BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

From Yellowstone Park to Alaska Sessions, Francis C. (Francis Charles), 1820-1892 1890

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         From Yellowstone Park to
President of the Ohio Historical and Archaeological Society
Illustrated by C. H. WARREN
New York
We are indebted to Chas. N. McFee, Esq., of the
Northern Pacific Railroad, for the use of a few of the
illustrations from photographs.
The Publishers.COPYRIGHT 1890 BY WELCH, FRACKER COMPANY From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
OUR tour to Yellowstone Park and Alaska
commenced at St. Paul. We passed
through the beautiful country of Minnesota,
with its ten thousand lakes and picturesque
outlooks, and all along the road we saw the
best growing corn that we had seen anywhere, of rich green color, already tasseled
out, although it was but the twelfth of July.
There was great complaint of a want of rain
to save the spring wheat.
We passed through some of the largest
wheat farms in the world, one farm of fifty
thousand acres, the property of Mr. Dal-
rymple, interesting us particularly. It is a
great curiosity to see the reaping and binding
machines at work upon these immense farms.
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
Like the ranks of an advancing army, scores
abreast, they circle about, covering immense
tracts. Still it seems that there ought to be
some law preventing so great an amount of
our lands getting into the hands of such
monopolies, who do not endeavor to enrich the soil, but to work it to the last degree. Our small farmers hold a conservative
influence in our government, and such great
landholders are detrimental to our best
Bismarck, the capital of Dakota, is another
flourishing city of twelve to fifteen thousand
inhabitants, with its new State house and
many public buildings and stores. At Man-
dan, just across the Missouri River from Bismarck, is the terminus of the Missouri and
Dakota division of the Northern Pacific, and
is on the wrong side of the river to compete
successfully with Bismarck. Some Boston
gentlemen built a number of handsome brick
stores, which are liable to prove a bad investment, as they are not likely to be occupied.
The lignite coal beds crop out west of here,
and are of great value to Dakota and the
After passing many flourishing cities and
villages, we come soon on to what is called From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska
"Bad Lands," where we see the cattle upon
a thousand hills feeding upon dead grass,
which seems to nourish them, as they are fat
and sleek. The great drouth is likely to have
a serious effect on the cattle ranches this
Medora is named after the wife of the Marquis de Mores, a wealthy French nobleman,
who married an American lady, and has a
residence and large slaughtering pens here,
sending dressed meat east. His early experi-'
ence in stock raising was not a success, and,
to use the words of a ranchman, " He fooled
away millions of his wife's money, thinking
all he had to do was to stock the country and
let them run." Almost every town has its
daily papers, and here a cowboy came on to
the train to sell " The Bad Lands Cowboy" at
ten cents apiece. The publisher says in his
prospectus, " Price, two dollars a year. We
don't publish this for fun."
Montana is a great grazing country, and
has as great a reputation for its stock as
Dakota for its wheat. For many years, up to
eighteen eighty-one and eighty-two, inclusive,
this was the finest buffalo hunting country on
the continent ; but the slaughter that season
reached   two   hundred   and   fifty  thousand
fl 12      From Yellowstone Park to Ataska.
hides, and the buffalo is not seen any longer.
We noticed on the sides of the railroads rings
tramped on the ground, with a path around
them. We supposed them to be some Indian
relic, but were informed by a gentleman on
the train, who was an old buffalo hunter,
that when the cow is breeding, the bulls
tramp around her, guarding her with jealous care, and changing off with other bulls
from time to time until the calf can run about.
One new brick hotel has the name of
"Gladstone" prominent where all travelers
can see it, showing how popular the statesman is in the far West as well as throughout
the civilized world.
We were glad to get to Livingstone, where
we left for the Yellowstone country. The
town of Livingstone, although but three years
old, is flourishing and prosperous, with a
newspaper and a national bank, the latter in
the hands of a receiver, probably on account of
the high rates of interest for loans from one
and one-half to two per cent, per month, which
fact ought to break any bank. The thermometer here is at one hundred and nine degrees in the shade. This fact causes us to
hasten our journey to Yellowstone Park,
where there was eighteen inches of snow on   July   fifteenth,   and  the day  before it was
snowing on the mountains.
The railroad only runs to the Park, as the
government will not allow it to cross the
border of the Park reservation. It now runs
along the Yellowstone through the valley,
between mountains some three thousand feet
high, forming the lower canon. We soon
pass through a valley called Paradise, dotted
here and there with the comfortable houses
of the ranchmen. The high snow mountains soon come in view, "a panorama of
stately domes constantly unfolding a succession of the grandest pictures." We soon enter
the second canon, with a narrower gorge, the
sides rising almost perpendicularly over a
thousand feet high, the scene presented very
like some of the valleys of Switzerland. As
we passed Cinnabar Mountain, with its broad
strip of vermillion-colored rock, we come
upon what is called the Devil's Slide, with
walls hundreds of feet high, smooth and vertical, with bright red and brown interstreaked,
presenting a beautiful contrast of brilliant
colors. The heavy rains had swollen the Gardiner River, and heavy rocks had slid down,
rendering impassable in places the mountain
road.     Everywhere we see evidences of vol- jws^^ae
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
canic eruptions ; the scene grows grander as
we advance, and we begin to realize what
wonders are in store for us during a week's
stay in the Park. We see our first hot spring
beside the river, and our driver, a rather facetious character, observes " that he has often
caught trout in the river, and then thrown
his line over into the hot spring and cooked
them." This does not seem to be merely a
stage driver's hallucination, but is vouched
for by others. The prospect up the canon
was grand, indeed, but we soon were obliged
to leave the top of the stage on account of
the high wind, with forebodings of a cyclone.
From the hot springs is visible the white
formation which extends down the valley like
a series of grand waterfalls struck into marble, with exquisitely filagreed terraces, which
inspired us with a feeling of awe not unlike
that which we felt upon beholding Niagara
Falls for the first time. The terraces are fifteen hundred feet high, where we find beautiful pools, with scolloped edges, indented and
fretted like the most perfect corals.
On the top we find a broad plateau several acres in extent, with hot springs of every
description at hand. As the steaming water
trickles  from  edge to edge over the white
gay S^JW't&g? i
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
brims of these successions of natural vessels,
it presents a beautiful sight. Our attention
was called to one spring on the summit where
all the colors of the rainbow blended in most
exquisite harmony ; others more composite,
now turquoise blue, now red, now green and
yellow—colors given the water by the mineral
deposits beneath. We did not remain long,
as night was approaching, and climbing was
fatiguing. There are fourteen marvelous terraces from the top of which one can overlook them all; but the altitude is such as to
render breathing laborious.
The erevsers in Yellowstone Park are fre-
quently compared to the Te Tarata springs
of New Zealand, where the basins have the
same general form, but instead of being composed of calcereous material, are siliceous.
The Te Tarata covers an area of about twelve
acres, but the springs near Hierapolis resembling more these springs, though they are not
so extensive. Passing along the canon, we
soon come upon the middle or "bridal falls,"
described by some as of singular beauty
and grace ; but with our minds absorbed by
the unique beauty of the geysers, we scarcely
esteemed them worthy of especial notice.
The ride through  the  canon was especi- 16     From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
ally refreshing, the thermometer at sixty degrees instead of at one hundred and nine, as
on the Northern Pacific Railroad, a refreshing rain the night before adding freshness
and invigoration to the mountain air, and we
were exhilarated by the grand view of the
mountains and lakes, coming every little while
upon a beautiful open park, covered with
flowers, whose green lawns were quite in contrast with the charred and blackened trees of
the lower valleys. Larkspur, columbine, the
hare-bell and the evening primrose grew
wild in beautiful profusion, and though they
claim that they have frosts every night, in
the morning the blossoms are uninjured.
We stopped for dinner at Norris' Geyser
Basin, quite in trim for the excellent dinner
of mountain trout and Rocky mountain sheep,
which was served us. Formerly the road
passed over the mountains three thousand
feet high, which required a day to ascend ;
but now we traveled over the road constructed by the government engineers, which passes
through the cafion of Gardiner river. We
met a large number of teams carrying lumber
and provisions, and the skill of the driver
was often taxed to the utmost in his endeavor
to pass them on the narrow road ; but the From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
drivers and teamsters are a happy lot, hailing
each other with a good word. At one place
where we came into collision, the teamster
hailed our driver: "We will go into camp if
we cannot pass." To which our driver replied : " Well, we'll have lots of water, wood
and grass."
Our driver pointed out to us a herd of antelope, beautiful creatures, feeding in a meadow
in the distance. Bears we did not see, and
indeed very little large game. We stopped
to take a drink from a lemonade spring, only
wanting the sugar to make it very palatable.
So many of the springs contain poisonous
substances, that although the water looks
limpid and clear, it is not safe to partake
unless a sign is there denoting that the water
has been subjected to chemical analysis.
Along Beaver Lake, which was formed by
the dams of the beavers, it is said, are the
obsidian or volcanic glass cliffs, a species of
lava, I doubt not, some two hundred feet
high. Colonel Norris, late superintendent of
the Park, found that he could not break the
rocks by blasting, and being obliged to construct a road through them, built huge fires
in the fissures, and when thoroughly heated,
threw water upon them so as to fracture them. 18      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
We soon came to the Divide, and the beautiful " Lake of the Woods" by the roadside,
where we see our first geyser. At the lower
geyser basin is the famous fountain, which
we were fortunate in seeing in motion, throwing the hot water fifty feet high, resembling
some of the larger fountains in Versailles.
It gave us warning by its rumble and roar,
and we advanced cautiously. The springs
and paint-pots are beautiful, indeed, the latter curiously named, of various colors, black,
yellow, green, etc., that blubber away like an
old-fashioned pudding pot of my boyhood's
remembrance. One pool is fully twenty-five
feet across, and looks like an enormous tub of
white lead. We pass the Mammoth Geyser
Basin, quite secluded in the wild wood, with
here and there geysers that throw up water
red as blood, others blue as turquoise, and
others of mud. We ride along the cation of
the Gibbon river until we come to the Falls of
the Gibbon, but we do not delay long here.
Some stages come at the forks of the Firdhole
river, from the Salt Lake City route, coming
from the Union Pacific by the Utah Northern ;
but they are obliged to ride over a hundred
miles by stage, entering the Park at the
wrong place, when we had only six miles to
esteifcsa^s From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
drive to the Park by way of the Northern
We come, after riding with springs and
geysers in view in every direction, to "Hell's
Half. Acre," where is the largest geyser in the
world, the famous Excelsior. Colonel Norris
says that in eighteen hundred and eighty it
showed its full power, elevating sufficient
water to the height of from one hundred to
three hundred feet to make the Firehole river
a foaming torrent of steaming hot water,
hurling rocks of ponderous weight like those
thrown from an exploded mine, over the surrounding country. A telegram was received
from the manager of the Yellowstone National
Park Hotel, saying that there were strong indications yesterday that the great geyser on
" Hell's Half Acre," is about to erupt. Strong
convulsions were felt in the morning, shaking
the houses at the fails, and on the upper and
lower basins. Crockery and glassware were
thrown from the shelves, and windows were
broken. There is considerable apprehension
that if there is an eruption, much damage will
be done to the Park. We were disappointed
not to see this remarkable geyser in one
of its violent eruptions. It is too choice of its
powers and, it is said, only plays when gen- 20
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
erals or presidents come to see it. The
grand prismatic spring, with its beautiful
tints of yellow, orange, red and green, repaid
us well for the disappointment in not seeing
the Excelsior in fuller eruption. Certainly
this spring, revealing to us its many beautiful colors as through a perfect prism, is one
of the most beautiful objects we have seen.
The Firehole river, fed by numerous hot
streams, from every direction, is certainly
rightly named. We were weary enough
after this fifty-two mile ride, with our minds
and eyes continually on the stretch to take in
the wonders about us, and were glad to come
in view of the hotel, overlooking the upper
basin. Early in the morning we were called
up to see the " Old Faithful" display, as it
never fails, while the others cannot be relied
upon. There is a long piazza extending
around the hotel, and visitors sit and watch
the geysers from this pleasant point of view.
" The Castle," " The Bee Hive," " The Giant>
ess," "The Saw Mill," "The Grand," "The
Giant," and many others display successively
their marvelous beauties, and from point to
point the visitors rush to see the sights.
There are some four hundred hot springs
and twenty-six geysers here.    The names are
x»*g*«fr*r» GIANT GEYSER, YELLOWSTONE PARK.  From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
given them from some peculiarity of natural
construction, " Old Faithful," so named, no
doubt, because it never fails at the appointed
time of eruption. It is, perhaps, only a
question of time when all these geysers will
cease to erupt. When such a misfortune
occurs it will take away one of the grandest
attractions of the Park, although the magnificent scenery, the grand canons, and the lakes
and falls will remain forever. The upper
geyser basin is about four miles square. The
Firehole river runs through it, with forests
and high mountains on either side. The formation is white, and the vast areas look like
marble quarries, with steam and high eruptions issuing from the crevices. An Englishman, who was rather disappointed with
America and its beauties evidently, was compelled to admit that these geysers were
worthy a pilgrimage from England ; but
when his attention was called to the numerous hot springs, he could see no interest in
them. He was greatly exercised because
some ambitious young men had cut their
names at the very base of " Old Faithful." He raised his voice, and, in a gruff
tone, said: " It is most extraordinary,
sir;   most   extraordinary."    A  wag   in   the
£ ill.'
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
party replied : " Why, sir, I have seen the
names of Lord Byron and Von Humboldt
cut high on the Pyramids of Egypt! "—"A
most extraordinary statement, sir ; it cannot be true." According to his notion we
have nothing here in America equal to Europe, with the exception of Niagara Falls,
and the best view of them is from the Canada side.
We visited all the geysers, one by one. The
natives do their washing in some of them,
the linen coming out clean, but much the
worse for wear, we fear. The " Bee Hive" is
well named, resembling the thing with exactness. Even so the " Lion," the " Lioness
and Two Cubs " resemble the living things
in appearance, as from the continual growling which they keep up. " The Saw Mill "
geyser should be called the " Rocket," as it
resembles one in motion, though the noise is
very like a saw mill. Each geyser exhibits its
own graceful peculiarities, and no human
hands could arrange jets to give a greater
variety and beauty to the grand display.
We particularly enjoyed visiting the geysers with a party of scientists sent out by
the Northern Pacific Railway to examine the
springs with regard to their medicinal quali- From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
ties. The observations and discussions with
an old traveler of our party, who is also
something of a philosopher as well as a
scientist, were highly interesting and instructive. Our first call was upon " Old Faithful,"
whose terrible rumbling was heard from a
distance, and whose wonderful gush of water
shot up at least one hundred and fifty feet,
or higher, I suppose, than the spires of some
of our city churches. As the wind drove
away the steam from the boiling hot water,
which stood in a solid column, we gazed in
wonder on the- grandeur which words failed
to express. Our driver gave us an interesting
story, which, of course, we were all expected
to believe. In the winter, he says " that they
place a toboggan over ' Old Faithful' geyser,
and when there is an eruption it carries them
to the height of one hundred and fifty feet,
the stream freezes to ice, and they ride down
and off into the country for miles." We
spent the day in wonder and surprise, seated
in the shade, theorizing upon the causes of
these eruptions.' They are not volcanic, but
the result of chemical combinations, and
probably extend all over the country as far
as the hot springs of California. Some say
that the geysers are failing in their power,
I 24      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
and it is predicted that they will soon become extinct; but they will probably break
out in new places.
The area of Yellowstone Park is over two
million of acres. Its surface is, in a large
part, rolling, with several groups and short
ranges of mountains diversifying it. In the
eastern part, extending its whole length, and
forming the watershed between the Yellowstone and the Biglow, stand the rugged volcanic peaks of the Yellowstone Range. Nearly
all the Park is covered with a dense growth
of magnificent fine timber ; indeed, west of
the one hundredth meridian there is no area
so densely timbered, with the exception of
Washington, now a state. The mean elevation
of the Park above sea level is between seven
and eight thousand feet, which implies too
cold a climate to admit of agriculture, except in certain very limited localities. It is
safe to say that not more than one per cent,
of this ever can, by any possibility, be used
for agricultural purposes. Except along the
northern border, grazing land exists only in
small patches of a few acres each. There are
not, so far as known, any mines or mineral
deposits within the Park.
During the months of June, July and Au- Prom  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
gust the climate is pure and most invigorating, with scarcely any rain or storms of
an)' kind ; but the thermometer frequently
sinks as low as twenty-six degrees. There
is frost every month in the year.
All through the Park are numerous hot
springs, which are adorned with decorations
more beautiful than human art ever conceived, and which have required thousands
of years for the cunning hand of nature to
Congress acted promptly on the recommendation of Dr. F. V. Hayden, United
States Geologist, who explored this region,
relative to this reservation for a National
Park, in eighteen seventy-one and eighteen
seventy-two. It would not have been possible
at any subsequent period to have reserved it,
for it would have been taken possession of
under the preemption laws of the United
States. To Dr. Hayden are we indebted for
this grand National Park, which will be
visited more and more by our own people
and by travelers from distant parts of the
world to see the geysers and the grandest
scenery in the world.
The greater part of the surface of the Park
consists of high rolling plateaus, broken by
■M m
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
stream beds, cliffs and canons. Several small
groups of mountains diversify the surface ;
among them the Red Mountains in the
southern part, rising seven thousand feet
above the general level, or more than ten
thousand feet above the sea ; and the Washburn group near the middle of the Park. The
eastern border of the Park is occupied by a
high rugged range, to which has long been
attached the name of Yellowstone Range.
Index Peak, the highest measured in this
range, exceeds eleven thousand seven hundred feet in height. In the northeastern
corner of the Park is the southern extremity
of the Gallatin Ranee, culminating: in Elec-
trie Peak, a magnificent summit, eleven
thousand one hundred and thirty-five feet
above the sea; which overlooks almost the
whole Park.
There are several lakes, the Yellowstone,
Shoshone, Lewis and Heart. The shores of
the Yellowstone Lake are generally flat, and
timber-covered meadows occur at rare intervals. From the summit of Mount Washburn
we have a grand comprehensive view of the
Grand Canon. The apparently bottomless
gorge may be traced from its head, at the
Great Falls to Junction Valley, a distance of
W*& From  Yellowstone Park to A task
nearly twenty miles. The depth of the canon
is from eight hundred to one thousand two
hundred feet, and the width is almost as uniform as' the depth. The cation is without
doubt entirely one erosion, and has been cut
by the waters of the Yellowstone river since
the flow of the Thyrolites, and probably very
greatly since the conglomerate forming era.
The Yellowstone rushes down from the Great
Falls, forming one of the wildest torrents that
the world can show.
There are glaciers in the neighborhood of
the Teton Mountains, at elevations much
below twelve thousand feet, and in the midst
of glacial times descended in immense sheets
to four thousand and five thousand feet. It
would, therefore, be a matter of surprise if
traces of glaciers were not found here, not
only in the high valleys, but upon surfaces
■of the broad plateaus of the Park.
John Coulter was the first white man who
ever saw any of the springs or geysers in this
wonderful region. He was connected with
Lewis and Clark's expedition, and on their
return, in eighteen hundred and six, left the
expedition to go back to the headwaters of
the Missouri to trap and hunt. After a narrow escape from the Black-feet Indians, he m.
lived for some time with the Bannock Indians,
who ranged through the country in which
the Park is located. In eighteen hundred
and ten he returned to St. Louis, and told
wonderful tales of the region, which were not
believed. " Coulter's Hell" was the term
afterwards applied to the region by the hunters and trappers who heard of it from him,
but had never been there. As far back as
eighteen hundred and forty-four, James
Bridger, one of the best and most noted of
Rocky Mountain guides, is said to have described some of the wonderful springs and geysers, but his stories were supposed to be made
out of whole cloth, and, although it is said,
he endeavored to get some of the western
newspaper men to publish some of his tales,
they were so marvelous that no one would do
it. Bridger, in one of his recitals, described
an immense boiling spring, that is a perfect
counterpart of the geysers of Iceland. As he
was uneducated, and probably had never
heard of the existence of such natural marvels
elsewhere, there is no doubt but that he spoke
of what he had actually seen. In eighteen
hundred and seventy the Washburn party
explored the region, and two of its number
described its wonders in magazine articles.  OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER, YELLOWSTONE PARK From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.       £§
DURING the summers of eighteen hundred and seventy-one and seventy-two,
the geological survey of the territories, under
Dr. Hayden, made their explorations of the
Park, and gave the world the first scientific account of the region. Within the limits of the
Park are the sources of two of our largest
rivers, viz., the Missouri and Columbia.
We have had a great desire to visit the
wonderful country, which was put down in
our earlier geography as " Unexplored Country," ever since we read Dr. Hayden's report
of his explorations of the Yellowstone in eighteen hundred and seventy or seventy-two,
published by Congress, and sent us by Hon.
S. S. Cox, then our representative in Congress. Through Dr. Hayden's influence this
country was devoted by Congress, in eighteen
hundred and seventy-two, to the purposes of
a   National  Park, under the control of the
J 30      From Yellowstone Park to Alaska..
Secretary of the Interior, represented by a
superintendent, whom we met at Mammoth
Hot Springs, and who kindly aided us by
offering to give us letters to his assistants on
our route, to assist us through the Park. His
men protect and carry out the law of Congress, which forbids the destruction, defacing
or removal of any natural object of interest,
however small; and who protect the game,
any violation being punished by a fine or imprisonment, or both. To avoid trouble, not
the least formation or petrifaction should be
The name, " Yellowstone Park," does not
seem an appropriate one to us, and many
persons get a wrong impression of this country by the name Park. It is fifty-five miles
long and sixty-five miles wide, and contains
three thousand five hundred and seventy-five
square miles, and is nearly as large as the
State of Connecticut, situated in the heart of
the Rocky Mountains, about one thousand
miles from St. Paul on the east, and about
the same from Portland, Ore., on the west.
It is in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana Territories, nearly in the north-western part of the
first named.
Our ride from the Upper Geysers was a
Jf^^lH^ most enjoyable one. We were obliged to return to the Lower Geyser basin and take a
temporary road across the country. We pass
over a diversified country, with picturesque
mountain scenery, ascending the hills by
a rough road of ten miles. At the top
of the mountain we look back upon a grand
panorama of mountains and valleys overlooking the Yellowstone Lake and the
Yellowstone Park, and upon the Rocky Mountains, with the snow upon their tops. Not
often do you witness a grander view. We
come suddenly upon several small lakes,
nestling in among the evergreens. One is
called | Mary's Lake," which I admire on account of its being the name of the dearest
friend I have on earth. We soon see more
hot springs in the distance, and come to
Sulphur Lake, which smells strongly of brimstone. Alum Creek is one of the small streams
which flow into the Yellowstone, and out of
its banks come red-hot, hissing springs of
water, impregnated with alum, which gives it
a green color. We see scarcely any game on
the way, but one of the superintendents,
whom we have for a passenger, shows us
where a herd of elks had to be driven from
the road so that the wagon could pass ; and 32      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
last spring when they were building the road
near the obsidian cliffs, the snow was so deep
that they had to take their men away.
They left one man to guard their provisions
in a tent. At night two bears paid him a
visit, and he climbed up the pole of the tent,
cut a hole in the top and caught hold of the
limb of a tree, from where he saw the bears
helping themselves to the hams, etc. In the
morning they departed. Before night he
expected their return and climbed a tree,
and surely enough they came. He shot one,
and in the morning was glad enough to
return to his companions, telling them that
he did not care to watch any longer, and
finally told them the reason. They returned
the next day and hunted the other bear until
they shot him.
As we pass the divide we go down the
mountain and come out upon beautiful parks,
interspersed with green fir trees and covered
with beautiful flowers and green grass, as
handsome as if laid out by a landscape gardener. We saw some of the most beautiful
Norway spruce trees we had ever seen, except
in Norway.
We see Sulphur Mountains in the distance,
and are told pure sulphur could be got from From  Yelloivstone Park to Alaska.       33
them in great quantities, which shows itself
in heaps of bright yellow crystals. We soon
come upon the Yellowstone River, swiftly
running to the canon, with its clear, limpid
water. A storm has been threatening us, and
all at once we had use for our rubber overgarments, as there was no cover to the wagon,
and great hailstones were rained upon us
with too much force for our comfort, and we
lose somewhat the view of the rapids in the
approach of the upper falls of the Yellowstone. The scenery is grand, but we are
glad to get to the temporary hotel, and dry
ourselves by the warm stove and get a good
dinner. We start out at once for the lower
falls, through the mud, to get a view, and are
well paid. Determined to get up at five
o'clock in the morning and see the falls and
the Yellowstone grand canon, we get a good
night's sleep, with plenty of blankets over us,
and are ready with Mrs. S. for a six-mile
tramp. We were fortunate in providing ourselves with patent mosquito net galashes, as
the mosquitoes and flies were terrible—the
largest we ever saw, and terribly in earnest.
Some one told us that there were seventeen
different kinds of flies in the Park, and that
" many of them1 weighed a pound." '■£'•; ;;>,:	
34      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
We reach, with difficulty, " Lookout Point,"
and are disappointed at the view on account
of the fog. We wait, amusing ourselves at
throwing stones at the eagle's nest, full..of
young eagles, which the old ones are guarding, and giving us warning by their screeches
and cries. It is on a high tower by the side
of the canon, in just such a place as you
would expect an eagle's nest. Soon we are
delighted to see the sun disperse the fog, and
a grand scene commands our view. We look
in one direction, and the sun shines upon the
grand canon, with its different colored sides,
many hued, bright and shining, as the sun
shows himself upon them through the fog.
The Arkansas canon was splendid, but lacks
the bright-colored sides of the rocks which
reveal a different color as you pass the eye
down the canon, one thousand to one thousand two hundred feet deep, and the same
size across the top, with the little stream of
the Yellowstone, as it looks to us, which
comes dashing down from the lower falls.
We turn to the right, and see the falls of the
Yellowstone, about three hundred and fifty
feet high. We are on a precipice, and we
grow dizzy as we cast our eyes down, and my
wife cautions me to step back ; but having a From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
steady head, I do not fear, as I am entranced
by the view of so many colors, like the colors
of the rainbow. On the summit of the canon
we see in the distance projecting rocks looking like some old castles on the Rhine, one
especially like Heidelberg Castle, another like
a pulpit, with the preacher in earnest delivering his sermon. We look in wonder, and regret to leave ; and, as we return, step out
upon the projections and cliffs on the way to
get different views of the grand cation and
falls. It is delightful to walk up and down
the trail beside the canon, which is twenty
miles long. We are higher than Mt. Washington, and the air is so clarified that it is difficult to breathe, and we cannot walk rapidly
without resting. After rain, the air is cool
and invigorating, and a six-mile tramp gives
us a good appetite. We are disappointed in
not finding upon the table some of the mountain trout, which are so plenty in the Yellowstone. One of the boys stopping at the hotel
in a few minutes caught a string of twenty-
five to thirty, and the cook gave us what
remained after their meal. Here they give
us ham, salt meat, etc., when we all would
like so much better the trout, which can be
had so readily.    We take another look at the 36      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
upper falls, which are not so high as the lower
falls. It falls one hundred and fifty feet,«and
cannot be painted from its peculiar scenery
and associations. It is more picturesque and
beautiful than the lower. These falls add
great beauty to the scene. Either the canon
or the falls alone would be grand, but
when seen together make one of the most
charming, awe-inspiring scenes in the world,
and I have to yield my often expressed opinion that the " Yosemite Valley " stood out in
all its glory beyond anything else in nature
as God's grandest display of overpowering
grandeur and inexpressible beauty. But these
equal it, although it is difficult to compare
them with the Yosemite ; both are beyond
human description. All the descriptions I
have read do not begin to equal the real sight
to a lover of the sublime. There is nothing: in
the wide world like these two scenes. Not Niagara Falls, which plunges from only half the
height of these falls, although the volume of
water is far greater, but it lacks the surroundings to give it the highest place among those
glorious works which God has made for his
people to wonder at and think of His almighty power. We leave here with regret,
and   take  our  wagon   fourteen   miles   in   a O MM
Mi From  Yellowstone Park to Alaskt
new road cut through the pine forests, just
wide enough to go' pass, and when we
met a wagon we were obliged to get out and
cut down trees to let it turn out for us. Our
ride is to Norris' Basin. On the way we get
a view of Mount Washburn and some of the
mountains near the lake. We did not visit
the lake, as there is no steamer there from
which we could see its beauty, and we are
told that it does not equal Lake George or
Como, and next year the Park Association expects to have a road there, a steamboat on
the lake, and a hotel. The mountains are not
equal to those of Switzerland, but, altogether, where in the wide world can anyone
see such geysers, hot springs, canons, falls,
lakes, mountains and picturesque scenery?
Our government ought to appropriate sufficient to make good roads, and give such protection worthy of so grand a reservation, so
that all can enjoy it.
We met our friend, the grumbling Englishman, who complains "that this is not a
park, and that there is nothing here worth
notice but the geysers and canons." He
asked me : " Who gave those stupid names
to the geysers ? " I replied that I thought that
they derived their names from some peculiar i
38      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
appearance connected with each one. I
asked him: " What do you think of Yellowstone Lake ? " He said: " I did not visit it.
The lake was nothing but a body of water
surrounded by land, which one could see
anywhere without coming so far." This is a
grand lake, with numerous mountains around
it, each near eleven thousand feet high, and
three more, each about ten thousand feet
high, besides, in the Park twenty-five others
quite high. Yet these mountains and lakes
are nothing to our Englishman, and he was
terribly disappointed that the geysers did not
all go off for his benefit. We did not have
time to visit the Hoodoo Mountains, which
are east of the Park, on account of our
steamer sailing from Puget Sound on the
twenty-sixth. Those who have visited these
mountains say that they are of great altitude,
very wild and difficult of access, and full of
petrified forests and Rocky Mountain sheep.
We will have to wait visiting this country
until another time. From the protection
given the wild animals and birds in the Park
by the government, the Park must eventually
be full of elk, antelope, big horn sheep,
foxes, coyotes, badgers, otter, beaver, mink,
rabbit, squirrels, etc.     We saw but few, as at  40      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska,
OUR return from the tour of the Yellowstone Park was devoid of interest, and we
were glad to get a good rest at the Mammoth
Hot Springs Hotel, where we found letters
and papers waiting us from home. We return to Livingstone and continue our journey
on the splendidly equipped cars of the
Northern Pacific Railroad, with its elegant
buffet cars, where one can get as good
a meal as at most hotels, and at reasonable
rates. The road is so smooth, but little motion
is observed, and the ride is a pleasant one,
except in this hot, dry, dusty season.
We found it much more comfortable at
home, when we expected as we got further
north to find cooler weather. West of Livingstone the scenery is much more interesting than east. We come to Gallatin, where the
rivers Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin come t%3
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaski
into one channel, forming the Missouri river.
The scenery here is grand, as the waters pass
through the wild and rocky canon ; and here
begins the Missouri river, the greatest in the
United States, nearly four thousand five hundred miles long. We soon come to Helena, the
capital of Montana, where we are met at the
depot by Rev. Frank D. Kelsey and family.
The Rev. Mr. Kelsey is pastor of a prominent church here, the Congregational, and is
highly spoken of as a successful, able minister. One of the millionaire cattle dealers
here said : " They did not need any ministers
here, but it was a good place for Mr. Kelsey's
promising boys." Helena is said to be one of
the wealthiest places, pro rata, in the United
States. There are five or six millionaires,
and we were shown several private residences
costing from forty thousand to sixty thousand dollars. Even some of the ministers
take a hand in mining stocks. One made one
thousand five hundred dollars, and was so
elated that he put his own and his wife's
money on a venture, and lost it all. Helena
has a population of ten thousand. It is near
some of the best gold and silver mines
in the country ; within twenty-five miles
there  is  said   to  be three thousand  quartz From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
mines. One mine was sold lately to English
capitalists for one million five hundred thousand dollars. This territory is as valuable
and noted for its grazing lands as Dakota for
its wheat lands, and many fortunes have been
made in the cattle business ; as many millionaires have made their fortunes in the latter
business as by mining. Mr. Kelsey pointed
out an old mine where gold to the value of
thirty million dollars had been taken out.
We pass through the Flathead Indian
reservation for many miles and see the
Indians at the stations, some of the babes
with a board pressed to the top of the head to
flatten it. We pass some beautiful lakes, and
are glad to ride along a rapid river, called
Clark's Forks. The scenery is quite in contrast with the dry fields covered with sage
bush, and this river is an oasis in this barren-
looking country, and the scenery is quite picturesque as we wind along the stream. We
stop at Spokane Falls, the first town of importance on the road in Washington, on a
river of the same name, with splendid water
power, and a thriving, growing city. It had
more the appearance of life and energy, judging by the business about the station and in
the distance, than any place we have  seen.
^mM From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.       43
In Italy at the stations our car conductors
give us five notes of warning before leaving
the station, but on this road they do not seem
to give one, and one of the ladies, formerly
a citizen of Columbus, now of New York, was
left, and we had great difficulty to get the
conductor to stop the train for her. By
being threatened and cajoled, he stopped, but
would not run back to the station, and we
were glad to see a dog-cart driven by a young
lady, whom we had seen drive up to the station
with two other young, handsome-looking
girls, evidently to take a look at the people in
the cars as they passed ; when the one driving
saw our lady friend had been, left behind, she
said : " Girls, get out, quick," and politely
offered her services to overtake the train,
which was accepted, and we were glad to see
them coming with all speed. A five dollar
bill was offered her for her kind deed,
but she declined to take it, with a vigorous
shake of the head. We gave the young lady
in the dog-cart three cheers, which made the
welkin ring.
We leave the cars early next morning at
" The Dalles," to take steamer for Portland,
which is one hundred and ten miles distant
by river.    We are delighted to get   "where 44      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
rolls the Oregon." The Columbia river is
noted for its grand scenery, and our expectations are more than realized. It is navigable
over seven hundred miles. " The Dalles " is
a beautiful town, with many home-like residences, with well-kept grounds. From here
a large amount of fruit is shipped east. Columbia river is full of salmon, and they have a
sort of patent floating fish-wheel which scoops
them up in great numbers. They say " one
fisherman caught so large a quantity that he
could not dispose of them, and had to haul
five tons on to his fields for compost." We
saw some salmon weighing from thirty to
fifty pounds, which were selling at two cents
per pound. The scenery going down the
river is grand, and as the river changes we
come suddenly upon something new to attract
our attention. In the middle of the river is
an island used by the Indians to bury their
dead. They build huts, into which they
throw their dead bodies, and when full, build
We ride about fifty miles and take cars
around the Cascades, six miles, and then take
another steamer fifty-five miles down the
river. Our attention is soon called to a grand
old snow-covered mountain as it lifts its peak   xscwTr*,
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
high above the river. It is Mount Hood,
eleven thousand two hundred and twenty-
five feet high, and we see it all the way to
Portland, together with Mount Adams and
Mount St. Helens, all the same height, looking so grandly, covered with snow-white glaciers, and we occasionally see beautiful waterfalls. We were glad at Portland to get an oil
painting by a celebrated local artist of Mount
Hood and Muttnowah and Latourelle Falls.
We pass old Fort Vancouver. Now there is
a thriving village here and large military barracks station. We soon leave the beautiful
Columbia river, which goes on to the Pacific
ocean, and come upon the Williamette river,
whose scenery is not so grand, but picturesque and beautiful. In the distance we see
Portland, situated upon rising ground from
the river, which gives a good view of ,the
beautiful High School building, costing one
hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars,
and of many of the costly private dwellings
located upon the hill-side. Crowning all is a
most picturesque park, with its pine and fir
trees and deep ravine and glades, a spot which
nature has adorned in its most generous way
for such a purpose. Portland is a handsome
city,  with  more  fine stone blocks of stores From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
than any city of its size we have ever seen.
The city has about sixty thousand population
and has a business-like appearance, and, it is
said, there are fifteen or twenty millionaires
here. On a clear day you can see from the
park five or six snow-crowned mountains.
Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Adams, St.
Helens and Tacoma. No more grand mountains can be seen anywhere. They seem to
start out by themselves and invite you to gaze
upon them, and you never tire of the sight.
Portland is one hundred miles from the Pacific ocean, and some predict that Tacoma, on
Puget Sound, will be the great city of the
Pacific coast, when Alaska shall have developed her great resources.
We stop here to spend the Sabbath, expecting to take steamer for Port Townsend, opposite Victoria, British Columbia, on the San
Juan de Fuca Strait, and from there the
steamer Idaho for Alaska. Tacoma is a
growing city, with a first-class hotel, costing two hundred thousand dollars, a fine
building erected by the Board of Trade. Indeed, I have never seen outside the great
cities their equal. Three hundred and fifty
thousand dollars was spent here last year for
water-works, and with its fine Episcopal semi- nary for young ladies, costing two hundred
thousand dollars, its public school buildings
and college, and its location at the terminus
of the Northern Pacific Railroad, its excellent
harbor, where the largest ocean vessels can
ride, has a great future before it, and may become a great city.
As we sat on the veranda of the Tacoma,
our attention was called to a grand sight of a
snow mountain, lifting its tall peak through
the smoky sky, and surprised us with its
lofty grandeur and beauty. It was Mount
Tacoma, fourteen thousand four hundred
and forty-four feet high. We have seen no
such mountain in America, and it reminds us
of Mount Blanc as we saw it when the clouds
suddenly lifted above it and revealed it in all
its glory and majesty. Fifteen glaciers are
said to be on it, and a visit to it is worth the
journey of three thousand miles. Our Englishman softened a good deal as we sat together and gazed upon the scene. He said,
with enthusiasm, " That is worth a 'ourney
from London to see ! " b M
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
TACOMA is beautifully located on an arm
of Puget Sound. We rode about the
city, and were delighted with the many handsome homes, surrounded with vines and
flowers. We never saw more beautiful roses
and honeysuckles, running in great profusion
over the verandas and porches of the houses.
The climate is never very cold, but extremely
wet in the winter. The lumber trade is an
important branch of industry, and one
saw-mill can cut two hundred and forty^
thousand feet of boards in one day—perhaps
the largfest lumber-mill in the United States.
The whole city is well laid out on rising
ground overlooking Puget Sound, and in the
distance Mount Tacoma. This grand old
mountain on one side, and Puget Sound on
the other, give splendid scenery. There is
quite a contest between the people of Tacoma
and some of the rival towns in regard to the From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
name which the mountain should bear. On
our way from Portland we came- in view of
a mountain which they called Rainier. I
never had heard of the name, and asked,
" When we should see Mount Tacoma ? " No
answer was given. It seems the other towns
who claim an interest in the grand old mountain, and are jealous of Tacoma, prefer
Rainier, after an old French navigator. The
Tacoma people claim that Tacoma is the old
Indian name, and means " soaring toward
heaven." Many of the towns and rivers
retain their Indian names, which are more
appropriate than any high-sounding name
of old cities and towns.
There are few points on the American continent that can rival Oregon for grand and imposing scenery. The lofty peak of Mount
Hood, like a magnificent Egyptian pyramid
sheeted in snow, and set upon an immense
green wall, is the most beautiful mountain on
the Pacific coast, if symmetry of form be
regarded as an element in beauty ; and in
height and massiveness it is surpassed only
by Mount Tacoma, fourteen thousand, four
hundred and forty-four feet high. The great
sugar loaf of Mount Saint Helena, though
on   the  Washington   side  of  the Columbia 5°
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
River, belongs to the scenery of Oregon, as
well as that of the neighboring territory,
and so does Mount Adams. All three of
these glittering peaks, as well as the summit
of Mount Tacoma far in the north, and of
Jefferson on the southern horizon, we saw
from the beautiful park rising above Portland on the south. The lower peaks and
ranges of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, and the California and Siskiyou Mountains in southern Oregon, present to the eye -
a thousand pleasing outlines.
In the grandeur of its shores the Columbia
ranks first of American rivers. Its current
is as impetuous as that of the Mississippi;
its mountain walls and palisades are far
loftier than those of the Hudson ; cataracts
like those of the Yosemite Valley dash over
its basaltic cliffs. The Maltnomah Falls,
Columbia River, are nine hundred feet high,
and the Gatouroll Falls are equal to Yosemite or Nevada Falls. We took steamer at
the Dalles, where the Columbia buries itself
in a profound crevice, whose depth has never
been fathomed, showing of its surface only
as much as can be compassed by a stone's
throw ; at Astoria it becomes a broad tidal
estuary, whose farther shores lie in dim dis- From  Yellowstone Park to Alask
tance ; at the Cascades it is a foaming headlong torrent ; at the mouth of the Willamette it is a placid, lake, encircling many
green islands. The Williamette has an
emerald-green current, and flows between
gentle slopes, through farms and woodlands,
past orchards and pretty villages—a placid
and idyllic stream, save where it leaps down
forty feet in one bound at its falls, and makes
a small Niagara of white foam and rainbow-
tinted spray.
My time is too limited to tell you of the
beautiful city of Portland, with its picturesque park and cemetery overlooking the
surrounding country, with its snow-capped
mountains and the rivers in view. One can
see here all the grandeur and loveliness in
landscapes that mountains, rivers, valleys,
waterfalls, lakes and ocean can give, a combination of Switzerland, New England and
Norway. Washington possesses a great
multitude of harbors, perhaps more than
any other country of equal extent on
the globe. Puget Sound, which has an
average width of two miles, and a depth
never less than eight fathoms, runs one hundred miles ' inland. Captain Wilkes says :
" I venture   nothing  in   saying there   is  no
m 52      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
|! ■
country in the world that possesses water
equal to this."
We took steamer from Tacoma for Port
Townsend, across Puget Sound, where we
took the steamer Idaho for Alaska. Tacoma
is a delightful city, with a splendid harbor,
and no doubt when the Northern Pacific
Railroad finish their road from Pasco on the
main line, a distance of two hundred and
forty miles to Tacoma, on Puget Sound, and
all their shops are removed here, with their
great interest in Tacoma's prosperity, this
will be one of the large cities on Puget Sound.
When the lumber interests shall fail in
Michigan and Wisconsin, as they will at no
far distant day, this great country can supply the country for many years, and Michigan lumber dealers are already investing
largely in forest lands on Puget Sound. A
great city is to arise on these shores, and
Tacoma, Port Townsend, and Seattle are
each claiming that there are special reasons
why it should be the great city of the future.
We remained two days at Port Townsend,
and were delighted with the place and its
commercial advantages. It is the port of
entry for the Puget Sound district, and has
a  large  trade  with vessels   coming  in and
aw From  Yellowstone Park to Alask
with the islands on the sound. After breakfast we took a stroll through the town, and
were surprised at its large and beautiful
stores and fine stone building occupied by
the First National Bank. We then walked
up the long steps leading to the residences,
and had a fine view of the harbor, and the
Olympian on the right and Cascade Snow
Mountains on the left, with Mount Rainier
and Mount Adams towering above them all
in majestic glory. The citizens of Tacoma
say that Tacoma is the original Indian name,
and that Rainier was a drunken Frenchman,
who had charge of a company of marines on
the ship commanded by Vancouver, the
great navigator, who discovered this region,
and gave his name to Vancouver Island.
Puget was mate on the vessel, and from him
came the name Puget Sound.
Fort Townsend is in full view across the
bay. We were met by the health officer of
the port, Doctor Minkler, formerly of Ober-
lin, Ohio, and when he learned we were from
Ohio, we were no longer strangers, but taken
to his home to dine, and driven in his carriage about the place, which is on a high eminence, from which you can see Seattle and
Victoria,    the   latter   in   British Columbia, Pi
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
across the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, forty
miles way. We never saw better corn, potatoes, fruit and vegetables than here. One
man, on about three hundred square feet of
ground, had raised enough in five or six years
to pay for the ground, a good house and outbuildings, and the living of his family. His
fruit—cherries, pears, apples and small
fruits—and his vegetables were splendid. He
raised strawberries, fourteen of which
weighed a pound. From this ground the fir
trees were cut, proving that the soil on which
grow this kind of trees produces as well as
any soil.
Seattle is an enterprising city of ten thousand population, and seems to have more life
than the other places here, and is building a
canal from the Sound to Lake Union, about
three miles, so that they can take vessels
from the Sound to a fresh-water lake, which
at once takes off the barnacles from the bottoms of the ships, saving a great expense of
cleaning them off. The place is noted for
the operations of a mob on the Chinese, who
attempted to drive them off, but were prevented by a police force made up of the best
citizens, including business men, clergymen
and other professional men.    One of the mob was killed and several wounded. The mob
finally raised two thousand dollars to pay
the fare of the Chinese to San Francisco, at
ten dollars per head. When the Judge of the
United States Court heard of the movement,
he directed all the Chinese to be brought before him, and told them " that all who chose
to go of their own free will could go; all
that chose to remain should be protected to
the extent of the law," and United States
soldiers were sent for to protect them. About
one-half remained. As a result, house servants and laundry work have doubled their
wages, and they would be glad to have them
Victoria, on Vancouver's Island, the capital of British Columbia, is a fine specimen of
an old English town, of about seven thousand five hundred population, with splendid
roads in every direction, which makes the
drives about the city a delight, together with
the well-kept home-like residences, embow-^
ered in honeysuckles, roses and other flowers,
which made the place look more like California, which is remarkable, considering it is in
latitude forty-eight degrees twenty-five minutes north ; about the same latitude as the
Straits of Labrador, or about five hundred
MJi   tfM'lT'*' 56      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
miles north of Columbus, Ohio. After waiting
two days for our steamer, the Idaho, we are
at last on our way to Alaska.
Our route to Alaska lies through an inland
passage all the way for about twelve hundred
miles, only passing out into the Pacific Ocean
a few hours. The scenery is much like that
of the coast of Norway and the Baltic and
Gulf of Finland, but more grand, with the
mountains on either side, covered with pine,
fir, hemlock, cedar and spruce, rising from
the shores to the height, in some places, of
from five to ten thousand feet, and all the
way snow-covered mountains, and waterfalls, with rivers from glaciers flowing many
miles to the sea. This inland passage extends to Chilkat, Alaska, for about twelve
hundred miles. There are numerous straits,
channels, sounds, inlets and rivers running
out in every direction, and every few miles
we come suddenly upon some fresh surprise
of sublime beauty of soene. At Wright's
Sound we can look in every direction, and see
bays and inlets coming.in through the mountains to a central point, rendering the scene
one of unusual grandeur. Our good steamer
moves along so quietly through the smooth
water that we can hardly realize that we are From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
in motion What a tour for rest for the
weary ! No telegrams, no borrowers, no
beggars, no bores, no mails, no newspapers
for many days. After passing Vancouver's
Island, the largest in this vicinity, and which
the British have not yet explored, we pass
through a large number of islands, those at
the right called San Juan Islands. We meet
at Nanimo, the coaling station, the steamer
Anchor, from Alaska, and in the beautiful
bay, when a cannon is fired, fourteen distinct
echoes are counted as they reverberate among
the mountains. We meet a number of canoes with Indians on their way probably to
Victoria ; when one of the ladies attempts
to turn the camera upon one of the canoes
with three Indian women, they paddle out of
the way as fast as possible. We sail up Naha
Bay and stop at Loring, to take on a quantity of barrels of salmon. There is a fishing
and packing establishment here, under the
direction of a Cincinnati man. He expects
to ship two thousand barrels of salmon this
summer. He caught and packed three thousand ; one hundred in one day ; and could
have caught five thousand, if he could have
packed them. The salmon cost him about
one   cent   apiece, averaging  eight   pounds
,I*vfl 58      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
each. There are a number of Indian men
and women at work washing and preparing them for salting, which is done rapidly, as if they were experts at the business.
The men receive one dollar and fifty cents
per day and the women one dollar. Anyone
who doubts the Indian's willingness to work
should see these industrious people. The
superintendent says he has more applicants
than he can employ.
We take a boat through the rapids to a
beautiful little lake, called Adorable Lake,
after Miss Dora Belle Miller, daughter of the
late Senator Miller, of Califonia, who visited
here last year. Our Captain, who is a Swede,
piloted our boat over the rapids and around
the lovely little lake to the falls of Naha
river, showing us the salmon traps across
the river. When the tide comes in they are
washed down the river, when it goes out the
passage-way is stopped up, and they are.
easily scooped up.
In the morning early we find ourselves at
Fort Wrangell, an old Indian town, formerly
the port to the Cassian mines, which are not
now worked, and only a few whites remain,
with a Presbyterian Missionary Station, with
one missionary,  Rev. Mr. Young, who has ■ • "   T illl—illil*
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
been here seven years, and has a church of
over fifty members, all Indians. Mr. Young
is Post-master also ; we were there on Sunday
and the missionary had to give up church
service to open the mail. There are public
schools, under the care of the Government,
and a training school, under the charge of
Mrs. Young, who is enthusiastic in her work,
and has just procured a team of horses for
the farm (the first ever here), by her efforts
among her friends in Portland. There is a
farm of fifteen hundred acres connected with
the station, raising potatoes, turnips, etc.
Mr. Young informed us that one thousand
acres could be cut with a mower. They
intend to demonstrate that there is good
soil in Alaska for farming purposes. Governor Swinford, Governor of Alaska, went on
shore with us, and added a free man to the
town, by freeing a slave. The Indians in
Alaska make slaves of their prisoners of war,
and also of the children who have lost their
parents, or when they can capture one.
This man who was freed was stolen from
Victoria when a boy of nine years ; his master had sent him with a canoe, gun and
blankets on some errand to his fishing-place,
and he escaped, and was overtaken by his
**■ v»
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
master at Wrangell. The Justice of the
Peace took the master prisoner, knowing the
Governor was coming, and this delightful-
Sunday morning he was given his emancipation papers, with the great seal of the Government attached, which the Indians always
respect; they gave him the canoe, gun and
blankets, and sent him free.about one thousand miles to Victoria, where he was captured so many years ago.
The Indians live in comfortable log houses
covered with boards. Some of them are
painted and are quite comfortable, setup on
piles, with only one room, with a raised/
platform on one side of the room for seats,
there are no chairs, but some bunks for
beds. In the center of the room the floor is
not laid and a fire is made, on which the salmon is roasted ; the house is full of smoke,
as there is no chimney, the smoke going out
of a hole in the roof of the house. The Indians were mostly away from their homes
on their summer fishing excursion, some of
them forty miles away on fishing claims
inherited from their fathers. They respect
the rights of others, and on no account will
they trespass upon the claims of others.
Some of our party tried to bargain with the Ifc>
ama  From  Yellowstone Park to Alask,
Indian women for the silver ornaments and
other curios. They are sharp at a bargain,
and when their price was accepted, they
wanted more, putting their fingers upon
their eyes, as much as to say, " do you see
anything green ?" One of the most curious
things which attracted our attention was the
curiously carved poles, from ten to fifty feet
high, in front of the more pretentious
houses. There are various interpretations
given to the curious devices carved upon the
poles. The eagle, the bear, the whale, the
crow, the raven, the frog and other animals
were carved. On one, a pole perhaps sixty
feet high, was a bear, with marks of his feet
from the bottom to the top. They venerate
these, and to cut one down or injure it is
sufficient cause for war. Over the grave of
a chief was a house of logs, and on the top
was a bear hewed out of a log ten feet long.
These Thlinket Indians have various interpretations of these heraldic monuments.
One will interpret one way and another another way ; anyway they say, " to make up a
big story to fool the white man." An Indian
gave me a drawing of one with various devices, with a dragon's head on the top, who
was trying  to settle a dispute between  two
m 62      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
families who had intermarried, and threatened to destroy both, if they did not become
reconciled. There are perhaps fifty of these
poles in the village, many of them showing
a good deal of artistic =. skill, and would do
credit to the artist as a wood carver. They
looked as if they had been made many years
We called on Judge Swan, an agent of the
Smithsonian Institution at Port Townsend,
and he gave us much valuable information in
regard to these Alaska Indians, their habits,
customs, etc. In front of his office the Indians erected a long pole, and placed on the
top a swan, an emblem of peace, which
answers also for a sign. They did it as a regard for his services in settling some 'dispute
between two tribes, and averting a war.
Judge Swan* read to us his report to the
Smithsonian Institution at Washington, giving his reasons why these Indians of Alaska
were descended from Aztecs of Mexico, and
are not Mongolian, as some claim, on account of some representations on the totem
poles, of long conical hats like the Chinese,
and say they came here by Behrings Straits
from China. Some of the Indian girls were
quite   pretty.    They  are   shorter   than   the From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.       63
North American Indians, with round faces,
and look more like the Laplanders. The
Indians used to make great feasts, and on
such occasions released or killed six or seven
of their slaves, and almost impoverished
themselves by their gifts.
Leaving Fort Wrangell at ten in the morning, we have had a red-letter day. The day
is clear, and a cold wind is blowing just
enough to give us a bracing atmosphere.
We soon sail through a narrow channel,
called Wrangell Narrows, and see a long
range of snow-covered mountains, some of
them, with deep, clear white snow, and the
waterfalls coming down from the glaciers,
and the deep, clear water, with the little
steamer gliding over it, gives to our surroundings a most attractive enjoyment. We
watch with interest the glaciers, and soon
meet great green-colored icebergs floating
down from them ; these are the first glaciers
we have seen. We find from our map that
the largest is called " Patterson Glacier,"
and is forty miles long, and from three to
four miles wide in front.
We thought that we never enjoyed a sail
on Lake Como in Italy or on the coast of
Norway equal   to   this from   Fort Wrangell to-day. We lingered on the deck until into
the night. In the morning early we find
ourselves in the harbor of Juneau, named
after an old miner of that name, to whom we
were introduced. We go out on shore,
and come to the Indian encampment, and
look in upon their houses and tents, while
they are preparing their breakfasts on the
open smoky fires. Some of them were half
clad. One invited me in to a repast of picked-
up salmon in a dish, from which eight or ten
were dipping it with wooden spoons. With
the dirt and filth around the room, the
breakfast did not seem tempting enough to
partake of. The old Indian brought out his
package of recommendations. He was an
Indian chief, and over his door was a sign,
"Chief Klow Kek." His papers were from
United States officers, and spoke of him as an
honest, reliable Indian, and a good friend
of the white man. We gave him a cheer,
and he replied "good." In almost every
house and along the wharf the Indian women
bring out an old box, in which are their
treasures of silver bracelets, which they hammer out of a silver dollar, with curious devices carved upon them, selling them from
three to six dollars a pair.    Their wrists are
;^*££2 From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
covered with them, and on their fingers are
silver rings, and in their lips are ornaments.
Many of the women look hideous enougrh witl
their faces daubed with black paint; some of
them had bangs plastered all over their foreheads. The women do all the business in
making bargains, and are very sharp, and
some of the girls, who had not painted their
faces, looked quite pretty, with small feet.
One of the ridiculous practices of the
Alaska Indian is that of taking a salt water
bath early on the coldest winter morning.
Not only do the male adults among them
indulge in this practice, but the children,
even those of tender years, are compelled to
participate, under the penalty of being
thrown into the ice-cold water, and kept
there until they learn to take their medicine
like a man. They affect the belief that the
process is necessary to the future health and
strength of their rising generation, on the
principle, we suppose, that those whom it
does not kill will be able to endure almost
any hardship thereafter—somewhat on the
theory of the "survival of the fittest."
One of the coldest days of the winter, thus
far, and about six o'clock, white people living
near  the  ranch   were  awakened,  and   kept £*i
awake, by a wailing and a howling which at
first led them to believe that a thousand or
more spirits of the damned had broken loose
from the infernal regions and found refuge
within the persons of as many native shamans,
and through whom they sought to inaugurate a little sheol of their own. But it was
only the natives slinging their children into
the cold waters of the bay, and then " warming them up," when they came out, by the application of the necessary amount of caloric
through the medium of a bunch of spruce
boughs well laid on. That there was " wailing and gnashing of teeth," and a screeching
and g-roaning; calculated to strike terror to
the soul of the uninitiated just awakened
from his slumbers, is not to be wondered at.
The bodies of the voluntary as well as unwilling bathers may be a little less aromatic now,
but we don't look for any perceptible decrease
in the mortality list in consequence.
Though offering premiums as an incentive
to cleanliness in the " ranch," the governor has
given strict orders that the children shall not
be put through any more such ablutionary
exercises until the gentle spring and genial
summer time comes agrain. From   Yellowstone Park to Alask
THE name of Alaska comes from Al-ay-
ek-saor" Great Country." We had no
correct idea how great a country Alaska was
until we began to read about it with a view
to taking a tour there. We had thought of it
as a vast country of mountains and ice, without much value.
One of the chief boundary lines between
Alaska and the British Possessions is a line
drawn due North from the top of Mount
Saint Elias to the Polar Sea. The advantage
obtained for England by this treaty is incalculable, and was largely foreseen by British
Statesmen at the time, and the imbecility of
it on our part is just beginning to be seen,
when we have to run through their country
six or seven hundred miles to get to Alaska.
One reason, no doubt, why Mr. Seward bought
Alaska of Russia, was because he felt so keenly
our disgrace.    Congressional  records prove
■i 11
m Eft
68      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
that we claim to go to the Russian Possessions, in north latitude fifty-four degrees forty-
minutes, and it was shown by maps in the
archives of Holland that our claim was well
founded. Great Britain, to our great chagrin, has possession of fine harbors on the
Pacific coast, and has a great railroad, the
Canadian Pacific, running from Montreal to
the Pacific, claiming a much shorter route to
China and Japan, and competing with our
transcontinental lines. This deed alone of
yielding this valuable country to England,
without cause, was enough to stigmatize
Polk's administration forever, and will ever
remain as a stigma on the name of the Secre-
of State, James Buchanan.
Alaska contains five hundred and eighty
thousand square miles, and is nearly fifteen
times larger than Ohio, which has forty thousand square miles. Alaska is as large as all
the United States north of North Carolina,
Georgia and Alabama, and west of the Mississippi river. The main land lies between fifty-
four degrees forty minutes and seventy-one
degrees north latitude, and between one hundred and thirty degrees and one hundred
and seventy degrees west longitude ; and the
western   boundary,   according   to   Russian From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
treaty, is one hundred and ninety-three degrees west of Greenwich—very near to Asia.
Quoddy Light, on the east coast of Maine, is
in latitude forty-four degrees forty-seven
minutes, longitude sixty-six degrees, fifty-
eight minutes west; San Francisco is in latitude thirty-seven degrees forty-eight minutes, longitude one hundred and twenty-two
degrees twenty-six minutes; the yElutian
Islands, the most western part of Alaska, -are
in fifty-three degrees north latitude, one hundred and eighty-seven and one-half degrees
west longitude. Alaska is therefore just
about as far west of San Francisco, as Maine
is east, or about the center of the United
States east and west.
The extreme length of Alaska, north and
south, is eleven hundred miles, and its
extreme breadth eight hundred miles; a distance greater, north and south, than from
Lake Michigan to the Gulf of Mexico, and
almost equal in extent, east and west, from
the same lake to the Atlantic Ocean. The
coast line of this country extends twenty-five
thousand miles, being two and one-half more
than the Atlantic and Pacific coast-line of the
whole United States.
Peter the Great sent, out an exploring ex- 7°
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
pedition under the command of Vitus Beh-
ring, a Danish Captain, who began his overland journey in 1725, and not until 1741 did
he discover Alaska in latitude fifty-five
degrees twenty-one minutes. Peter the
Great died before the discovery was made.
The great Russian Fur Company was formed
in 1783 by Siberian merchants, and held sway
over the country for many years. Alexander
Baranoff for many years ruled the country
with an iron hand, at the head of this great
Company. His history and rough experiences in this vast solitude are full of romance
and are extremely interesting. In 1799 he
came to Sitka, and in 1802 the Indians massacred all the inhabitants. Baranoff was absent, and escaped. He remained thirty years
in Alaska, and died on his way to Siberia in
1818, having been superseded by the Company at the age of seventy-two. He seems
to have been the great leader while Russia
held Alaska.
Alaska was purchased, with certain improvements, March 36, 1867. After a good
deal of negotiation and several offers by our
Government to Russia through Secretary
Seward, Alaska was delivered to the-United
States by the payment of seven million two From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
hundred thousand dollars, or less than two
cents per acre. Secretary Seward, upon
being asked once what he considered the
greatest act of his life, replied, " The purchase of Alaska." He was derided and
laughed at, at the time, and the purchase
was called " Seward's folly," and many considered that for the seven million two hundred thousand dollars we had got a vast
country containing nothing but mountains
and ice. But the climate of Sitka in winter
is milder than that of New England, and the
summer delightfully cool and bracing. The
effect of the Japanese currents on the coast
causes the mild temperature.
The Alaska Commercial Company has paid
nearly as much in royalty to the United
States, and in rental of the Islands of Saint
George and Saint Paul, for the privilege of
catching seals, as was paid for the whole of
Alaska, and Secretary Seward is vindicated.
The Czar of all the Russias, no doubt,
hoped the purchase would create a war between the United States and Great Britain and
he was glad of the opportunity to spite England, as he hated her with intense hatred.
Congress seems to have neglected this
country, as not worthy of attention, for sev-
I From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
enteen years. Soon after the purchase,
adventurers of all kinds poured into the
country. Mr. Bancroft says, " Speculators,
politicians, office-holders, tradesmen, gamblers, and adventurous women flocked to
Alaska. Stores, saloons, and restaurants,
were speedily opened. Squatter claims were
put on record. Vacant lots were stacked out
and frame shanties were erected. The prices
of real estate promised very speedily to make
a total, at Sitka alone, equal to the purchase
price of the whole territory."
Some one relates that a log house, with
lot, was held at ten thousand dollars. At the
first charter election there were as many candidates as voters. The Russians were
offered by the Hudson Fur Company their
passage paid to Russia, and all the better
class availed themselves of the offer, and five
years later there was less population than
when Russia had possession.
The neglect of Congress, to provide any
form of civil government or protection for
the inhabitants, checked all progress and enterprise, and a great collapse came, and the
country was nearly deserted. Since the
Northern Pacific Railroad has been built,
and   the development  of the  Puget   Sound From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
country, fisheries have been growing, and
mining interests have received attention, and
it seems as if a new era was about to dawn
upon Alaska, and the steamers in the summer are crowded with tourists and prospectors—the former to see the grandest scenery
in the world.
Not until May, 1884, did Alaska have a
territorial government, and as the provisions
could not take immediate effect, it added
nothing to the development of the mining
interest that year. The governor and civil
officers were not appointed until July, 1884,
and reached the country in September, at the
close of the mining season. The act of Congress provides for a governor and four commissioners, a district judge, a marshall and
clerk. The bill creates the district of Alaska
a land district, and among other things, provides that " the laws of the United States relating to mining claims and the right incident thereto, shall, from and after the passage of this act, be in full force and effect in
said district," etc. | Provided, that the
Indians or other persons in said district shall
not be disturbed in the possession of any
lands actually in their use or occupation ;
also, that parties who have located mines or
mm From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
mineral privileges therein, under the United
States, applicable to the public domain, shall
not be disturbed therein, but shall be allowed
to perfect their title to such claims by payment as aforesaid ; and provided, also, that
the land, not exceeding six hundred and forty
acres, at any station now occupied as missionary stations among the Indian tribes, in
said section, with the improvements thereon,
erected by and for such societies, shall be
continued in the occupancy of the several religious societies to which said missionary societies belong, until action by Congress. But
nothing contained in this act shall be construed to put in force, in said district, the
general laws of the United States." Mining
matters were at a stand-still, as it took time
for the officers to settle the contests and litigation in which every piece of property was
involved, and all definite action was postponed until last year.
On account of this unsettled condition of
the country, mining and other interests have
not advanced. Governor Kinkead reports :
The mining interest, in my opinion, bids fair
to take front rank in value of product. I
confidently expect that within the next decade the production of precious metals in the ■»
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
district will be an important factor in the
finances of the general government."
High and precipitous mountains, densely
covered with timber and chapparel, fallen and
decaying trees, the earth covered with moss
and vegetation to the depth of one or two
feet, seem almost to forbid the progress of the
We visited Douglas Island, nearly opposite
Juneau, where we saw in operation one of the
largest stamp-mills in the world. A company
from San Francisco having located here a
plant costing four hundred thousand dollars.
The manager kindly showed us through the
works and the mines, a short distance, where
one hundred or more Chinese were busy at
work blasting and picking out the gold quartz
from the great mountain of quartz ; it is then
run into the top of the mill which is on a
level with the tunnel. The mill is designed
for the reduction of gold ore carrying sul-
phurets and free gold, and has one hundred
and twenty stamps, of nine hundred pounds
each, with a crushing capacity of three hundred and sixty tons per day. The ore when
it comes to the mill goes through the grizzlies
and rock-breakers into the ore bins, from
which it is drawn out directly into the feeders,
' ft
i From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
which feed it into the batteries, where it is
crushed wet and amalgamated. Then from
the copper plates it is taken to and passed
over the free concentrators,, which save the
sulphurets and the tailings, and sluiced off.
From the concentrator room the sulphurets
are taken to the chlorination works, where
they are treated for the gold which they contain, by the chlorine gas, and the gold comes
out in fifteen thousand and eighteen thousand
dollar bricks, which are shipped monthly by
steamer to the mint in San Francisco. About
one hundred thousand dollars per month is the
product. This company expects to illuminate
their mill with powerful electric lights, which
will diffuse sufficient light to enable work to
be carried on with the same facility in the
night as in the day time. This company
bought the claim of a prospector for one
hundred and fifty dollars.
Douglas Island is twenty miles in circumference, and is called a gold island. Properties already claimed and partly developed
there aggregate in value twice as much as
the amount Mr. Seward paid for the whole of
Alaska; and Douglas Island is but one of
the eleven hundred islands of the archipelago
of   which   there   are   promises   of   mineral
■^.«(ui hm  From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
wealth. It was eighty-seven years after
Vancouver's surveys before the prospectors
found gold on its shores ; but the island
retained the old nomenclature, and is still
Douglas Island, as Vancouver named it, in
honor of his friend, the Bishop of Salisbury.
While we were at Juneau, opposite Douglas Island, on our return, a. most dastardly
outrage was perpetrated upon the poor
laboring Chinese, who, we had noticed, were
so industriously at work at the mines on
Douglas Island. A band of lawless, lazy
men—chiefly saloon-keepers and their hangers-on—held public meetings, and sent a
committee over, demanding of the Chinese
that they leave the island at once. They
consulted Mr. Treadwell (who had done more
to develop the mining interests of Alaska,
and call attention of the country to the great
richness of Alaska in gold, by establishing
his great stamp works, and proving to the
world that not one-half has been predicted
of the value of these mines). The Chinese
said to him : " You say go, we go. You say
fight, we fight, you be,t." Mr. Treadwell advised them to submit, as there were less than
one hundred of them, with only a few pistols, while there were twice the  number in
A \ 78      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
the mob, well armed. They were taken to
Juneau by the mob, and forced on two sloops,
forty on one and forty-seven on the other.
They were poorly clothed, and there was no
room on the sloops for them to lie down.
They were sent adrift down to Fort Wrangell.
We saw them a few miles from Juneau ; as
there was a dead calm the vessels did not
make much headway. There was a cold
rain-storm, and the poor Chinese were suffering greatly. We learned that they, arrived at
Fort Wrangell, and would have suffered terribly, had not Mr. Treadwell sent his tug with
plenty to relieve them, and as the little settlement was without any supply of provisions, it was thought some of them would
starve. Fortunately, in a few days, the
steamer Archon, Captain Carrol, came along
and towed them back to Douglas Island.
Governor Swinford, on hearing of their condition, immediately sent the United States
steamer Pinta, Captain Nichols, to Wrangell.
He brought them back, and took steps to punish the parties who violated the law; but owing
to the want of funds, the prosecution was
abandoned. One, and principal, reason the
mob give for their outrageous deed, is that
they do not Datronize the saloons.    Their op- From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.       79
position extends also to the Indians, whom
they will not allow to work.
In the vicinity of Sitka the most valuable
gold claims yet discovered are being developed by a company incorporated under the
laws of Wisconsin. Captain Cowles, formerly
of Columbus, O., is Secretary and Treasurer
of the Lake Mountain Gold and Silver
Mining Company. He sent a sample of the
quartz to an assayist in Boston, who reported
that it contained one thousand eight hundred
and forty dollars to the ton, and is likely to
prove a bonanza to the company. Prospectors are numerous, and great discoveries
of gold are reported in the Yukon country.
We left some parties at Chilcoot, who were
going over the Chilcoot Pass, where the Indians have a trail, some thirty-five miles in
length, to a chain of lakes about three hundred miles long, which connect with the head
waters of the Yukon River. This river is
not only one of the largest on the continent,
but one of the largest in the world, and from
this point, from which the miners strike it, to
its mouth, is a distance of two thousand
miles. Valuable mineral discoveries have
been made on the banks of the river, and
miners have staked large claims.    One is re-
M 8o      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
ported on a vein of gold-bearing quartz six
hundred feet wide. The prospectors are convinced that gold exits all through the Yukon
country, but its remoteness from all base of
supplies, and the long, severe winters of the
interior, left a mining season of four months
too short to be profitable.
Professor Muir, of California, who is one of
the most scientific men of the West, has
visited Alaska, and sees no reason why this
may not become one of the richest mining
countries in the world. He believes that the
great mineral vein, extending up the coast of
Mexico to British Columbia, continues
through Alaska to Siberia. With British
Columbia producing one million to two million dollars each year, and Siberia yielding
twenty-two million dollars, why should not
Alaska, with the same geological formations,
be equally productive in gold and silver ?
Copper, cinnabar, iron, coal and marble are
found in great quantities.
When our lumber supplies fail us, as they
are fast growing less in Michigan and Wisconsin, great things may be expected in
Alaska in the future. From the time that we
set sight on Alaska until we reached Chilcoot,
the most northerly place our steamer reaches, From  Yellowstone Park to Alask
one is amazed at the immense forests of fir
trees which cover the mountains, islands and
valleys, coming down to the water's edge,
and reflected so beautifully in the deep, "clear
water. There are five species of valuable
woods. Commercially speaking, they range
as follows : yellow cedar, spruce, hemlock,
elder and a species of fir or black pine. The
yellow cedar, susceptible of taking a fine
polish, is considered valuable for boat building and finishing purposes. It sells for
eighty dollars per thousand in San Francisco.
It possesses a delightful odor, which, like
camphor wood, it retains for a long time, and
manufactured into boxes and chests, is very
valuable for packing furs and other goods, as
it is said to be moth preventive. We brought
away some photographs of a yellow cedar
log, fifty feet long and seventy-four inches in
diameter, and, it is said, they are frequently
found one hundred feet high, with a diameter of four or five feet. Some of the enterprising people of San Francisco built sawmills in Alaska and shipped lumber to California, but the vessel was seized by the
United States authorities, and the lumber
confiscated. British Columbia offers great
inducements to settlers to develop the coun
sel?; I - J!
82      From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
Ti j
try and show to the world its value, even at
a loss of a few trees that are of no value, except they are sawed into lumber and shipped
where lumber is in demand, but, in Alaska
no one is allowed to saw the trees except to
use on the spot, and there are no laws giving
any one a title to the land, and no one can
own a home here. The Russians carried on
ship building extensively in Alaska, and the
time may not be far distant when ship building will rank among the foremost industries
of Alaska.
At Fort Wrangell, Juneau and Sitka we saw
at the stores valuable furs, especially bear and
seal. The fur trade is exceedingly valuable,
as the beaver, fox, marten, ermine, otter and
wolf are numerous. The cinnamon and
black bear in great numbers are found in
south-easte*rn Alaska, while further north,
near the great Yukon river, the rein-deer roam
undisturbed by man. The islands are full of
deer. Captain Hunter, of our steamer Idaho,
captured four deer in one of the narrow
channels of the Alaska waters, out of quite a
herd which were swimming across, which he
sent to friends in San Francisco. I kept continually on the lookout to capture some to
put into  our Franklin Park, at  Columbus, From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.       83
Ohio. The Alaska Commercial Company
has a monopoly of the fur seal business, for
which they pay to the United States an annual rental of fifty-five thousand dollars, and
a royalty of two dollars and sixty-two and
one-half cents for each seal killed, and are
limited to the killing of one hundred thousand seals annually.
The principal points where the fur seals are
caught are the islands of Saint Georgfe and
Saint Paul, belonging to the Pribyloff group,
one thousand seven hundred miles west of
Sitka. They have already paid nearly as much
to our Government as Secretary Seward
paid for the whole of Alaska. This company
gathered last year nine-tenths of the world's
supply of seal skins, and the company has
made an immense fortune. These northern
latitudes seem to swarm with fish and game.
The salmon fisheries are the most numerous,
and as they seem to be failing and diminishing on the Columbia River from year to
year, Alaska will probably become the main
source of the world's supply. Some of the
finest salmon in the world are found in
Alaskan waters, and the largest ever caught,
weighing over forty pounds, was at the
mouth of the Yukon River.    It is the chief 84      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
food of the Indians, and they had come down
from the interior at this season of the year
to catch their winter supply. They have
their own fishing waters, which have descended to them from their ancestors, and
they regard the rights of each other to the
different waters for their salmon fisheries
with jealous care.
In their huts you can see them seated on
the ground around the fire, cooking the
salmon, after dressing them, on the coals and
throwing the entrails out in the sand in front
of their huts to decay, emitting a terrible
stench. It is said they take ten million to
twelve million a year, or three times as many
as are required for the canneries of the Pacific Coast.
At Naha Bay, as our steamer sailed in, the
salmon were so thick that the steamer seemed
to plow through them and turn up their
silvery sides, giving us an idea of their
beauty and great numbers. At Killisnoo
there is a large company, called the Northwest Trading Company, who have a-large
establishment for rendering fish oil, which is
used, no doubt, for cod oil, and also for
making " Lubin's Extracts." The company
have just shipped one hundred and fifty tons From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
of fish oil to Liverpool. This is the first
shipment ever made direct to England from
Alaska. They also shipped a car load to
London and another to Dundee. It is there
purified of its fishy odor, and then shipped
back to this country as salad oil.
Thus Alaska is entering into competition
with the Mediterranean in supplying the
civilized world with one of its own valuable
condiments, and when we can learn to purify
it of its " fishy odor," the olive groves of
Greece and Algiers will have to yield to the
waters of Alaska. One large firm from San
Francisco had its superintendent and a party
of Chinese on board our steamer, who were
landed at Chilkat to start a canning establishment, on account of the failure of the
salmon fisheries on the Columbia River.
There are not probably over one thousand
white inhabitants in Alaska, and from forty
to sixty thousand Indians, and only a few
towns on the water courses ; none in the interior. Sitka is the capital. During the
Russian occupation, the town of Sitka, although the centre of government and business, was far from being an inviting place.
It is probable that the Russians cared little
to make it so.    They lived on terms of singu
la 86      From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
lar familiarity, and even intimacy, with the
Indians. Native servants commonly called
their masters by their first name. Baranoff
had by a native woman a daughter, of
whom he was very proud. In 1805 a Russian visitor found Baranoff living in what
he could describe, as little better than
a hut. His bed during heavy rains was often
afloat, and a leak in his roof was looked upon
as too small a matter to receive attention ;
and yet Baranoff was a man of education and
real attainment, as well as a very able administrator. Savage ways of life, and the savage
want of a sense of refinement and cleanliness, had obviously been far too readily
adopted. It was a majority had conquered—
at least in the matters of social and domestic
As late as 1841, a traveler on his way
around the world, declared Sitka to be the
dirtiest and most wretched place that he had
ever seen. Four years earlier another traveler gave an opposite verdict. Possibly these
two visitors were in Sitka at opposite seasons
of the year. Sitka in January and Sitka in
July are very different places. One gentleman who spent a year there told me that it
rained  three   hundred   days   in   the year. From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.       87
Rain and fog without end might make
even an earthly paradise, as a place of prolonged residence, gloomy indeed. But there
is no doubt that Sitka in those days was a
most interesting and curious place. It may
be that the town has lost somewhat of its activity and acquired picturesqueness as well as
dirt, since the Russian flag was superseded by
the stars and stripes nearly twenty years ago.
We were all delighted one lovely August
morning as we came in view of Sitka, which
is beautifully situated on a level plateau, at
the foot of high snow-covered mountains,
. and on the bay of the same name, with about
fifty islands in view, which are covered with
thick verdure of fir trees of different sizes,
and is a more beautiful bay than the Bay of
Naples, which it resembles. There is an
extinct volcano in view—Mount Edgecomb
—which is three thousand five hundred feet
high. Rising by a graceful elevation on one
side from its long cape stretching far out into the western waves, displaying at its top
the perfect rim of its crater leaning gently
over towards the town, and its other side
running abruptly into a bridge of peaks that
drop down lower and lower, until they are
lost in the interminable mass of mountains
I 3j
&"i g.j
From   Yellowstone Park te  Alaska.
to the north, it stands a most notable landmark and beautiful back-ground to the island-
gemmed Bay of Sitka.
Professor Libbey, of Lieutenant Schwatka's
command, is the first person to ascend it,
and found it more of a volcano than had
been supposed. Sitka seemed like a gala
day, with its inhabitants all out of doors,
coming down to the steamer to get their
mail, which comes only once a month. All
business is stopped ; even' the schools are dismissed. Many of the ladies were stylishly
dressed and quite attractive in their appearance. A cannon on the steamer gave the
note of warning that the steamer was
approaching. Not only the two or three hundred white people came out, but the same
number of Indians came out from their cabins
in the Indian village, or rancherie, as they call
it ; and the basket-makers brought their baskets, and every Indian woman wore silver
bracelets ; one on each arm. These they
make from silver dollars, and sell to visitors,,
as also various old -horn spoons and medicine wands, moccasins, etc. They sprawl out
on the floor, and with their heads resting on
their hands they gaze at the people with stupid indifference. :**«■
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.       89
The most conspicuous buildings on the
highest part of the place, fronting the harbor,
are the two large establishments of the Presbyterian Missions, which we mistook for the
Government Building's. We were shown
through the old castle, which is high up on a
rock, called Kateland's Rock, in memory of a
chief who once lived there ; we reached the
top by a stairway, and from there had a
splendid view of the bay and mountains
around. The old castle was built of logs, and
covered with boards, and riveted to the rock,
to prevent its being shaken by an earthquake.
The castle is one hundred and forty feet long
by seventy feet wide ; if it could talk, it could,
no doubt, tell a wonderful history of the old
Russian Governors who inhabited it and maintained the style of the Russian nobility.
History gives us vivid pictures of the social
life of Sitka, while the Russians had possession ; all the old furniture and ancient relics
were carried off after the troops left, and we
could see nothing reminding us of its antiquity but the old porcelain stoves in the corners of the large rooms. Attorney-General Ball
and wife occupy the first floor. Mrs. Ball informed us that when she talked of occupying
the castle, she was informed that it was in-
I \
**M •j.
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
habited by a ghost, which had been often
seen, and no one dared to live there. " The
story of the ghost, whose sad story is modeled
on that of the ' Bride of Lammermoor.' By
tradition the lady in black was a daughter of
one of the old governors. On her wedding
night she disappeared from the ball-room in
the midst of the festivities, and after long
search was found dead in one of the small
drawing-rooms. Being forced to marry
against her will, one belief was that she voluntarily took poison, while another version
ascribes the deed to an unhappy lover ; while.
altogether, the tale of this Lucia of the northwest isles gives just the touch of sentimental
interest to this castle of the Russian Governors." Mrs. Ball informs us that she
watched all the first night she occupied the
castle and no ghost appeared, and she has
no fears now.
Lieutenant McLean, of the Signal Service,
occupies the upper rooms for his office, and
has just brought his bride from Washington •
to occupy other rooms. The houses on the
street are made of logs, and all over the little
town the houses had been white-washed, and
instead of the dirty-looking town we had been
told Sitka was, we found it clean and neat. From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
White and Indian boys were playing base ball
on the common or parade ground, and in
every door we could see the people eagerly
reading their letters, and it was interesting to
watch the expression of their faces, which
showed joy or sorrow according to the news
which the letters contained.
At the end of the street was the old Russian
Greek Church of Saint Michael, with its emerald-green dome, its bulging spire, and chime
of six silver bells, which ring out their silvery
tones echoing through the village. The panel
picture of Saint Michael over the door-way
has lost its lustre. The church is built in the
form of a Greek cross. There are a number
of paintings in it ; one of the " Last Supper,"
the crowns and vestments covered with silver.
The church, like all Creek churches, contains
large candle-sticks, candelabra, etc., of silver.
It contains the Holy of Holies, into which no
woman is admitted. We did not see any Russians in Sitka, only the old priest, who informs us that he has an audience of about
thirty-five Indians, and more are soon to unite.
This, I believe, is the only Greek church in
the United States, except on the Aleutian
Islands, and it shows by its old faded look
that the Greek religion does not flourish in this
3 92
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
country, and before many years this church,
like the one in New York, will be abandoned.
The government of Russia expends each year
fifty thousand dollars for the support of their
missions- in Alaska, but they are fast dying
It is interesting to visit the Indian village
or rancherie. In the winter a large number of
Indians are here, but many of them are now
away catching salmon for their winter supply.
Many of the houses were neat and clean, and
had beds covered with white, and a stove in
the room instead of a fire in the centre of the
room on the ground, with the smoke going
out of a hole in the roof. We learned that
those who are educated at the Mission soon
want to have things like the whites ; and those
who were in such nice order had been educated
at the Mission. In almost every house we
entered they would bring'out, hidden away
in a pile of rags, a lot of skins, furs and various Indian relics to sell us.
We enjoyed a delightful walk to Indian
river along the bay, for one or two miles, returning by paths through the dense forest of
evergreens. Every little while leading us
along by the shore of the river, we found
plenty of yellow and black raspberries.    The From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska
grounds are arranged with paths and rustic
bridges across the river, and we were all delighted with the little show of civilization,
after riding over one thousand miles through
a wilderness.
Secretary Seward visited Alaska in 1869,
and was greatly pleased with his purchase.
He was received with great honors in Sitka,
and carried away a great variety of Indian
curios and souvenirs. By the custom of the
Indians, the fur robes laid for him to sit on in
the chief's cabin, were his. He, of course, had
to give presents to the chiefs in return, which
made his visit to Alaska a memorable one.
A quantity of Alaska cedar was taken east,
which was used for the inside finish of the
Seward mansion at Auburn.
A year later Lady Franklin visited Sitka,
when she was eighty years old, and the room
was shown us in the old castle which she had
occupied, as also had Mr. Seward, when there.
Lady Franklin hoped to find some trace of
her husband who was lost in the Arctic exploration. It was reported to her that he had
been heard from, and this remarkable woman,
at her great age, sailed from England and
came here to try to trace the rumors. It was
a long  journey, in vain, and she  died  five
c\ m
From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
years afterwards ; this being her second trip
to the Pacific coast in search of her husband.
Alaska seems to have been considered of no
value by our government, and since Mr. Seward's death has been almost abandoned, until
within a year or two. The military sailed
away after ten year's occupation, and no civil
government was established, and the inhabitants were in a terrible condition. The
Indians committed various depredations with
immunity from punishment. Even white
men were murdered, and the murderers had
to be sent to Oregon for trial. There were
only about three hundred white people to
three times as many Indians. The white people made application for protection to the
British Admiral at Victoria, who, without
waiting for red tape orders, reached there in
March, 1879, to tne great relief of the inhabitants.
Our Government finally sent a little revenue
cutter—Oliver Wolcott—which was too small
to be of any service, and the Indians defied
and laughed at the menace, so the British
Captain remained until the United States
steamer Alaska came in April.
The only protection the people have had
was from the navy, and the commanders of From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska
the Jamestown, which succeeded the Alaska,
sailed through all parts of the Sitkan archipelago, and controlled the Indians and instituted many reforms among them. The commander, Captain Glass, seemed to be governor,
judge and marshal of Alaska, and displayed
great ability and exercised justice and
humanity in a way to win the respect and
control of the Indians. He made treaties
of peace between the Indian tribes, and, in
fact, kept a navel protectorate over Alaska.
Captain Merriman, and others who succeeded him, were equally efficient in governing the Indians and acting as umpire in their
quarrels. He seemed to have a paternal
interest in the Indians, and when he left
Sitka, crowds gathered at the wharf to say
farewell to the wise and paternal commander.
Those who succeeded Captain Merriman
found the Tndians peaceful, and they spent
much time in visiting the different islands,
and looking after the mineral interests of
While we were at Sitka, the United States
steamer Pinta, Captain H. E. Nichols, was in
the harbor in control of the navel affairs.
He is a most intelligent gentleman, and, from
a long conversation with him, I have no doubt
ijiim   " 96      From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
will sustain the reputation he gained while
engaged in the coast survey in the southern
part of Alaska. His surveys were valuable
to us through the charts he made for the
"Alaska Coast Pilot."
The people of Sitka speak in high terms of
the navel officers, quite in contrast with the
former military operations.
On account of the character of the country
it is impossible for a land force to be of any
service. The Government, after seventeen
years from the time of the purchase of Alaska
passed a bill, introduced by Senator Harrison of Indiana, now President, (it passed
the Senate and House of Representatives,
and was approved by the signature of President Arthur), creating Alaska a Territory,
but not a land district. Hon. John H. Kin-
kead, ex-Governor of Nevada, who had once
resided in Sitka, was made first Governor,
and other officers were appointed, and reached
their destination in September, 1884. Governor Swinford, of Michigan, was appointed
Governor of Alaska, and an entire change of
affairs made in 1885 by the present administration.
Congress seems to be awake to the possibilities of the great country, and is slowly passing laws to help its development, through
schools, by an appropriation of twenty-five
thousand dollars, and in other ways.
People visiting Alaska will enlighten the
public as to that country not being a territory
of mountains, icebergs and glaciers alone.
The growth of the forests is almost tropical
in its nature, certainly semi-tropical, and the
" entangled wildwoods " look like Louisiana
or Florida.
Very little is known of the flora of Alaska,
but it is stated that on Baranoff Island more
than three hundred varieties of wild flowers
are found. Among the more valuable grasses,
of which some thirty species are known to
exist in the Yukon territory, is the well-known
Kentucky blue grass. The meadow-wood
grass is abundant here. The blue-joint grass,
which grows from three feet to five feet in
height. Many other grasses grow abundantly,
and contribute largely to the whole amount
of herbage. Ten species of Elyonus almost
deceive the traveler with the aspect of grain
fields maturing a perceptible kernel, which
the field mice lay up in store.
At Juneau and Sitka we saw the Indian women weaving grasses into mats, baskets, dishes,
etc.   Articles of clothing for summer use, such
"I .£*! 1
98      From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
as socks, mittens and a sort of hat, and various articles to sell to travelers as Indian
curios ; were also offered.
" In the winter, the grasses collected in the
summer for the purpose, and neatly tied in
bunches, are shaped to correspond with the
foot and the seal-skin sole of the winter boots
worn in that country. There they serve as a
non-conductor, keeping the foot dry and
warm, and protecting from the confusion."
Some of the mosses of Alaska are of special
economic value as a substitute for curled
horse hair in the manufacture of mattresses,
cushions, and for like purposes.
Wild hops, wild onions and wild berries-
grow in profusion ; crab apples ; the largest
gooseberries we ever saw were in the garden
of Mr. Vanderbilt, at Sitka. Currents, black
and whortleberries, raspberries ; we picked, on
Indian River, very large red and white salmon berries; there are also chicker berries,
pigeon berries and angelica. Almost every
flower is succeeded by a berry.
The " Coast Pilot," by Professor W. H. Dall,
of the Smithsonian Institution, represents the
country between Norton Sound and the Artie
Ocean as " a vast moorland whose level is only
interrupted   by promontories   and   isolated From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
mountains, with numerous lakes, bogs and peat
beds. Wherever drainage exists, the ground
is covered with luxurious herbage and produces the rarest as well as the most beautiful
plants. The aspect of some of these spots is
very gay. Many flowers are large and their
colors bright, and, though white and yellow
predominate, other tints are not uncommon.
Summer sets in most rapidly in May, and the
landscape is quickly overspread with a lively
green. The extreme heat and constant sunshine cause it to produce rank vegetation.
From my own observation, I have no doubt
that Alaska will prove, when developed, as
valuable a country as Norway, and far superior to Russia.
The Aleutian, or Seal Islands, as they are
called, are twenty-six hundred miles from
San Francisco, and about fifteen hundred
miles northwest of Sitka; all communication
with them is by way of San Francisco.
There are seventy islands in all ; but the two
small islands of the group are called Saint
George and Saint Paul. The former is ten
miles long, and about five miles wide ; the
latter is thirteen miles in length by six in
breadth. St. George has a population of only
ninety-two, four  only  of whom  are  white ; ioo    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
Saint Paul has about three hundred, fourteen
of whom are white.
On the shores of these rocky islands, it is
said, nineteen-twentieths of all the seals of
the world are caught. Many of the ladies
who wear seal garments are not aware that
they are a product of our own country.
The skins are nearly all shipped to Europe,
because of the perfection of the dye—the art
being said to be possessed by only two firms
in London and Paris, which gives them a
monopoly of the trade of the world. There
are dyers in this country, but they do not
have the skill to give so rich and dark a color
as the English and French. The art of
dyeing originated with the Chinese.
. The seal catching season lasts only about
seventy days, and, in the meantime, the inhabitants have nothing to do but to go to the
Russian church.
When Secretary Seward purchased Alaska,
in 1867, the value of the seals was not taken
into account. Congress passed a law in
1869, making the Aleutian Islands a government reservation, and restricted the killing
of the seals to one hundred thousand annually. An average seal will measure six
and one-half feet in length, and weigh four
L :—J
t^t~.—^—-1 #*»
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
hundred pounds. When in Juneau we saw a
skin that measured seven and one-half feet.
The company were to furnish the'.inhabitants with a certain amount of subsistence
and fuel, to maintain schools for the children
and to prevent the use of fire-arms on
or near the sealing grounds. The contract
expires in 1890, and it is said that
an immense fortune has been made by
the wise and fortunate investment of these
San Francisco business men. The stock of
the company is divided into twelve shares,
and pays a dividend of about one million
dollars per year.
This company has also a contract which
amounts to a monopoly of the fur trade on
Behring and Copfer Islands, and at other
points on the Kamtchatka Coast, and forty
or fifty other trading ports in Alaska.
It was a great curiosity for us to visit the
offices and storage-room while we were in
San Francisco, and see the tens of thousand
of seal, fox, mink and marten skins hanging
from the rafters, and choicest of bear, deer,
beaver and lynx skins piled up in their great
Sea otters and cod fisheries have become
an   important   industry.     Judging   by   the
& io2    From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
hoarse and shrieking cries of the seals at the
seal cliffs, near San Francisco, we should
think the three million seals, which are said
to grather on the rockeries of Saint Paul and
Saint George Islands, would make a terrible
noise above the roaring of the ocean in a
storm as the waters dash against the rocks ;
and, it is said, during summer fogs the pilots
are guided to the islands by the noise.
The killing of the seals by the natives is
thus described : " They start out before dawn,
and running down the shore, get between the
sleeping seals and the water, and then drive
them inland, as they would so many sheep, to
the killing ground a half mile inland. They
drive them slowly, giving them frequent rests
for cooling, and gradually turning aside and
leaving behind all seals that are not up to requisite age and condition. When the poor
tame things have reached their death-ground,
the natives go around with heavy clubs and,
by one blow on the head, kill them."
On one trip, in 1883, the steamer Saint Paul-
brought down sixty-three thousand seal-skins,
valued at six hundred and thirty thousand
dollars, and the tax paid to the government
amounted to one hundred and sixty-five thousand three hundred and seventy-five dollars. From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
There are said to be ten different tribes of
Indians on the coast of Alaska, and as many
more inland. At the taking of the last census
there was an effort made to take the number
of Indians in Alaska, but without success.
The number is estimated to be from forty to
fifty thousand. They do not look like our
North American Indians, but many of them
look like the Mongolians.
Hon. James G. Swan, correspondent of the
Smithsonian Institution, at Port Townsend, on
whom we called, thinks the whole population
up to the Arctic belt are of Aztec origin, and
gave us many reasons, on account of similarity
of language, features, implements, handiwork,
carvings, and religious emblems and ceremonies.
He showed us in his office some old silver
idols which he said resembled in size, feature
and figure, the Chiriqui idols of the Isthmus
of Panama. Mr. Newton H. Crittenden infers " from incidental evidences, that Hydahs
are castaways from Eastern Asia, who first
reached the islands of Southern Alaska."
Mr. Edward Vining, in his book entiled
" The Discovery of America, or the Uncelebrated Columbus," inclines to the Chinese
origin, and reiterates the story from the origi- 104    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
nal Chinese source of the landing of Hwin
Shin and a party of Buddhist Monks on the
coast of Mexico about A. D. five hundred.
The Indians and Chinese working together at
the Treadwell mines, on Douglas Island, certainly resemble each other.
Their houses are built of logs, and often
covered with boards hewed out with an adze.
They are quite ingenious in wood carving, as
indicated by the heraldic emblems on their
totem poles. The various articles of carved
bone, metal, stone and silver, which they offer
for sale, are always original and unique. The
women wear silver pins in their lower lips.
Many of the articles enumerated they sell for
silver dollars, which they make up into other
articles for sale. They will not take in payment gold or greenbacks, they want silver
only. "Oh, that all the silver dollars could
go to Alaska."
When educated in the schools, the Indians
would make good citizens, if they could be
employed at some regular business ; but in
Alaska there is, outside of the few mines and
fisheries, nothing for them to do, and most
of them go back to their tribes, who ridicule
them about their education ; so they resume
the old Indian habits, and some of them be-
*«&.•:• From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
come more uncivilized than ever. The gfirls
can find nothing to do, unless as servants,
and the demand for them is so limited that
the supply is excess. This is a serious question, and is difficult to solve until Alaska becomes settled with whites, and her resources
are developed.
The Indians of Alaska seem much more intelligent than the North American Indians.
Hon. V. Colfax, special Indian Commissioner
to Alaska, said in his report: "I do not hesitate to say that if three-fourths of them
(Alaska Indians) were landed in New York
as coming from Europe, they would be
selected as among the most intelligent of the
many worthy emigrants who daily arrive at
that port." The Indian inhabitants are divided into four general divisions—Koloshians,
Kenanians, Aleuts and Eskimo. These are
subdivided into many tribes and families.
The Presbyterians are doing a good work j
in Alaska, with their five or six missionary
stations at Fort Wrangell, Juneau, Chilcot,
Sitka and some other places. We visited
their schools at Fort Wrangell and Sitka, and
were delighted with the success, as apparent
from the appearance of the boys and girls,
and from   the  answers  given by them ; they
£$.* io6    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
were certainly as prompt and correct as from
white children of the same age in our
schools. Everybody but the missionaries
seem to decry their work, and think nothing
can be done to Christianize or civilize the
Indians. " When the children are educated
at the schools and return to their homes,
they go back to their old habits and customs,
and become leaders of all kinds of wickedness and deviltry, and that their education
only teaches them to be "mean." But any
one looking into the homes of the educated,
who have attended the schools, will see a
marked difference. They are cleanly clad,
have neat homes and clean beds, with a little
stove to cook their food and warm their
rooms. Almost every Indian " cabin is full of
smoke, as there are no chimneys, and they
all have disease of the eyes, and are short
lived from filth and improper food. Education teaches them to avoid these, and in time
the children will become good citizens. It
may take time, but it will surely come.
A paper is published at Fort Wrangell,
under the direction of Rev. Mr. Young;, and
the type is set and the work all done by the
Indians.    It is called the Glacier.
Rev. Mr. Williard, at Juneau, preaches to
u*.*fej iff^
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     107
nine different tribes of Klinket Indians, who
are gathered here in this town because of its
being a mining centre. We see them here
just from their forest homes, in all their degradation. Rev. Mr. White has just come
here to take charge of the work among the
whites, who are fully as difficult to Christianize as are the Indians.
In common with all savage people, the Indians regard their women as slaves, and compel them to do the hardest work, while they
look lazily on, enjoying the luxury of a pipe,
and often require their services with harsh
words and cruel blows ; they are inferior in
looks and less in number than the men.
Their inferiority rises, probably, from the
cruel and harsh treatment they receive, and
their small number is, in great measure,
caused by the too prevalent custom of infanticide. Spared in infancy, the lesson of inferiority is early burned into the lives of the
girls. While mere babes they are sometimes
given away or betrothed to their future husbands, and when they arrive at the age of
twelve or fourteen years, among the Tinneh
and the Thrinkets and others, they are offered
for (sale. For a few blankets a mother will
sell her own daughter for base purposes for a
I io8    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
week or a month, or for life. Said a great
chief: " Women are made to labor ; one of
them can haul as much as two men can.
They patch our tents, make and mend our
clothes," etc.
A majority of the slaves are women. Polygamy, with all its attendant evils, is common
among the tribes. Those wives are often sisters ; sometimes a man's own mother or
daughter are among his wives. If a man's
wives bear him daughters, he continues to
take othe1" wives until he has sons. One of
the chiefs is said to have forty wives. After
marriage they are practically slaves of their
husbands. We have remarked that the women wear silver pins in their lower lips.
Upon arriving at a marriageable age the lower
lip of the girl is pierced and the silver pin is
inserted, the flat head of the pin being in the
mouth and the point projecting through the
lip over the chin. After marriage the pin is
removed from the woman's lip and a spool-
shaped plug, called a labut, about three-
quarters of an inch in .length, is then substituted. As the woman grows older, larger
labuts are inserted, so that an old woman may
have one two inches in diameter.
The method of warfare among the Alaskan ssis
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     109
Indians is an ambush or surprise. The
prisoners who are taken are made slaves, and
the dead are scalped. The scalps are woven
into a kind of g;arter bv the victor.
They believe in the transmigration of souls
from one body into that of another, but not
into that of an animal ; and the wish is often
expressed that in the next change they may
be born into some powerful family.
Those bodies that are burned are supposed
to be warm in the next world and the others
cold. If slaves are sacrificed at the burial of
their owners, this relieves the owners of labor
in the next world.
Their religion is a feeble Polytheism. All
the Alaskan Indians are held in abject fear by
the sorcerer and medicine men. Witchcraft,
with all its awful consequences, is of universal belief. The medicine man, or sorcerer,
or showman, as he is often called, demands
large rewards before he begins his incantations to heal the sick ; .and if he fails, he always declares that the failure is due to witchcraft. He then commences to find the witch,
and never fails. Hand over hand, as if following an invisible cord, he traces the witch,
who is then tortured to death. He or she, as
the   case   may be, is  bound   with   the  head
m m
no    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska*
drawn between the knees, and usually placed
beneath the floor of some uninhabited hut until death takes place.
As the women do all the business, no contract is made without their consent. Professor Wright, of Oberlin, Ohio, made arrangements at Juneau for a canoe and two Indians, to accompany him on his excursion to
Muir Glacier, and they were to meet his
party at Douglas Island. He was disappointed in not having them on hand. He
finally learned that the wife of one objected,
and wanted the price doubled for the canoe
and the services, and she must accompany the
party, to which he did not consent. Other
Indians came, and a new contract was made
after an hour's bargaining. He got the price
reduced from twenty-five to twenty-four dollars for four week's use of the canoe, and one
dollar and fifty cents per day for the services
of the Indian. The wife and daughter made
the contract, and received the money in advance, and the money was placed in the hands
of a third party to pay the wages of the Indian on his return. No matter what contract
the husband may make, even if the money
has been paid, the wives claim the right to
undo   the contract and  demand a return  of
i»"K^*ja!e?«&3iiM From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
what has been paid. When the Indians become educated and Christianized, they want
to be married by a minister. In several Indian homes the women had their marriage
certificate neatly framed and hung up in the
room. They took it down and brought it
to us with pride and pleasure beaming in
their countenances.
As the Indians approach a glacier, meeting
the floating ice, carefully avoid striking pieces
of ice, lest they offend the ice spirit.
We had a delightful stay at Sitka. As we
left our steamer we met the whole population,
as it seemed, out of doors; you could see the
people along the street, in the doors of the
stores and houses reading their letters, sometimes aloud to their friends. It was interesting to watch their faces and catch the expressions of joy or sorrow. The contrast between
the number of beautiful women and the
squalid row of Indian women was very
marked. We think the society of Sitka is
highly cultivated, judging from what we saw
of it at their homes and at the grand ball
given by the Sitkans in honor of our passengers. At the close, a grand banquet was given
by Captain Hunter, and when we left, three
cheers were'given with a vim from the steamer
m m m
112    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
to the Sitkans. We were entertained at the
Mission buildings, the most commanding in
the place, by the Rev. Mr. Austin and his
assistants, who have charge of the Mission,
where there are about seventy-five or eighty
pupils, many of whom showed great proficiency.
We were kindly invited to Lieutenant
Emmon's house to see the museum of Alaska
furs and Indian curiosities, arranged in artistic style, and also to Mr. Vanderbilt's, to
see his painting of " Muir Glacier," by
Hall, of Chicago ; no painter, however, can
do justice to so grand a sight. Mrs. Vander-
bilt has been in Alaska for a number of years ;
she is a native of Ohio, and seems contented
and happy with her beautiful children, and
artistically arranged house, with a garden of
flowers and vegetables, showing that they
can be cultivated here. We never saw larerer
gooseberries or more thrifty vegetables.
- Sitka is an old town, established by the
Russians as their capital of Russian America.
The first boat load of Russians to land there
were put to death, in 1741, by Indians. Old
Sitka is just north of the present place ; it
was abandoned in 1800 on account of a massacre,  by  the  Indians,  of all the Russians.
$1 -P^J^^
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
The present site was built upon in 1804, by
Governor Baranoff. Alaska was under military rule for many years, and Sitka became a
tumble-down old town. Since Congress
passed a bill giving Alaska civil government,
every interest in Alaska is looking up, and
Sitka is catching the spirit of improvement.
All the old prospectors who are familiar
with Mount Saint Elias, say that the ascent to
the top is almost impossible. A party returned a few days since who had tried to explore the mountain ; they could only ascend
seven thousand two hundred feet, while the
mountain is nineteen thousand five hundred
feet in height, and they were prevented going
higfher than thev did on account of the clouds.
The snow line is at the base of the mountain,
and several miles of glacier had to be traversed before the party reached the base prior
to making the ascent. They were four days
in reaching their destination. Lieutenant
Schwatka reports discovering an' unknown
river, of great width, full of mud, which he
named Jones river, in honor of the editor of
the New York Times. Lieutenant Schwatka
reports also finding a number of mountain
peaks not before reported. On the whole, the
discoveries do not seem to be of much value
i From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
to the history of Alaska. Lieutenant Schwatka reports "the resources of Alaska are great,
but that some interests like that of mining, as
in other sections, was uncertain. | Other interests or products are," he said, " thoroughly
assured, but need development." The fisheries he mentioned, among other things, as
very promising, but needing a population
along the Pacific coast to develop the enterprise. The fur seal interests are leading at
Mount Saint Elias was the first point of
land discovered by Vitus Behring, a Russian,
who first discovered Russian America, in
June, 1741 ; he called the mountain Saint
Elias, on account of its being discovered on
Saint Elias Day, and the name has clung to it
ever since.
Above Sitka, nearly at the foot of Mount
Saint Elias, in the sixteenth degree of latitude,
near the Arctic circle, delicious strawberries
were found as sweet-flavored as in any other
latitude. The Indians picked them, and the
supply lasted four days:
Old pioneers, like Dick Willoughby, prophesy that the top of the mountain will never
be reached. Dick is quite a character here; he
came from Virginia in 1853, and knows the
*M : JT**X7.V li^esE" iJ5CJ?l
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
whole country, and has several mining claims
staked out. He gave us some specimens of
quartz with free gold, and some with gold and
sulphuret, and others with gold and silver,
and much valuable information. He ought
to be the richest man in Alaska, from his
knowledge of its gold deposits ; but, like all
prospectors, will probably let them slip
through his hands.
All intoxicating spirits and opium are prohibited in Alaska, by act of Congress. Colonel French, Collector, publishes a notice in
the " Alaskan," stating that he has " seized
one box containing nine bottles of whiskey,
marked benzine ; eighteen bottles of whiskey,
marked Calisaya bark ; four barrels of sugar,
each containing a ten gallon keg of whiskey ;
one barrel ground coffee, containing a five
gallon keg of whiskey ;" showing how determined the whiskey men are to smuggle in
whiskey, as they make great profits out of it.
While we were at Killisnoo, we were amazed
by seeing marching up and down the wharf,
Indian Chief Jack, dressed in full uniform.
He changed his dress three times. The last
was of costly furs. He formerly engaged in
a revolt against the whites, but suddenly
changed, and  the  Killisnoo  Company now
mm a
6    From Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
pay him a salary as a sort of chief of police.
He sold the ladies of the party some splendid
Chilcoot Indian blankets, at forty dollars
each. He has two or three pretty Indian,
wives, and one lady amateur photographer
wanted to photograph them, but they were
not inclined to allow it. The Chief and our
Captain finally succeeded in bringing them in
front of the camera, and I have no doubt they
will make an attractive picture in their Indian
There are but two white families among
the fifty to one hundred Indian families here.
One of these is Russian; the Count, who had
to flee his country on account of being a Nihilist, has a beautiful wife and children. Our
ladies were invited to his house to a Russian
tea. The tea was served hot in glass tumblers, with lemon. The hostess explained that
the hot tea did not break the glasses because
of the silver spoon being in the tumbler.
The other was an intelligent family from
Maine. Both families" seemed quite contented, and, I should judge, must exert a good
iufluence upon the Indians, as we have seen
nowhere more order or neater Indian homes
and better dressed Indians. The old chief
got up a grand  Indian war  dance  for our benefit, which was exciting enough for those
who had never before witnessed one.
At Juneau we met an enterprising young
man of twenty-two years, from Boston, who
had been well educated, and from one of the
old rich families. He had Yankee pluck, and
was determined to strike for himself. He
came to Oregon a short time ago, and bought
six cows. He brought them up here by
steamer, to start the milk business, as there
are no cows here, and gets twenty cents per
quart for his milk. He is making ten dollars
a day, and expects to clear three thousand
dollars next year.
As a general thing, this is no place for men
to come expecting to make fortunes or secure
a home. The miner has to lie idle for a great
part of the year on account of the rain, and it
is with difficulty he can get his products to
the market. There are no territorial laws,
except those relating to locating mining
claims. The lands cannot be sold or cleared
for agricultural purposes ; the trees cannot
be cut for commerce, and all who have come
here to open saw-mills are obliged to go over
the line into British Columbia, where a liberal
policy invites people to develop industries.
There they can buy all the lumber they want,
I n8    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
and ship where they please. A bill, we
understand, has been introduced in Congress
to open an overland commercial route between the United States and Asiatic Russia
and Japan. Major Powell, Superintendent of
the Geological Survey, says that a railroad is
feasible over this vast extent of country, and
that  the   difficulties   to   overcome   are   not
greater than in the construction of the transit
continental railroads now in operation. When
this is accomplished, what may we not expect
from the development of this great territory,
which is fifteen times greater in extent than
Tourists are just beginning to come to
Alaska, and we predict that before many years
there will be a great rush to witness the
grandest scenery in the world, and enjoy over
two thousand miles of salt-water breezes
without the annoyance of sea-sickness, as the
route lies almost entirely inland, and is not
without attractions from the time you leave
Tacoma, Washington, until you arrive at
Chilcot, where you can have porterage about
thirty miles over the mountain to the lakes
and Una River, one.of the tributaries of
the great Yukon River, which is navigable
one thousand eight hundred miles, and rises From  Yellowstone Park to Alaskt
near the Pacific Ocean, runs north and then
southwest, and empties into Behring Sea ; in
all it runs two thousand miles. We have
visited the Yosemite Valley, Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland, etc., and we can truly say that
in this tour of Alaska we see in one grand
panorama all these places combined, only on
a much more grand and magnificent scale.
Better accommodations than we now enjoy
will come with the influx of travelers, though
we must say that Captain Hunter of the Idaho
is one of the most obliging officers that ever
commanded a steamer ; always willing to get
down his charts and point out the different
bays, sounds, straights, seas and inlets, mountains, islands, etc.
We were favored with delightful weather,
which was an exception, as the steamer which
preceded ours had fog and rain nearly all the
way. I should advise all coming here to bring
heavy winter clothing, as we had need of ours
the whole distance.
Glacier is the name given to the immense
masses of ice which accumulate on the peaks
and slopes and in the upper valleys of lofty
mountains. The phenomena of glaciers form
one of the most interesting subjects of scientific investigation, whether  we regard their
•1 &
;y;t ■M
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
formation, structure or appearance. In all
parts of the globe they have the same general
characteristics ; but though the glaciers of
other countries have often been described by
geographers and naturalists, it is chiefly in
respect to those of Switzerland that we possess detailed information. In that country,
as indeed in every other, those parts of the
mountains that rise above the line of congelation, are ©overed with perpetual snow, which
being partially thawed during the summer
months is, on the approach of cold, converted
into ice, thus constituting what is called a
glacier. The ice so formed descends along
the slopes of the mountain into the valleys,
by which the ridges are furrowed where it
accumulates into large beds or fields, presenting, where the descent is gradual, a very level
surface, and with a few crevices, but where
there is a rapid or rugged declivity, being rent
with numerous chasms.
These chasms are frequently many feet wide
and more than one hundred feet deep. Their
formation, which never takes place in winter,
but is frequent during the summer, is accompanied with a loud noise, resembling thunder,
and a shock which makes the adjacent mountains tremble.    They are subject to change From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
every day and almost every hour, and it is
this circumstance that renders the ascent of
glaciers so dangerous to travelers, and they
are covered with elevations rising from one
hundred to four hundred feet.
Though the snow line of the Alps is found
at an elevation of about eight thousand feet
above the level of the sea, some of the glaciers
descend so far downward that their lower extremity is not more than three thousand five
hundred feet above it. We noticed this particularly in the valley of the Chamouni, where
the singular spectacle is presented of huge
pyramids of ice, of a thousand fantastic
shapes in juxtaposition to the most luxurious
pastures, or towering in majestic grandeur in
the midst of verdant forests.
The principle of descent of glaciers is twofold, one of a slow and gradual character like
the dunes of France, by which a progressive
movement of about twenty-five feet annually
is effected ; the other of a rapid and impetuous kind, in which a portion of the ice having
been disrupted from the main body glides
down the mountain's side, accumulating as
it goes, and precipitating into the valleys
beneath immense stones, fragments of rock
and other substances to which it had adhered.
HjJWiay*1.'"- 122     From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
Philosophers and naturalists have attributed this downward movement of a glacier to
various causes. Saussure maintained that it
was nothing more than a slipping upon itself,
occasioned by its own weight; on the other
hand, Agassiz ascribes this motion to the expansion of the ice resulting from the congelation of the water which has filtered into it
and penetrated its cavities ; while Mallet is
inclined to attribute it to the hydrostatic
pressure of the water which flows at the bottom and makes rents in the mass.
When the debris which the glaciers accumulate in their descent has been deposited in
the valleys, it constitutes what in Savoy is
termed their moraine or border, an essential
feature in the Alpine glaciers. These borders present every variety of aspect, but their
most usual appearance is that of unfathomable bogs and morasses, wholly destitute of
vegetation, and, in many instances, fraught
with infinite peril to the traveler.
The moraine of the Alaska glaciers resembles a military fortification; alongside the
Davidson glacier and at the foot of the Muir
glacier, it was piled up on the side of the
water with bowlders, sand and debris difficult
to climb over. From  Yelloivstone Park to Alaska.     12-
The Alpine glaciers occupy a superficial
extent of one thousand four hundred and
eighty-four square miles. From »Mount
Blanc to the borders of the Tyrol they are
reckoned about four hundred, of which the
greater number varies from ten to fifteen
miles long and from one to two and one-half
wide, and one hundred to six hundred feet
deep. Besides the grand and picturesque
appearance they present externally, their
lower extremities are sometimes excavated
by the melting of the ice into the form of
immense grottoes adorned with the finest
stalactic crystalizations, whose brilliant azure
tints are reflected on the foaming streams and
torrents which generally issue from these
caverns, forming altogether so beautiful and
imposing a picture, as to defy the most faithful pencil to adequately portray.
We shall never forget our walk, with our
alpenstocks, across the Mere de Glace, feeling our way along, lest we fall into the deep
crevasses two to three hundred feet down.
At the Rhone glacier are seen some of the
finest sights in Switzerland ; every minute
during our descent some fresh impression of
the magnitude of its frozen billows and its
yawning crevasses came in sight.    At the foot
iM r£i
From  Yellotvstone Park to Alaska.
of the glacier we get a grand view ; it extends
fifteen miles, and looks like Niagara Falls
frozen- over, on the American side of the
Falls, extending fifteen miles up the Niagara
River. This glacier is the source of the river
Rhone, which flows onward to the sea at
Marseilles, five hundred miles away. It has
been said to issue " from the gates of eternal
night at the foot of the Pillar of the Sun,"
and really poetry is excusable in sight of
such a scene of unparalleled grandeur. The
ice cavern and grotto are magnificent.
The Aletsch glacier is said to be the largest
in Switzerland and is about twenty miles
long by four miles wide. Here Agassiz performed a series of experiments on glacial
action, and proved that this glacier moves at
the rate of eight inches a day, or eighty-five
yards per year.
In high arctic latitudes, while the line of
perpetual snow comes down to the sea level,
the phenomena of glaciers are displayed on
the grandest scale. Thus they were seen by
Dr. Kane in latitude seventy-nine to eighty
degrees, spreading over the western coast of
Greenland, and sloping so gently toward the
water that the effect of an inclined plane was
perceived   by  looking far  into  the  interior From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
towards the east. In this long range the
angle of the slope was from seven to fifteen
degrees. From this glacier to the southern
extremity of Greenland, a distance exceeding
one thousand two hundred miles, Dr. Kane
imagines a deep sea of unbroken ice may extend along the central portions nearly the
whole length of the continent—a sea " that
gathers perennial increase from the watershed
of vast snow-covered mountains, and all the
precipitations of the atmosphere upon its
own surface." " Here was a plastic, moving
semi-solid mass, obliterating life, swallowing
rocks and islands, and plowing its way with
irresistible march through the crust of an investing sea."
On our tour through Norway we visited
several glaciers, one said to be sixty miles
long. Dr. Joseph Hooker speaks of a glacier
in the Himalayan Mountains which presents
a vertical heigfht of fourteen thousand feet.
Iceland, Spitzbergen, the Caucasus and Altai
have their glaciers, but in central Europe, in
Switzerland, Savoy, Piedmont and the Tyrol,
it is said they cover one thousand four hundred and eighty-four square miles.
As we approached the glaciers of Alaska,
especially the great Muir glacier, and climbed
J 12
6    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
to the top, we realized that the glaciers of the
Alps and Norway were not to be compared to
these " that lay glittering like a great jewel
house, and dropping bergs of beryl and
sapphire into the sea."
According to Dr. Newberry, " glaciers once
covered most of the elevated portions of the
mountain belts in the West, as far south as
the thirty-sixth parallel, and all the eastern
half of the continent to the fortieth parallel
of latitude. That the ancient glaciers, which
occupied the area described, were not produced by local causes, but were the exponents of a general climatic condition.
That they could not have been the effect of a
warm climate and an abundant precipitation
of moisture, and, therefore, afford proof of
the truth of what is called the glacial period.
That all the highest portions of the Sierra
Nevada Mountains were once covered with
snow fields, and that glaciers flowed from
these down the valleys on either side."
We stopped a few days at the foot of
Mount Shasta, in California, a grand old
snow-covered mountain, which once bore,
many glaciers, of which miniature representations still remain. " The Cascade Range
of   mountains,  which  we   see   from   Puget From  Yellowstone Park to Alask
Sound, exhibits," says Dr. Newberry, " perhaps the most impressive record of ice action
known ; all the higher portions of the Range
are planed and furrowed by glaciers which
descended into the valley of the Des Chutes
on the east and the Willamette on the west,
at least two thousand five hundred feet below
the snow line of Mount Ranier, or, as the
people of Tacoma say, Mount Tacoma."
Mount Hood has three distinct glaciers,
and all the country in that region is said to
be glaciated. In British Columbia the signs
of ancient glaciation are conspicuous in all
the high country which has been explored,
as also on Vancouver's Island. All along the
coast farther north, the ancient glaciers have
left their mark in all the fjords, and those of
the present day descend lower and lower
until, in Alaska, they reach the sea level.
Over all the western mountain ranges the
traces of ancient glaciation are alike in
character, and apparently of the same date,
and are evidently the effect of general and
not local causes, says Dr. Newberry.
It is well that one visits the glaciers of
Switzerland and Norway first, then they are
prepared to see in our own country in Alaska
a  more   magnificent   sight in purely glacial
ut 128    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
scenery than can be seen any where in the wide
world. We see on our route to Alaska no less
than six large glaciers, including the Davidson, Sundown, Brady, Patterson, Taku and
Muir. After entering Alaska, above Fort
Wrangell, one beautiful morning, we see three,
all visible at once, on the east side of the narrows ; the larger one, called the Davidson,
extending back forty miles, measuring four
miles across the front that faces the water and
the terminal moraine it has built up before it,
and this is the first in the great line of glaciers along the Alaska coast. We had Professor Wright, of Oberlin, and the Rev. Dr.
Patton, of Michigan, on our steamer, who were
authority on glaciers, from whom we got
much information. For one, I was free to
acknowledge my ignorance of glacial origin
and action, although I had opportunities to
see such grand sights of them where they exist in their grandeur and picturesqueness, in
Switzerland and Norway ; after witnessing
these in our own country, I determined to
read and study and know more of their history and what scientists say about them.
If I had time, I should like to relate you
what I don't know about glaciers, but life is
too short for me to do this part of my subject justice, and I will confine myself to giving
you an account of those in Alaska, as they
appeared to us. One must see them to realize how grand and extensive they are. Before
we reach Taku Inlet, into which the Taku
river empties, we see in the distance the high
snow-covered mountains on both sides of the
river, and as we approach they present a more
magnificent appearance, as we see them from
different points of view, and that strange
monument, the Devil's Thumb, we could see
from a mountain top.
Farther up in the Stephen's Passage, floating in belts of the great glaciers in Holkam
or Sundown Bay, and besides the one great
Sundown glacier flowing into the sea, there
are three other glaciers hidden in the high-
walled fjords that open from the bay. One
of the first and most adventurous visitors to
the Sundown glacier was Captain J. W. White,
of the Revenue Cutter Lincoln, who anchored
the cutter in the bay, 1868. Seeing a great
arch or tunnel in front of the glacier, he had
his men row the small boat into the deep blue
grotto, and they went one hundred feet down
a crystalline corridor, whose roof was a thousand feet thick. The colors, he said, were
marvelous, and like galleries cut in the Alpine
.fjftf-iV will sspg&sa
130    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
gdaciers, showed fresh wonders with each ad-
vance. At the farthest point the adventurous
boatmen poured out libations and drank to
the spirit of the ice kingdom.
In 1876 gold was discovered, and the Sundown placers were the first that were worked
in Alaska. Professor Muir visited the glacier
and mines in Sundown Bay in 1879, and at
Shough, a camp in a valley at the head of the
inlet, found miners at work with their primitive rockers and sluices. Reaching the mouth
of Taku Inlet, into which the Taku river empties, the floating ice gave evidence of the
great glaciers that lie within ; and following
up the fjord for about fifteen miles to a great
basin, we came suddenly in sight of three
glaciers. One sloped down a steep and rather
narrow ravine, and its front was hidden by
another turn in the overlapping hills. The
second one, pushed down between two high
mountains, and resting its tongue on the water,
dropped off icebergs and cakes that covered
the surface of the dull-green water. The
front of the icy cliff stretched entirely across
the half-mile gap between the mountains, and
its face rose a hundred or two hundred feet
from the water. Every foot of it seemed
jagged and rent with great fissures, in which From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     131
the palest prismatic hues were flashing. As
the tide fell, large pieces fell from this front,
and avalanches of ice fragments crashed
down into the sea and raised waves that
rocked our ship and set the floes grinding
On the other point of the crescent of this
bay, there lay the largest glaciers ; an ice
field that swept down from two mountain
gorges, and spreading out in fan-shape, descended in a long slope to a moraine of sand,
pebbles and bowlders. Across its rolling
front this glacier measured at least three
miles, and the low level moraine was one mile
in width. The moraine's slope was so gradual,
that when the small boats were lowered, and
we started for shore, they grounded one hundred feet from the water-mark, and there
stuck until the passengers were taken off, one
by one, in the lightest boat, and then carried
over the last twenty feet of water in the sailor's arms.
Some one gives an interesting description
of experience: " It was a time for old
clothes, to begin with, and every one wore
the worst when they started off ; but at the
finish, when the same set waded through a
quarter of a mile of sand and mineral mud,
3535 H  SI
132    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
left exposed by the falling tide, and were
dumped into the boats by the sailors, a near
relative would not have owned one of us.
The landing of the glacier pilgrims was a
scene worthy of the nimblest caricaturist, and
sympathy welled up for the poor officers and
sailors who shouldered stout men and women,
and struggled ashore through the sinking
mud and water. The burly Captain picked
out the slightest young girl and carried her
ashore like a doll; but the second officer, deceived by the hollow eyes of one tall woman,
lifted her up gallantly, floundered awhile in
the mud, and the awful surprise of her weight,
and then bearer and burden took a headlong
plunge. The newly married man carried his
bride off on his back, and had that novel
incident to put down in the voluminous
journal of the honeymoon kept by the young
As we sail along through the beautiful islands, we reach Lynn Canal, so called by
Vancouver, who honored this arm of the sea
with the name of his native place in England. The clear blue sky and bright sun and
balmy atmosphere made us all exclaim,
" This is a perfect day ; " and grander and
more enchanting than ever, the scenery opens
8M up to our view as we sail through Lynn
Canal, with its bold white mountains on the
west, and on the east shows the great continental range which fronts abruptly on the
water. We pass peak after peak, and at every
point we are surprised at another, and still
another, glacier, until nineteen glaciers in all
are passed, when we reach the head of the
The great Auk glacier was first seen, and
then the Eagle glacier, toppling over a precipice three thousand feet in air, their frozen
crests and fronts turning pinnacles of silver
and azure to the radiant sun. At the head of
Lynn Canal, Chilkat Inlet opens to the left,
and Chilcoot Inlet to the right. Opposite to
the tongue of land, on the Chilkat side, is the
great Davidson glacier, which spreads out
like a fan, as it sweeps down through two
mountains. We sail beside it for three miles.
It is twelve hundred feet high, and the terminal moraine is covered with verdure of green
fir trees, which separate it from the waters.
We met Professor Davidson, the astronomer, after whom it is named, in San Francisco. We had a delightful conversation with
him about this wonderful country, and especially  about   this  glacier, which   he  dis-
m *34
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
covered, while making scientific explorations
for the government ; he also gave us much
information about Muir glacier. We were in
Mr. Keith's studio, in San Francisco, at the
time. Mr. Keith is the artist who painted my
Muir glacier, and Professor Davidson commended the painting highly, he thought it
gave a more correct idea of the great glacier
than anything he had ever seen.
Professor Davidson tells a good story, that
while in the Chilkat country in 1869—he was
also there in 1867—gathering material for a
report upon the topography, climate and resources of Alaska, called for by the Congressional Committee having the matter of the
purchase of the territory in charge, he made
the acquaintance of Chief Kloh-Kutz. Professor Davidson was the old chief's host, and
he told him that there was to be an eclipse of
the sun, and that it would be dark at midday
on August seventh. The Indians were greatly
interested as the men pointed their instruments at the sun each day, but they fled in
terror when the darkness began to appear,
and did not come back until the eclipse was
They thought  Professor Davidson was a
god,  or, as  they called   him, a wonderful From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
ft I
medicine man, who could do such wonderful
deeds, and the old Chief Kloh-Kutz wanted
to have the name " Davidson " tattoed on his
arm. Secretary Seward and party were in
Alaska at the time of the eclipse, and on their
way to the Chilkat country. The Indians who
were employed to take them up in a canoe,
refused, when the eclipse came on, to paddle
any further, and said : " The sun was very
sick and wanted to go to sleep." The canoes
were beached quickly, and the visitors made
a camp fire for themselves and cooked their
dinner. Chief Kloh-Kutz had been told that
Mr. Seward was the great Tyee or chief, so he
had Mr. Seward's, instead of Professor Davidson's, name tattoed on his arm, with other totems. When at the meeting of the Chiefs
and Chilkat women in the council chamber to
receive them, the old chief rolled up his
sleeve and, much to the astonishment of Mr.
Seward, he saw his name on the old chief's
arm. Thinking Mr. Seward owned Alaska,
he addressed himself through an interpreter
to him. He said that ten years before, three
Chilkats had been killed at Sitka, and now,
"what is the great Tyee going- to do about
it? " Kloh-Kutz was not to be put off by the
diplomatic answer that the murder had hap-
3 136    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
pened during Russian possession ; he said
I that the Tyee of the Russians was so poor
that he could not keep his land, and had to
sell it," but for all that he must have reparation for the loss of his three Chilkats. He
considered one Chilkat worth three Sitkans,
and if the Tyee would let him kill nine Sitkans, the account would be squared. With
the finesse worthy of a diplomate, who had
dealt with all the great nations of the earth,
Mr. Seward finally bought off Kloh-Kutz by
giving him forty blankets as an indemnity.
Kloh-Kutz delights to show his Seward tattoo mark to visitors. From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     137
AS we advanced up Glacier Bay, which is
twelve miles long, and which was all ice
when Vancouver explored this country less
than one hundred years ago, icebergs began to
increase in number and size to such an extent
that the steamer had great difficulty in steering clear of them. Soon we see in the distance the great Muir Glacier, and how the ice
sloughed off, and the sound reverberates
around us like a great explosion of artillery
as the ice falls into the water and throws
great waves, which rock the steamer. We
steer up almost to the very foot of the
glacier, which rises perpendicularly above us
four hundred feet, and crash after crash
comes the ice tumbling down in such proportions, as makes one feel that the steamer
might be submerged by it.
The ice is a beautiful torquoise blue, and is
siiiU'-W'" -*•""*
pffS? y<BBP*&K'*
138    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
in regular pinnacles, with great crevasses
running into the glacier. We soon prepare
to go ashore in the little boat, for a long
tramp, to get a look at the top of the glacier ;
it seems but a short distance, and we walk on
and over the sharp rocks which have been
crushed by the power of the ice ; sand covers
the ice, and when we think we have a firm
footing, we find we are only stepping on ice
covered with sand, and find ourselves in
danger of a fall. We try many high points,
but are not satisfied until we reach the highest
peak of ice, and have one of the grandest
views the eye can survey.
The glacier is said to be five miles wide
and eighty miles long, to the grand old
mountains of Crillow, fifteen thousand nine
hundred feet high ; Mount Fairweather,
fifteen thousand five hundred feet ; Mount
Cook, sixteen thousand feet, and many others.
Sometimes Mount Saint Elias can be seen,
which is the highest mountain in North
America, and the Devil's Thumb, looking no
higher than the Washington monument, a
sheer monster, six thousand feet high, with
faces almost perpendicular. The whole
glacier looks like a long mountain range of
ice ; we can count no less than fifteen tribu- From  Yellowstone Park to Alaskc
tary glacial streams, any one of which, Mr.
Hallock says, " is as large as the great Rhone
glacier," which we crossed in Switzerland,
and which seemed so wonderful at the time.
| Drawn from the inexhaustible but annually diminishing accumulations of snow,
which fill the mcyuntain valleys to a depth of
at least two thousand feet, these separate
streams unite like the strands of a rope to
form the irresistible current of the Muir."
No one could cross it, it is so full of deep
crevasses and wedge-shaped and rounded
cones of solid ice, capped by discolored and
disintegrating snow. We gaze in wonder
until our feet are cold standing upon the ice,
and start to return, creeping over the sharp
ice lest we fall into the deep gulches. Our
steamer in the distance looks like a child's
toy vessel. We selected some beautiful specimens of bowlders which, by the action of the
ice upon them, were as smooth as if polished.
We think if a good hotel were erected on the
terminal moraine it would be well patronized ;
we should like to stay a week and hear the
ice tumbling down, and look upon the
" translucent depths of the glacier ice, whose
radiance emulates the blue and green beryl,
turquoise, chrisophos and emerald."
wpug' 140
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
On our return to the vessel, after getting
a good wetting from the waves which come
so suddenly while trying to reach the boat,
we compare our wornout shoes in climbing
sharp rocks, those wearing rubbers found
them cut into shreds, and the experiences of
each are interesting.
We had climbed probably five or six miles,
but we did not experience any fatigue, as a
cold, bracing wind came off the glacier. The
thermometer, according to the steamer's report, was in water forty degrees ; outside
water forty-four degrees.
This glacier and the Davidson, which, according to Hallock, " are spurs or outflows
of*the same ice field, which has an unbroken
expanse of four hundred miles, are large
enough to lay over the whole domain of
We left our friends, Professor Wright, of
Oberlin, and Dr. Patton, of Michigan, on the
shore near the glacier, where they camp out
for a month to take measurements of the
progress of the glacier, its height, etc., and
various phenomena in regard to it, which
will be of great interest to the scientific
world. They looked lonely enough under
the great bare mountain, and beside the great From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
mountain of ice, with only two Indians for
Professor Wright in his report says : " The
Muir glacier presents to the observer many
points of interest that have not heretofore
been carefully studied. Among them its
motion is likely to attract most attention ;
to appreciate the facts it is necessary first
to give a brief description of the glacier.
" The glacier is not single, but compound,
and has by no means free course to the sea.
Roughly speaking, it may be said to occupy
an amphitheatre about twenty-five miles in
diameter from north to south, and thirty
miles from east to west. The opening of this
amphitheatre is towards the south-south-east
into Muir Inlet or Glacier Bay, and is, according to our measurement, but two miles wide
from one shoulder of the mountain approaching it from the southeast to the corresponding shoulder of a mountain in the south-west.
Through this narrow opening all the excess
of snow fall above, what melts upon the before-mentioned amphitheatre must find its
escape. Into the centre of this amphitheatre
no less than nine first-class glaciers pour
their contents. Were one to reckon the
respectable sub-branches visible, he would set
^ 142
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
down the whole number of affluences at more
than twenty. Four of the main branches
come in from the east. But these have nearly
spent their force on reaching the focus of the
amphitheatre, and their medial moraines are
crowded together about the eastern side of
the outlet, having formed the receding series
of terminal moraines upon that side. The
first tributary from the south-west also practically loses its force before reaching the main
current, and is piling up a series of terminal
moraines along the western border.
" The main flow of ice reaching the water
of Muir Inlet is from four main branches, two
coming from the north-west and two from the
north. The course of these tributaries is
marked both above and below their junction,
by a rough broken surface, much elevated
above the other portion of the ice. The motion of this portion of the glacier proves to
be much more rapid than has been generally
supposed. Observations upon three portions,
four hundred, one thousand, and one thousand
five hundred yards from the front, show in
that nearest the front a motion of one hundred and thirty-five feet per day. The summit of the lower one was a little over three
hundred feet above  the water, that of the
uk From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.    143
next about four, and of the third considerably more than four' hundred, perhaps five
hundred feet. The motion rapidly demin-
ishes on approaching the medial moraine,
brought down by the branches from the east.
Along a line running parallel with that of the
greatest motion, and about half a mile east
from it, the rate of motion observed at two
points was about ten feet per day. Thus we
get an average daily motion in the main channel of the ice flow, near its mouth, of about
forty feet across a section of one mile. From
this an approximate estimate can be made of
the daily discharge.
I The height of the ice front at the extreme
point, is two hundred and twenty-five feet.
Back a few hundred feet it is a litt'e over
three hundred feet, and at a quarter of a mile
it reaches a height of four hundred feet.
The depth of the water one quarter of a mile
in front of the center, is eighty-five fathoms
or five hundred and ten feet. Thus the con.
elusion is reached that a stream of ice seven
hundred and thirty-five feet deep, five thousand feet wide, and one thousand two hundred feet long poured out into the inlet during thirty days of our stay in camp. This is
at the rate of one  hundred and forty-nine
J 144    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
million cubic feet per day. If this seems an
improbable result, it is because one has not
witnessed the many signs of the movement
which is going on.
I Scarcely ten minutes passes, either in the
day or night, without the reverberation of an
extensive fall of ice. This reverberation can
be heard for miles and reminds one of the
bombardment of a city, or of a first-class thunder-storm. The waves startled by these falls,
frequently wrapped in foam the beach near
our camp, two and one half miles distant.
Frequently the floating ice was so thick over
the inlet that it was difficult to find passageway for our canoe. One of the many large
masses of ice projected sixty feet above the
water and was about four hundred feet
square. The portion above the water was
somewhat irregular, but allowing that a symmetrical form thirty feet high would have
contained all the ice above the water, that
would give us a depth of about two hundred
and fifty feet ; upon this calculation, that single berg contained forty million cubic feet.
The house that measures forty by fifty by
thirty feet contains sixty thousand cubic
" The dimensions of the Idaho are, lengfth From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
one hundred and ninety-five feet, width thirty-
one feet by thirty feet above water, making:
one hundred and eighty-four thousand, one
hundred and forty cubic feet: that berg
was two hundred times largfer than the
" Thus we can see that the rate of motion
shown by our measurement in the main channel of the ice current accords with the other
facts. The largeness of the results need not
surprise us, even when compared with that of
Swiss glaciers, for the Swiss glaciers are contracted affairs in comparison with the Muir
glacier. The outlet of the Muir glacier is
four times as wide as those measured by Professor Tyndall, and the area occupied by the
whole glacier is certainly six times as large as
the whole surface from which the Mount
Blanc glaciers derive their snow.
" Ice moves not so much from the inclination of its bed as from the extent of its mass.
" This is the first time that accurate observations have been made upon the movements
of so large a mass of ice, and the results will
not surprise those who have had the main
elements of this problem in their minds."
We did not go north of Sitka on the Pacific  coast,  but   Lieutenant   Schwatka   says:
BBS 10'
146    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
" Almost as soon as Cape Spencer is doubled,
the southern spurs of the Mount Saint Elias
Alps burst into view, Crillon and Fairweather
being prominent, and the latter easily recognized from our acquaintance with it from the
waters of Glacier Bay. A trip of an hour or
two takes us along a comparatively uninteresting coast, as viewed from the ' square off
our starboard beam ;' but all this time the
mind is fixed by the grand Alpine views we
have ahead of us, that are slowly developing-
in plainer outline here and there as we speed
toward them. Soon we are abreast of Icy
Point ; while just beyond it comes down a
glacier to the ocean that gives about three
miles of solid sea-wall of ice, while its source
is lost in the heights covering the bases of the
snowy peaks just behind. The high peak to
the right, as we steam by the glacier front, is
Mount La Perouse, named for one of the
most daring of France's long list of explorers,
and who lost his life in the interest of geographical science. His eyes rested on this
range of Alpine peaks in 1786, just a century
ago. Its sides are furrowed with glaciers,
one of which is the ice-wall before our eyes,
and which is generally known as the La Perouse glacier.    The highest peak of all, and From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
on the left of this noble range is Mount Cril-
lon, named by La Perouse, in 1786, after the
French minister of Marine ; while between
Crillon and La Perouse is Mount d'Agelet,
named for the astronomer of that celebrated
immrut 148    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
CRILLON cleaves the air for sixteen thousand feet above the sea, on which we
rest, and can be seen for over a hundred miles
at sea. It, too, is surrounded with glaciers
in all directions from its crown. Crillon and
La Perouse are about seven miles apart,
nearly north and south of each other.
About fifteen miles north-west of Crillon is
Lituya Peak, ten thousand feet high ; and the
little bay-opening that we pass, between the
two, is the entrance to Lituya Bay, a sheet of
water which La Perouse has pronounced as
one of the most extraordinary in the world
for grand scenery, with its glaciers and Alpine shores. Our steamer will not enter,
however, for the passage is dangerous even to
small boats—one island bearing a monument
to the officers and men of La Perouse's expedition, lost in the tidal-wave which sweeps From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
through the contracted passage like breakers
over a treacherous bar.
Some ten or twelve miles north-west from
Lituya Peak is Mount Fairweather, which
bears abreast of us after a little over an hour's
run from Lituya Bay. It was named by Cook
in 1778, and is generally considered to be a
few hundred feet shorter than Mount Crillon.
It is in every way, by its peculiar isolation
from near ridges, almost as high as itself, a
much grander peak than Crillon, whose surroundings are not so good for a fine Alpine
Fairweather, too, has its frozen river flowing down its sides ; but none of these reach
the sea, for a low, wooded country, some three
or four miles in width, lies like a glacis at the
seaward side of the Saint Elias Alps, for a
short distance along this part of the coast.
The sombre, deep green forests add an impressive feature to the scene, however, lying
between the dancing waves below and the
white and blue glacier ice above.
Rounding Cape Fairweather, the coast
trends northward ; and, as our bowsprit is
pointed in the same direction, we have a view
of immense glaciers reaching to the sea.
From Cape Fairweather (abreast of Mount ¥
150    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
Fairweather) to Yakutat Bay, (abreast of
Mount Vancouver), no conspicuous peak rears
its head above the grand mountain chain,
which, for nearly one hundred miles, lies between these two Alpine bastions ; but, nevertheless, every hour reveals a new mountain of
five to eight thousand feet in height, which,
if placed anywhere else, would be held up
with national or state pride as a grand acquisition ; here they are only dwarfed by grander
On our return from Alaska, our steamer
anchored off Metlakahtla, an Arcadian village
of civilized Indians, built around a bay on
Chimsgan Peninsula, just below the Alaskan
boundary line, and but a little way south of
Fort Simson, in British Columbia, the chief
Hudson Bay Company trading post of the
region, where the great canoe market and the
feasts and dances of the Indians enliven the
centre of trade each fall. The coast is rugged
and fierce as the natives who inhabit it. Metlakahtla, in the distance, looks like a New
England village, with its white frame houses
and large white frame meeting house.
The story, as learned, of these Indians, of
their terrible barbarity, is almost too horrible
to believe.    Nine Tsimshean   tribes   centre From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     151
around Fort Simson, notorious on the whole
coast for their cruel, bloodthirsty savagery—
given up to dark superstition and atrocious
habits of cannibalism—they were constantly
waging wars upon the neighboring tribes.
Their warfare was carried on with revolting;
cruelty, and in taking captives they enslaved
the women and children and beheaded the
Mr. William Duncan, of England, left mercantile life to take up this missionary work,
under the auspices of the English Church
Missionary Society, in 1857 ; he came around
Cape Horn ; the Governor of the Hudson
Bay Company urged upon him the folly of attempting to civilize the murderous hordes of
the North Pacific, warning him that they
would murder him. Mr. Duncan seems to
have been one of the noblest and most heroic
men that ever undertook to christianize and
civilize the Indians. General Sheridan says :
"There is no good Indian but a dead Indian."
Mr. Duncan showed most conclusively that
they are subject to the same influences that
white men are.
The Tsimshean's beliefs and superstitions
are merely based on their rich fund of legendary lore.    They have a version of the crea-
J 152    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
tion, and of the flood ; they believe in good
and evil genius, and in special deities who
control the seas and storms. They believe
that the world was once wrapped in utter
darkness and inhabited only by frogs; the
frogs refusing to supply the devil with oolu-
chan, he, to be avenged, sneaked into heaven
and stole daylight, which was kept there in
the form of a ball, and broke it over their
heads, and thus gave light to the world. The
chief traits of the devils were lying and
The world was at one time very close to
heaven, so very close that the people in
heaven could hear the voices of those on
earth, and the people on earth could hear the
voices of those in heaven; the children of
the earth made such a clamor that they disturbed the great Shimanquet Lakkah, and he
shoved the earth a long way off. In the next
world the good will have the best quality of
fish and game, while the wicked will receive
only that caught out of season and of the
poorest quality.
The medicine man, claiming direct intercourse with the spirit world, held great influence over the people. He arrayed himself
in the skin of a lion or wolf, the head and muzzle of which formed a helmet, the tushes
falling about the temples. A hideous carved
mask covered his face, while armlets and
anklets, of repulsive design, encircled his
shrivelled limbs. To add to the ferocity of
his appearance, the exposed parts of his body
were daubed with red and black paint, and he
was covered with pendant charms, such as
dried skunk skins, distended fish-bladders,
tails of animals, feathers, rare shells, highly
polished little horns, eagles' claws, engraved
bones and teeth, which dangled about him as
he advanced ■ into the room, with a series of
postures and jerks, armed with a mystic wand
and a large wooden rattle, fashioned in the
form of an eagle, with a demon covered on
its back, pulling out a man's tongue with its
teeth, he proceeds aggressively to overpower
and frighten away the evil spirits by giving
vent to a series of unearthly wailing and gut-
teral sounds, vehemently brandishing and
marking time with the rattle. If not successful in frightening away the evil one by these
noises, he begins to hack the ailing part and
suck and burn it out.
The Shaman receives a liberal retainer, in.
view of securing his cleverest arts in exorcising the invading demon.    This evil spirit
B^ i
154    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
was supposed to be sent by some designing
enemy, who, if discovered, was killed by the
relative of the afflicted. If the patient recovered, the Shaman received an additional
fee ; if he died, the fees must be returned
forthwith, and he also sometimes suffered
death as a penalty for his " bad medicine."
All of the Northern Pacific tribes of Indians are full of inordinate personal vanity
and pride. Because of a slight taunt or insult, a man will sometimes kill a slave or destroy all his property, believing that he thereby wipes out the disgrace.
" Some years ago," says Mr. Welcome, " an
officer in charge of a division of an Arctic
Search Expedition indiscreetly gave out that
he was about to send for a certain prominent
chief, word of which reached the ears of the
chief in question, who was in the habit of
being waited upon, or the honor of his
presence requested; so when the officer's
emissaries arrived, they were carved, and
grilled, and eaten by the affronted chief and
his council—this to wipe out the insult."
They give great feasts when they accumulate enough property, and impoverish themselves. Most of their property is in furs and
blankets, which is their exchange. Sometimes
sssd From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     155
at their feasts they kill their slaves and give
away their furs and blankets ; and the one
who can give the greatest feast, and give
away the most, is considered the most prominent and greatest man among them.
When the girls reach the age of puberty,
they are confined for one month in an isolated
cabin. No one is allowed to see them at this
time, and it is supposed that they are away
on a voyage to the moon, or to some other
celestial abode, and at the end of the month
they return to their people, amid great feasting and rejoicing.
It is on the occasion of a feast accompanying Potlach, or giving away, or destroying
property, or the return of a maiden, or the
initiating of youth into the mysteries of
Shaminism, that dog eating and cannibalism,
devil dancing and other wild revelries occur.
In one of his letters Mr. Duncan writes : " To
attempt to describe their condition would be
but to produce a dark, revolting picture of
human depravity. The dark mantle of degrading superstition envelops them all, and
their savage spirits, swayed by pride, jealousy
and revenge, were ever hurrying them on to
deeds of blood. Their history is little else
than a chapter of crime and misery."
ii mw&ssFwm
156    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
Shortly after Mr. Duncan's arrival he witnessed, while standing on the gallery of one
of the bastions, a most sickening sight. A
party of hideously painted and bedecked
cannibals, tearing limb from limb the body of
a woman who had just been foully murdered
by a chief, each struggling for a morsel of the
human flesh, which they devoured, accompanying their fiendish orgies with unearthly
howls and the weird beating of their medicine
drums. Bespattered with the blood of their
victims, maddened with rum, frenzied by
their hysterical enthusiasm in these superstitious rites, they wrought themselves into
wild, furious delirium, imitating ravenous
wolves in their ferocity. These ceremonies
continued during the night, and were followed
by debaucheries lasting several days, during
which time most terrible atrocities were perpetrated, several of their number being slain
just without the gates of the for*t.
These were the barbarians whom Mr. Duncan came across the Atlantic to civilize. He
commenced at once to, learn their language,
and he called Clark, one of the most intelligent Tsimshean natives, to assist him in
learning it. In the fort all intercourse with
them was by means of signs common to the
«K9«* !&*«•?
$3 !
r From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     157
coast ; no white man had ever been able to
master the language. At the end of several
months he was able to write sufficiently in
the language to explain to them what he
wished to accomplish among them, and to
bring to them a message from God, not to
trade for their blankets and furs, and to show
them how they could be equal to the white
man. They considered him a supernatural
being, and he was received among them
kindly, notwithstanding the warning he had
received from the inmates of the fort that his
life was in danger. It was difficult to gain
their attention, they were so much interested
in the buttons on his coat. He repeated
over and over what he desired to teach them,
until they gave due heed to what he wanted
them to learn.
Their figures of speech were picturesque
and expressive. One minister says : " Mr.
Welcome addressed them as \ children of the
forest,' and was not a little confused when he
found that his interpreter could only render
it in the Chinook jargon, \ Tanass man cupah
hyyn stick,' signifying little men among many
sticks and stumps." 158    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
SPEAKING of translations, Professor G. F.
Wright told the Boston ministers of a
ludicrous turn in an Indian version of the
twenty-third Psalm, which he found in his
Alaska peregrinations. The missionary had
been handicapped in his endeavor to translate " The Lord is my shepherd," by the utter
absence in Alaska of anything like ordinary
sheep. He finally thought he had surmounted the difficulty, and passing the result
of his labors over to the natives, was dum-
founded to hear them read, " The Lord is a
first-class mountain sheep hunter."
Mr. Duncan told them the simple story of
the Bible and Jesus Christ, and how terrible
was the crime of murder, and contrasted
what made the difference between them and
the white man. He opened a school at one
of the chief's, and children and older persons
gladly  came ;   he built   a   log school-house.
a ill
mm They soon began to see the difference between the white men and themselves, and
learned the secret of eternal things, which
they did not possess. He was a good pastor ;
he visited the homes of all classes, and
learned all their customs, and got into their
hearts, and found that they were susceptible
to kindness and attention, the same as the
white people.
The Shamans, or medicine men, were his
greatest hindrance, for they soon learned that
their sorcery would come to an end if the people were enlightened, as they would not then
believe in their jugglery. But he was determined to thwart them in their fury to stop
the schools, and many times, by his boldness
and daring, prevented them murdering him.
They found in him a friend when they were
sick or in trouble ; he showed them the
material advantages to be gained by following the teachings of Christ and the new life—
he did not teach them spiritual things first.
Mr. Duncan found them extremely filthy. I
don't think we ever saw, in all our travels,
such filth and stench as we experienced in
their huts and cabins in Alaska. Mr. Duncan went to the foundation of things, and at
once set about cheapening the price of soap
!&r i
i 60    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
by teaching them how to make it. They
formerlyJiad to pay one mink skin, worth a
dollar, for a bar of soap the thickness of one
finger, whereas he produced a large bar for
sixpence ; this was only the beginning of the
introduction of other industries, which had a
decided effect upon them.
The Alaskan Commercial Company has a
monopoly of the fisheries and trade in furs
throughout Alaska and, it is said, opposes all
territorial government, education, and every
civilizing effort, because it affects unfavorably
the Company's greed of gain. We met their
agents everywhere decrying the schools, the
missions, and opposing the admission of
Alaska as territory under the laws which
govern other territories of the United States.
When any movement is made to get an
appropriation from Congress for educational
and other matters for the good of Alaska,
agents and lobbyists are sent to Washington
to work against the measures, because, forsooth, it would effect unfavorably the trade
of the Alaskan Commercial Company ; the
mineral laws alone are in force.
Mr. Duncan soon began to have great opposition in his work from the Hudson Bay
Company,   because   these  civilizing  habits, From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     161
which he taught the Indians, affected their
trade. At the end of four years he had a
number of sincere followers, but the influence
and bad habits of the white, and the drunkenness which gathers around a trading-post,
and the influence and intercourse with the
Indians who continued their heathenish rites,
and who tried in every way by taunting
them to destroy the work of the christian
white man.
" One of the most serious difficulties," said
Mr. Welcome, " in reforming the women, lay
in the practice of the parents selling their
daughters, and that the men hired out their
wives and slaves to white men for prostitution. In holding slaves as their concubines,
not unfrequently the white traders left children of their own blood in slavery."
Mr. Duncan decided to go off by himself
and gather the Indians about him where they
would be safe from these influences. He
selected a place called Metlakahtla, about
twenty miles from Fort Simson, and the site
of one of the ancient Tsimshean villages.
Metlakahtla presented the advantages of
good and convenient fishing and hunting
grounds, a good harbor, and a suitable soil
for gardening; besides nature  has modeled ^ -inatvraaMyy*
162     From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
its surroundings on a plan of remarkable
beauty and grandeur. Mr. Duncan pulled
down his school-house and formed his materials into a raft to be navigated to Metlakahtla
harbor. He describes as extremely solemn
and impressive the embarkation of his little
flock of fifty Tsimshean Indians, in their six
canoes. They had great opposition from
the Shamans, and some promised to follow
Now, in about twenty or twenty-five years,
they have built up a model town that they
have reason to be proud of. Those who
joined Mr. Duncan in the new location, subscribed to the following rules :
First.—To give up their ahhid or Indian
Second.—To cease calling in the Shamans,
or medical men, when sick.
Third.—To cease gambling.
Fourth.—To cease giving away their property for display.
Fifth.—To cease painting their faces.
Sixth.—To cease indulging in intoxicating
Seventh.—To rest on the Sabbath.
Eighth.—To   attend   religious  instruction.
Ninth.—To send their children to school. From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     163
Tenth.—To be cleanly.
Eleventh.—To be industrious.
Twelfth.—To be peaceful.
Thirteenth.—To be liberal and honest in
Fourteenth.—To build neat houses.
Fifteenth.—To pay the village tax.
Is not the above a pretty good set of rules
to govern any cummunity? A strip of land
was marked out for church purposes and
the rest of it divided among the Indians.
Most of those who knew of Mr. Duncan's
movements, prophesied that his efforts to civilize such barbarous tribes of cannibals would
be a failure, but he put his whole .heart and
soul into the work.
His faith has been proven in the wonderful results attained, and the self-respecting,
self-supporting community at Metlakahtla
proves that the Indians can be civilized as
well as educated in one generation, if the
right man and the right means are employed.
He placed upon the Indians themselves much
of the responsibility ; he taught them to govern themselves. He organized a village
council of twelve, including the chiefs who
had joined him, and a constabulary force ;
he was obliged often to use his own judgment I
164     From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
arbitrarily, but the council was consulted on
all important matters.
It could not be expected that their sense of
justice and right would predominate, having
been educated so many years in such barbarous practices. Their sitting in judgment
was often very anomalous, especially in passing judgment upon the offences of their own
I Various public works," says Mr. Welcome,
" were required, and consequently a tax was
necessary ; this was fixed at one blanket,
valued at two dollars and fifty cents, for each
male adult; and one shirt, valued at one dollar,
for such as were approaching manhood. The
first assessment yielded to the exchequer the
following unique return: One green, one
blue and ninety-four white blankets, one pair
white trowsers, one dressed elk skin, seventeen shirts and seven dollars."
They were put to work in making the
premises healthful, by digging drains, making
roads, etc. They built two large houses to
accommodate the wild Indians who came to
trade with them, so that they should not
mingle with their old companions in their
uncivilized state. They dug wells and formed
a  public  common  and  play   ground.     Mr. From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     165
Duncan introduced innocent games to keep
them from the more deleterious games of
gambling, to which they had habituated themselves. He introduced trades and encouraged
them to hunt and fish, and gather berries, and
planned for the sale, by exporting their various products of furs, fish, etc.
It was with great difficulty that he could
change their former customs and habits, as
they clung to them with great tenacity. He
freed all slaves that he could reach ; many
fugitives came to Metlakahtla, and he kept
them until they could be restored to the origf-
inal tribes from which they came ; this was as
terrible a crime in the eyes of the old chiefs,
as the harboring of slaves by the abolitionists
in this country before the war, in the eyes of
those south of Mason and Dixon's line. His
life was often in danger, but he was supported
in his work by his followers. Slavery still
exists in Alaska and British Columbia, but I
have no doubt to a limited extent among the
inland tribes, owing to Mr. Duncan's humane
work offering an asylum for slaves from all
parts of the Indian settlements in the northwest.
The hostility of the Hudson Bay Company's
agents to Mr. Duncan was great, on account
1* 166    From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
of his buying his own vessel to transport the
products of his settlement; he did this to
prevent imposition and extortion, and his introduction of the trades and industries of
civilization interfered with that company's
monopoly. All the coast traders lost no
opportunity to traduce him, charging that his
mission was simply a private money-making
scheme; the slave traders and Shamans and
chiefs were alarmed to see the success of Mr.
Duncan's civilizing efforts upon the Indians,
as it was destroying their power and influence
over them, and all were sworn enemies, using
every means to overthrow his mission.
His heroic conduct in treating the smallpox, which broke out among the Indians with
fearful ravages, destroying thousands of lives,
added greatly to his influence ; he vaccinated
all who came to him, and only five Tsimshe-
ans who came with him to Fort Simson died,
and these took the plague while caring for
outside sufferers. The Indians were so demoralized at its terrible ravages, that trade
and all avocations among the tribes were suspended ; he did all he could to relieve them,
far and near ; great numbers came to him for
aid, and as far as he could he ministered to
them, guarding the safety and welfare of his
M Frotn  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     167
own  people ; all  this gave him great favor
with the Indians.
He foug;ht all adverse influences singde-
handed in this community of half-enlightened
savages. On the first voyage of the vessel to
Victoria, Mr. Duncan could not get a pilot, so
he navigated the vessel himself. The Indians
had contributed something towards its purchase, and at the end of a few months a handsome dividend was paid on each share ; his
own share of the profit he devoted to the objects of his mission.
He established a store on the co-operative
plan, in which each villager was a stockholder of at least one share. They were astonished when they found that their investment of ten blankets had increased to eleven.
This was a new revelation. Formerly, in
storing up their furs and blankets in their
own huts, they became injured and depreciated by mildew and insects.
Prosperity began to smile upon this Arcadian community. Mr. Duncan, with his
wonderful zeal and great energy, conquered
in spite of the many obstacles which
threatened his progress. As they began to
show signs of development, he delivered simple lectures, illustrated by maps and a stere-
J5S. ~ c68    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
opticon, on history, geography, astronomy,
morals, etc. He seems to have had the power
to wield successfully the influence of pastor,
ruler, and every other calling that was necessary to instruct and civilize the Indians.
At one of the elections for village council-
men an incident occurred which would be
amusing to some of our politicians. "The
ballot in favor of a candidate must be unanimous, in order to secure election. On one
occasion a black ball was cast, and as the
nominee enjoyed an excellent reputation, Mr.
Duncan gave out that he would like to see the
dissenter privately. Early the next morning
the individual called and complained, that on
a certain day the candidate had been given
one dollar too much in making change at a
store, and had asked him if he ought to keep
it. " He ought to know himself that he
ought to be honest, without asking me, that
is why I thought he ought not to be a councilman." The severest form of punishment was
public whipping for the crime of threatening
or attempting bloodshed, and which occurred
only four or five times. They were naturaHy
so proud and vain, that they considered it a
great disgrace.
In dealing with some offences, a black flag; was hoisted over the prison. The people
would inquire of each other, " who is the offender?" When it was known, public opinion made it so warm for him, that he was
obliged to reform or leave the village.
To keep up their growth in civilization, the
old houses were pulled down, and new and
better ones erected. The cost of the new
houses was beyond their means, and Mr.
Duncan promised to assist them for each
house, sixty dollars in lumber. A new church,
holding one thousand two hundred people, a
town hall, dispensary, reading room, market
house, blacksmith, carpenter, cooper and tin
shops, work sheds and soap factory were
built, and a sea-wall to protect the village,
water power and. saw mills were erected.
An old Indian who heard that Mr. Duncan
intended to make water saw wood, said, " If
it is true that Mr. Duncan can make water
saw wood, I will see it and then die."
Mr. Duncan used the profits from various
investments, received assistance from friends,
and used his own private funds. He visited
England in 1870, and procured machinery,
and learned various trades, such as weaving,
wire pulling, twine spinning, brush making,
etc.    He also learned the gamut of several
h*& 17°
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
musical instruments, and on his return to
Metakahtla, organized a brass band of
twenty-one instruments, which gained great
renown on the coast; an organ was also
placed in the church.
On his return he was received with all
pomp and honor, as if he had been a king.
His account was exceedingly graphic and interesting. They assured him that they had
constantly prayed for his safe return, and now
God had answered their prayers and revived
their hearts after much weeping. Many sat
up all night with him talking over what had
happened. What a contrast between this and
his reception in 1857 ; then they were all
superstitiously afraid of him.
Such a grand success and change at Metlakahtla had its influence upon other tribes far
into the interior, and up and down the coast.
A number of chiefs had been converted, some
of them the most fierce barbarians, and Se-
gair, a leader of the cannibal feast which Mr.
Duncan witnessed on his first arrival, and
who boasted of the number of lives he had
taken, was " at length humbled and led like
a lamb." He, at one time, tried to assassinate Mr. Duncan. He became a cabinet maker
and carpenter, and a truly exemplary Chris- From  Yellmvstone Park to Alaska.     171
tian. The Indians from Metlakahtla went
out among all the tribes in all that region at
their own expense, and taught them in simple,
figurative language. Here is a sample of
their method :
I Brothers, sisters, you know the way of
the eagle ? The eagle flies high, and the
eagle rests high. He rests on the highest
branch of the highest tree, then he is free
from fear of all beneath him. Brothers, sisters, Jesus to us is the highest branch of the.
highest tree. Let us rest on him, then. We,
too, need not fear, all our enemies beneath
The whole coast, both Indians and white,
heard of the wonderful change, and flocked
to the villagfe to trade, and see the almost
marvelous transformation.
The Chilkat Indians, whom we visited in
Alaska, have the reputation of being a fierce
and bloodthirsty tribe, and who live five or
six hundred miles from Metlakahtla, visited
them, arraying themselves in all their mag-
nificence.of barabaric finery, so as to impress
the people with their greatness and importance. They were astonished at the sight of
the buildings, and of their thrift, so much
like   the white   people   of   Victoria.    They
1:1 172
From  Yeliowstone Park to Alaska.
wanted to see the man who was chief and
manager of the village, who had wrought
such wonders.
Mr. Duncan came to them with his common working clothes on ; they pretended
that they could not see him, and looked over
and beyond him ; they preserved their countenances in solid rigor to maintain their great
dignity, never uttering a word, save the ceremonies of a formal greeting. He conducted
them to his house, and gave them the place
of honor for distinguished guests ; they con
tinued to look at him in utter silence for some
time, and finally broke out: " Surely, you
cannot be the man ! Why, you are a little
man, and we expected to see a great and
powerful giant, gifted in magic, with enormous eyes, that could look right through us
and read our thoughts ! No ; it is impossible ! How could you tame the wild and
ferocious Tsimsheans, who were always
waging war, and were feared throughout the
whole coast? They tell us you have God's
book, and you have taught them to read it ;
we want to see it."
Upon the Bible being placed before them,
and on being told that it was by following
the  teachings  of   this book that the Metla-   From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
kahtlans had become enlightened, each one
touched it reverently with the tip of his
finger, and said, " ahm, ahm," it is good, it is
good. After remaining several days, seeing
the wonderful village, trading, etc., they returned, impressed very much, no doubt, with
the things they had seen.
The influence of these Christian Indians
for good has been very great on our Alaskan
tribes. While our soldiers were at Fort
Wrangell some of these Metlakahtlans were
employed as laborers. They were sober,
Sabbath-keeping Indians, and through their
influence a considerable number of the
Stickeens, at that place, were led to Christ
before Mrs. McFarland, our first missionary
teacher, reached Alaska. They became members of the first church organized there
under the successful labors of Rev. Mr.
Young. Phillip, the first native teacher and
interpreter, and Mrs. Dickinson, also an interpreter, were both educated at Metlakahtla.
One Sabbath morning, soon after the
church was organized, as the people were
gathering for public worship, five stalwart-
looking Indians, clad in army blue, and each
with a water-proof on his arm, walked into
the chapel, and reverently worshipped  God 174    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
there, although it afterward appeared that
they could not understand the dialect used in
the services. They proved to be Metlakahtla
Indians, who had been carrying goods up the
Stickeen River to the Cassar mines. On their
return, Saturday night overtook them at
Fort Wrangell, and, true to their principles,
they fastened their boats to the shore, and
kept the Sabbath. Monday morning they
went their way homeward. But such an
object lesson could not fail to have an influence on the ruder and less Christianized
race, for they have influenced for good all the
tribes with which they have come in contact.
li From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
MR. DUNCAN was inspired to dedicate
himself to this great work of civilizing
these people on account of a graphic portrayal
of the barbarous degradation of the Tsimshean savages, in Admiral Preroth's narrative.
After twenty-five years absence, the Admiral
says : " God has brought me back again,
amidst all the sundry and manifold changes
of the world, face to face with these tribes,
amongst whom I have witnessed only bloodshed, cannibalism and heathen deviltry in its
grossest form ; now they are sitting at the
feet of Jesus, clothed and in their right mind.
The very church warden, dear old Peter
Simpson, who opened the church door for
me, was the chief of one of the cannibal
"Mr. Duncan began  his  work,"  says Mr.
Welcome, " by first mastering the tongue and '176    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
then studying, in their own homes, the minds
and inner life, the habits and customs of these
painted, half-naked savages, as at night they
clustered around their hearth-stones, the blazing fire casting a weird glow over their
swarthy faces. He learned from them their
ideas of the creation, of the mystery of death,
their religious superstitions, their history as
told in legends ; in short, he studied them
and their capacities, as a student studies the
relative equivalents of the elements in chemistry ; as a Samaritan to their sick ; as a peacemaker when fierce passions stirred strife ; as
a comforter in their hours of trouble and woe,
he not only won their affection and confidence, but he also implanted in their hearts
the germs of good will and forbearance
towards each other ; he exemplified and upheld by his own pure life those true principles of morality that stand the crucial test of
the ever suspicious scrutiny of the savage."
He dispensed with everything in the way of
form or ceremony that would distract their attention and taught them the simple truths of
the Christian religion. Some one says, " the first
step towards teaching a savage is to feed him ;
the stomach being satisfied, he will listen to
instruction, not before."   Mr. Duncan grasped intelligently the true science of civilization ;
he learned the insistent needs and pliant capacities of the savages ; we have seen how
effectively he provided for these needs, and
trained these capacities.
In 1881, after Mr. Duncan's wonderful success, he met with great persecution from
those who naturally should have been his
warm friends and supporters ; he was only a
layman, and would not take Church of England orders ; his answer to the Bishop of Columbia, who urged him, was, | that he feared
that church orders would prove to him, what
Saul's armor was to David, only an incumbrance, and therefore he preferred the stone
and the sling."
Though Metlakahtla might rightly be considered Mr. Duncan's own particular domain,
and the Indians have proved their appreciation of his faithful, unselfish labors by a love
and devotion rare in such races, his plainest
rio-hts have been invaded and an effort made
to drive him from his field of labor, and divide and distract his followers.
The Indians of British Columbia, without
conquest, treaty or compensation, are declared
to have no rights in the land which has been
occupied for centuries by them or their an-
£?« i
178    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
cestors, and this, their land, is now claimed
to be the property of the Queen, while these
" ancient children of the soil" are driven
from their homes to seek others in Alaska,
under the United States Government.
The United States have great reason to feel
humiliated by the history of their treatment
of the aborigines, but the one principle, which
is also recognized by Great Britain, has at ail
times prevailedand been maintained, namely,
that the Indian has the right of possession
which can only be taken from him by conquest,
or obtained through treaty or. compensation.
Jut the Canadian Government seems to have
wrested the land and homes from these
Indians because they have not the power to
resist, which is not one whit better than highway robbery.
Alaska is only thirty miles distant from
Metlakahtla ; Mr. Duncan was delegated to
visit Washington and lay the case before the
United States Government, and ask certain
privileges and encouragement for them to
move into Alaska ; every encouragement that
was consistent with international courtesy,
was given Mr. Duncan by the authorities, and
he addressed the following letter to the Secretary of the Treasury, dated February 9,1887 : From   Yellowstone Park to Alask
i Sir :—
11 have the honor to address you on behalf
of a community of Tsimshean Indians, numbering about one thousand souls, now located
at Metlakahtla, British Columbia, near the
border of Alaska, and in whose interests I
have been deputed to visit Washington.
I This people for twenty years have been
struggling their way to civilized life, and
their substantial progress has won for them
the admiration of all who have visited their
" Of late years, however, their prosperity
has been cruelly arrested by the untoward
action of the Provincial Government in reference to the land question. It would seem
that British Columbia has assumed that the
Indians have no rights in the land, and a land
policy has been adopted there altogether
foreign to the edicts and usages which have
been followed in all other parts of Canada.
"The Indians, thus wronged, are driven
almost to desperation, but rather than proceed to hostilities, they have decided to abandon their homes and seek protection under
the American flag. They are looking anxiously to this country for sympathy, and for
permission to build themselves a village in
am. jtmmmt 8?
180    i'Vw//  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
Alaska. The losses involved in such removal,
to such a poor people, are very appalling,
hence the burden of my letter, which is, that
if you can, by any lawful means, permit them
to take into Alaska their belongings, free of
duty, you will confer a great favor upon a deserving and suffering community.
" I have, etc ,
"W. Duncan."
Governor Swinford, of Alaska, indorsed
the request. The removal of these civilized
and largely educated Indians into Alaska will
not only add a number of industrial enterprises, but will have a very beneficial effect
upon the natives of that territory ; they will
make good industrious citizens, whose influence upon the native tribes of Alaska will go
far toward their complete civilization.
Dr. Jackson, United States Agent of Education in Alaska, says : " A few years ago
Congress was ready to vote a large sum of
money to encourage a colony of Icelanders
to remove to Alaska. Surely the Government can afford to.help these people who ask
no money help. The Secretary of the
Treasury granted the request of Mr. Duncan,
relative to free entry of all articles belonging to such Indians, except such as mav be From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska
found to consist of merchandise, imported
and intended as such for sale. All lands in
Alaska being public domain, the Government cannot set apart any reservation in
Alaska, and the land there can only be dealt
with by Congress. But the Metlakahtlans
might move into Alaska, and settle upftn unoccupied land, reporting the occupancy to
the department, and ample provision will be
made to meet the necessities of law-abidin
Mr. Duncan, therefore, with the Metlakaht-
lan Indians, left their homes, with all their
industries, and moved into Alaska, settling at
Port Chester, Annette Island, where he has
founded the new town of Metlakahtla, and it
is being rapidly built.
The English people clogged the departure
of the Indians in every way ; Senator Vest,
who visited them last summer, found their
canoes on the shore, and the Indians ready
to sail ; the ecclesiastics seized their store
and workshop ; they stole from them eight
thousand feet of lumber, and they had white
men under arms ready to fire on the Indians
if they attempted to bring away the buildings which they themselves had made. The
poor savages were almost afraid to take away mmmmmmmm.
182    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
their personal property, but they bore as
Christians what these fanatics put upon
them. There are now about one thousand or
more of them in Alaska. They are clearing
the forest, and have built a line of houses
nearly a mile long among the big trees on
the shore. They have put up a steam sawmill, and have built a salmon cannery one
hundred feet long and thirty-four feet wide.
They are going to put up a big general
house, and they hope to extend their civilizing
work to other Alaskan tribes.
They are a valuable addition to our people
in Alaska, and there is no doubt that Uncle
Sam will give them a good title to their new
home. It remains to be seen whether this
new move for liberty of worship will prove as
successful on a small scale as that of the Pilgrim Fathers.
At first they were not contented, they
feared being shut off from fishing in British
waters, and being excluded from Victoria,
their most accessible market, by the customs
tariff. It remains to be seen how much they
are willing to sacrifice for liberty.
The passage of Senator Dawes's " Severalty
Bill I gives hope of a new era in the treatment of the Indians'in the United States. 1
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     183
The President has appointed commissioners
under the bill, and the process of allotment
has already begun. The work of civilization
and education has not, however, kept pace
with the work of allotment. The friends of
the Indians are divided in opinion ; one party
wanting guardians, or receivers, appointed
to take care of his property, who shall be
amenable to the courts, like other guardians;
the other, that of creating a non-partisan commission, who shall take charge of all Indian
tribes during the period of transition from the
reservationsystemtothatof Indian civilization.
We think we have demonstrated what has
been done by one individual with the
Tsimshean Indians, and what can be done
with our Indian tribes, with teachers employed who are devoted and self-sacrificing
in their work. The Government, we learned,
has a sort of contract system with the Presbyterian Missions in Alaska, to give a certain
amount towards educating the Indians ; and
also in other sections, a sort of partnership
with different religious organizations, which
has created a good deal of denominational
jealousy, on account of so large a proportion
of Indian education drifting into the hands
of the Roman Catholics.
-I'M 184    From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
The Indian agents appointed by the Government are not working in harmony with
the teachers of the Indian schools, and in
some cases at cross-purposes. We have some
evidences of the same jealousy existing in
our own country, as in the case we have been
It becomes us, as American citizens, to
study the Indian problem, of which we read
so much. What is this problem? The
" Christian Union " answers the query thus :
" It is the question how Indians shall be
brought to a condition of self-support, and of
equal rights before the law, in which they
will no longer require the special protection
and control of the Government. It is important for the white people of our country
that, the Indians should have a fair chance,
should be improved and civilized. If the inferior race is not instructed and elevated, it
will be pauperized and debased. Whenever
this is the fate of an Indian tribe, its women
will be an everlasting curse to the young
white men, and to the homes of the white
people. Perhaps apart of the retribution for
our national wrong and injustice to the Indians may come upon us in that way."
We have had the pleasure of drinking in
v-»^^w,-ii From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.     185
the picturesque scenery of Switzerland,
Scandinavia, and as far north as North
Cape, with all the glories and giandeur of
the fjords, glaciers and mountains of Norway
and the midnight sun. Through the country
of the Tyrol, and almost every country of
Europe, although so enjoying the grand and
overpowering views of our own Yosemite
Valley, with mountains and water-fails, canons and lakes of the Yellowstone Park, but
where in the wide world can you see, for two
thousand miles, such a grand panorama of
all that you can see in the above places ?
which daily and hourly is unrolled to your
view, from the time you leave Port Townsend,
on Puget Sound, across the Straits of Fuca
to Victoria, British Columbia, passing Vancouver's Island, hrough the Gulf of Georgia,
Queen Charlotte's Sound and numerous islands, sounds, inlets, etc., passing Princess
Royal Island and San Juan Island on the
right. These islands came near causing a
war between Great Britain and the United
States in 1856, but an arbitration was accepted, with Kaiser William, of Germany, as
arbitrator, and he decided in favor of the
United States.
It is impossible to describe Alaska and  its
m 186     From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
wonderful scenery. One must go himself and
witness on what an immense and massive
scale everything appears. Words fail to express what, one sees as one sails among the
ten thousand islands, numerous glaciers and
great mountains, with beautiful bays, inlets,
rivers, lakes, sounds and the verdure of trees
as they bend down to the water's edge, reflecting their beauty in the clear water.
When we see what God has done for this great
country of ours, for its material interests, and,
last, though not least, created for us the
grandest natural scenery in the wide world,
and given us an opportunity to gaze upon
His wonderful works and drink in the health-
giving breezes from mountains and ocean,
why should we not turn our thoughts to the
great Author of all things and worship Him
and serve Him more devoutly than ever ? ALASKA   MISSION   WORK.
Mr. Duncan, the missionary layman, writes from Metlakahtla,
their new home in Alaska, hopefully, although they have been
quite unfortunate. He says, "We speak plainly of the treatment
we have received from the Government of British Columbia and
Canada, and the Church Missionary Society of London, England,
which together have eventuated in our leaving our old settlement
and migrating to Alaska." Mr. Duncan gives an account of " A
Day at Metlakahtla," which is full of interest:
5 Having twenty-two men employed, I began the duties of the
day by going to look after them. I found waterproof coats doffed,
and everybody outside seemed brisk and busy. Before I had finished my inspection, I was summoned to breakfast; but I told the
cook to ask Dr. Bluett not to wait for me. Having finished my
work outside, I took a hasty meal. Then the school-bell rang, and
quickly one hundred and thirty-two children, all with happy faces,
took their places in school. (I should note here that thirty-five of our
youths have been taken to the Industrial Training School at Sitka,
about 250 miles north of this). We commenced school as usual, by
singing a verse of the good old hymn, ' Guide me, O Thou Great
Jehovah.' Prayer followed, and then the scripture lesson—the
subject this morning being the meeting of Jacob and Esau. The
children then marched to their classes, seven in number, the sexes
being divided, with the exception of the first class. I have three
native assistants, and we go to work at what is called the three,
R's, and soon the usual hum of school sets in. We teach the children to read and write in English, but I am sorry to say the lessons
1 KOMWgJiagB*
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
furnished in the primary reading books are generally very unsuitable for Indian children, having too much nonsense about cats
owning tails, and dogs being able to bark, and so forth ; all such
information appearing very ridiculous to the Indian aspirant
after learning, when translated into his mother tongue. This morning the reading lesson in one class was exceptionally good ; it was
the fable of the dog and the shadow. After reading the lesson, the
children were asked to write on their slates what they thought was
the lesson the fable teaches us. One boy wrote,' When people let
fall the truth they find nothing.'
" We have no fire in our school, and the building we are temporarily using is so draf ty, that if king Alfred with his candle clock occupied it, he would be obliged to use curtains to keep the flame
steady. I therefore gave the children ten minutes' recess to warm
themselves by a scamper on the beach. The lively scene which
ensued would take too long to describe. I suppose this is the only
school in Alaska where there is no fire, yet I doubt very much
whether there be such another healthy community of children in
any part of the territory as ours is. Time being up, lessons recommence. At the end of the three school hours, the children
seem glad to get their freedom. The boys rush to secure their
wonted places for their favorite game of marbles, and so fascinated
are they with this game, that they seem to forget they need any
food before returning to school. On several occasions I have
caught them playing in pouring rain, and twice lately I saw them
playing on the road by the light of a lantern. I see that an Indian
boy is as proud of his bag of marbles as a white boy is.
" A little pleasant excitement was caused in the village this morning by two men—employed by our musicians—setting to work to
fell a huge and noble-looking pine. The stir was due to the difficulty of the undertaking. The tree had to be cut about twenty-
four feet from the ground, and' made to fall in a certain direction,
to avoid crushing the houses near to it. The men performed their
work admirably, and were so elated with their success that they
nailed a pole on the top of the stump with four small American
flags attached to it. The twenty-four feet of the trunk left standing is to form the base for a stand on which the Brass Band will be
mounted to greet our friends, or any Government officials when
they come to see us. From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
"In the afternoon I went to our steam saw-mill, to talk over the
work to be done, with our native foreman. The men have lately
completed an order for over 16,000 cases from a salmon cannery
about thirty miles distant. All the work of sawing, planing and
stencilling these cases was done by the natives, and done so satisfactorily that the order given us for another year is nearly doubled.
" I then stepped into a sash and furniture work-shop, lately
erected by two native artisans on their own account. They have
managed to bring into their service a small stream to turn the
wheel by which their lathe is worked. The men were busy executing an order from a neighboring Indian tribe for a grave fence.
I noticed, too, they had finished a nice-looking bedstead of yellow
cypress, which, I learn, forms part of on order from Portland, Oregon. My business with them was to tender the work of making
me some large windows and doors for the new school we are
erecting—if we can agree upon the terms. I left them to think
over the prices, and let me know them to-night.
" I next walked to the site on which we are erecting our permanent school, and gave some directions to the workmen.
" In the evening several of the men came to receive their wages,
and others to pay their accounts for lumber obtained at the mill.
" After supper one of our people came to see me privately about
a- family quarrel, which he wished me to help him to settle.
While, however, he was telling his story, another man.walked in
to press his complaint against a man of a distant tribe, a Hydah,
who, with his party, happened to be here for the purpose of trade,
and staying in the village guest-house. As it was supposed the accused man would be leaving our village early the next morning, I
concluded to settle his case first. Accordingly I sent for our native
constable—who holds a commission from the Government—and
directed him to go and tell the stranger I wanted to see him, and
that he might bring his friends with him. As the Hydah and
Tsimshean languages are totally unlike, I also sent for one of our
people who knows them both, to act as interpreter. In the meantime several persons dropped in to listen, and as soon as the Hydah
and his friends arrived, we commenced the case.
I The affair was this: The complainant and the accused had met
while hunting bears on Prince of Wales Island. The former
greeted the latter courteously, but his civility was not reciprocated.
M iv      From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
The Hydah, both by looks and words, and still more particularly
by suspiciously manipulating his gun, showed signs of anger. The
complainant stated that he kept his temper, otherwise he felt sure
violence would have ensued. In defense the accused said that the
complainant, not knowing the Hydah language, had allowed his
fears to be unnecessarily aroused, that the angry words he used
were not addressed to the complainant, but to the Hydah in company with him ; and as for the way he carried his gun, that.was
explained by the fact that he was hunting bears. As no act of violence had been committed, or threatening language used, it only
remained for me to caution and instruct the accused man, which I
did very fully. I was glad to find that my words were well received. He thanked me, and said he was glad to hear good words
and know the law, and on his return home he would not fail to
tell his people what he had learned. The complainant and the accused then shook hands, and went away with the greater part of
the audience.
" Among the few remaining was the man who came in first about
his family quarrel, and a Hydah (not from the same village as the
man I had just dismissed) who had a trouble to tell me. He said that
he had chosen a young woman of the Thlinket people for a wife,
and both the young woman and her guardian had favored his suit.
The engagement being made, he went over to her tribe, and had
already given a month's labor to her relations for their good will.
For some reason, however, of which he professed to be ignorant,
her guardian had suddenly annulled the engagement, and ordered
him to leave the village. I promised to send a message to the persons concerned by the first canoe which leaves here, and when I
have ascertained the facts on the other side, I shall know what to
advise in the case. There are, I am sorry to say, some old customs
still rife among these tribes in regard to marriage, which are constantly producing trouble. When questioned individually not an
Indian will venture to defend them, and yet they retain their hold
of the public mind. After the Hydah had left, I addressed the
man who had patiently waited some hours for a private interview
about his family affairs. The remedy for his trouble was humility
and kindness.   These I prescribed for him, and he went away.
" I then had two foremen to talk with about the morrow's work.
After they had left me I took a peep at the beautiful moonlit sky. Soon I heard the bugle sounding in the village the welcome ' Go
to bed,' and then came my quiet hour for reading."
Our Government is helping the work in Metlekahtla by appro
priating a certain amount for the schools. A sad disaster overtook
them last January. Their steam saw-mill, with all its contents, was
destroyed by fire at a loss of not less than $12,000. Not discouraged,
Mr. Duncan made plans for a new and larger mill, and started at
once for Portland, Oregon, to purchase the necessary machinery.
He says, "This may sound as if I already had the money in hand
to meet the outlay with, but such was not the case. I felt, however, that we must have the mill, and doubted not that I should be
able to get extra time allowed to pay the bills." In a little over
two months the new mill was erected, and was double the capacity
of the old mill. Friends were found to respond to Mr. Duncan's
Mr. Duncan, by request, writes a letter giving some explanation
of the peculiar carving among the natives of Alaska, which is very
" I am glad to learn from your letter of 28th of March, that the
silver spoons made by our native craftsmen are appreciated. In
answer to your enquiries respecting the maker and his craft, I beg
to inform you that he belongs to the Tsim-she-an nation, and his
name was Tsah-am-sheg-ish (The power that draws shoreward).
On becoming a Christian, some years ago, he was named Abel
Bafer. In making tea-spoons, Abel tells me he beats each one out
of a silver dollar ; but for dessert-spoons, which require a dollar
and a half, he has to melt the silver in a crucible. After hammering the piece of silver to the required length and thickness, he then
forms the bowl of the spoon by beating the plate into a wooden
mould of the size and shape he wishes the spoon to be. This done,
he files and sand-papers his work (originally the dried skin of the
dog-fish answered for this purpose). He then uses a smoothing
stone, and he finally polishes with a handful of soft fibre—the dried
and teased inner rind of cedar bark. His last operation is to carve
the handle.
" The designs he cut on the spoons sent you are peculiar to the
carving and painting of the Indians in this country, and are symbolical of the various crests or Totems (as they are sometimes
called) which seem to have been adopted in far back ages to dis-
to' warn
vi       From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
tinguisb the four social clans into which each band is subdivided.
The names of these four clans in the Tsimshean language are,
' Kish-poot-wadda,' ' Canadda,' ' Lach-e-boo,' and ' Lacksh-keak.'
" The Kish-poot-wadda, by far the most numerous hereabouts,
are represented symbolically by the fin-back whale in the sea, the
grizzly bear on land, the grouse in the air, and the sun and stars in
the heavens.
" The Canadda symbols are the frog, the raven, the star-fish and
the bull-head.
" The Lacheboo take the wolf, the heron, and the grizzly bear,
for totems.
" The Lackshkeak the eagle, the beaver and the halibut.
" The creatures I have just named are, however, only regarded as
the visible representatives of the powerful and mystical beings or
Genii of Indian mythology. And, as all of one group, are said to
be of the same kindred ; so all the members of the same clan whose
heraldic symbols are the same, are counted as blood relations.
Strange to say this relationship holds good should the persons
belong to different, or even hostile tribes, speak a totally different
language, or be located thousands of miles apart. On being asked
to explain how this notion of relationship originated, or why it is
perpetuated in the face of so many obliterating circumstances, the
Indians point back to a remote age, when their ancestors lived in
a beautiful land, and where, in a mysterious manner, the mythical
creatures whose symbols they retain, revealed themselves to the
heads of the families of that day. They then relate the traditional
story of an overwhelming flood, which came and submerged the
good land, and spread death and destruction all around. Those of
the ancients who escaped in canoes, were drifted about and scattered in every direction on the face of the waters; and where they
found themselves after the flood had subsided, there they located
and formed new tribal associations. Thus it was that persons related by blood became widely severed from each other; nevertheless they retained and clung to the symbols which had distinguished
them and their respective families before the flood ; and all succeeding generations have, in this particular, sacredly followed
suit. Hence it is that the crests have continued to mark the offspring of the original founders of each family.
" As it may interest you to know to what practical uses the pa- From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.      vh
| JT^tg
tives apply their crests, I will enumerate" those which have come
under my own notice :
" First.—As I have previously mentioned, crests subdivide tribes
into social clans, and a union of crest is a closer bond than a tribal
" Second.—It is the ambition of all leading members of each clan
in the several tribes, to represent by carving or painting their heraldic symbols on all their belongings, not omitting even their household utensils, as spoons and dishes ; and on the death of the head of
a family, a totem pole is erected in front of his house by his successor, on which is carved and painted more or less elaborately,
the symbolic creatures of his clan as they appear in some mythological tale or legend.
" Third.—-The crests define the bounds of consanguinity, and persons having the same crest are forbidden to intermarry ; that is,
a frog may not marry a frog ; nor a whale marry a whale ; but a
frog may marry a wolf, and a whale may marry an eagle.
"Among sons of the Alaskan tribes, I am told, the marriage
restrictions are still further narrowed, and persons of different
crests may not intermarry if the creatures of their respective clans
have the same instincts ; thus, a Canadda may not marry a Lash-
keak, because the raven of the one crest and the eagle of the other
seek and devour the same kind of food. Again, the Kishpoot-
wadda may not marry a Lacheboo, because the grizzly bear and
wolf representing these crests, are both carnivorous.
" Fourth.—All the children take the mother's crest and are incorporated as members of the mother's family, nor do they designate
or regard their father's family as their relations. , A man's heir
and successor, therefore, is not his own son but his sister's son.
And in the case of a woman being married into a distant tribe
away from her relations, the offspring of such union when grown
up, will leave their parents and go to their mother's tribe and take
their respective places in their mother's family. This law accounts
for the great interest which natives take in their nephews and
nieces, which seems to be quite equal to the interest they take in
their own children.
" Fifth.—The clan relationship also regulates all feasting. A
native never invites the members of his own crest to a feast, they
being regarded as his blood relations are always welcome as his VIII
From  Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
guests; but at feasts which are given only for display, so far from
being partakers of the bounty, all of the clansmen within a reasonable distance are expected to contribute of their means, and their
services gratuitously, to make the feast a success. In the fame
of the feast hangs the honor of the clan.
" Sixth.—What I have just written reminds me to add that this
social brotherhood has a great deal to do with promoting hospitality
among the Indians ; a matter of immense importance in a country
without hotels or restaurants.
" A stranger, with or without his family, in visiting an Indian village, need never be at a loss for shelter; all he has to do is to make
for the house belonging to one of his crest, and which he can easily
distinguish by the totem pole in front of it. There he is sure
of a welcome, and of the best the host can afford. There he is
accounted a brother, and treated and trusted as such.
'" Seventh.—I may mention, too, that the subdivision of the bands
into their social clans, accounts in measure for the number of petty
chiefs existing in each tribe, as each clan can boast of its headmen.
The more property a clan can accumulate and give away to rival
clans, the greater number of headmen it may have.
■ Eighth.—Another prominent use made by the natives of their
heraldic symbols is that they take names from them for their children ; for instance, Wee-nay-ach, big fin (whale). Lee-tahm-Iach-
taou, sitting on the ice (eagle). Iksh-co-am-alyah, the first speaker
(raven in the morning). Athl-kah-kout, the howler traveling
" Ninth.—And last, but not least, the kinship claimed and maintained in each tribe by the methods of crests, has much to do with
preventing blood-feuds ; and also in restoring the peace when quarrels and fightings have ensued. Tribes, or sections thereof, may
and do fight, but members of the same social clan may not fight.
Hence, in contests between two tribes, there always remain in
each some non-combatants, who will watch the opportunity to interpose their offices in the interests of peace and order. In case,
too, of a marauding party being out to secure slaves, should they
find one or more of their victims to be of their own crest, such a
person would be set free, and be incorporated as a member of their
family, while the captives of other crests would be held or sold as
slaves. From   Yellowstone Park to Alaska.
" In writing of these matters, it must be understood that I have
kept in view the natives in their primitive state. The Metlakaht-
lans, who are civilized, while retaining their crest distinctions, and
upholding the good and salutary regulations connected therewith,
have dropped all the baneful and heathenish rivalry with which
the clannish system was intimately associated."
Mr. Duncan has made frequent efforts to get the Canadian Government to reimburse the Indians who left Metlakahtla, their old
home in British Columbia, for Alaska, as the Indian agent refused
to allow them to take their buildings and other property with
them, and allowed strangers to appropriate the property ; much is
now destroyed or stolen. He has assumed full control, and is now
living with his family in the house Mr. Duncan built out of his
private means, after his connection with the Church Missionary
Society, of London. Mr, Duncan is in correspondence with our
Government, at Washington, upon the subject, and it is to be
hoped that this good man, who has done so much to civilize and
educate the poor Indian, will get his honest dues from the Government of British Columbia, which has persecuted and robbed him.
Last New Year's was celebrated by services in the church at
Metlakahtla, praying the old year out and the new one in. New
Year's night they had a tea party, and after tea fourteen good
speeches were made by native Indians, all aiming to point out the
way they should go, and inciting each other to courage amid their
misfortunes and discouragements.
We look with great interest to the result of this grand work of
Mr. Duncan's.
Recent Publications. ftrtyflg.
In M^estern Levant
President of the Ohio Archceological and Historical Society
*•■' ■
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" It will be found delightful""—Geyer's Stationer.  " On the Wing through Europe, by F. C. Sessions,
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Our readers will find in these books a surprise and a delight."—Christian at Work.
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" These works will prove a valuable addition to any
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" In spite of many defects, it is more than borne upon
the reader that here are books with a genuine message for
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truths, but yet respectful of them, acknowledging their place
in the world. His reading has been wide, if not indeed profound, and has furnished him with a rich treasury of reference and allusion, and more than all, he is a sturdy promoter
of manliness,—a virtue more than slightly underrated by
many of his contemporaries....Barns will find many readers. "—Boston Herald.
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have been remarkably amiably handled by the critics throughout the country, considering that they abound in crudities
and literary faults; but they are the errors of a genius. Not
a single page of his books but bears an individuality not to be
mistaken.... A sincere student of nature in all its phases. As
Barns is young, and has had exceptional advantages as regards study and travel, there is no reason why, with his talents, he should not become an important factor in the literature of the country...,"—New York Graphic. AMSTERDAM.
From " On the ll'/ng Through Europe."  " ' Solitarius' is a series of thoughtful, quaintly written essays... .These drama-novels are readable and pleasing
productions by an author who revels in the eccentric The
volumes are choice in design, and are the very flower of the
printer's art."—New Orleans Picayune.
" These productions are thoroughly unique."—Chicago Inter-Ocean.
" The drama-novels are awake and alive.; and that is
no small virtue when so many published books are torpid...
' The Venetian Study ' is logical and impressive. The works
of this author must be regarded as very promising."—Boston
" The drama-novels are capital stories, well told, and
equally brilliant.''—Evening Telegram.
" Barns is both a philosopher and a poet. His prose is
stately, strong, and graceful; his poems are exalted in tone,
majestic in style....The drama-novels are the productions
of a master of English, an artist in description, and display
a rare versatility This young author's work is introduced
to the public in a most attractive form....The series is of
great value."—Minneapolis Journal.
" Barns is thoroughly in earnest, and is filled with the
consciousness of the solemnity of his mission, and of the urgent need there is in the world for the truth his art would
teach The poems show a true, workmanlike touch, and
'Solitarius' is a work of truth and brilliancy."—Chicago
" The author of these books has read much, travelled
widely, and thought deeply, and is enabled to use these conditions with effect in his writings which are elevated in tone,
in philosophy breathing a hopef :~l, independent spirit, while
the reader is not allowed to fcrget that he is an American...
The poems are distinguished by an elevation of sentiment,
and a definite purpose."—Albany Journal.
27 West Forty-fourth Street
New York     


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