work : -

"" With the help of God, a school was opened today at this place, the first since the attempt of the late Mr. Shelikoff to instruct the natives of this neighborhood. Eleven boys and several grown men were in attendance. When I read prayers they seemed very attentive, and were evidently deeply impressed, although they did not understand the language. . . . When school was closed, I went to the river with my boys, and with the help of God "' (the italics are mine) " we caught one hundred and three salmon of large size."

The school prospered and was giving entire satisfaction when Baranoff transferred Father Juvenal to Iliamna, on Cook Inlet.

We now come to what has long appealed to me as the most tragic and heart-breaking story of all Alaska - the story of Father Juvenal's betrayal and death at Iliamna.

Of his last Sabbath's work at Three Saints, Father Ju- venal wrote : -

" We had a very solemn and impressive service this morning. Mr. Baranoff and officers and sailors from the ship attended, and also a large number of natives. We had fine singing, and a congregation with great outward appearance of devotion. I could not help but marvel at Alexander Alexandreievitch Baranoff, who stood there and listened, crossing himself and giving the responses at the proper time, and joined in the singing with the same hoarse voice with which he was shouting obscene songs the night before, when I saw him in the midst of a drunken carousal with a woman seated on his lap. I


dispensed with services in the afternoon, because the traders were drunk again, and might have disturbed us and disgusted the natives."

Father Juvenal's pupils were removed to Pavlovsk and placed under the care of Father German, who had recently opened a school there.

The priestly missionaries were treated with scant courtesy by Baranoff, and ceaseless and bitter were the complaints they made against him. On the voyage to Iliamna, Father Juvenal complains that he was compelled to sleep in the hold of the brigantine Catherine, between bales of goods and piles of dried fish, because the cabin was occupied by Baranoff and his party.

In his foul quarters, by the light of a dismal lantern, he wrote a portion of his famous journal, which has be- come a most precious human document, unable to sleep on account of the ribald songs and drunken revelry of the cabin.

He claims to have been constantly insulted and humiliated by Baranoff during the brief voyage ; and finally, at Pavlovsk, he was told that he must depend upon bidarkas for the remainder of the voyage to the Gulf of Kenai; and after that to the robbers and murderers of the Lebedef Company.

The vicissitudes, insults, and actual suffering of the voyage are vividly set forth in his journal. It was the 16th of July when he left Kadiak and the 3d of September when he finally reached Iliamna - having journeyed by barkentine to Pavlovsk, by bidarka from island to island and to Cook Inlet, and over the mountains on foot.

He was hospitably received by Shakmut, the chief, who took him into his own house and promised to build one especially for him. A boy named Nikita, who had been a hostage with the Russians, acted as interpreter, and was later presented to Father Juvenal.


This young missionary seems to have been more zealous than diplomatic. Immediately upon discovering that the boy had never been baptized, he performed that ceremony, to the astonishment of the natives, who considered it some dark practice of witchcraft.

Juvenal relates with great naivete that a pretty young woman asked to have the same ceremony performed upon her, that she, too, might live in the same house with the young priest.

The most powerful shock that he received, however, before the one that led to his death, he relates in the following simple language, under date of September 5, two days after his arrival : -

" It will be a relief to get away from the crowded house of the chief, where persons of all ages and sexes mingle without any regard to decency or morals. To my utter astonishment, Shakmut asked me last night to share the couch of one of his wives. He has three or four. I suppose such abomination is the custom of the country, and he intended no insult. God gave me grace to overcome my indignation, and to decline the offer in a friendly and dignified manner. My first duty, when I have some- what mastered the language, shall be to preach against such wicked practices, but I could not touch upon such subjects through a boy interpreter."

The severe young priest carried out his intentions so zealously that the chief and his friends were offended. He commanded them to put away all their wives but one.

They had marveled at his celibacy ; but they felt, with the rigid justice of the savage, that, if absolutely sincere, he was entitled to their respect.

However, they doubted his sincerity, and plotted to satisfy their curiosity upon this point. A young Iliamna girl was bribed to conceal herself in his room. Awaking


in the middle of the night and finding himself in her arms, the young priest was unable to overcome temptation.

In the morning he was overwhelmed with remorse and a sense of his disgrace. He remembered how haughtily he had spurned Shakmut's offer of peculiar hospitality, and how mercilessly he had criticized Baranoff for his immoral carousals. Remembering these things, as well as the ease with which his own downfall had been accomplished, he was overcome with shame.

" What a terrible blow this is to all my recent hopes ! " he wrote, in his pathetic account of the affair in his journal. " As soon as I regained my senses, I drove the woman out, but I felt too guilty to be very harsh with her. How can I hold up my head among the people, who, of course, will hear of this affair ? . . . God is my witness that I have set down the truth here in the face of any- thing that may be said about it hereafter. I have kept myself secluded today from everybody. I have not yet the strength to face the world,"

When Juvenal did face the small world of Iliamna, it was to be openly ridiculed and insulted by all. Young girls tittered when he went by ; his own boys, whom he had taught and baptized, mocked him ; a girl put her head into his room when he was engaged in fastening a heavy bar upon his door, and laughed in his face. Shakmut came and insisted that Juvenal should baptize his several wives the following Sunday. This he had been steadily refusing to do, so long as they lived in daily sin ; but now, disgraced, broken in spirit, and no longer able to say, " I am holier than thou," he wearily consented.

" I shall not shrink from my duty to make him relinquish all but one wife, however," he wrote, with a last flash of his old spirit, " when the proper time arrives. If I wink at polygamy now, I shall be forever unable to combat it. Perhaps it is only my imagination, but I


think I can discover a lack of respect in Nikita's behavior toward me since yesterday. . . . My disgrace has become public already, and I am laughed at wherever I go, especially by the women. Of course, they do not understand the sin, but rather look upon it as a good joke. It will require great firmness on my part to regain the respect I have lost for myself, as well as on behalf of the Church. I have vowed to burn no fuel in my bedroom during the entire winter, in order to chastise my body - a mild punishment, indeed, compared to the blackness of my sin."

The following day was the Sabbath. It was with a heavy heart that he baptized Katlewah, the brother of the chief, and his family, the three wives of the chief, seven children, and one aged couple.

The same evening he called on the chief and surprised him in a wild carousal with his wives, in which he was jeeringly invited to join.

Forgetting his disgrace and his loss of the right to condemn for sins not so black as his own, the enraged young priest vigorously denounced them, and told the chief that he must marry one of the women according to the rites of the Church and put away the others, or be forever damned. The chief, equally enraged, ordered him out of the house. On his way home he met Katlewah, who reproached him because his religious teachings had not benefited Shakmut, who was as immoral as ever.

The end was now rapidly approaching. On September 29, less than a month after his arrival, he wrote : "The chief and his brother have both been here this morning and abused me shamefully. Their language I could not understand, but they spat in my face and, what was worse, upon the sacred images on the walls. Katlewah seized my vestments and carried them off, and I was left bleeding from a blow struck by an ivory club. Nikita has washed and bandaged my wounds ; but from his


anxious manner I can see that I am still in danger. The other boys have run away. My wound pains me so that I can scarcely - "

The rest is silence. Nikita, who escaped with Juvenal's journal and papers and delivered them to the revered and beloved Veniaminoff, relates that the young priest was here fallen upon and stabbed to death by his enemies.

Many different versions of this pathetic tragedy are given. I have chosen Bancroft's because he seems to have gone more deeply and painstakingly into the small details that add the touch of human interest than any other historian.

The vital interest of the story, however, lies in what no one has told, and what, therefore, no one but the romancer can ever tell.

It lies between the written lines ; it lies in the imagination of this austere young priest's remorseful suffering for his sin. There is no sign that he realized - too late, as usual - his first sin of intolerant criticism and condemnation of the sins of others. But neither did he spare him- self, nor shrink from the terrible results of his downfall, so unexpected in his lofty and almost flaunting virtue. He was ready, and eager, to chastise his flesh to atone for his sin; and probably only one who has spent a winter in Alaska could comprehend fully the hourly suffering that would result from a total renouncement of fuel for the long, dark period of winter.

Veniaminoff was of the opinion that the assassination was caused not so much by his preaching against polygamy as by the fact that the chiefs, having given him their children to educate at Kadiak, repented of their action, and being unable to recover them, turned against him and slew him as a deceiver, in their ignorance. During the fatal attack upon him, it is said, Juvenal never thought of flight or self-defence, but surrendered himself into their hands without resistance, asking only for mercy for his companions.