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BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Appleton's guide-book to Alaska and the Northwest Coast including the shores of Washington, British Columbia,… Scidmore, Eliza Ruhamah, 1856-1928 1896

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Operate their own Dining-Cars, Telegraphs, Steamships,  Sleeping-Cars,- Hotels^Kews
Canada, Yhi
To Alaska,
You can do
Its Rates
Around the
New Highwi
Westward t<
Alaska Fold
Historic Que
Gift of
Dr. H. R. MacMillan
he Roekies,
aveling via
the Best
the Clouds.
H. J. COLVI L Mass.
C. E. McPHI Sast, Toronto.
J. F. LEE, « _
A. H. NOTMAN, District Passenger Agent, St. John, N.T).'
M. M. STERN, District Passenger Agent, Chronicle Building, San Francisco, Cal.
Steamers of this Company sail from
Steamship ORIZABA sails from Broadway Wharf for Ensefiada Handing at the wharf),
Magdalena Bay, San Jose del Cabo, Mazatlan, La Paz, Altata, Santa Rosalia, and Guaymas,
-Mexico, at 10 a. m. on the 25th of each month.
Steamships SANTA ROSA and CORONA sail from San Francisco at 11 a. m. every
fourth day for Port Harford (San Luis Obispo), Santa Barbara, Port Los Angeles, Redondo
(Los Angeles), and San Diego. Steamships ST. PAUL and EUREKA, 9 a. m. every fourth
day for Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Simeon, Cayucos, Port Harford (San Luis Obispo), Gavi-
ota, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Hueneme, San Pedro, East San Pedro <Los Angeles), and
Newport. '&■**&
Steamships QUEEN and CITY OF TOPEKA sail from Tacoma, Seattle, and Port Town-
send (Wash.), and Victoria (B. C), for Loring, Wrangle, Juneau, Douglas Island, Glacier
Bay, Killisnoo, Sitka, Alaska, June 1, 6, 16, 21; July 1, 6,16, 21, 31; August 5,15, 30 ; September 14, 29. San Francisco passengers to or from Alaska change steamers at Port Town-
send fortnightly. Steamship CITY OF TOPEKA due to connect at Sitka with Alaska
Commercial Co.'s steamer DORA for Unalaska and intermediate points in Alaska, leaving
Sitka on or about the eighth day in each month, from April to October inclusive.
Steamships WALLA WALLA, UMATILLA, and CITY OF PUEBLA, carrying H. B. M.
mails, will leave Broadway Wharf, San Francisco, every fifth day at 9 a. m., for Victoria,
Vancouver (B. C), Port Townsend, Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Amacortes, and New What
com (Bellingham Bay), Wash., connecting at Port Townsend with steamers for Alaska ; at
Victoria (B. C), with Canadian Pac. Nav. Co.: at Seattle, with Great Northern Railway;
at Tacoma, with Northern Pac. R. R. §§§£*
Steamships of the O. R & N. Co., and P. C. S. S. Co. sail from Spear Street Wharf, San
Francisco, at 10 a. m., for Astoria and Portland, Oregon, every fifth day, connecting at Portland, Ore., with 0. R. & N. Co., N: P. R. R., and S. P. Co.
Steamship POMONA sails from Broadway Wharf, San Francisco, every fourth day at 9
a. m., for Eureka, Areata, and Fields's Landing (Humboldt Bay),   .fpgj
The steamers of this line are first class in every respect, sail punctually, and passengers
can rely on courteous treatment. This is the cheapest and most comfortable route to above-
named points. No disagreeable staging over dusty roads. Magnificent views of the Golden
Gate and coast scenery. ''$&'£      %•*•■
Tickets purchased via this Line include a berth and meals on Ocean Steamers.
The Pacipic Transfek Co., 20 Sutter St., San Francisco, will call for and check baggage from hotels and residences in San Francisco.
GOODALL, PERKINS & CO., Gen'l Agents, 10 Market Street, San Francisco.
Ticket Office, Palace Hotel, 4 NEW MONTGOMERY ST., San Francisco, Qal.
Pacific Coast Steamship Company.
• During the last excursion season many thousand tourists visited
Alaska. To say they were pleased conveys but a faint impression of
their enthusiasm. They were delighted—charmed. Ask any of them,
it matters not whom, they all make the same report and tell the same
story of the matchless grandeur of the trip, of the midnight sun, of
the placid waters, of the aurora borealis, of the majestic mountains,
of the inland seas, of the mighty glaciers, of the thundering iceberg
plunging into the sea and floating off in its glory of inimitable splendor, of the wealth of fish, timber, and minerals, of the biggest quartz
mill ever constructed, of tne queer customs of the natives, of novelty
and startling incidents that may well make the trip the object of a
lifetime. There is nothing like it. Without doubt it is " the biggest
show on earth." The Alaska Excursions having become the excursions of the continent, the P. C. S. S. Co., in order to meet the popular demand, runs during the season an excursion steamer on the
route, that for speed, elegance, and comfort is unexcelled by scarcely
any vessel afloat. This steamer (the Queen, 3,000 tons) is 340 feet
long, and has accommodations for 250 first-class passengers. She is
supplied with all modern improvements and appliances, including the
electric light in every stateroom, etc. The staterooms of the Queen are
unusually large and handsome. She makes two trips per month; starting from Tacoma—connection made at Port Townsend with San Francisco steamers—she calls at Wrangel, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, and
other points of interest. This Company runs a line of steamers to
Alaska, sailing fortnightly, the whole year through, carrying the TJ. S.
mails, etc., and always calling at Mary Island, Loring, Ketchikan, Wrangel, Juneau, Douglas Island, Killisnoo, and Sitka. During the excursion season these steamers also call at Glacier Bay and other points
of interest. All the Alaska steamers connect at Port Townsend with
the San Erancisco steamers. San Francisco passengers for or from
Alaska change steamers at Port Townsend. C. P. R. R. passengers
can take the Alaska steamers at Port Townsend or Victoria. G. N.
R'y passengers can take the steamers at Seattle. N. P. & TJ. P. Railroad passengers, or passengers by rail from or via Portland, can take
the steamers at Tacoma.
Note.—Those desiring more extended and interesting information
regarding southeastern Alaska, are advised to procure one of this Company's pamphlets—| North and South of San Francisco," nicely illustrated, postage five cents; " How to Reach the Gold Fields of Alaska,"
postage one cent; | Alaska Excursions," postage one cent; Folder and
Map, postage one cent—which will be forwarded on receipt of cost of
postage. These can generally be obtained at railroad and other ticket
offices, or at the General Office of the Company, No. 10 Market Street,
San Francisco.
 COPTBIGHT, 1893, 1896,
Introduction ,  1
The Pacific Forest Reserve and Mt. Rainier  6
The International Boundary Line  12
Vancouver Island  14
Tides  16
The Inland Sea  17
From Victoria to Queen Charlotte Sound  17
The Vicinity of Nanaimo  18
The Upper End of the Gulf of Georgia  19
Seymour Narrows or Yaculta Rapids—The Great Malstrom       .      * 21
The Head of Vancouver Island  22
From Queen Charlotte to Milbank Sound  23
Nakwakto Rapids  24
The Coast of British Columhia  25
From Milbank Sound to Dixon Entrance  27
Gardner Canal or Inlet       .28
The Skeena River  29
The Tsimsian Peninsula  31
Nass River, Observatory Inlet, and Portland Canal    .... 33
The Queen Charlotte Islands  34
TheHaidas  37
Climate of Southeastern Alaska  40
The Native Race of Southeastern Alaska—The Tlingits     .      . 43
Tlingit Customs  45
The International Boundary Link  48
The Southern Islands  51
Mary Island Customs District  52
New Metlakahtla  53
Metlakahtla  54
The Na-a Country  55
The Pacific Salmon  56
Salmon Canneries  67
The Revtllagigedo Lakes and Behm Canal  58
Prince of Wales Island  60
Fort Wrangell  65
The Stikine River  68
Itinerary of the Stikine River  70
Mining Regions of the Stikine  72
International Boundary Line on the Stikine  73
From Sumner Strait to Prince Frederick Sound via Wrangell
Narrows  73
Along Prince Frederick Sound  74
The Thunder Bay Glacier  75
Glacial Theory of the Natives  75
KupreanofE and Kuiu Islands, the Land of Kakes       .... 77
From Cape Fanshawe to Taku Inlet, Shucks and Sum Dum Bays . 78
Taku Inlet and the Taku Glaciers  80
The Harris Mining District—Juneau and its Vicinity .... 82
The Silver Bow Basin Mines  83
The Largest Quartz-Mill in the World  85
Admiralty Island  87
Fisheries of the Region  88
Along Chatham Strait and Lynn Canal  90
The Chilkat Country and the Passes to the Yukon     ... 92
The Great Tribe of the Tlingit Nation  93
To the Yukon River and Mining Camps   j  95
Glacier Bay  97
Discovery and Exploration of Glacier Bay  97
Indian Traditions  98
Scientists' Camps  99
Itinerary of the Bay and Inlet  100
Muir Inlet and the Great Muir Glacier  100
The Lateral Moraines  103
The Rate of Recession  104
The Ascent of Mt. Wright to the Hanging Gardens and Mountain-
Goat Pastures  105
On the Mainland Shore of Cross Sound  106
The Chicagoff Island Shores  106
From Chatham Strait to the Ocean by Peril or Pogibshi Straits, 108
Baranof Island and the Russian Settlements  110
The Purchase of Russian America  112
The Transfer of Russian America to the United States       .      .      . 113
An Abandoned Territory  114
Sitka, the Capital of the Territory of Alaska  115
Russian Orthodox Church of St. Michael      .       .      .      .       .      . 117
The Indian River Park  119
The Indian Village  120
The Sitkans and their Records  120
The Ascent of Verstovoi  122
Excursions in the Bay and Vicinity of Sitka  123
The Ascent of Mt. Edgecunibe  124
Silver Bay and the Sitka Mining District  126
The Baranof Shore south of Sitka  127
The White Sulphur Hot Springs  128
"To Westward" from Sitka to. Unalaska,   along the  Continental Shore  129
From Sitka to Yakutat *    .      . 130
Mt. St. Elias  132
Continental Alaska  133
Prince William's Sound and its Great Glaciers  134
Cook's Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula  135
Tides  137
Kadiak and the Great Salmon Canneries  137
The Greatest Salmon Stream in the World  139
The Shumagin Islands and the Cod Fisheries  139
The Aliaska Peninsula  140
The Aleutian Islands  141
Excursions from Unalaska  143
The Bering Sea and Shores  144
The Prfbylov or Seal Islands  145
The Sea Island Leases  146
Callorhinus Ursinus, the Fur Seal •..     . 146
The Bering Sea Question  147
Other Islands in Bering Sea  149
Bering Strait  150
In the Arctic Ocean  150
Roadway in Stanley Park, Vancouver  14
Indians, near New Westminster  17
The Gorge of the Homathco  19
Johnstone Strait  22
A Haida Totem-Pole  87
Tungit Woman  44
Hutli, ob Thunder Glacier  75
(From a photograph by Lieut. A. P. Nihlack, U. S. N.)
Juneau  82
The Treadwell Mine, Douglass Island  86
Front of Muir Glacier and Mt. Case, from West Moraine   .      . 101
(From a photograph by F. Jay Haynes)
Salmon-Berry Market, Sitka  118
The Old Fur Warehouse, Greek Church, and Peak of Mt. Vers-
tovoi, Sitka  121
Custom-House, Castle, and Barracks, Sitka  124
Mt. St. Elias : View from End of Sainovar Hills     .... 132
(From a photograph by Prof. Israel C. Russell)
Mt. Shishaldin  142
(From a photograph by Lieut. A. L. Broadbent, U. S. R. M.)
Glaciers of Mt. Rainier	
General Map of Alaska	
The International Boundary Line  .
Chilkat and Chilkoot Bays       ....
Glacier Bay	
The Coast from Sandy Bay to Cape Edward
Mt. St. Elias Region	
Chief Routes of Alaskan Explorers
The Route of the Alaska Excursion Steamers
In Pocket
nautical miles.
San Francisco to Victoria, B. C  750
San Francisco to Tacoma  860
San Francisco to Sitka (outside passage), 1,514 statute miles, or 1,298
San Francisco to Kadiak  1,750
San Francisco to Unalaska direct 2,413 statute miles, or 2,068
Tacoma to Seattle  25
Seattle to Port Townsend   38-J
Port Townsend to Victoria  31
Victoria to Active Pass  38
Victoria to Nanaimo  78
Victoria to Seymour Narrows  150
Victoria to Tongass Narrows (Kichikan)  650
Tongass Narrows to Port Chester  15
Tongass Narrows to Loring *  24
Loring to Yess Bay  22
Loring to Fort Wrangell  88
Fort Wrangell to Glenora, on Stikine River  160
Fort Wrangell to Juneau  145
Fort Wrangell to Sitka  325
Juneau to Douglass Island (Treadwell Wharf)      2-J
Juneau to Berner's Bay  45
Juneau to Chilkat  89
Juneau to Muir Glacier  160
Juneau to Killisnoo  104
Juneau to Sitka  175
Chilkat to Bartlett's Bay      98
Bartlett's Bay to Muir Glacier  30
Bartlett's Bay to end of Glacier Bay  50
Muir Glacier to Tacoma  1,218
Muir Glacier to Sitka  160
Killisnoo to Sitka  72
Sitka to Silver Bay ,  12
Sitka to Hot Sulphur Springs  16
Sitka to Mt. Edgecumbe  13
Sitka to Chilkat  180
Sitka to Yakutat  200
Sitka to Kadiak  550
Sitka to Unalaska (1,283 statute miles)  1,100
Sitka to Tacoma  1,878
Unalaska to St. Paul, Pribylov Islands  200
St. Paul to Sitka  1,500
St. Paul to San Francisco  2,300
The Northwest Coast is the general term applied by last century explorers and diplomats to all that part of the continent of North
America lying between the Columbia River and Yakutat Bay, or between
its landmarks, Mts. Rainier and St. Elias. The State of Washington,
the province of British Columbia, and the southeastern or Sitkan district of Alaska occupy each a third of this coast. The bulk of the Territory of Alaska lies beyond Mt. St. Elias. Its coast offers little of
interest or attraction beyond the Aliaska Peninsula, and the interior is
sparsely inhabited.
Southeastern Alaska is the only portion of the vast Territory
now accessible to tourists and pleasure travellers, and the Alaska mail
and excursion steamer routes include a tour through the archipelago
fringing the Northwest Coast and sheltering an inside passage over a
thousand miles in length.
The Coast Range presents a bold front to the ocean from the Columbia river northward, and the Columbian and Alexander Archipelagoes are
half-submerged peaks and ranges—the veritable | Sea of Mountains."
Glaciers gem all these Cordilleran slopes, and the tide-water glaciers at
the head of Alaskan inlets are paralleled only in the strait of Magellan,
in Iceland, Greenland, and polar regions. The scenery is sublime beyond description, and there is almost a monotony of such magnificence
:n the cruise along the Northwest Coast. The mountains are covered
with the "densest forests, all undisturbed game preserves, the waters
teem with hundreds of varieties of fish, and the northern moors are the
homes of great flocks of aquatic birds. The native people are the most
interesting study of ethnologists, and totemism in a living and advanced
stage may be studied on the spot. Settlements are few and far between, mining and fish-packing the chief industries.
The climate of the Northwest Coast is far milder than that of the
Northeast Coast of the continent. The Kuro Siwo, the Japan or
Gulf Stream of the Pacific, flowing northward from the Southern Ocean,
follows the line of the Aleutian Islands, makes a great loop in the
Gulf of Alaska, and flows southward along the coast. It greatly modifies the climate, bends the isothermal lines northward, and makes climate and temperature depend upon distance from the warm Kuro Siwo
rather than on distance from the equator. The high mountain ranges
condense the soft, warm vapours accompanying the Japan Stream, and
the annual precipitation is greater than on any other part of the continent. The rainfall averages from 80 to 140 in. along the coast, but the
least mountain barrier, as with the Olympics-on the Washington coast,
reduces the precipitation to one half on the lee side.
Steamship lines conveying United States and Royal mails give frequent communication throughout the year with all the Northwest
Coast and are availed of by pleasure travellers. They offer unknown
delights of ocean travel, and from deck chairs tourists view near at
hand the tide-water glaciers and the highest mountains of the continent, pursuing the placid channels of water-floored canons for a fortnight with scarce a ripple encountered. As a yachting region it offers
more than the Hebrides or the Norwegian coast.
(See Route Map, in pocket, last cover.)
Puget Sound is the usual point of departure for Alaska, and is
reached from the East by five great transcontinental railway lines: by
the Southern Pacific, from Ogden or San Francisco via Sacramento and
Mt. Shasta to Portland, and thence to Tacoma and Seattle; by the
Union Pacific, from Omaha and Ogden direct to Portland, Tacoma, and
Seattle; by the Northern Pacific, from St. Paul via the Yellowstone
Park to Tacoma and Seattle; by the Great Noriliern, from Duluth,
Winnipeg, or St. Paul to Everett on Puget Sound and Seattle; and by
the Canadian Pacific, from Montreal via the Great Lakes,#Winnipeg,
and the Canadian National Park to Vancouver and thence to Victoria
or Seattle. The excursion companies in Eastern cities usually choose
different routes in going and returning, giving their patrons opportunity
to visit in this way both the Yellowstone and the Canadian National
Alaska tourists reach Victoria and Puget Sound ports by sea by
the steamers of the Pacific Coast Steamship Company (Goodall, Perkins & Co.), from San Francisco. This same company dispatches
semi-monthly mail steamers from Tacoma to Sitka the year round.
The Alaska mail steamers have accommodations for about 60 passen-
gers, take from 14 to 18 days for the voyage of 2,800 to 3,000 miles
from Tacoma to Sitka and return, calling at Victoria, Nanaimo, Mary
Island, Loring, Fort Wrangell, Juneau, Killisnoo, and at many canneries and out-of-the-way places to receive and deliver freight during the summer weeks. A day is given to the Muir Glacier in
Glacier Bay in the tourist season. The excursion steamer Queen, of
the P. C. S. S. Co., makes semi-monthly trips during June, July, and
August each year. It is scheduled to make the tour from Tacoma and
return in 12 days. It has accommodations for 250 passengers, carries
almost no freight, is not bound by a mail contract, and arranges its
course and movements to reach the places of interest at most convenient hours. It visits the Taku as well as the Muir Glacier. These
steamers of U. S. register make no other stops in British Columbia
after coaling at Nanaimo. Fare, $100 for the round trip from Tacoma.
The Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, of Victoria, dispatches
semi-monthly mail steamers from Victoria to Fort Simpson and way
ports the year round. When inducements are offered they visit the
Queen Charlotte Islands, but do not cross the Alaska line. The C. P.
N. Co. arrange for one or more excursions from Victoria to Sitka and
return each summer, a steamer accommodatine from 130 to 150 passengers, visiting the larger Indian villages and settlements of the British Columbia coast, its principal fiords, and the chief points of interest
in Alaska. Passengers cannot land in Alaska from ships of British
register save at ports where U. S. customs officers are stationed. Fare,
$95 for the round trip from either Victoria or Vancouver to Sitka and
The steamer accommodations by either line are first class in every
respect—the excursion steamers, catering to an expensive class of
pleasure travel, offering most luxuries and comforts. As all the voyage is in smooth, landlocked waters, save the short interval of Queen
Charlotte Sound, sea-sickness is not to be anticipated by any one. In
the nightless days of the northern summers little is lost by darkness.
Private steamers may be chartered at San Francisco, Tacoma,
Seattle, or Victoria at rates varying from $200 to $500 per day. These
are few pilots, however, able to take steamers the length of the coast,
and sailing yachts are helpless in the narrow, draughty channels,
swept by strong tidal currents, or on the open coast with its rocks,
ledges, and inshore currents.    Launches with sleeping accommodations
for 4 or 10 may be chartered for hunting and exploring cruises at
Juneau, at the Treadwell mine on Douglas Island, and sometimes, at
Loring, Chilkat, and Killisnoo, at prices ranging from $20 to $40 per
day, according to size and fuel used. Launches chartered for long
cruises can meet the mail steamers at Mary Island or Fort Wrangel
if desired. Those intending to camp or cruise in launches should
take the greater part of their provisions and outfit from the Sound.
All commodities are naturally dearer in the Alaska settlements. A
few vegetables, with unlimited fish and game, may be had at any settlement ; fresh beef at Juneau only. Indian canoes are rented from
$2 per day upward, each oarsman paid by the day in addition.
Tourists make the usual preparation for an ocean voyage, carrying
their own deck chairs, heavy wraps, and rugs. The warmest wraps
are needed on cloudy and -rainy days, and while the steamers lie off the
tide-water glaciers. Every provision should be made for the frequent
rains, although on many trips not a single rainy day is recorded. Rubber shoes, boots, and leggings, waterproof coats and cloaks, add much
to the certain comfort and enjoyment of the voyage. Alpenstocks for
the glacier may be rented from the porters. Spiked shoes, ice axes,
and ropes are not needed.
United States money is current everywhere, and the Indians greatly
prefer silver coin to gold or notes in any dealings with whites. All baggage of travellers is subject to accustoms examination on crossing the
boundary between Washington and British Columbia. The frequent
communication with China causes extra vigilance by health officers at
Victoria and Port Townsend for small-pox cases, and the traveller may
be saved untold annoyance and delays if provided with a vaccination
certificate before embarking. While cholera is present in Chinese
ports every summer, its germs have never survived the long ocean voyage in the quarter century of steam communication between our Pacific
coast and Asiatic ports.
The plan of this book follows as nearly as possible The Canadian Guide Books, Parts I and II. Names of places and objects of
importance are printed in large-faced type or in Italics ; the names
of railway and steamship lines are printed in full once, and abbreviated
by initial letters whenever repeated: Hudson's Bay Co. becomes H. B.
Co., and the points of the compass are indicated by the initials N. for
north, S. for south, etc.
The first section of the Northwest Coast, including western Washington, is so fully described in Appletons' General Guide, that but few
other references are needed for the Alaska tourist, who begins and ends
his voyagings here.
Tacoma, the county seat of Pierce County, population 36,006 by census of 1890, is situated on a bluff 180 ft. high, overlooking Puyallup or
Commencement Bay, as named by Commander Wilkes in 1841, who there
commenced his surveys of the Sound. The first house was built in
1852. The general passenger station of the N. P. R. R. is on the edge
of the bluff at the intersection of Pacific Ave. All baggage checked to
i Tacoma " is left at this station, unless checked to " Tacoma Wharf,"
the branch station a mile below at the water's edge. Sound, Alaska, and
ocean steamers depart from this wharf. Electric cars connect the two
stations, and there is an excellent cab and omnibus system with a moderate tariff posted in each vehicle. The Tacoma, on the edge of the
bluff and The Olympian, the million dollar hotel of the Tacoma Land Co.
are the leading hotels—rates $3 per day and upward. Smaller hotels
on the European plan, and lodging houses, are numerous, and restaurants are found on Pacific Ave. and on the numbered streets leading
from it. The large hotels take on the character of watering-place resorts in the summer season, and the arrival and anticipated departure
of Alaska steamers fill them to overflowing.
The steamers of the P. C. S. S. Co. leave Tacoma every five days for San
Francisco and fortnightly for Alaska. The Puget Sound and Hawaiian
Traffic Company dispatch a monthly steamer to Honolulu. The Northern Pacific Company dispatch a steamer monthly for Hong-Kong and
Yokohoma. There is a daily steamer to Victoria, touching at the principal cities on the Sound, and almost hourly communication by boat and
train with Seattle 30 miles distant. Many excursions invite the Alaska
tourist who has a few days at command. The great hop ranches around
Puyallup may be visited by carriage, by trains of the N. P. R, and by
the Lake Park Motor Co.'s trains. Puyallup Valley is one of the garden
spots of the State, and in September the river banks are lined with the
canoes and tents of the Indian hop-pickers, who come from the Columbia plains and even the Alaska islands. It is one of the points of departure for mountain-climbers who essay the ascent of the great peak
of Mt. Rainier, now surrounded by a Government forest reserve.
The Pacific Forest Reserve and Mt. Rainier.
This park of 967,680 acres was created by proclamation of President Harrison, February 20, 1893. Forty-two townships of Pierce,
Lewis, Yakima, and Kittetas Counties were withdrawn from entry to
1. Liberty Cap, 14,282.   2. Dome, 14,869.   3. South Peak.   4. Longmire Sprs.
5. Paradise Valley.   6. Gibraltar.   7. Eagle Cliff.   * Crater.
protect the head waters of the Puyallup, Carbon, White, Natchez,
Tietan, Nisqually, and Cowlitz Rivers which flow from the glaciers radiating from the summit of Mt. Rainier like the spokes of a wheel.   The
park measures 36 miles from E. to W. and 42 miles from N. to S.
There are trails and waggon roads to the points of interest on the W.
and S. side.
Mt. Rainier (14,444 ft.) is the highest peak in the Cascade Range,
chief in a group of volcanoes, and rises abruptly from the low forest
lands covering the 55 miles between its base and Puget Sound. Vancouver saw it from Marrowstone Point, opposite Port Townsend, May
10, 1792, and named it for his friend Rear-Admiral Rainier, one of the
Lords of the Admiralty. It was smoking splendidly when Fremont left
the Columbia in 1842, the Pathfinder alluding to it as Regnier, and, with
many, believing that it had been named for Lieutenant Regnier, of Mar-
chand's expedition (1791).
The Puyallup Indians call the peak Tah-ko-bah, the Nisquallys Tah-
ho-mah, the Duwamish Ta-ko-bet, all meaning the snowy or snow mountain. For years the local and landsman's name was Tacoma, navigators using the chart name of Rainier. The rivalry between the cities of
Seattle and Tacoma made the mountain's name a subject of bitter strife,
the N. P. Co. printing it as Tacoma in all maps and publications. In
1890 the U. S. Board of Geographic Names decided that Rainier must
stand on all Government charts, maps, and publications, Vancouver's
charts having been accepted and used as authority for a century.
The peak is a symmetrical pyramid, as viewed from Seattle; a
double peak from Tacoma; and from Olympia or Yelm Prairie on the
line of the N. P., south of Tacoma, it shows its three peaks in outline
like Mt. Fairweather and Mt. St. Elias.
The first attempt to climb the great peak was made by Dr. William
Frazer Tolmie, surgeon of the H. B. Co.'s Fort Nisqually, in 1833, and
resulted in his reaching Tolmie Peak by way of Crater Lake on the
N. W. slope. Lieutenant A. V. Kautz reached the South Peak in 1857 ;
Messrs. P. B. Van Trump and Hazard Stevens reached the Dome or
Crater Peak in August, 1870; and Messrs. A. D. Wilson and S. F.
Emmons, U. S. Geological Survey, in October, 1870. At the close of
1892, 38 climbers were known to have reached the summit, all ascending by the Gibraltar Trail on the S. side, save Warner Fobes and two
companions who climbed the ridge on the N. E. side by the White
River Glacier, in 1884, and George Bayley and P. B. Van Trump on the
W. side in 1892. One woman, Miss Fay Fuller, reached the summit
August 10, 1890.
Eight days is the least time in which an experienced climber can
make the round trip from either Seattle or Tacoma to the summit of
Mt. Rainier and return,   P. B. Van Trump, the veteran guide, lives at
Yelm Prairie; George Driver, guide, may be communicated with through
The Tacoma, Tacoma; and Mr. E. C. Ingraham, the Seattle publisher,
will advise any intending climbers who may appeal to him there. Eton-
ville (P. 0.) is the point of real departure, and may be reached by daily
stages or hacks from Puyallup, Roy, or Yelm Prairie stations on the
N. P. R., either route involving a ride of 25 or 30 miles. The next
stage is 18 miles to Kernahan's Palisade Farm in Succotash (Su-ho-tas,
| black raspberry") Valley. A third start is made before sunrise, in
order to ford the Rainier Fork of the Nisqually (6 miles beyond) before
the melting ice and snow raise the glacial torrent.
Jjongmire's hot soda springs hotel is headquarters for campers and
climbers, and offers plain shelter and comforts. A horse trail leads
thence 4 miles to the foot of the Nisqually Glacier, the Nisqually
River emerging from an ice cavern in its front. A switchback trail of
2 miles leads 1,200 ft. up the front of the Nisqually Bluff and ends in
Paradise Valley (5,700 ft.), a park at the snow-line carpeted with wild flowers. Good climbers may leave their horses at the foot of the glacier, climb
and cross the ice to Paradise Valley, which is 5 miles from the summit.
It is one day's hard climb with creepers or lumbermen's " calks," over
ice and snow to the foot of Gibraltar Rock (11,000 ft.), where the night
is spent. An early start is made to cross the dangerous ledges on Gibraltar's face and cut steps up a steep ice cliff before the day's avalanches
begin, and the twin craters with a common central rim upholding the
snowy Dome or Crater Peak (14,444 ft.) may be reached before noon.
Climbers usually aim to spend the night in the ice caves formed by the
sulphur vent-holes in the crater. Food is warmed over steam jets, and
with lights the ice caverns may be explored for hundreds of feet. The
larger crater is three quarters of a mile in diameter, and both but vent-
holes of a vaster cone of preglacial days. The Liberty Cap, Tacoma,
or North Peak (14,000 ft.), the apparent summit seen from Tacoma, is 2
miles distant from South Peak, and the true or Crater Peak lies midway. The height, 14,444 ft., as given in Gannett's Dictionary of Altitudes, is the result of triangulations from a base-line on the Sound
measured by Prof. George C. Davidson. Mr. A. D. Wilson, of the Northern Transcontinental Survey, gives 14,900 ft. as the result of over one
hundred trigonometrical determinations from the E. side of the mountain.
A shorter and easier Rainier excursion may be made by the Bailey
Willis trail from Wilkeson station on the N. P. R. to Observation Point
 the puget sound country.
at the head of the Edmunds Glacier, named for the Hon. George F.
Edmunds, of Vermont, acting Vice-President of the United States at
the time of his viBit, in 1883. The Point (10,000 ft.) commands as extensive a view as the summit save to S. E., and the black cliff 4,000
feet high rising immediately behind it may be distinguished from Seattle. Ladies have reached the point by horse and sled without walking.
The Meadows, Crater Lake, Eagle Cliff, Lace Falls, Prospect Park, and
the Bailey Willis, the Edmunds, and the Puyallup Glaciers feeding the
one river, are objects of interest on that route. The view from Eagle
Cliff which overhangs the Puyallup River 2,500 ft. below it, and commands a full outline of the snowy summit, is extolled as the finest
mountain view on the Pacific coast by many Sierra and Alpine climbers.
The glaciers of Mt. Rainier were*first reported by Messrs. Wilson and
Emmons, of the U. S. Geological Survey, in 1870, and mapped by
Bailey Willis, of the Northern Transcontinental Survey, in 1883. The
Cowlitz Glacier, on the S. side, is 12 miles long and from 1 to 3 miles
wide, broken by several magnificent ice falls. No systematic explorations or thorough study of these glaciers have been made. All have an
average motion of 12 inches a day in midsummer.
Original accounts of the earlier ascents of Mt. Rainier and descriptive articles have been published as follows: Emmons, S. F., Bulletin
No. 4 of American Geological Society (N. Y.), session 1876-77 ; Fobes,
Warner, The West Shore Magazine, Seattle, September, 1885; Hen-
drickson, C. D., The American Magazine, London, November, 1887;
Kautz, A. V., Overland Monthly Magazine, San Francisco, June,
1876; Muir, John, "Picturesque California," New York and San Francisco, part xviii.; Stevens, Hazard, Atlantic Monthly Magazine, Boston,
November, 18*76; Willis, Bailey, Columbia College (N. Y.) School of
Mines Quarterly, January, 1887 ; Report of Tenth Census (1880), Washington •
The Alaska excursion steamers usually leave Tacoma at daylight,
passengers going on board the night before. A few hours' stay are
allowed at Seattle, which is fully described in Appletons' General
Seattle, population 42,837 by the census of 1890, the commercial
rival of Tacoma, was named for the old Duwamish chief, and fronts
on Elliot, originally Duwamish Bay. The stations from which the
Northern Pacific, the Union Pacific, the Great Northern, the Columbia
& Puget Sound, the Seattle & Northern, and the Seattle, Lake Shore &
Eastern Ry. trains depart, are on the water front in close proximity-
to Yesler's and Commercial Wharf, where Sound and ocean steamers
land. Cabs and omnibuses have moderate tariff of charges. The
Ranier and the Denny, rates $3 a day and upward, are the leading
hotels. The ship's delay usually allows time for a ride by cable or
electric cars to the heights around the harbour or to Lake Washington
or to Lake Union, 2 miles distant.
Port Townsend, the " Key City of the Sound," population 4,558,*
is the port of entry for the Puget Sound customs district, and point of
departure of U. S. mails for Alaska. San Francisco passengers usually
join the Alaska steamers at this port. Excursion steamers make
short stops, but mail steamers receive and discharge the larger part of
their cargo here, and often lie for 24 hours. The new Custom-House
and Court-House on the edge of the bluff command fine views, and
electric railways crossing the peninsula to the Fuca shore afford means
of passing the waiting hours. There is a large modern hotel near the
wharves of the Port Townsend & Southern Ry., which is under construction, and will connect the west shore towns with the other railway systems at Olympia. Port Townsend, a two-company military
post at the end of the bay, may be reached by 5-mile carriage-roads, or
by small steamers which ply between the town and the Irondale blastfurnaces and Port Hadlock mill beyond. Small steamers run between
Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Pysht, and Neah Bay on the Fuca
shore. There is a large village of Makah Indians at Neah Bay, 4 miles
E. of Cape Flattery. The women are the finest basket-weavers on the
coast, and their gayly coloured wares may be bought at Port Townsend
and Victoria.
Everette is the terminal point of the Great Northern Ry. from
St. Paul. Its rail communications permit passengers to join Alaska
steamers at Anacortes or Seattle. Everette's growth has been since
1890, and among its industries are ship-yards where whaleback freight
and passenger steamers are built.
Anacortes, on Fidalgo Island, population 2,000, is 108 miles
from Seattle, and terminus of the Pacific division (Portland, Seattle &
Anacortes Line) of the N. P. R. There is a fine modern hotel, The
Anacortes, in  a pine grove  adjoining the wharf.    Alaska and San
* Through neglect to enlarge the city limits and include newly
settled additions before the census of 1890, Port Townsend showed
little increase of population in the decade, and Jefferson County was
given credit for the great increase in inhabitants.
Francisco steamers of the P. C. S. S. Co. eall regularly, and the Sound
boats give daily communication with Seattle and Tacoma. Alaska
steamers sometimes visit Fairhaven, population 4,000, and Whatcom, population 10,000, the ttvo enterprising towns on Bellingham
All this upper end of the Sound is dominated by Mt. Baker (10,-
810 ft.), an extinct volcano, whose many native names—Pukhomis,
Puksan, and Kulshan—all mean "the fire-mountain." Galiano and
Valdes called it Mt. Carmelo. Vancouver saw it later from the strait
of Fuca or New Dungeness, at first vaguely floating above the clouds,
and then the whole slope of "the lofty mountain discovered in the
afternoon by the third lieutenant, and in compliment to him called
by me Mt. Baker," Monday, April 30, 1792. Baker drew all of'Vancouver's charts.
The mountain has been in eruption many times in this century, by
Indian tradition. There was an eruption in 1852, when a great body
of lava flowed down the side of the mountain, and showed as a black
mass amid the snow all winter. There are no trails on its slopes, and
it is much more difficult of ascent than Mt. Ranier. It was first ascended from the W. or Lummi side by Edmund T. Coleman, an English
landscape artist and Alpine climber, in August, 1868.* Mr. E. S.
Ingraham and a party of six left the railroad at Silver Lake Station,
followed the Nooksack canon, and made the last climb on the W. side.
They found the summit, July 3, 1891, an elliptical plateau, a third of a
mile in length, probably a snow-filled crater. A small crater, 1,000 ft.
below, was filled with sulphur crystals and sulphurous gas, and steam
blew in clouds.
The group of Washington Islands lying between Bellingham
Bay and the strait of Fuca constitute Island County, with Friday
Harbour on San Juan Island as the county seat. There are ranches
and fruit farms on all these islands, and this maze of water-ways at the
boundary Une offer great inducement in the way of protection to
smugglers of opium and Chinese. The smugglers own swift schooners
and launches, and easily elude the one slow revenue cutter assigned to
the patrol of the sound.
San Juan Island, 14 miles long and 6 or 7 miles wide, contains
vast deposits of limestone. A half million barrels of lime are shipped
from the ovens at Roches Harbour each year.    It is shipped to all parts
* See Mountaineering on the Pacific, Harper's Monthly, November,
of the coast, and several vessels loaded with cargoes of lime have been
fired by a leak or a dashing wave.
San Juan Island nearly caused a war between Great Britain and the
United States, both countries claiming ownership, as the Oregon Treaty,
June 15, 1846, did not specify whether the boundary line should pass
through Canal de Haro or Rosario strait. Sir James Douglass and
Governor Isaac Stevens both claimed jurisdiction. The Sheriff of
Whatcom County sold H. B. Co. sheep'for taxes. An American citizen
shot a British pig, for whose loss $100 was no equivalent to its owner ;.
and sentiment waxed bitter. General Harney hurried troops off from
Steilacoom, and established a military post on one end of the island in
1859, just as the British and American boundary commissioners had
begun their work of peaceable settlement. A British war ship remained on guard; the garrison was increased; General Scott came
from Washington, and offered joint occupation by both Governments
until the boundary line should be decided. Until 1871 a company of
United States soldiers held the southern end of the island, and an
equal number of British blue jackets the northern point. There was
amicable intercourse, the two garrisons entering into athletic contests
with ardour; and succeeding the Treaty of Washington, 1871, the
Emperor of Germany, as arbitrator, decided that de Haro was the main
channel and the water boundary. The British withdrew in November,
1872, replanting gardens in order to leave San Juan exactly as they
found it. It commands the straits, and its thousand-feet-high hill
affords a site for the most effective battery in the world. The diplomats split finest hairs in their arguments. One strait was said to
separate the continent from Vancouver, the other to separate Vancouver from the continent; and Lord John Russell said : " San Juan
is a defensive position if in the hands of Great Britain; it is an aggressive position if in the hands of the United States. The United
States may fairly be called upon to renounce aggression ; but Great
Britain can hardly be expected to abandon defence."
The Strait of Juan de Fuca, leading to the Pacific, is a magnificent highway, 83 miles in length and 12 miles in width, but broadening
into a considerable sound at the eastern end. It is close walled on the
United States side by the Olympic range, chief among whose snowy
summits is "the Mt. Olympus of Meares," " the most remarkable mountain we had seen off the coast of New Albion, ... a summit with
a very elegant double fork," wrote Vancouver. Long before him Juan
Perez had named it the Sierra de Santa Rosalina.
This is the fabled strait of Anian supposed to lead through to the
Atlantic, and for which the greatest navigators of two centuries
sought.   Such a strait was first exploited by the Portuguese naviga-
tor Cortereal, who claimed to have sailed from the Labrador coast
through a narrow strait to the Indian Ocean in the year 1500. Eighty-
eight years later Maldonado said that he too had sailed through these
straits of Anian to the Western Ocean. Then Admiral del Fonte hastened northward from Callao in 1640 to intercept some Boston ships
that were to come through this northwest passage to interfere with
Spanish interests in the Pacific. Del Fonte gave full details, and told
all about the great archipelago of San Lazaria and the great river
under the 53d parallel. He described the natives, gave the names of
their villages, their numbers, and, sailing up a river to a lake, passed
out by another river into the Atlantic, and there found a ship from
1 Malteshusetts." In the year 1592, Apostolos Valerianos, or Juan de
Fuca, a Greek pilot in the employ of the Viceroy of New Spain, took a
caravel into "a broad opening between 47° and 48°." He sailed eastward for 100 miles, and past divers islands for 20 days, where he saw
men clad in the skins of beasts, and emerged into the Atlantic. Considering his duty done, he sailed back through his straits and down to
Acapulco; was sent to Spain to report the marvel to the king, and
some years later told his tale of discovery and royal neglect to an English consul in Italy, who tried vainly to interest Sir Walter Raleigh in
the matter and have the old man taken to England. Then began that
series of voyages in search of the straits of Anian, which employed all
the great navigators from Frobisher and Drake to Vancouver, and filled
their day with such true sea-stories as have no match now. Every
adventurer and every navigator out of a job claimed to have gone
through the straits, or to be willing to go at some one else's expense,
and the wits and romancers made fine play with the theme.
Captain James Cook, on his third and last voyage of discovery,
sought for the strait, but missed it, discovering Nootka, on the W. coast
of Vancouver Island, which the Spaniards had previously found, and
where they later built a fort to ward off Russian advances toward their
California colonies. In 1787 Berkely found the broad strait; in 1788
Meares sailed into and named it for Juan de Fuca; in 1789 Captain
Kendrick, of Boston, sailed around Vancouver Island ; in 179 ft Lieutenant Quimper entered Puget Sound and the Gulf of Georgia ; in 1791
Caamano explored and discovered the Fraser River ; and in 1792 Galiano
and Valdes surveyed the Gulf of Georgia and circumnavigated the
great island, overtaken and accompanied by Vancouver. The latter
had been sent in accordance with the provisions of the Nootka Convention, which, in adjudging indemnity for British ships seized and sold
for invading the Spanish colonies, decreed that the Spaniards should
abandon their Nootka fort, and the Northwest Coast become virgin soil
free to trade and settlement by all people. Vancouver was charged to
investigate the alleged discovery of De Fuca's strait, and to explore
the coast for a passage into the Atlantic. Spanish explorers, and Boston
and British fur-traders had preceded him in many instances, but although he met them, saw their charts, and received much aid, his
charts and narrative ignore their work, and, being the first published,
WQU him a discoverer's honours throughout.    His charts were the only
ones in use between Puget Sound and Dixon Entrance until the Wilkes
Exploring Expedition surveys, in 1841, furnished new charts from Commencement Bay to the Gulf of Georgia, and the Richards and Pender
surveys, 1858-'68, of the entire British Columbia coast were made the
basis of a new set of admiralty charts. Vancouver is the authority
for many charts of southeastern Alaska now in use.
Vancouver Island.
The island of Quadra* and Vancouver, as those two agreed to call
it in 1792, is the largest island on the Pacific coast of North America,
300 miles long, from 40 to 80 miles wide, and in area nearly equalling
Ireland, which its climate resembles. It is mountainous throughout,
the main range, a continuation of the Olympics, showing many peaks
6,000 and 8,000 ft. in height. The shores are deeply indented, many
inlets penetrating to the heart of the island, which is densely wooded
throughout, with occasional small prairies at the southern end. Mineral
deposits have been uncovered at many places, and extensive coal fields
are worked on the Georgian shore. Settlements have advanced slowly
on the west coast, which is beset with many dangers to navigation,
but which in time must attract fishing communities. Scottish crofter
families have already been colonized for that purpose.
After the abandonment of Nootka, the first settlement was made by
the H. B. Co. in 1844, when they built a fort at the native Camosun,
" the place where camass grows," which became Fort Victoria. In 1849
her Majes.ty assigned all of Vancouver Island to the H. B. Co. forever.
In 1858 it was bought back by the Crown for £57,500, just as the
Fraser River gold excitement brought 30,000 people to the colony at
once, and a canvas city of 15,000 inhabitants surrounded the stockade
for months. Vancouver was a separate colony, and Sir James Douglass
its Governor, until 1866, when it became one province with British
Columbia, under the same distinguished Governor. In 1871 British
Columbia joined the Dominion of- Canada, with an understanding that
the Dominion would build a railway to the Pacific. Delay in fulfilling
that promise caused disaffection and a strong sentiment for annexation
with the United States. The completion of the C. P. R. in 1885
brought a revival second only to Fraser River times, and the island
cities have grown as rapidly as their younger rivals on the mainland
shore. Extensive fortifications protect Esquimault, the British naval
station, which commands the strait of Fuca.
Victoria, population 20,000, fully described in The Canadian
Guide-Book,  Part II,  offers  much  to the  tourist  who  awaits  the
* Quadra was Spanish commandant at Nootka in 1792,
 Roadway in Stanley Park, Vancouver.
Alaska steamer at that point. The Driard ($3.50 per day) and the
Dallas ($3 per day), are the leading hotels, and Marboeufs, or the
Poodle-Dog Restaurant, is famous for its cuisine. The P. C. S. S. Co.'s
steamers land passengers at the outside wharf, and the C. P. N. Co.'s
steamers land at the wharves at the inside harbour. An electric railway
connects the outside wharf with the business part of the city, and its
branch lines reach Esquimault and the suburbs. Cabs are cheap,
and the drives- about Victoria are much famed for the picturesque
scenes they lead to, and their perfect road-beds. There is daily
communication between Victoria, New Westminster, Port Townsend,
Seattle, and Tacoma. The C. P. N. Co.'s mail steamers make semimonthly trips to Barclay Sound, on the W. coast of the island, and
to the N. coast. C. P. N. Co.'s excursion steamers depart at intervals for Alaska during the summer months, calling at Vancouver,
Alert Bay, Fort Rupert, River's Inlet, China Hat, Gardiner's Inlet, Port
Essington, Metlakahtla and Fort Simpson, in addition to the chief
points of interest in Alaska—Fort Wrangel, Sitka and Juneau, and
skirting past but not landing at the Muir and Taku Glaciers.
The P. C. S. S. Co.'s steamers regularly call at Victoria in going and
returning, and their steamers plying between San Francisco and the
Puget Sound ports make it a regular port of call every five days.
The C. P. R. Royal Mail Steamship Line to China and Japan call at
Victoria in going and returning. The steamers of the N. P. R. Co. to
China and Japan, and the Puget Sound and Hawaii Traffic Co.'s Honolulu steamers, also call at Victoria.
The Island Railway, 80 miles in length, connects Esquimault and
Victoria with Nanaimo on the Gulf of Georgia. It w?s begun in 1884
and completed in 1888, its projectors, Robert Dunsmuir and his sons,
James Bryden, Leland Stanford, C. P. Huntington, and Charles Crocker,
receiving a Government subsidy of $750,000, and a grant of land ten
miles in width on either side of the road-bed, with all the minerals and
timber included. Passengers may, at'their own expense, agreeably
break the steamer trip by taking this short rail route between Victoria
and Nanaimo, and enjoy the island forests and scenery.
In a single day, or during the usual waits of Alaska mail and excursion steamers at Victoria, the tourist can see the war ships and dry
dock at Esquimault; the boiling-tide rapids at the Gorge, the true
Esquimault, or " rush of waters " ; the Colonial Museum; the Songhies
Camp across the harbour; the curio shops in Johnson Street; Chinatown;
and on certain days hear the Military Band play in Beacon Hill Park.
The Dominion tariff prevents the shops from offering many inducements
to shoppers and amateur smugglers to the United States. Sooke,
Saanich, Cowichan, further inlets and distant lakes, with their tidy
British inns, snug shooting-boxes, or rough camps, offer much to
sportsmen and anglers who may prolong their stay..
The tides of the Pacific coast differ greatly from those of the
Atlantic. Lieutenant R. C. Ray, U. S. N., in the U. S. Hydrographic
Office, "Coast of British Columbia," explains these Pacific tides in
this reference to those of the strait of Fuca and Gulf of Georgia:
" The great and perplexing tidal irregularities may therefore be said
to be embraced between the strait of Fuca, near the Race Islands and
Cape Mudge, a distance of 150 miles; and a careful investigation of the
observations made at Esquimault, and among the islands of the Haro
Archipelago, shows that during the summer months, May, June and
July, there occurs but one high and one low water during the twenty-
four hours, high water at the full and change of the moon happening
about midnight, and varying but slightly from that hour during any
day of the three months; the springs range from 8 to 10 ft., the neaps
from 4 to 5 ft. The tides are almost stationary for two hours on either
■side of high or low water, unless affected by strong winds outside
" During August, September, and October there are two high and low
waters in the twenty-four hours; a superior and an inferior tide, the
high water of the superior varying between lh. and 3h. a. m., the range
during these months from 3 to 5 ft., the night tide the highest.
" During winter almost a reversal of these rules appears to take
place: thus, in November, December, and January the twelve-hour
tides again occur, but the time of high water is at or about noon instead
of midnight.
" In February, March, and April there are two tides, the superior high
water occurring from lh. to 3b. p. m. Thus it may be said that in summer months the tides are low during the day, the highest tides occurring in the night, and in winter the tides are low during the night the
highest tide occurring in the day. '
" The ebb stream has always been found to run southward through
the Haro Archipelago, and out of Fuca Strait for two and one-half
hours _ after it is low water by the shore, the water rising during
that time; the ebb is stronger than the flood, and generally two
hoursMonger duration.
" The tides during those months when two high and two low waters
occur in the twenty-four hours are far more irregular than when
there is only one twelve-hour tide; and another anomaly exists, viz the
greatest range not infrequently occurs at the first and last quarters
instead of at the full and change of the moon."
   THE  INLAND   SEA. 17
The Inland Sea.
From Victoria to Queen Charlotte Sound.
The P. C. S. S. Co.'s steamers after leaving Victoria skirt the shores
of San Juan Island and enter the Gulf of Georgia by the narrow Active
Pass between Mayne and Galiano Islands, discovered by and named for
the U. S. S. survey ship Active, in 1858. The C. P. N. Co.'s steamers
use Plumper Pass, named for H. B. M. S. Plumper. Both are very narrow, with steep, picturesque banks. The Gulf of Georgia and its
connecting waters comprise an Inland Sea greater in extent than that
famous one lying between the three great islands of Japan, and it is
more richly endowed by Nature. The 100-mile stretch between Active
Pass and Cape Mudge is the finest part of this Inland Sea, that is 40
and- 60. miles broad off the mouth of the Fraser River. The Crown
Mountains on the Vancouver shore are snow-capped all their length,
and Mt. Baker is chief in the white host of Cascade peaks on the mainland shore.
The fresh water of the Fraser River may be distinguished miles
away on emerging from Active or Plumper Pass, the fresh flood striping and mottling the surface with a paler green, and with its different
density and temperature floating over the sea-water or cutting through
it in solid bodies that everywhere show sharply defined lines of separation. Vancouver scouted the idea of there being a great river such as
Caamano claimed to have found a year before and named the Rio
Blanco in honour of the Prime Minister of Spain, although his ships were
then anchored in the midst of these mottled waters which every tourist
The Fraser River, whose head-waters were discovered by Sir Alexander Mackenzie in 1793, and whose course was followed from headwaters to tide-waters by Simon Fraser in 1808, is described in all its
length in Appletons' Canadian Guide-Book, Part II. Full accounts of
the cities of New Westminster and Vancouver are found there as
Passengers arriving from the East by the C. P. R. may join the
Alaska excursion steamers of the C. P. N. Co. at Vancouver. The
mail steamers of that line do not always touch at Vancouver, and passengers must join them at Victoria, save when they may have the
chance to intercept them at Nanaimo. The Alaska mail and excursion
Steamers of the P. C. S. S, Co. do not tough at Vancouver, and C, P. R,
passengers join them at Anacortes or Victoria as the agent may indicate. Steamers for Victoria and Nanaimo leave Vancouver daily upon
the arrival of the overland trains.
The Vicinity of Nanaimo.
Nanaimo, 40 miles across from Vancouver, population 4,000, is a
busy colliery town, where Alaska steamers of the P. C. S. S. Co. remain
from six to twenty-four hours while coaling. It is fully described in
The Canadian Guide Book, Part II. The town itself offers little
of interest to the tourist save the old H. B. Co. block-house, dating
from 1833.
Coal was discovered in 1850 through the Indians, who brought a
canoe load of the black stones to the H. B. Co. blacksmiths at Victoria. At first the Indians were paid one blanket for 8 barrels of coal
taken out. Four companies now operate the Nanaimo mines; the harbour is busy with waiting and loading ships, and the output is about
500,000 tons a year, selling at the wharf for $3 and $3.50 per ton.
The Alaska steamers as often coal at the Wellington wharves in
Departure Bay, which is separated from Nanaimo harbour by Newcastle Island, whose coal-pits and stone quarry are abandoned. A
steam ferry connects Departure Bay wharves with Nanaimo, and a 5-
iiii 1*.* carriage road through the forest gives beautiful outlooks upon the
water. The Wellington mines lie 6 miles from the wharves, connected
by railway and carriage road. The mines were discovered by the late
Richard Dunsmuir, Scotch coal expert of the H. B. Co., whose horse
stumbled and uncovered the outcroppings of the best coal in the neighbourhood. The British admiral, Mr. Dunsmuir, and one other ventured
£1,000 each in developing the property. At the end of two years Mr.
Dunsmuir bought the admiral's share for £50,000, and at the end of five
years the remaining partner's share for £150,000. The 5 Dunsmuir
mines at Wellington and North Wellington clear over $60,000 each
month, and the pits are surrounded by long rows of colliers' tenements.
Native, Chinese, Cornish, and frontier miners have been employed, and
after a serious riot, calling for troops to suppress it, the owners closed
one group of mines for two years, and its village was depopulated.
Wellington commands a higher price than Nanaimo coal, and is used
in city gas works on the coast. Dr. George M. Dawson, who recently
examined these bituminous coal measures, found that the cretaceous
rocks holding these coal-beds filled a trough 130 miles in length along
the east shore of Vancouver Island.   Dr. Harrington's analysis of this
TAe Gorge of the Homathco.
true bituminous coal gave an average of 6*29 per cent of ash and 1 47
per cent of water.
Besides the carriage roads already mentioned, one is being cut to
the summit of Mt. Benson, behind Nanaimo.
The surrounding forests are of greatest interest to botanists, and
wherever the rocks are uncovered they show the grooved and rounded
carvings of a glacial garden. The carriage road is often a tunnel
through the dense, dark foliage of the huge Douglas firs, and the last
of the rich, red-barked madrofia-trees or Menzies arbutus grow among
the evergreens. There is an especially fine grove of madronas on the
knoll between the coal wharves and the block-house in Nanaimo.
Ferns of many varieties and of gigantic size thrive—those 6 and 9 ft. in
length being easily found at the end of summer—and among the many
strange wild flowers there is a blue clover. Azaleas brighten the forests in May; the sallal, thimble, salmon, and blackberries abound in
August. Achlys trifillum, the Oregon sweet-leaf, or deer-foot, grows
rankly everywhere, and Nanaimo children gather bunches of this en-
duringly fragrant leaf for sale on steamer days. Sportsmen find deer,
bear, and elk, or wapiti, in the wilderness. Grouse and Chinese pheasants, which have spread from the first birds imported by an Oregon
club, abound. The smaller streams and lakes contain trout and malm a;
salmon will take a spoon at the least, and cod are easily caught in the
harbour. Camping outfits for a stay in the wilderness may be secured
at Nanaimo, and it is possible to reach many remote inlets by the
smaller vessels that often call.
The Lighthouse on the north end of Entrance Island, at the entrance
of Nanaimo harbour is the last one on the British Columbia coast, and
Nanaimo is the end of telegraph lines.
On the Vancouver shore the Crown Mountains rise in a splendid
line of peaks. Mt. Albert Edward (6,968 ft.) is due W. of Texada
Island. Alexandra Peak (6,394 ft.) is next in line northward, followed
by Crown Mountain (6,100 ft.) and by Victoria Peak (7,500 ft.), the
latter lying due W. of Discovery Passage.
The Upper End of the Gulf of Georgia.
The Great Fiords and the Salish Villages.
Sechett Arm' of Jervis Inlet contains a great tidal rapid whose
roar is heard for miles, and which only needs to be exploited to obscure
the fame of the Norwegian Malstrom and Salstrom,
Sechelt Mission in Trail Bay, across the gulf from Nanaimo, is
a tidy village with a large Roman Catholic church, where excursion
steamers often touch. A first representation of the Passion Play was
given here in 1890, and native communicants from all parts of British
Columbia assembled for the religious ceremonies, which occupied three
days. These scenes from the life and crucifixion of Christ were repeated at the mission opposite Vancouver City in 1891, and at Mission
Junction on the Fraser in 1892.
Phosphorescent seas of wonderful brilliancy are often witnessed in
the Gulf of Georgia, and black whales may always be seen spouting
singly or in schools.
Texada Island is 27 miles in length and 4 in breadth, with Mt. Shepherd (2,906 ft.) rising above its many ridges. There are large deposits
of coarse magnetic iron-ore, containing only *003 per cent of phosphorus, valuable for steel-making, and enhanced in value by the neighbouring coal-beds.
Desolation Sound and Bute Inlet indent the mainland, the latter
the most famous fiord along the gulf. It is 40 miles in length, often
less than a mile in width, and the precipitous mountain walls rise from
4,000 to 8,000 ft. in height. Soundings of 400 fathoms have been
made without bottom, and the clear waters are so darkly green as. to be
almost black. Dense forests clothe these walls; glaciers, snow-banks,
and cascades gleam among the green. Lord Dufferin and the Marquis
of Lome began the praise of Bute Inlet as the scenic gem of the
coast, and its reputation increases yearly.
The Cape Mudge village marks the limit of the Salish tribes which
inhabit the coast between it and the head of Puget Sound. The Salish
are fast dying, and some have become extinct within a decade. They
had a totemic organization, possessed many arts, permanent homes,
seaworthy and graceful canoes, when the first whites came. Their
black, shovel-nosed dug-out canoes make pictures in the still waters between wooded shores, and the Chinook canoe is said to have given the
lines for the American clipper ships of the China and East Indian
trade. They are a superior people, differing thus from the canoe Indians of South America, and quite as aggressive as the meat-eating tribes
of the interior. Cape Mudge potlatches, or feasts, where the host
divides all his property among his guests, are famous, one in 1892 representing an expenditure of $6,000 in the gifts distributed. In 1888 the
neighbouring Cowichans had accumulated personal property estimated
at $407,000. The British Columbia Legislature forbade potlatches,
and in one year their wealth decreased to $80,000—the prohibition
of potlatches quenching all their desire to accumulate,   Before  the
whites came the sign-language was used between the tribes. Since
then the general medium of communication, with whites as well, has
been the Chinook Jargon compounded by H. B. Co.'s factors from
Salish, French, English, Russian, and Kanaka speech. It has a vocabulary but no grammar, and one quickly learns its simple arrangements
from the printed manuals, and finds it a useful accomplishment on the
coast. Siwash, the Chinook name for an Indian, is a corruption of the
French sauvage. Klahowyah, the usual salutation, is the native equivalent for the " Clark, how are you ? " as a white trader was always
greeted by arriving friends.
Seymour Narrows or Yaculta Rapids—The Great
Discovery Passage, 23 miles in length, separates Vancouver
from Valdes Island, and the geological formations of its banks show
how recently the two islands were one. Midway in the pass are the
Seymour Narrows, named for the British admiral, but known to the
natives as Yaculta, the home of an evil spirit, who lived in its depths
and delighted to snatch canoes and devour their occupants, and to vex
and toss whales about. The Richards and Pender surveys reduced the
fabled dangers to exactness. The Narrows are a mile and a half long
and less than half a mile wide, and the ebbing tide from the Gulf of
Georgia races through at a speed varying from 6 to 10 and 12 knots
an hour. Ripple Rock lifts a knife-edged reef for 300 yards down
the centre of the pass, with 13 ft. of water over these pinnacles, and
depths of 100 fathoms around them. Ships are timed to reach the
Narrows during the favourable quarter hour before or after the ten
minutes of slack water, when the whirlpool boils and simmers mildly.
The few who have inadvertently gone through with the racing tide
have seen the whole gorge white with foam, waves rearing and breaking madly, deep holes boring down into the water, fountains boiling up
like geysers, and ships reeling, shivering, and staggering in the demon's
hold. Ships steaming 12 knots an hour have made but a cable's headway in two hours, and have often been swept back to await the favourable half hour in the many convenient coves near. Many vessels were
wrecked before the pass was fully known.
The TJ. S. S. Saranac, a second-rate side-wheel steamer of 11 guns,
was lost in Seymour Narrows June 18, 1875. It entered the pass too
late, was caught in the current, and struck broadside on Ripple Rock.
It swung off, was headed for the Vancouver shore, and made fast with
hawsers to trees; but there was only time to lower a boat with the pa-
pers and a few provisions, when the Saranac sank 60 fathoms deep,
and the crew camped on shore while a small boat went to Nanaimo
for help. In 1882 the U. S. S. Wachusett ventured within Yaculta's
realm too late, was seized by the demon, drawn down in a big eddy and
hurled against the rock with such force that its falso keel was entirely
torn away. In 1883 the little coasting steamer Grappler, returning
with the pack and crew from northern canneries, took fire as it entered
the Narrows. The hemp rudder-ropes burned; the frantic passengers
leaped overboard as the boat careened and whirled in the rapids ; the
captain was sucked down in an eddy with his life-preserver belted on,
and few escaped. The rings of floating kelp that drift in the race-way
are said to be the queues of the 70 Chinese lost with the Grappler.
The Norwegian Malstrom, lying between the most southerly islands of
the Loffoden group, attains a speed of 6 knots an hour, only when a
westerly gale aids the tide: and the greater Salstrom in behind Tromso
has but a little stronger current at the ebb.
The Head of Vancouver Island.
Johnstone Strait, 55 miles in length, and Broughton Strait, 14 miles
in length, varying from 1 to 2 miles in width, continue the double
panorama of forested slopes and bold mountain walls.
The Alert Bay cannery, on the S. side of Cormorant Island, has
drawn a village of 150 Kwakiutl Indians from the abandoned village
of Cheslakee, at the mouth of the Nimpkish River. Missionaries have
not been able to do anything with these people. The most southerly
totems-pole, and the only one known to have been erected on the coast,
within ten years, is to be seen in front of the chief's house at Alert
Bay. The graveyard is most interesting, with painted boxes, carved
poles, many flags and streamers. The eccentric fashions in head-flattening ceased with the Salish people at the line of Cape Mudge^ and the
Kwakiutl cranium was elongated, and drawn up into pyramidal shape.
A few very aged people show the peculiar shapes of skull once in
vogue, and fine specimens have been obtained from graves. The
Alert Bay Indians will give the old peace and festival dances in costume, if a sufficient purse is made up by their white visitors.
Fort Rupert, an old H. B. Co. post, is in Beaver Harbour, 9 miles
beyond Broughton Strait. The fort was built in 1849, and strongly defended because of the natives near it and the frequent visits of the
Haidas and northern tribes. There was a heavy earthquake shock in
August, 1866, and in 1867 the ranche was bombarded by H. B. M. S. Clio
until the tribe surrendered some hidden murderers. Since then the Kwa-
kiutls have been peaceable and their annals eventless.   The young
men desert the village every summer, to work at mills and canneries.
The block-houses and gateway of the old fort remain, and also the chief's
house, a famous old lodge 100 ft. long and 80 ft. wide, resting on
carved corner posts. The great potlatch dish, in shape of a recumbent
man, holding food for 100 people, is shown. Coal-mines were worked
by the H. B. Co. before the Nanaimo veins were discovered, and the
cleared fields and gardens are still productive.
Beyond the Broughton Archipelago there are several fine fiords,
the narrow King Come Inlet having an 18-mile-long wall of snow-peaks;
and McKenzie Sound vertical walls that almost shut the sunlight from
the flooded gorge, that is only foreground and approach to the noble
peak Vancouver, named for Sir John Philip Stephens, of the Admiralty.
At the W. end of Galiano Island there is a spire of rock crowning
a promontory 1,200 ft. high, which Admiral Phelps, U.S.N.,and Hon.
J. G. Swan argue to be " the great headland or island with an exceeding high pinnacle or spired rock like a pillar thereon " which Juan de
Fuca saw. They show how easily the Greek may have sailed for
20 days behind Vancouver Island, and, believing the ocean beyond
Queen Charlotte Sound to be the Atlantic, retraced his course from
this pinnacle in good faith.
From Queen Charlotte Sound to Milbank Sound.
At Queen Charlotte Sound there is a 40-mile gap in the island
belt. Captain Gray first charted the expanse as Pintard Sound, for
the Boston owner of his vessel. Vancouver recharted it as named by
Captain Wedgeborough, of the Experiment, in 1786. Sometimes the
swell of the outer ocean may be felt, but more often it is a stilled expanse, where mists and fogs perpetually hover and play fantastic tricks
among the ragged islands and the near snow-peaks. Piloting, which is
all by sight along this coast, is often by echo along this reach, and the
mariner's acute senses tell, as the sound is flung back, how the shores
are trending, and have even detected, by a strange quality in the echo,
the presence of another ship's .sails. Feeling around its rocky edges,
both of Vancouver's ships struck ; and in July, 1889, the U. S. S. Su-
wanee was lost on an unknown rock in Shadwell Passage.
The Kuro Siwo strikes full against this entrance, on its recurved
course, and its warm air, condensed by Mt. Stephens and the white host,
lies in solid banks upon the water, in and out of which one passes as
through a door; or the tips of a ship's masts sparkle in the sunlight of
a high white plain, the hull invisible. Bands of fog pencil the hillside
with Japanese conventional cloud effects; a gray canopy truncates the
mountain pyramids; or filmy, downy tatters of clouds, mere mist trailers
finer than cobweb, drift across green heights, are tangled in the forest,
or gathered in still ravines. Every branch and twig sparkles with vivid
greenness in this dewy air, washed clean with perpetual mists.
The Kuro Siwo gives the British Columbia coast the climate of
Ireland, of Devonshire and Cornwall, and fosters a far richer vegetation
on shore, all ferns, bushes, and thirsty plants growing as in a hot-house.
In forests as dense as any that Stanley describes, and choked with an
undergrowth through which an explorer must cut his way, watercourses, and the paths made to them by bears, are the only possible
footways below the level of a thousand feet. The Menzie and Merton
spruces, and the Douglas fir, stand as closely together as blades of
grass, and the eye sees only leagues and leagues of tree-tops on every
slope and shore, their foliage so intensely green, when near at hand,
blending and toning to the richest bronze, grey and olive in the distance, and often glowing in the late afternoon as if the foliage reflected
some concealed colour, or the slopes were clad in blooming heather. No
forest fires darken the air beyond Vancouver's shores, and the scar of a
land-slide or wind-break is clothed with green by a second season. A
crevice in the rock for safe lodging, a handful of sand or gravel to
cover its roots, and a young spruce will prick forth and spread its thin
branches, untii in time its own needles form a soil and support thick
layers of moss. A whole forest thus thrives on air and rocks, the trees
crowding one another in their growth, and, with no tap-root to steady
them, they fall by acres before a storm wind. Their own weight
often pulls the thin skin of earth from the rocks, and acres of perpendicular forest go thundering down into the bottomless channels, and
Nature decorates the heights afresh. Madronos disappear, and the famous yellow or Alaska cedars (Cupressis nutkalcensis) of the Northwest
coast show in the forest from Fort Rupert northward.
Nakwakto Rapids.
The Great Malstrom or Reversible Tidal Cataract.
Belize Inlet is the strangest piece of glacial carving on the coast
as it zigzags and straggles by many deep cuts to the foot of Mt. Stephens. It holds a malstrom twice the strength of Seymour Narrows,
in the long, narrow gateway that gives entrance to its wonderland.
There are Indian villages along those canons, but it is only for ten minutes at a time that a canoe can pass the Nakwakto Rapids to reach
them. In the first narrows of Slingsby Channel, which are but 200
yards wide, there is a maelstrom where the tide makes 9 knots an hour
at the turn. The canon continues for 5 miles and widens to 400 yards
at the Nakwakto Rapids, the Kahtsisilla of the natives, and the most
remarkable place of its kind on the coast. The ebb tide races out at a
speed of 15 and 20 knots an hour, the waves running up the face of
Turret Isle, which rises 80 ft. above the water in mid-channel. There
is magnificent scenery in the labyrinth of farther inlets, and at the end
of one arm there is a peak 5,000 ft. high which easily acquired the
name of Perpendicular Mountain.
The Coast of British Columbia.
The Inside Passage through the Columbian Archipelago.
Fitzhugh Sound, first in the line of channels separating the Columbian Archipelago from the mainland of British Columbia, trends
30 miles due N. a smooth river running between mountain banks.
Just within its entrance, on the shores of Calvert Island, is Oatsoalis
or Safety Cove, a mariner's refuge since Duncan's time (1787). Vancouver anchored and repaired ships there before returning to Nootka in
1792, and his men explored the neighbouring inlets in small boats. Mail
steamers and canoes rest there when fog, storm, or darkness prevent
their crossing the sound. In August, 1885, the P. C. S. S. Ancon broke
her main cylinder on her way southward and was anchored in the cove
for ten days, while Captain James Carroll made the 221-mile voyage to
Nanaimo in a life-boat in four days and returned with help. The passengers made it a gala season of adventure and exploration, and regretted leaving. Mt. Buxton, 3,430 ft., is the sharp-pointed peak on
the Calvert shore.
Rivers Inlet, the next indentation of the mainland coast, penetrates 20 miles inland, widening into loch-like expanses so sheltered by
the precipitous ridges and ranges that it is clear and sunny within when
the Sound is banked with fog. There are three canneries at the end,
and the C. P. N. steamers call regularly during the summer season.
The Bella Bellas' village of Owikino is near the larger cannery, bufr
presents little of interest in the way of poles or graves. Two canoe-
loads of Owikino seal-hunters were killed at Sorrow Island by the, Kit-
kahtlas, a Tsimsian tribe, in January, 1892, and a bitter Indian war resulted ; war canoes carried chanting braves in paint and regalia up
and down the Channels seeking foes, and the constables required the
aid of gunboats to suppress and settle the difficulty.
Vancouver explored Burke Canal and its branches, Bentinck
Arm and Dean Canal in 1793, his second season on the Northwest
Coast.   There is a large native village at the end of Bentinck Arm,
60 miles from the sea, where Sir Alexander Mackenzie completed the
first crossing of the continent of North America in 1793. The Bilqulas,
or Bella Coolas, inhabiting these fiords, are an estray branch of the Salish people, isolated in the heart of the Kwakintls country, and they received Mackenzie hospitably, and informed him that " Macubah " (Vancouver) had just been there. Dr. Dawson says that the Bilqulas' trail
to the interior and the upper Fraser has existed from time immemorial, and the Tinneh tribes called it the Grease Trail, because of the
supplies of oulachon and other oil acquired in trade with the Bilqulas.
There was a H. B. Co. post at this important point, and in Cariboo
times many prospectors reached the diggings over the old Indian trail
from Burke Canal.
Cascade Inlet, in Dean Canal, is the Geiranger of this coast, so
strangely wanting in great waterfalls. The fiord is 11 miles long and
three quarters of a mile wide, with innumerable waterfalls leaping
from its tremendous cliffs. Vancouver wrote that these cascades
" were extremely grand, and by much the largest and most tremendous
we had ever beheld, their impetuosity sending currents of air across
the canal."
One of Vancouver's men, Carter, died, and others were made numb
and ill for days, from eating mussels in Poison Cove. Special providence, far more than Duncan's or Caamano's charts, helped Vancouver to
successfully navigate in this region, where a maze of water-ways, and hundreds of cul-de-sacs test the pilot's memory. One attractive little opening in Hunter Island is known as The Trap, and a vessel getting in cannot turn around nor make a tour of the blockading islet which is the bait
to the trap, but must be pulled out backward. An English gunboat
was once lo3t in this labyrinth region for two weeks; and when Mr.
Seward visited Alaska, in 1869, his pilot also lost the way. The Bella
Bellas have a bad name, and when they took one - aboard to steer the
ship through to Finlayson's Channel, a pile of silver dollars was put
before the pilot as the reward for a safe passage, and pistols pointed
at either ear promised other reward for any treachery.
Jacobsen's Inlet is named for the Tromso scientist, who has
made large collections and long ethnological reports to the Bergen and.
Berlin museums, and once took seven Bella Coolas to Europe.   There
is a splendid waterfall 300 ft. high in this inlet.
Lama Passage, named for an old H. B. Co. ship, is a beautifully
wooded way, its northern shore broken at one place by a graveyard
with kennels of tombs painted with totemic designs, and many flags and
streamers flying from tall poles. In an opposite cove, on Campbell
Island, the remnant of the Bella Bellas are gathered in a model village,
with mission, church, school, store, and cabins shining with whitewash,
and so dazzling one with their immaculate array that passers-by discredit the curdling tales of the past. They were long the most treacherous, bloodthirsty, and turbulent tribe, an<I made the life of the H. B.
Co. agents such a dangerous imprisonment that the post of Fort Mclaughlin was only maintained for a few years after its establishment in
1834. In 1868 the company tried it again, and the new fashions in
Bella Bella have made life profitable and worth living.
From Milbank Sound to Dixon Entrance.
The Great Scenic Region.
There are only 8 miles of Milbank Sound to be crossed to regain the shelter of the great islands again, and it is so fringed with
islets that a ship is often past it before its passengers have suspected
any opening to the ocean. The finest scenery on the steamer's regular
course through the Columbian Archipelago lies between Milbank Sound
and Dixon Entrance, a double panorama of unbroken beauty 200 miles
in length. The tourist cannot afford to lose an hour of this scenic
watch. Green slopes are reflected in greener waters, every tree and
twig growing double, and only bands of algae or tide-washed rock tell
where reflections part. The shores rise almost perpendicularly for
1,000 or 1,500 ft., above which snow-clad ridges rise as high again,
and the channels vary from an eighth of a mile to 2 miles in width.
Tall trees climb and cling to these walls like vines, and cascades slipping out from the snow-banks flash among the green and go singing to
the sea. The mountain contours tell where lakes must lie in rocky
amphitheatres, and overflow in these roaring ribbons.
Finlayson Channel is 24 miles in length, from 1 to 2 miles
in width, with depths of 50 and 150 fathoms. Helmet Mountain on the
W., and Stripe Mountain marked with the line of a great land-slide, are
at the entrance of the channel. Bell Peak (1,280 ft.), on Cone Island, is
commonly known as China Hat, from its outlines. The village of
China Hat and fantastic graveyard are seen from the C. P. N. Co.'s
steamers, which regularly call for mails. Sarah Island divides the
channel's northern end. Its landmarks are two waterfalls that leap
from the snow-banks and descend in full view to the sea. Tolmie
Channel, W. of Sarah Island, is 15 miles in length, and from a half
mile to a mile in width. The scenery increases in charm as the ships
pass through Hiehish Narrows, a quarter of a mile in width at the head
of Sarah Island, and enters
Graham Reach, 17 miles long and less than a mile in width.
McKay Reach continues the magnificent panorama for the next 8 miles.
The mountains rise more abruptly, granite cliffs tower perpendicularly,
their front glistening with glacier polish and latticed over with fine
cascades; more waterfalls and land-slides are reflected in the glassy
reaches; great alcoves on the heights betray the hidden lakes, and
side canons, lesser Yosemites, lead away into the wilderness of Princess
Royal Island. In McKay Reach and Wright Sound there is no bottom
at 225 fathoms.
At Wright Sound submerged peaks stand as islands; six diverging channels open, and the tourist with an Admiralty Chart is as puzzled
as were Caamano and Vancouver a century ago, to know which way
leads on or out to the ocean.
Gardner Canal or Inlet.
Ursula and Devastation Channels, behind Gribbel Island, lead to
the grand canal which Vancouver named for Vice-Admiral Sir Alan
Gardner, who recommended that Vancouver be given charge of the
expedition to Nootka and the Northwest Coast. Whidbey explored it
in that summer of 1798, and reported that it was " almost an entirely
barren waste, nearly destitute of wood and verdure, and presenting to
the eye one rude mass of almost naked rocks, rising into rugged mountains, more lofty than any he had before seen, whose towering summits
seeming to overhang their bases gave them a tremendous appearance.
The whole was covered with perpetual ice and snow that reached, in
the gullies formed between the mountains, close down to the high-
water mark, and many waterfalls of various dimensions were seen to
descend in every direction"—a description that might as coldly describe the Sogne Fiord, the Naerodal, the Yosemite, or any other rival
canon's walls. But Mr. Whidbey went the 50 miles of its length,
" where it terminated, as usual," and the explorer gave up getting.into
Hudson Bay by that route.
Tourists consider the Gardner Canal, or Kitlup Canon, the
culmination of the scenery of the British Columbian coast, as it cleaves
its narrowing way for 60 miles between gloomy walls, to where a great
mountain blocks the end, with glaciers resting on its sides, cascades
foaming down to join the sea, and cannery buildings dwai fed to toys
at its base.
The Old Man, a conspicuous landmark on the canon walls, rises
perpendicularly 2,000 ft. from the water, and soundings at its baseline give a depth of over 1,400 ft. The Islander has been laid alongside, and passengers have gathered ferns from the seamed and overhanging wall. Irving Falls, on the opposite wall, descend 2,000 ft. by
successive leaps, and there is a fine frothy fall draining the glacier
above the Price cannery. The Kiilups, who inhabit the summer salmon villages on the inlet and the oulichan village on the Kemano River at
its head, have few legends connected with the fiord. Kitlup, in Tsimsian
speech, is derived from Kit, " the people," and lups, " sewed garments "
—some vague distinction of earlier days. The cannery was established
by Coates, the Scotch thread manufacturer, in 1889. C. P. N. excursion steamers first visited the fiord in August, 1891.
There is a village of Christian Indians at Hartley Harbour who
were formerly members of Mr. Duncan's community at Metlakahtla,
and who, without siding with their leader or the bishop, withdrew to their
old home when the troubles began. They have a neat village with a
church, school-house, and saw-mill, and the men find summer work at
the canneries.
Grenville Channel, the arrowy reach cutting northwestwardly
from Wright Sound for 45 miles without bend or break, was named for
the Right Hon. Lord Grenville, Secretary of State, who gave Vancouver his commission for the expedition to the Northwest Coast. Until Gardner's Inlet was exploited Grenville Channel was considered
first of Columbian fiords, and the deep, glass-floored, echoing green lane
is still a boasted show place on the Alaska route. Lowe Inlet is the
only break in the wall, and the cannery is niched in a fold in the rocks,
through which a salmon stream cascades from a high lake. Right
Hon. William Pitt's Archipelago is W. of Grenville Channel, and, in
Chatham Sound, Cape Ibbetson immortalizes another of Vancouver's
friends in the Admiralty office.
The Skeena River.
Skeena River, the largest stream in the province above the
Fraser, is navigable by small steamers for 60 miles above its mouth,
and for 200 miles by canoes. Its name—Skee, "terror, calamity, trouble," and Eena, " a stream "—was given it because of poisonous shellfish, which killed many canoe-loads of the first people who came around
from Nass River.
It is the greatest salmon stream of the Northwest Coast, and canneries dot its shores for 20 miles. Vancouver was first to enter it, and
named Port Essington for a naval friend; and the H. B. Co.'s post was
built there in 1835, adjoining the native village of Spuksut. It is the
most important settlement on the river, with a hotel, church, school,
cannery, mill, and fish-refrigerating works, where salmon are frozen,
hermetically sealed, and shipped to England.   It was considered as a
possible terminus for the C. P. R., being 450. miles nearer to Asiatic
ports than the towns at the mouth of the Fraser, and its distance from
the United States boundary and immunity in case of war were also in its
favour. Land acquired a great value with the prospect, and is still held
at $100 and $300 an acre, as the owners believe that a branch of the
present trunk line must soon come northward.
The canneries at Port Essington, Claxton, Cascade, Aberdeen, Inverness, Standard, and Mumford Landing produce over 80,000 cases of
salmon each season. They are properly restricted by Government regulations, and officers are stationed on the river during the season to
enforce them. Each fishing-boat pays a tax of $20 a season. The
size of the nets is prescribed by law, and a weekly close season from
Saturday to Monday allow a fraction of the salmon to reach the spawning-grounds. Over 100 fishing-boats may be seen at once when the
seines are being set or drawn, and more than $50,000 was paid in
wages on the Skeena during the salmon season of 1892. The work is
performed by Indians, Chinese, Japanese, Greeks, and Scandinavians,
and many remain during the winter to work in the saw-mills. Lumber
sells at fifty cents per thousand in this section.
The Kwakiutls' empire ceases at the Skeena mouth, and the Tsim-
sians, the greatest of the coast tribes, occupy the coast to the Alaska
line. The Tsimsians have always held a monopoly of the inland trade,
maintained a grease trail with the interior, and kept the Tinneh in admirable subjection. The few of these mountaineers occasionally seen
on the river explain why Fort Stager and Fort Hazelton, on the upper
Skeena, remain the only H. B. Co.'s stockaded posts.
There have been gold fevers and great diggings on the upper Skeena
for 30 years. The Omineca excitement at the head-waters of Peace
River in 1871 emptied Skeena camps, but in 1883-'84 there was a
boom on Lome Creek, and fishermen dropped their nets, and loggers
left for the mines.
C. P. N. mail and excursion steamers do not go beyond Port Essington ; but while freight is being handled, tourists have often opportunity
to take launches or canoes to the Hot Springs 3 miles across, or to the
waterfall, 12 miles above. The Western Union Telegraph Co. built its
lines to Telegraph Creek, 60 miles above the mouth of the Skeena River,
in 1865, but the wires through the dense forest country were soon
The Tsimsian Peninsula.
Metlakahtla—" the  open channel," or " the  channel, open  at
either end "—is a half-ruined Tsimsian village, which for 27 years was
the home of Mr. Duncan's colony of Christianized Tsimsians—an actual
Arcadia, a living Utopia and model commune that proved much that
political economists doubt.
William Duncan was sent from England in 1857 as a lay worker for
the Church Mission Society, in response to Admiral Prevost's account of
the terrible condition of native life on this coast. Sir James Douglass
and all the H. B. Co.'s agents tried to dissuade him from going to Fort
Simpson, where there was the greatest number of the worst savages in
the region. Within three years Mr. Duncan had learned the language, and
so attached 50 of the Tsimsians to him that they went with him to this
site of an abandoned Tsimsian settlement. They cleared, drained, and
cultivated the land, built a village of tidy two-story cottages, a church,
school-house, saw-mill, salmon cannery, and co-operative store. They
had their own trading schooner, their brass band and fire brigade, and a
village council of elders ordered municipal affairs. They learned to do
carpentering, house-building, cabinet-making, shoemaking, coopering,
tanning, and rope-making. The women were taught to weave shawls,
blankets, and cloth from mountain goat wool, to sew and cook. It was
a model industrial settlement, and there was evolved a community life
more ideal than anything Plato or Bellamy has imagined. Every visitor,
from Lord Dufferin to the roughest seafaring frontiersman, could but
praise this " work that stands absolutely without parallel in the history
of missions." For 20 years the peace and prosperity of the 800 Metla-
kahtlans were unbroken. In 1881 Bishop Ridley objected to the form
of the simple religious services Mr. Duncan held, and the omission of
the communion service; and the Society was disappointed at the few
converts and baptisms reported. After continued criticism and interference, Mr. Duncan resigned his mission. The bishop established
himself in residence and failed to win the respect or confidence of the
people. He quarrelled with the head men, he struck them with his
fists, he carried a rifle, and called for a man-of-war to protect him.
The people petitioned him to go away, and begged Mr. Duncan to return. Church and state upheld the bishop; the community property
was called church property. Mr. Duncan returned, and suggested emigration to the United States side. When ready to leave, the Canadian
authorities prevented the pilgrims taking anything but their personal
property with them, and their houses, mills, and works were left intact
as church property for the 120 of 800 who remained with the bishop.
The empty dwellings fell to decay, the clearing partly relapsed to underbrush, the large church was partitioned off to hold the handful of
worshippers, and when a few years later the bishop departed, the ruin
was complete. The nearly deserted village remains as a monument of
misdirected religious zeal, of civil injustice and oppression, the shame
and reproach of church and state.
The Japanese employed in the Skeena River fisheries have built
a little village of their own near Metlakahtla, and reproduced a corner
of Japan. They have their own schooner and cannery, and have
begun the manufacture of fancy wOodenware for the tourist trade.
They affiliate readily with the better class of natives, and, besides the
resemblance in features and many customs, their use of the same carpenters' and carvers' tools amazes the white residents.
Fort Simpson, the most important H. B. Co. post on the coast,
is 16 miles beyond Metlakahtla. Rocks and ledges oblige ships to
make a great detour to reach the wharf. In 1831 the H. B. Co. built
a first Fort Simpson, 40 miles up the Nass River, but as the Tsimsians
firmly held their monopoly of trade with the interior, the profitless
isolation only endured for three years, and the post was moved to this
bit of Tongass ground on the N. shore of the Tsimsian peninsula. It
retained the name given it in honour of Lieutenant Simpson, R. N., who
was in charge of the company's ship-building, and who died at the first
fort on the Nass.
The Tsimsians had originally twelve villages on the Skeena for
salmon-fishing, twelve on the Nass for the oulachan-fishing, and twelve
permanent winter villages on the coast near to halibut grounds. The
beaches about Fort Simpson had been common camping grounds for
all tribes for more than a century, and the Tsimsians, the greatest
traders and grease merchants of the coast, did a large business at their
spring fair, when the oulachan silvered sound and inlets for miles, and
the waters were alive with canoes from every quarter. After the fort
was built the May fairs were larger; 14,000 savages were often encamped around the stockade; the beach was black with canoes, and
perpetual revel and bedlam went on. The fort was often attacked;
attempts were made to burn it, and when Sir George Simpson enforced
prohibition in trade in 1842, the savages withheld their furs for the
Boston ships, which continued to give rum. The fur-trade has now
fallen to the merest fraction, the stockade and block-houses have been
torn down, and the warehouses, where bear, otter, beaver, fox, mink,
and marten skins used to dangle by the tens of thousands, are all but
empty. The H. B. Co. fortress is only a general country store. The
day of beads, red calico, and toy looking-glasses has gone by, and
clocks, fancy lamps, sewing-machines, orguinettes, silk goods, chemical fire-engines, and marble tombstones are objects of Tsimsian pride.
The Indian Village on the island wholly changed its appearance
within the decade of 1880-'90. The old lodges were replaced by cottages, and the totem-poles nearly all destroyed, only a half dozen
remaining from the forest that used to encircle the beach. The tribe
paid $750 for the granite monument over the grave of their old chief,
on which is chiselled: " In Memory of Abraham Lincoln, Chief of the
Kilshee Tribe.    Died at Port Simpson, July 21, 1890, aged 85 years.
He said : ' Let me die in peace.   Peace I leave with you.' "
Methodist missionaries succeeded Mr. Duncan at Fort Simpson,
and the Rev. Mr. Crosby and his aids have almost parallelled the Metlakahtla miracle, and the church, school, hospital, and museum are the
points of great interest. The Salvation Army has a band among these
Tsimsians. The village is governed by a municipal council of elders.
They have their fire company and brass band, and during the small-pox
epidemic at Victoria in 1892 all submitted to vaccination, and closed
the bridge to the village whenever a Victoria steamer was in port.
All the Dixon Entrance region is bathed in perpetual mists and
rains, and the moist greenhouse • atmosphere of summer forces a rank
vegetation. The finest raspberries in the world are said to grow in the
old H. B. Co
or a dust particle.
Fort Simpson is confident of becoming the terminus of the next
great transcontintental railroad line, the farthest city of the Canadian
Northwest. Suburban tracts and wild timber lands are held at a premium, and sites for round-house and car-shops have been discussed.
The railway will follow the S. shore of Work Canal, which cuts southward to within a mile of the Skeena River. Mt. McNeil, on its N. shore,
is a snowy, conical peak 4,300 ft. in height. The fiord, but 800 yards
broad, widens into a lake-like expanse at the end, and the scenery
along its walls is highly praised.
ardens—inch-long globes of crimson dew that melt at a
-rose-red bubbles that have never felt dry air, a withering sun,
Nass River, Observatory Inlet and Portland Canal.
Nass River heads 100 miles inland, and its shores are historic
ground to all the coast tribes, the scenes of half the myths and legends,
the cradle of the native race. There are several canneries and mills
along its banks, and an Indian mission. The site of the original Fort
Simpson is almost opposite Echo Cove, the most picturesque cannery
site on the coast. The scenery up to that point is wonderfully fine,
and the canons and gorges beyond offer every temptation to those contemplating any canoe trips. The salmon-fisheries of the Nass are
regulated in the same way as those on the Skeena.
The coming of the oulichan in March and April is occasion for the
great fish festival of the year, and the tribes gather from all quarters
to reap the Nass harvest. The Haidas bring their canoes to exchange
for oulichan-oil; the Tinneh come down from the mountains with
pelts and horns; and every Tsimsian man, woman, and least child
help gather the living silver from the water. The oulichan (Thale-
ichthys pacificus), or candle-fish, is most nearly like the Atlantic eape-
lin, has a delicate flavour whea freshly caught, and contains more oil
than any other known fish.   It melts like a lump of butter in the
frying-pan, and when dried, threaded with a spruce wick, and stuck
in a bottle, burns like a candle. A bunch of them touched to the fire
furnish a sufficient torch. They exist in greatest numbers, and schools
of them coming in from the sea fill the river and inlets from bank to
bank. The natives rake, shovel, dip, and seine them by canoe-loads,
and either dry them and string them through the eyes, or press the
oil and store it for winter use, as age cannot impair its qualities. A
little oulichan has been smoked and salted for export, and ranks as a
rival to herring as a whetter to dull appetites.
Portland Canal separates Alaska from British Columbia for the
60 miles that it cuts into the heart of the Coast Range. Captain Gray
was first to discover these waters, and after running into Portland-
Canal and Observatory Inlet was sure he had found Del Fonte's River.
The Spanish commandant at Nootka gave Captain Gray's charts to
Vancouver, and full reports of his voyage. The Englishman established an astronomical observatory here under Puget and himself,
went with a yawl and two small boats on a reconnoissance that included the shores of Portland Canal, and the circumnavigation of
Reiillagigedo Island. He covered 700 geographical miles in twenty-
three days.
Portland Canal is walled by mountains 3,000 and 4,000 ft. high at
the entrance, while those at the end of the fiord tower to twice that
height. At the time of the Alaska purchase the surveyors named the
heights on one side for distinguished Americans of that day, and Pea-
body, Rousseau, Halleck, Adams, Seward, Johnson (Reverdy), and Lincoln's name grace peaks and ranges that, guarding the still channel
below, combine and compose themselves into as noble landscapes as
can be seen in any of the broader fiords. Much careful surveying and
exploration has been done in its reaches since the Alaska and British
Columbia boundary line has become a subject of discussion.
The Queen Charlotte Islands.
The Queen Charlotte Island group lies off the island belt of
the immediate mainland coast, placed much as the Loffoden Islands are
with respect to Norway, and, like them, bordered with extensive cod
banks. The islands are a half-submerged mountain range, the direct
continuation of the Olympics and the Vancouver Island chain. The
compact archipelago measures 180 miles from N. to S., and 60 miles
across at the greatest width of Graham Island. The Kuro Siwo in its
recurved course falls full upon the Queen Charlotte shores and gives
the islands a milder, moister, and more even climate than Port Simpson or the Skeena River settlements enjoy. The west coast is a region
of almost perpetual rain, the peaks rising sheer 2,000 and 4,000 ft.
from the ocean's edge, catching and condensing all the clouds and vapours borne with the warm ocean current. The eastern shores are less
rugged, and, sheltered by the mountain barrier, enjoy a sunnier and
drier climate. Cattle have been successfully raised for fifty years, and
potatoes grown for a hundred years.
All the islands are densely forested, and each a vast dead fall of
timber. Log jams arch and dam every stream, and the wilderness is
almost untouched.
Although Juan Perez discovered these islands in 1774, Dr. George
M. Dawson has shown how very possible it is that this is Del Fonte's
Archipelago of San Lazario, where the men wore the skins of
beasts and travelled in great canoes hewn from a single log; where
there were river-ways vexed by rapids no greater than the tide rips and
currents that race through the inlets to-day ; and Mynhasset and the
name of Del Fonte's other village are as near toMassett and its rivals
as Spanish recorders could come in 1640. After Perez, La Perouse
sighted the islands ; and then Captain Gray, of Boston, visited them and
named them for his ship, the Washington Islands. Next, in 1787, .
Captain Dixon, who was exploring for a London fur company, touched
these shores, obtained a large number of sea otter skins w^ich were
then the common dress of the people, and named the group the Queen
Charlotte Islands, in honour of his ship. Captain Dixon gives a full
description of the shores and their people in his Voyage Around the
World, and-sums up the natives as dirty, thievish, impudent, and murderous cannibals. In 1791 Marchand came to the Northwest Coast,
surveyed and explored along the W. coast, and in his Voyages says
that the people were " good husbands, good fathers, . . . hospitable, mild, intelligent, and industrious people, endowed with great
good sense, to whom the useful arts are not unknown; who join to .
these even the agreeable ones, and who may be said to have already
made considerable advancement towards civilization." He recognized
Aztec words and terminations in their speech, and resemblances to Aztec work in their monuments and picture writings. For the next
twenty years the islands were much resorted to by fur-traders, but
when the sea otter became extinct they were passed by for a half century. The traders had given the people potatoes, and from fur fishermen they turned to truck farmers, and took canoe-loads of potatoes
to each Fort Simpson fair. In 1851 the H. B. Co.'s agent at Fort Simpson showed the chief Edinso a piece of gold-bearing quartz, and asked
him to look for such stones on his island. An old squaw showed
where a great vein cropped out on the face of a bluff on Graham Island, and in the next year the company established a post at Uttewas
village, on Massett Inlet, and their employes worked the ledge at Gold
.Harbour until it dipped down into the sea. Some miners, who chartered a schooner and sailed for the new gold region, were wrecked on
the coast and held as slaves until ransomed.
Massett is reached by the C. P. N. Co.'s steamers on their irregular
cruises from Victoria, and by small trading steamers from Fort Simpson. Its old lodges are being abandoned, its famous totem-poles are
tottering to decay, and the spirit of progress is fast eliminating every
element of picturesqueness. Massett Inlet is the Clyde of the coast and
canoe-making is always in progress.
The Haida canoe has a curved bottom, flaring sides, a high rounded stern, and a long, projecting prow. It is the lightest, most buoyant,
graceful and cranky craft on the coast. The old war canoes were 50
and 60 ft. long, elaborately painted and carved, and often carried 100
warriors. The Haida family or travelling canoe, which one sees all up
and down the coast, is a slender, graceful, gondola-like affair 20 or 30
ft. in length and 4 or 6 ft. wide. The hunting or otter canoes are
cockle-shells 6 or 10 ft. in length, in which Haida experts go far to
sea. All these crafts are hewn from the single log of red cedar, and
are given their flare and graceful curves by being filled with water and
hot stones until the steamed wood can be braced out to the desired
width. Travelling canoes range in price from $75 to $150 at Port
Simpson, and hunting canoes $30 to $50; but the canoe market has its
fluctuations like any other, and there are often seasons of great bargains. The canoe requires constant care while out of the water. It
must be protected from the sun's heat and always kept wet, and the
draped canoes along a village beach are the most picturesque adjuncts
of native life.
There are large oil-works at Skidegate, where the livers of the
dog-fish, which swarm in incredible numbers in winter and spring,
yield an oil much valued by tanners. A soft, black slate is found on
the banks of a creek at the head of Skidegate Inlet, and the Haidas
carve from it miniature totem-poles, boxes, plaques, and pipes, often
inlaying them with haliotis shell. The slate is soft and easily cut
with a knife when first quarried, but quickly hardens, and will crack
if exposed to the sun or heat before it has seasoned.
There is a colony of Norwegian fishermen on the W. coast who
catch and cure halibut and the famous black cod (Anoplopomafimbria),
a valuable food-fish which has a different name in each section of the
Pacific coast. As Spanish mackerel it is little valued at San Francisco.
It attains perfection farther N., and along the strait of Fuca ranks
first with epicures as " beshow," the popular Makah name adopted by
the Fish Commission. The Haidas call it the skil, and catch it with
wooden hooks attached to trawl-lines.    The hook is steamed to the
A J la klu Tuttm-Puk:
shape of the letter U and set with an incurved barb. When not in use
the ends of the hook are bound fast with thongs. When baited the
ends are held apart by a little stick, and, as the skil nibbles the bait,
it pushes out the chip and the hook closes upon him like a trap. The
chip ascending tallies one skil caught; but as dog-fish.and shark wait
upon the trawl, the fishermen often pulls up only the hundred heads.
A church mission was established at Massett in 1876. Dr. Harrison came to it in 1878, and has studied the language, made a vocabulary of 10,000 Haida words, translated hymns and songs, and rescued
much of their folk-lore and tradition. The Haidas are fast dwindling.
Mr. John Work recorded 6,593 inhabitants to the 31 villages visited
in 1841. In 1878 there were but three permanent winter villages occupied—Massett, Skidegate, and Gold Harbour—and the Haidas numbered less than 2,000.    Only 700 Haidas were enumerated in 1891.
The Haidas are the fine flower of the native races of the coast.
They are taller, fairer, with oval faces and more regular features than
any of the Columbian coast tribes, and are nearer to the Tlingit than
to any other people. They are aliens to the Tlingits, and differ from all
their neighbours physically and mentally, in speech and customs, and
many similarities are more often the result of Haida influences. The
Tlingits call them De-Kinyo,* " people of the sea "; and these Pacific
Northmen rivalled the earlier Vikings in their journeys to distant shores.
The Vancouver and Puget Sound country were their Britain and their
Normandy, and coppery Erics and Harolds swept the coasts, attacking
native villages, Hudson Bay Company posts, and white settlements.
They once seized a schooner in Seattle harbour and murdered all on
board, and Haida was a name of terror.
Tbeir origin is the puzzle of ethnologists. They have the tradition
of a deluge and a sole surviving raven, from whom sprang Qu-a-eda,
" the people," as they call themselves, and from which came the
Tsimsian word Haida. One tradition makes Forrester's Island, farther
out in the ocean, the cradle of their race. Those who incline to
Marchand's theory of an Aztec origin identify them as the descendants
of those whom Cortes drove out of Mexico, and who vanished in boats
to the N. Their legend of the thunder-bird is the same as the Aztecs
and Zufiis. They have images and relics similar to silver images and
objects found in Guatemalan ruins. They have modern Apache words
in their speech, many of the same dances, masks, legends, and picture-
writings as the Zufiis. Their resemblance to the Japanese is quite as
marked, and as the Kuro Siwo touches so directly on the Queen
* Franz Boas, Report of 1889 to the British Association for the
Advancement of Science.
Charlotte shores, more junks may have been stranded here than elsewhere, during those centuries when the Japanese built sea-going junks
and travelled afar. They have Japanese words in their speech, they sit
at all their work, they cut towards them in using tools that are the same
as Japanese use to day. Like their aesthetic cousins over the sea, they
are imitative and adaptive rather than originative, and they improve,
elaborate, and refine upon all they borrow. In many of their customs,
in their bark weaving and their carved columns, they are akin to New
Zealand and South Sea people. Whether they copied the totem-pole
from those before the houses in the mysterious city sunk in the sea,
from the New Zealand tiki, or from the Kwakiutls' simple heraldic
pole, they have carried it to its finest development. Forests of these
columns stand in their old villages, their only records and monuments
of any past, brief pictographic chapters in Haida history, genealogy, and
folk-lore—a rude and monstrous heraldry, an elaborate symbolism, a
system of colossal hieroglyphs. The pure heraldic columns, the kechens
or door-posts, formed part of the old houses themselves, and the inmates entered by an oval hole hewn at the base of the column. The
chat, or mortuary column, was a smooth pole surmounted with the great
totem of the dead man, and as often with a box or a hollowed space
containing the ashes. There are forty splendid poles at Massett or
Uttewas village, as many more in the villages around the inlet; fifty-
three poles at Skidegate; the finest collection of all at Laskeek on Tanoo
Island, and many at Cumshewa and Skedaus.
In 1878 Dr. George M. Dawson made a geological survey of the
islands, exarafning the bituminous coal-veins on Graham Island, and
the authracite deposit near Skidegate. His " Monograph on the Queen
Charlotte Islands " was embodied in the Annual Report of the Director
of the Canadian Geological Survey for 1879, and is a text-book for the
islands and their people. An interesting paper on " The Haidas," by
Dr. Dawson, was published in Harper's Monthly, August, 1882.    In
1883 Hon. J. G. Swan, of Port Townsend, spent several months canoeing around the W. coast and visiting the villages to study Haida
tattoo, masks, carvings, and heraldic paintings for the Smithsonian
Institution, which had published his earlier studies in that fine as No.
267 of Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, January, 1874.    In
1884 Mr. Newton H. Chittenden made an exploration of the islands for
the Government of British Columbia, and his pamphlet, " Hyda Land
and People," contains a most interesting resume of his work.
(See General Map of Alaska.)
Alaska itself is nine times the size of the New England States, twice
the size of Texas, and three times as large as California. It stretches for
more than 1,000 miles from north to south, and the Aleutian Islands
trailing over into the Eastern hemisphere make the half-way point of
the United States a little W. of San Francisco. The island of Attu is
over 2,000 miles W. of Sitka, and the distance from Cape Fox to Point
Barrow is as great as from the north of Maine to the end of Florida.
Alaska contains 580,107 square miles, with a coast-line of 18,211 miles,
greater than the coast-line of all the rest of the United States. The 1,100
islands of the Alexander Archipelago have an estimated area of 31,205
square miles, and the Aleutian Islands comprise 6,391 square miles.
The Cordilleran mountain system is merged in one great range at the
Alaskan line, and a host of lofty peaks surround Mt. St. Elias, the highest
mountain on the continent, and sentinel of the third highest range in
• the world. Curving down to southwestward a line of volcanoes joins
those of the Kurile Islands and of Japan, and completes the Pacific's
" ring of fire." Low ranges and leagues of tundra stretch to the Arctic. The southeastern Alaska, which tourists know, is but the handle
of a dipper, and residents " to westward "—i. e., Unalaska and beyond—
hardly consider a visit to the Sitkan region as going to Alaska.
The United States bought this vast country from Russia in 1867
for less than half a cent an acre. Dr. Dall's figures* show that
Alaska was a paying investment, returning a clear net profit of 8 per
cent upon the first cost for the first five years. The two tiny Seal Islands paid 4 per cent on the original $7,200,000, and in their first
lease returned a sum equal to the purchase money to the Treasury.
The gold-mines have since added an equal sum to the wealth of the
world, and the salmon industry yielded $7,500,000 in six years, 1884
to 1890. It is the most sparsely inhabited part of the United States,
averaging one inhabitant to each 19 square miles. Its lands have
never been made subject to entry, save mineral claims; it has no
representation at Washington; Congress refuses to provide a suitable
or efficient form of government; there is no military post within its
* See Harper's Magazine, January, 1872.
borders, and no telegraphic communication ; but by the spirit of the
people it gains slowly, and the last frontier is moving northward.
The population of Alaska is classified as follows in the eleventh
Whites    4,303
Mixed (Russian and native)    1,819
Indians  23,274
Mongolians    2,287
All others       112
Total  31,795
The Indians are again divided as follows:
Eskimo  12,784
Thlinket    4,739
Athabaskan    3,441
Aleut       968
Tsimpsean       951
Hyda       391
Total  23,274
" Berlin, September 5.—We have seen of Germany enough to show that its
climate is neither so genial, nor its soil so fertile, nor its resources of forests and
mines so rich as those of southern Alaska."—William H. Seward, Travels
Around the World, Part VI., chap, v., page 708.
In climate and all physical features southeastern Alaska is a repetition of southern Norway, enjoying, however, a far richer forestation.
In latitude, configuration, temperature, rainfall, and ocean currents it is
identical. During the thirty-six years that the Russians kept meteorological records at Sitka the mercury went below 0° F. but four times.
While St. John's, Newfoundland, is beleaguered by icebergs in summer
and its harbour is frozen solid in winter, Sitka, 10° N. of it, has always
an open roadstead, and only the ends of the longer fiords are ever closed
by ice. Sitka Castle, lying 17', or 3 miles, N. of Balmoral Castle in
Scotland, has a higher average winter temperature than the Highland
home. Sitka's mean temperature for the year is 43-3 against Bergen's 44"6. The snow rarely lies on the ground for any time at sea-
level, mist and rains soon reducing it to slush, as in Kentucky or the
District of Columbia, the isothermal equals of this region. The snowline on the mountains is at 2,500 and 3,000 ft. Skating is a rare
pleasure for Sitkans, and the Russian bishop told Mr. Seward how delighted he was to come and live in " such a nice, mild climate."
The winter of 1879-80 was the most severe known in the century;
3 ft. of snow remained on the level for three months, and the mercury
fell to —70°, as in Dakota or Montana.
The mean temperature of the air and of the surface sea-water and
the precipitation for each month of the year at Sitka are thus given by
the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in its Alaska " Coast
Pilots " of 1883 and 1891:
Temperature of
the air.
Temperature of
surface sea-water.
•     6-45
The old residents insist that the climate is changing; that the summers are warmer and drier than formerly; and that, allowing for the
different hours at which Baron Wrangell and his successors took the
temperature, the records show three degrees increase of average temperature since 1835. The rapid retreat of all the tide-water glaciers
during even 20 years is offered as another proof, and there was only
one of the old-style, perpetually rainy summers in the decade 1880-90.
The greater Gulf Stream of the Pacific and the loftier mountain
ranges give southeastern Alaska a greater rainfall than southern Norway. Bergen's annual 72-25 inches and the Nordfiord's extreme 78
inches are exceeded by Sitka's annual 81 inches, and Fort Tongass's
118"30 inches—all exceeded, however, by Cape Flattery's-140-9 inches in
1885-'86. There have been wet seasons in Alaska of 285 and 340
rainy days. This heavy precipitation gives the mountains their shining crowns, feeds the glaciers, forces the luxuriant vegetation, brings
every leaf and twig to its fullest perfection, and keeps thagfoliage so
fresh and dewy that at times the green sparkles and almost dazzles one
with its intensity. With all the down-pour or drizzle of days, there is
nothing like that soul-piercing, marrow-penetrating dampness, that
awful chill of the ocean that creeps into Atlantic cities far to southward. Guns do not rust; cigars and tobacco do not mould or mildew.
Clothes dry under a shed on the rainiest days, even under awnings on
shipboard; and the tourist finds that his gloves and shoes show no reluctance in being pulled on on wet mornings.
There is a blessed immunity from thunder-storms, and the rare displays of thunder and lightning in the midst of winter hail and snowstorms frighten the Indians greatly. There are fine auroral displays in
the. long winter nights ; but no one remembers seeing any such electric
exhibitions as enlivened the early years of the century, when Langs-
dorff mentions the air being so charged with electricity that bluish
green balls of fire—St. Elmo lights—danced on the bayonet tips of
the muskets and the metal heads of the flagstaffs on the palisade. In
this century one great earthquake at Sitka split off the front of Versto-
voi, another razed the citadel, and slight tremblings have been felt
at times, notably during great storms. x%o great cyclonic storms
have occurred since the transfer of the country. One occurred just
after that ceremony when Sitka harbour was crowded with ships. All
dragged anchors, two were wrecked, and the man-of-war bearing the
U. S. Commissioners home nearly foundered off Cape Ommaney.
The next great hurricane came October 26, 1880, 13 years to the
day after the transfer cyclone. It was accompanied by heavy earthquake shocks. Captain Beardslee reported 14 revolving gales which
passed up the coast during his command at Sitka, estray typhoons that
belonged on the other side of the ocean.
With Norway, Scotland, and Ireland to prove the contrary, it is
often asserted that grain and vegetables cannot be grown in Alaska.
Baranof cleared 15 kitchen gardens in 1805 and ripened barley and
potatoes, and common vegetables, as has been done every year since.
Fine grasses spring naturally on any clearing; wild timothy and
coarser grasses grow 3 and 4 ft. high, and clover thrives unheeded.
Vancouver found the natives cultivating potatoes and a kind of tobacco,
and each family had,its little plantations in sheltered nooks where they
sowed their tubers like grain, and gathered them the next winter or
spring. There were gardens on either side of the stockades at Sitka
which provided fresh vegetables, and hot-house frames secured the
Russians many delicacies.
In United States days residents have successfully raised radishes, lettuce, carrots, onions, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, turnips, beets, parsnips,
and celery ; and single potatoes have weighed 1 pound 5 ounces. Vegetables are raised every year at Yukon missions and trading-posts. Hay
has been cured in southeastern Alaska every summer since 1805, and
by adopting Norwegian methods larger crops could be better cured.
In Norway wheat is cultivated as far N. as 64° ; rye up to the line of
69° ; barley and oats as far N. as 70° ; apples, plums, and cherries to
64° and 65° ; and wild raspberries, strawberries, currants, and gooseberries up to the North Cape, 71° 10'. The length of the summer
days compensates for the lower temperature, and there is usually a
fortnight or more of really hot weather in the Sitkan region each summer—a fortnight of hot days 18 hours long, in 1891, with the mercury passing 80° every noon, and reaching 93° on board the U. S. S.
Pinta. Norwegians long ago discovered that seeds and plants from
southern Europe had to be acclimated for two or three years before
yielding a good crop. Even maple-trees undergo a change when transplanted from southern to northern Norway, the nightless days forcing
the leaves to an enormous size, while the tree itself is low and stunted,
and all common wild flowers attain unusual size and colour in the
The 11 tribes of Tlingits inhabiting the coast and islands of southeastern Alaska were roughly estimated by the Russians as numbering
from 25,000 to 30,000. General Halleck's estimate of 1869 gave
12,000 or 15,000. The census of 1880 enumerated 6,437 Tlingits;
that of 1890 but 4,457. Epidemics of small-pox, black measles, and
grippe, with the vices of civilization, have thus depleted their ranks.
The word Tlingit is their name for " man," " people." The Russians called them Koloschians, from the Aleut name Kalushka (little
trough), for the labiette worn in the lower lip. There are as many
separate traditions of a supernatural origin, a deluge, and a sole surviving couple as there are tribes of Tlingits. There is no legend to point
distinctly to trans-Pacific origin, but many tell of a migration from the
S. E., the Nass River country.
Their propitiation of evil spirits, their shamanism, their belief in
the transmigration of souls, their worshipful regard for the spirits and
ashes of their ancestors, are essentially Asiatic. Some of their myths,
their carvings and constructions, and many words, are Aino; their
methods, tools, and postures at work are Japanese. Their totem-poles
are kin to the New Zealand tiki and the Easter Island images ; and
there are many resemblances to Maori and South Sea people. Their
sun-worship, their Nature-worship, with offerings to mountains, winds,
and glaciers, are nearly Aztec, and the same Thunder Bird reigns from
the Isthmus of Panama to the end of Tlingit land. They have the same
dances and masks as the Zufiis, the same totems as the Hurons, Dela-
wares, and Omahas. They are nearest to the Haidas, but have much
in common with Tsimsians and Kwakiutls, and are greatly superior to
the Salish. They are totally different stock from the interior or Tinneh
tribes, of whom all Tlingits speak contemptuously as Stik Indians.
Totemism is the base of their social organization, the totem or tribal,
mark distinguishing the dwelling and every belonging of these people.
Only animal totems occur, and they live under the protection of and
are inspired by these guardian animals, who are often believed to have
been the ancestors of the race. The crow or raven, representing
woman, the creative principle, and the wolf, the aggressive or fighting
creature, are the great totems of the coast, and each are subdivided
into clans. Men do not marry women of their own totem. The to-
temic is stronger than family or tribal bonds. Men often elect individual totems, usually the animal seen or dreamed of during their lonely
fasts in the woods preceding their majority and their initiation into the
rites and great ceremonies of the clan. These elective totems, added
to the clan and family totems, account for the storied images on the
totem-poles. The totem-pole has no religious significance, and is not
an object of idolatrous worship. Its heraldic designs and quarterings
are displayed in the same way and for the same reason that a European parades his crest and scutcheon.   The Tlingits understand the
spread eagle to be the " Boston man's " totem, and the lion and the
uuicorn the two totems of the " King George men." Their bears,
whales, frogs, and wolves are no more difficult to recognize in their
rigidly conventionalized carvings than thegriifins, dragons, and fleur-de-
lis of European heraldry.
Frazer's small volume, Totemism, Edinburgh, 1877, is a text-book,
and those interested in pursuing the subject in its wide range will find
it discussed in the following works: E. Clodd, Myths and Dreams;
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Frazer), Totemism and Sacrifice; Sir John
Lubbock, Origin of Civilization; Andrew Lang, Custom and Myth;
A. P. Niblack, The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska and Northern
British Columbia; Sayce's Introduction to the Study of Early Languages ; W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia;
E. B. Tylor, Anthropology, Early History of Mankind.
Tlingit speech, has been studied and vocabularies made by Dixon,
Marchand, Lisiansky, Wrangell, Veniaminoff, Furuhelm, Emmons, and
Boas, with many notes of their idioms and constructions, translations
and notations of their songs. The common speech is much corrupted
by Russian, English, and Chinook. Lieutenant Emmons has found
evidences of an older language, a classic to all Tlingits. Mr. Charles
Walcott noted " the Japanese idioms, constructions, honorific, separative, and agglutinative particles." Like the Japanese, the Tlingits cannot pronounce I; like the Chinese and the ancient Mexicans, they cannot pronounce r. Dr. Boas finds the labials all absent from Tlingit,
which has no grammatical sex and no forms for plural. Captain Cook
first noticed the many terminations like the Aztec txl, more marked in
Haida; and Dr. Dawson employs in Haida words the Greek x to express a stronger palatal than English affords. Tlingit is the harshest of
all coast tongues. Horatio Hale has noted that all these harsher languages cease at the Columbia, where the coast climate changes so markedly. The Northwest Coast is the rainiest part of the world with a
climate of perpetual April or October, -and these people spend their
lives in canoes. " Their .pronunciation is that of a people whose vocal
organs have for generations been affected by continuous coughs and
catarrhs, thickening the mucous membrane and obstructing the air-
passages."* It has been compared to the DelFuegian speech of which
Darwin has said: " The language of these people, according to our notions, scarcely deserves to be called articulate. Captain Cook- has
compared it to a man clearing his throat, but certainly no European
ever cleared his throat with so many hoarse, guttural, and clicking
sounds." Any one attempting to record Tlingit words by phonetic
signs is baulked by sounds impossible of imitation, aspirates and gutturals past conveyance by our signs. Charles Warren Stoddard has
called Tlingit " a confusion of gutturals with a plenitude of saliva—
a moist language with a gurgle that approaches a gargle, . . . and the
unaccustomed ear scarcely recovers from the shock of it."
* Proceedings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1890.
Tlingit Woman.
In common with all Northwest Coast people, the Tlingits have inherited a magnificent development of the shoulders, chest, and arms
from generations of canoe-paddling ancestors, but the rest of the body
is stunted and deformed, and all are bow-legged and pigeon-toed,
shuffling, shambling, and moving as awkwardly as aquatic birds on
land. Their mental superiority to the Tinneh of the interior and the
plains tribes of the United States may be the result of their exclusive
fish diet. It "was never Tlingit fashion to flatten or elongate the skull,
their mutilations comprising tattooing, and the wearing of labrettes,
nose and ear ornaments. The Labrette was formerly the woman's badge
of age, rank, and condition, but is only seen on older women now.
Young girls are still, as formerly, "brought out " and introduced socially as- any debutante among Caucasians. The debutante's lower lip was
formerly pierced and an inch-long copper or silver pin worn, until replaced by a small bone or wooden stud after marriage, which gradually
increased until dowagers wore a huge block or plug—" a wooden bowl
without handles," La P6rouse says—that measured two or three inches
across. Captain Cook's men called him to see the Aleut who, having
removed the labrette, was supposed to have two mouths. Captain
O'Dowd told Langsdorff- of a chief's wife in Chatham Strait who could
conceal her whole face by a dexterous turn of the lip holding an enormous labrette.
In earlier days painting and tattooing were universal. They paint
now only for great dances and potlatches, but continue to black their
faces as a summer protection from tan and insects. This coating of
soot and seal oil has been mistakenly called a badge of mourning.
Governor Swineford forbade face-blackening, and punished offenders,
while Rangeley and Adirondack fishermen were permitted to use tar oil
and fly ointment; and climbers of Mt. Rainier blacked their faces
upon reaching the snow-line.
There are often fine exceptions to the regulation flat, heavy-jawed,
and high-cheeked faces; and.women often show strong, eagle-visages
of more regular mould. These family arbiters and tyrants are hardest
of bargainers, and contemptuous of man's interference. Marriages
are arranged by the elders for the best advantage of the clan and
family, and while woman is supreme, all wealth and power descending
through her, polygamy is practised. Upon a man's death his widows
pass to the next heir in his mother's family. Younger brothers and
nephews, inheriting such widows, may purchase freedom by blankets.
The Tlingits have their political societies, with honours as often bestowed upon humble worth. All of the totem contribute to the potlatches
of their chief, working and saving for years to make an extravagant display and division of wealth. The potlatch is usually given at the full
of the moon, and the host's clan and totem do not accept any gifts.
The seating and serving of the guests are as precisely ordered as at a
court function, and bloodshed follows any oversights. Hospitalities are
returned in kind, and the social ledgers of the totems regularly balanced,
In early times they were incessant dancers; songs, chants, and
dramatic representations accompanied all welcomes, partings, feasts,
fights, funerals, and visits. Trading was not a mere mercenary transaction when a line of canoes advanced, circled, and manoeuvred
around a ship ; painted men in ceremonial dress, powdered with the
eagle-down of peace, chanted in chorus, and the chiefs delivered recitatives and obligatos. Boston traders gave them rum, and a deserter
of a whaler's crew and a discharged United States soldier have credit
for teaching them to distil hoochinoo, or native drink. They have
many games of chance, the favourite being a crude fan tan played with
52 cylindrical sticks with different marks. The sticks are either
drawn and matched, or players guess the position, number, or odd and
even of the sticks the dealer hides under a mass of cedar shreds.
Pools and individual stakes are made and sticks cashed by the winners
by a regular tariff. The dealer chants, and the players join in; and
when all a Tlingit's wives, canoes, slaves, blankets, and tows are hanging in the balance, the whole lodge swells the frantic chorus. Playing-
cards are much used, and in summer one may find poker parties playing all day on the beach and utilizing the midnight light. Their first
tokens of wealth were the tows—curved copper shields ornamented
with totemic cuttings, said to have come originally from the Chilkats,
and said to be imitations of the copper plates nailed to conspicuous
trees by the first Russian discoverers. A tow was worth $800 to $1,000
by the blanket scale—a " two and a half point" H. B. Co. blanket
counting for $1.50—and often sold for ten slaves. Hiaqua shells were
retired from circulation when a Yankee had imitations made of porcelain ; and the Russians for a long time gave a leather money. Coin
only came to them after the transfer. Silver is highly valued, and
stored in bulk or beaten into ornaments.
The whites have had to yield to Tlingit ideas of justice and totemic laws: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or a material equivalent, are strictly demanded. A blanket indemnity will solace any
wound to pride, honour, or affection, and their logic follows every loss
and injury to first causes. The Tlingit who shot at a decoy duck
made the decoy owner pay for the cartridges ; the otter hunter,
rescued from a broken and sinking canoe, demanded the value of the
canoe when set ashore; the relatives even of a burglar made the
owner of the stolen rifie pay for the burglar killed by its accidental
discharge. White doctors pay for any dead patients whom they have
treated; and when Baronovich accidentally shot his own child, he himself had to pay the Whale totem, or his wife's clan, so many hundred
blankets, or be killed himself to balance the account.
In illness the Tlingit sent for his shaman or medicine-man, who,
continuing his fasts alone in the forest throughout life, continued to
receive inspiration from his guardian and familiar animal spirits. In
- frantic parades and dances about a village, a shaman bit live dogs and
ate the heads and tongues of frogs, which contained a potent medicine.
He performed his miraculous cures under the spell of his special
totemic spirit, and an emetic of dried frogs and sea-water gave him a
vision to perceive the soul leaving a man's body, ability to catch
and replace it, and cast out the evil spirits which had possessed the
patient. When the chant, dance, and hocus-pocus failed to cure, the
shaman denounced some one for charming or bewitching his patient,
and demanded his torture or death. Usually, the infirm or the aged
poor, slaves or personal enemies, were denounced and subjected to
fiendish tortures. Captain E. C. Merriman, U. S. N., broke the power
of shamanism in the archipelago by repeated rescues of those charged
with witchcraft, by fine and punishment of tribe and shamans, and
finally by taking the shamans on board his ship, shaving off and
burning their long sacred hair and sending them out bald-headed, to
be met with roars of Tlingit laughter. There have been few cases of
witchcraft since.
While all other Tlingits were cremated, so as to make sure of a
warm and comfortable future, they believed that the shaman's body
would not burn, and such were buried in sitting posture in little pavilions in remote and picturesque spots surrounded by the blankets,
tows, masks, wands, rattles, and paraphernalia of his trade. Shamans'
graves have yielded richest treasures for ethnological museums. Other
Tlingits were cremated with elaborate ceremonies, the wailing, pyre-
building, etc., always conducted by people of another totem, and the
ashes and bones stowed away in a carved grave-box or canoe, or
niched in mortuary columns. Personal possessions and food for use
in the spirit-land were buried with the dead, and often a slave was
despatched so as to attend his master beyond. The missionaries have
effectually broken up the practice of cremation, on the grounds of
heathenism, and inhumation is now practised. The Tlingits believe
that after death the spirits take possession of the bodies of animals,
revisit their homes, and teach the mysteries of life to fasting youths
in the forest. Earthquakes are caused by ghosts, and the aurora
borealis is the ghost-dance of dead warriors who live in the plains
of the sky, from which the earth was cut loose and fell to the sea.
They have their lucky and unlucky numbers, their signs and marks
for the propitiation of evil. They saw outlines in the constellations, and
had their names and legends for these otter-skins and bailers in the sky.
Their folk-lore, myths, and traditions reveal a poetry and richness of
imagination not to be expected from these stolid people.
The Crow, in whom lives Yehl, the great spirit and creator, first
dwelt on Nass River, where, having created himself and the world, he
turned two blades of grass into the parent race. The Tlingits increased
and became a great people, and spread far and wide. Suddenly darkness came, and all life stopped. A Tlingit stole the sun and hid
it in a box on Japonski Island, but the Crow found it, and, flying
off with it, set it so high in the sky that none could steal it again.
Again the Tlingits increased and spread abroad, but after many generations there came a great flood, and all perished save two Tlingits
who were long tossed about on a raft, until the crow appeared and carried this pair to Mt. Edgecumbe, where they lived until the waters fell.
It is related in some versions that another raft of people was borne
away to the southeastward by the flood and that they are the parents of
the other races of the earth. Then, again, it is said that the two survivors of the flood were supernatural creatures, one of whom descended
through the crater of Mt. Edgecumbe and there stays to hold the earth
up out of the water, while the other lives as the great Thunder Bird
Hahtla, who dwells in the crater, the flapping of whose wings is the thunder and whose glances are lightning. Hahtla is personated by the osprey,
who rides the storms and seizes the salmon from the waters, and his
inverted face glares from ceremonial blankets and carved boxes. The
visit to heaven and the stealing or killing of the sun is common to all
the Northwestern people, and Dr. Fraz Boas gives several variations of
it current among the Kwakiutl and other British Columbian tribes.
"Fifty-four Forty11
Bodegay Quadra named the great strait Perez Inlet in 1775, but
Vancouver, preferred that it should be Captain Dixon's Entrance, as
named for and by that commander of the Queen diarlotte in 1787. It
has also been known as Granitza Sound and Kygane Strait. It very
evenly divides the Northwest Coast, and with its prolongations runs a
natural water boundary far inland.
At this entrance, 600 miles N. of Boundary Bay and the forty-ninth
parallel, one re-enters the United States, the once northern boundary of
the Oregon Territory becoming the southern boundary of Alaska. Succeeding the Nootka Convention of 1790, the Northwest Coast became
virgin soil open to free settlement and trade by any people, and three
nations claimed it. The Russians asserted ownership down to the
Columbia, and then withdrew to 51°, or to the north end of Vancouver
Island. The British claimed the coast from the Columbia River to
55°, and the United States claimed all W. of the Rocky Mts. between
42° and 54° 40'. In 1818 the United States and Great Britain agreed
to a joint occupancy of the region, and in 1819 the United States bought
Florida from Spain, and with it acquired all of Spanish rights and
claims on the coast N. of 42°. By the number of its trading posts and
vessels regularly visiting the coast, the United States was virtually in
possession of the region, but British fur-traders were pushing westward
from the interior.
The Emperor of Russia, by his ukase of 1821, forbidding all foreign
vessels from approaching within 100 Italian miles of his possessions in
the North Pacific, purposely brought about the conventions of 1824-'25
to adjust the rival claims to North American territory and to regulate
trade. By the treaty of 1824 with the United States, and that of 1825
with Great. Britain, Russia agreed to 54° 40' as the southern limit of
her possessions, and allowed the vessels of the other two nations to
freely trade for a period of ten years. The useless and uninhabited
interior was parcelled out in even thirds—Russia taking the north-
western or Yukon region, England the Mackenzie region and all between Hudson Bay and the Rocky Mts., while the Oregon territory,
all W. of the Rockies and N. of 42°, was claimed for the United States.
In 1828 the joint occupation of the Northwest Coast by the United
States and Great Britain was indefinitely extended. In 1837-'38 societies for emigrating to Oregon were, formed in the United States, and in
1843 that great waggon train with a thousand people crossed from the
Missouri River to the Columbia, and the country demanded the immediate settlement of the northwestern boundary. President T.\ler, in his
annual message to Congress in 1843, declared that "United States
rights appertain to all between 42° and 54° 40' ". Slave interests were
then negotiating for Texas, and, to gain it without interference, Calhoun
was discussing a settlement with the British . minister with the forty-
ninth parallel as the Oregon boundary, which the latter rejected, as his
predecessor had in 1807 when Jefferson had proposed the same line.
The Whigs and Henry Clay counselled moderation and compromise,
but the Democrats raised the war-cry of " Fifty-four Forty, or Fight! "
and elected Polk as the champion of that cause. In his inaugural message President Polk said, " Our title to the country of Oregon is clear
and unquestionable," and in his first message he declared for " all of
Oregon or none." Yet through party spite and bickerings, the hatred
of Lewis Cass, who led the " Fifty-four Forty" party in Congress,
President Polk and the Southern Democrats retreated from their position, and on June 15, 1846, Secretary Buchanan concluded the famous
Oregon Treaty with Minister Pakenham on the same terms—the line of
the forty-ninth parallel—as offered by Calhoun two years before and
by Jefferson forty years before.
Thomas H. Benton gives his own views and defence of this retreat
from the first position of his party in regard to the Oregon Question in
his Thirty Years in the United States Senate. The clearest summing
up of the situation is given by Mr. Blaine in his Twenty Years in Congress, vol. i., chap. iii.; and later (chap, xiii.) he says: " Meanwhile, . . .
we lost that vast tract on the north known as British Columbia, the
possession of which after the acquisition of Alaska would have given
to the United States the continuous frontage on the Pacific Ocean, from
the southern line of California to Bering Strait."
By the treaties of 1824-'25 the limits of Russian possessions are
thus defined, and the same articles were repeated in the Treaty of Washington of 1867:
" Commencing from the southernmost point of the island called
Prince of Wales Island, which point lies in the parallel of 54 degrees
40 minutes north latitude, and between the 131st and the 133d degree
of west longtitude (meridian of Greenwich), the said line shall ascend
to the north along the channel called Portland Channel, as far as
the point of the continent where it strikes the 56 th degree of north
latitude; from this last-mentioned point the line of demarcation shall
follow the summit of the mountains situated parallel to the coast as far
as the point of intersection of the 141st degree of west longitude (of
the same meridian); and finally, from the said point of intersection,
the said meridian line of the 141st degree, in its prolongation as far as
the Frozen Ocean.
| TV. With reference to the line of demarcation laid down in the
preceding article it is understood—
11. That the island called Prince of Wales Island shall belong
wholly to Russia " (now, by this cession, to the United States).
| 2. That whenever the summit of the mountains "which extend in
a direction parallel to the coast from the 56th degree of north latitude
to the point of intersection of the 141st degree of west longitude shall
prove to be at the distance of more than ten marine leagues from the
ocean, the limit between the British possessions and the line of coast
which is to belong to Russia as above mentioned (that is to say, the
limit to the possessions ceded by this convention) shall be formed by a
line parallel to the winding of the coast, and which shall never exceed
the distance of ten marine leagues therefrom."
The boundary line from Mt. St. Elias to Portland Channel has not
been surveyed nor determined. For the last twenty-eight years of Russian ownership the " Thirty-mile Strip," as it was called, was leased to
the Hudson Bay Company, who paid an annual rental for the territory
Canada now claims as partly her own.
The recent growth of Alaska and British Columbia has made the
international boundary a question of moment and interest, and "Fifty-
four Forty " may again become a campaign slogan.
During the Fisheries Conference at Washington in 1887—88 an informal discussion of the Alaska and British Columbia boundary was
conducted by Dr. W. H. Dall, of the Smithsonian Institution, and Dr. G.
M. Dawson of the Dominion Geological Survey, both scientists of first
repute, and both personally acquainted with the regions under discussion.
Dr. Dawson presented a new map showing the boundary line claimed by
his Government, as drawn by Major-General R. D. Cameron, which
narrows the thirty-mile strip to five miles in width in many places, and
absorbs it entirely as part of British Columbia in others. This Cameron
line leaps bays and inlets; gathers in all of Glacier Bay, Lynn Canal,
and Taku Inlet; takes all of the Stikine River, and, instead of following
" along the channel known as Portland Channel," it strikes to tidewater at the head of Burroughs's Bay and follows by Behm Canal and
Clarence Strait to Dixon Entrance. By this arrangement, Revillagigedo,
Wale3, and Pearce Islands and the great peninsula between Behm Canal
and Portland Canal, are annexed to British Columbia; also the islands
of the Gravina group, on one of which Mr. Duncan's colony of
Metlakahtlans have found refuge—the island which the United States
used for a military post and then for a custom-house for twenty years,
and even Mary Island, where the U. S. custom-house now stands.
Claiming all of the Alaska coast up to 56° by this arrangement, the late
Sir John Robson, Premier of British Columbia, suggested that the
United States yield up the small remaining strip of mainland between
56° and St. Elias, for certain concessions in sealing matters. All Canadian maps are now drawn according to the Cameron line; and the
Canadians, who are keenly alive to the advantages of possessing this
territory, have repeatedly called the attention of the United States to a
matter which has seemed to be regarded with indifference on our side of
the line.* The U. S. coast and Geodetic Survey has made careful surveys of the Portland Canal, Behm Canal, and St. Elias regions, and
marked the crossing of the line of the 141st meridian on the Yukon
River; and late in 1892 Prof. T. C. Mendenhall was appointed commissioner on the part of the United States, and Mr. W. F. King on the
part of Canada, to consider and determine the true line.
The Southern Islands.
Vancouver divided the island belt above Dixon Entrance into the
Prince of Wales and the George the Third Archipelago. The
two were as often known as the Sitkan Archipelago, and in 1867
* See Century Magazine, July, 1891 : " The Disputed Boundary
between Alaska and British Columbia." Also Extra Senate Document,
No. 146, Fiftieth Congress, 2d Session, Report on the Boundary Line
between Alaska and British Columbia,
Professor Davidson suggested the present name of the Alexander
Archipelago, in compliment to the Russian emperor.
The military post of Fort Tongass was built on an islet between
Wales Island and the mainland, facing the Tlek7ionsiti Harbour of Russian traders, as often called Clement or Crescent City. The buildings
were on the bluff on the N. side of the island, 10 miles distant from
Fort Simpson. The garrison was soon withdrawn, and a customs officer
remained until 1889. The rainfall of 118-30 in. a year, and the splendid cedar-trees 8 ft. in diameter, made it famous.
The Tongass, Tumgass, Tamgas, or Tunghash tribe of Tlingits
were only the remnant of a great people numbering 500 altogether in
1869, and diminished to 225 in 1890. A swampy trail leads a half
mile across the island from the fort to their chief village, where 24
massive totem-poles guard the semicircle of ruined lodges.
A tablet on one house reads:
"to the memory of ebbetts,
WHO   DIED   IN   1880,   AGED   100   YEARS."
Two fine totem-poles also record the honours of this Neakoot, who
assumed the name of John Jacob Astor's Captain Ebbetts, as a compliment to that trader.
There are beautiful views around the island, and a canoe can thread
myriad forest-walled lanes, in one of which there is a ledge of slate
glittering with superb garnet crystals.
Vancouver named the small sharp point of the mainland for the
Right Hon. Charles James Fox, and the bay beyond for Quadra, the
Spanish commandant at Nootka. Salmon canneries were established
at both places during the salmon boom of 1883-'84, but the Cape Fox
cannery was moved to Kichikan, in Tongass Narrows, and the Boca de
Quadra was deserted after a few seasons.
Mary Island Customs District.
The first flag and light seen on the Alaska coast are at the U. S.
custom-house on Mary Island, a green dot named for the daughter
of Admiral Winslow, who cruised past it with her father in the U S. S.
Saranac in 1872. This Government station was built in 1891, and one
may see the white buildings from afar, or hear the siren wailing when
mists or darkness brood upon these reef and rock strewn waters: Ships
may enter and clear at Mary Island, and the deputy and a row-boat are
expected to exert a sufficient moral force to prevent the Juneau whisky fleet from taking on contraband cargo anywhere across the British
line and scattering to northward by myriad channels. A few years ago
there were 21 mossy old totem-poles, many ruined houses and picturesque
graves over on Cat Island, where a large community used to dwell; but
many of the venerable columns have been cut, stolen, burned, and
wantonly defaced.
The G-ravina Islands were first seen and named by Caamano.
Annette, the largest island of the group, is 17 miles in length and over
4 in width, and was named for Mrs. William H. Dall in 1880. It is
mountainous. throughout, and Mt. Tamgas, 3,684 ft. in height, retains
its snow-cap throughout the year, and is easily distinguished from any
Point Davison was christened by Vancouver in honour of Alexander
Davison, owner of the fleet's storeship, and the Englishmen camped for
a night at that place. Nicholls Pass, separating Annette and Gravina
Islands, was named for Captain H. E. Nicholls, U. S. N., who first surveyed its dangerous ledges. He also named Port Chester, where he
found the ruined houses and decaying poles of a Tongass community,
whom the Chilkats had massacred sixty years before.
New Metlakahtla.
When Mr. Duncan's people sought a new home on the Alaska side,
the site of this deserted village offered all that the native mind deemed
essential—a good beach for canoes, sloping land for cultivation, a good
salmon stream near by, water-power for a saw-mill, and nearness to the
mail steamer's route. It is almost the only good canoe beach in the
region; but the wind-swept pass, filled with reefs and tidal currents, is the dread of steamers, and there is but a cramped anchorage a half mile off shore. In bad weather, and whenever it is possible,
the mail steamers leave their consignments at Kichikan, the distributing station in Tongass Narrows, 12 miles distant, and tourists rarely see
the actual marvel of New Metlakhtla.
Mr. Duncan visited Eastern cities of the United States in 1886-87,
and speedily enlisted friends to aid the Metlakahtlans. Rev. Henry
Ward Beecher and Dr. Phillips Brooks were especial champions of his
cause, but all creeds and people assisted. Mr. Duncan was assured at
Washington that his people would be protected in the ownership of
any lands they might select, whenever, by the extension of the general
land-laws to Alaska, that Territory was open to settlement; and the act
of Congress, March 3, 1891, provided:
"(Section 15.) That, until otherwise provided by law, the body of
lands known as Annette Islands, situated in Alexander Archipelago in
southeastern Alaska, on the N. side of Dixon's Entrance, be, and the
same is hereby, set apart as a reservation for the use of the Metlakahtla
Indians, and those people known as Metlakahtlans, who have recently
emigrated from British Columbia to Alaska, and such other Alaskan
natives as may join them, to be held and used by them in common, under such rules and regulations, and subject to such restrictions, as may
be prescribed from time to time by the Secretary of the Interior."
Four hundred Metlakahtlans crossed to Alaska in the spring of
1887. Dedicatory services were held on the arrival of Mr. Duncan,
August 7, 1887; the United States flag was raised and saluted by the
tolling of the new church-bell, and a psalm chanted by the people. The
old totem-poles were destroyed, save two given to the Sitka Museum,
and, apportioning the town-lots according to their own rules of individual rank and precedence, the Metlakahtlans began building their
present attractive village. The saw-mill was burned in 1889, but within
six weeks it was rebuilt, and the new machinery was cutting 6,000 ft.
of lumber a day. A second fire destroyed the mill in March, 1892, but
it was again rebuilt; and in January, 1893, the mill and half the settlement were burned.
The salmon cannery ships from 6,000 to 8,000 cases each year, and
all the industries of the old Metlakahtla have been revived.- They print
their own newspaper; and the photographer, the silversmiths, the
carvers, and bark-weavers do a large business on the occasional tourist days. The church and the octagonal school-house, the boys' and
the girls' boarding-home, Mr. Duncan's residence, the cannery, the sawmill, and the store, are the points of interest, and on steamer days the
band plays on a platform built on the tall cedar stump. The Government day-school relieves Mr. Duncan of much of his old work, and Dr.
Bluett having volunteered his services to the people, they have suitable medical attendance.
The original Tsimsians, with the Haidas and Tlingits who have
joined them, have all subscribed to and faithfully lived up to this code:
declaration of residents.
We, the people of Metlakahtla, Alaska, in order to secure to ourselves and
our posterity the blessings of a Christian home, do severally subscribe to the following rules for the regulation of our conduct and
town affairs:
1. To reverence the Sabbath, and to refrain from all unnecessary
secular work on that day; to attend divine worship; to take the
Bible for our rule of faith; to regard all true Christians as our brethren ; and to be truthful, honest, and industrious.
2. To be faithful and loyal to the Government and laws of the
United States.
3. To render our vote? when called upon for the election of the
Town Council and to promptly obey the by-laws and orders imposed
by the said Council.
4. To attend to the education of our children and keep them at
school as regularly as possible.
5. To totally abstain from all intoxicants and gambling, and never
attend heathen festivities or countenance heathen customs in surrounding villages.
6. To strictly carry out all sanitary regulations necessary for the
health of the town.
7. To identify ourselves with the progress of the settlement, and to
utilize the land we hold.
8. Never to alienate, give away, or sell our land, or building-
lots, or any portion thereof, to any person or persons who have not
subscribed to these rules.
The Na-a Country.
Revillagigedo Island, first seen by Gray and Caamano, was
named by Vancouver in honour of the Conde de Revillagigedo, Viceroy
of New Spain, who sent out the expeditions of Quadra, Caamano,
Galiano, and Valdes. Its Indian name Na-a, " The country of the distant lakes," arose from the chain of pools which are linked throughout
its northern half. Measuring 50 miles from N. to S. and 25 miles
across its greatest breadth, it is almost divided by the long inlet named
for Captain James C. Carroll, which, opening from Tongass Narrows,
cuts to within a couple of miles of Behm Canal, which almost encircles the island with its graceful loop. The island is mountainous
throughout, and its deeply indented shores hold some beautiful scenery.
The only settlements have been on the west shores.
The cannery at Kichikan, or Fish Creek, in Tongass Narrows, has
not been rebuilt since the fire which destroyed it in 1885. In August
this small stream is packed with humpbacked salmon, and by following the trail from the beach for 200 yards the tourist may see one
of the oft-described pools crowded from bank to bank with salmon,
and watch the leaping of this saltatory species. The fall is some 15 ft.
above the level of the pool at low tide, and the mass of salmon coming
in with the flood wait until the waters rise their regular 12 ft. and
shorten the jump. Impatient fish are always making the dash at the
face of the fall, regardless of the tide, during the weeks when the humpbacks are running. Kichikan is a centre of a rich salmon country, and
all the waters sparkle with leaping fish during their successive " runs."
Point Higgins was named by Vancouver for the Sefior Vallenar de Hig-
gins, the President of Chile, and Clover Poms was discovered and surveyed by Lieutenant Richardson Clover, U. S. N., while in command of
the coast-survey steamer Patterson.
At Loring, at the entrance of Naha Bay, there is a large salmon
cannery which has absorbed in the one establishment several smaller
canneries and fisheries, and packs the catch of half a dozen streams of
the neighbourhood. There is a post-office and trading-store in connection with it, and a village of Tongass Indians have settled beside this
permanent settlement. The wreck of the A&con remains a conspicuous
object on the rocky shore, where it was blown by a williwaw or " woolly " as it was letting go from the wharf at high tide on August 25,1889.
The passengers walked down the gang-plank as the ship settled, and,
with all the ship's furnishings removed to the cannery loft, living there
for five days until the next steamer returned them to Port Townsend.
There are five varieties of the Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus, the
hook-jawed). The Pacific salmon and the Pacific trout differ so from
the Atlantic species that it is a fine question whether there are any
true salmon or trout on that coast, and whether any game laws can be
legally enforced under such names.
Oncorhynchus chouicha, or king salmon, is the quinnat of the Columbia, the Chinook and Taku farther N., but everywhere recognized
as the tyee (chief). Averaging from 60 to 80 pounds in the Stikine, it
increases to 100 pounds in the Yukon. Its flesh is pale, and coming in
pairs and not in great schools, it is not the whole pack of any one cannery.
Oncorhynchus nerka, the red salmon, is the blue-back of Oregon,
the sockeye of the Fraser, and the canner's favourite because of the
toughness and the deep tint of its flesh. It averages 6 and 10 pounds
in weight, and visits the coast in incredible numbers.
Oncorhynchus kisutch, the silver salmon, is the most beautiful of
its kind and the most spirited. It always chooses clear water, and leaps
falls with agility. Its flesh is pale, and is unfit for canning within a
few hours after landing.
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, the humpback, is most abundant of the
species, and averages from 5 to 10 pounds. The pale flesh cooks soft in
cans and is not desired for packing, although of fine flavour. The
humpback is even more plentiful than the red salmon, and can outjump
any other speoies. Their leaps have not been recorded, like that Dram-
men River salmon in Norway that jumped 16 ft. up the face of a fall,
but Lieutenant Niblack photographed one in the act of springing eight
The first run of tyees comes in the early spring. In June the red
salmon come in by Dixon Entrance, closely followed by the Silver salm-
on. In August the humpbacks appear, and in September there is a
last run of tyees to the up-stream and mountain lake spawning-grounds.
The young salmon seeks the sea with the high water in spring, and returns at the end of two years to its birthplace.
The malma or Dolly Varden trout follow the salmon in from the
sea to devour their eggs, and the crudest tackle baited with salmon
roe will catch 1 and 5 pound fish of the most beautiful colouring.
There is also the cut-throat trout, with the vivid red mark below
the gills, and the large steel head, Gairdner or rainbow trout, so often
classed as a salmon, and packed as speckled salmon at many canneries.
Prof. David S. Jordan, the first authority on Pacific coast fish, says that
any one who can count can tell the difference between a salmon and a
trout. A Pacific salmon has from 18 to 16 rays in the anal or last
lower fin, while a trout has but 9 or 10 rays. The original Atlantic
salmon has but 10 or 11 rays in the anal fin.
Fine distinctions as to parrs, charrs, smolts, and grilses are not
weighed in Alaska. The canners desire only an abundance of firm, red-
fleshed fish.
The rivalry of Alaska canneries greatly injured the business on the
Columbia. The 87 canneries in Alaska, representing an investment of
more than $4,000,000, employ between 5,000 and 6,000 people and
100 steam-vessels. The pack of 1891, amounting to 789,000 cases of
48 one-pound tins each, so overstocked the market that a combination
was formed, 29 canneries were closed, and the pack of 1892 reduced
to 400,000 cases. Only 2 of the 17 canneries in southeastern Alaska
were operated that year, those at Loring and Chilkat. In 1893 the
pack was limited to 650,000 cases.
At Loring the best opportunity is afforded for watching the canning of salmon, which is in progress from June to September by a
large force of Chinese contract workmen. The seining and outdoor
work are done by white men, a few Indians being sometimes employed
under them. While industrious to a degree, the-Tlingit cannot be depended upon; and the native is too apt to strike, to start upon a prolonged potlatch, or go berrying or fishing on his own account, in the
height of the salmon run. In the skilful manipulation of the cans and
machines within doors, neither he nor the white man can approach the
automatic exactness and dexterity of the Chinese, who, being paid by the
piece, take no account of a day's working hours, and keep the machinery moving as long as there are fish in the cannery. The fish are
thrown from the arriving scows to a latticed floor, or loaded directly
into the trucks and rolled into the cannery. The cleaner seizes a fish
and in two seconds trims and cleans it—beheading, detailing, and rending it with so many strokes of his long, thin knife. It is washed,
scraped, cut in sections the length of a can, packed, soldered, steamed,
tested, vented, steamed again, resoldered, lacquered, labelled, and
boxed.   The tin is taken up in sheets, and an ingenious machine
punches, rolls, and fits the covers to the cans, which roll down an
inclined gutter of melted solder which closes the edges. The experts
can tell, by a tap of the finger, if each can is air-tight. If not hermetically closed, the contents rapidly change, burst the cans in transit
" below," or explode unpleasantly in distant markets. The Alaska
canners are not held to any restrictions as in British Columbia, not
taxed or hindered in any way. They may take any piece of ground
they see fit in tracts of 160 acres, and receive a patent after paying
$1.25 an acre and the cost of survey. There is no tax upon cannery
boats, no limit to the size of net-meshes, no close season, and the salmon inspector, who is supposed to prevent the placing of weirs and
traps in the streams, has no vessel at his command with which to enforce the laws. The canneries drain the country of their natural
wealth; make no permanent settlements, nor any improvements; spend
almost nothing of their profits in the Territory; and are a fruitful
source of trouble and corruption among the native people.
The Revillagigedo Lakes and Behm Canal.
The famed beauty of Naha Bay is not apparent from Loring.
There is a fine waterfall a quarter of a mile above the cannery, reached
by a trail through the woods. Two miles above Loring the bay narrows and terminates in a cul-de-sac, where 10,000 salmon have been
drawn ashore from a single cast of the seine. A sharp point of land
separates this cove from the first in the chain of four lakes, and the
connecting stream is less than 100 ft. in length. This Lake Adorable
is more properly a lagoon, as it is 12 ft. below high-tide mark, and the
cascading stream empties and fills the lake by turn, and the seine is
cast at either end of these rapids.
Lake Adorable, as it was named in 1885, is 4 miles long and 2
miles across, with magnificent mossy forests closely surrounding it. It
glitters with leaping salmon all summer long, as they cross it to run
the gauntlet of the cascading streams that join lake to lake far into the
heart of the island. Large salmon have several times taken trout-fiies
from these shores and wrecked light rods. Greedy malma follow with
the salmon,-and may always be caught. Both black and cinnamon
bears are found on the island. They are first seen in spring, when
they come out to feed upon the skunk-cabbage (Lysichton Kamchatken-
sis), which with its huge tropical leaves is like a banana-tree half
buried. Four black bears have been seen at once pawing salmon
ashore from the sedges along Lake Adorable, and in the dense salmon
berry thickets and along the shores of the farther lakes they are less
often frightened away by man,   The. o!4 smoke-house on the stream
connecting the first and second lakes has several times been used as a
sportsman's camp, and touches upon the most complete wilderness,
while near to a base of supplies. There is a small red deer on the
island, but the skin-hunters threaten its early extermination in the
region, as 25,000 skins were shipped from Loring in 1890. Wolves
are numerous; geese, swans, mallard, teal, and a so-called canvas-back
duck flock by the farther lakes; and eagles always tempt shots when
a sportsman has once seen the exquisitely fine and downy robes made
from their breasts.
Escape Point, at the northern entrance of Naha Bay, celebrates
Vancouver's escape from the Indians who attacked his party in Traitors' Cove, 3 miles beyond. Canoes had followed the white men from
the bend of Behm Canal, and " the old vixen," with the large labrette in
her lip, who steered and commanded the largest canoe, was bent on
hostilities from the start. While the three boats were separated, the
vixen came alongside Vancouver's yawl, snatched the lead-line and
made fast with it. Her crew donned wolf masks, jumped aboard and
seized the muskets; fiva canoes closed in, their crews shouting and
dancing. The commanding virago was plainly exhorting them to an
attack, when Vancouver gave the order to fire with the weapons they
had drawn from the arms-chest. Those in the small canoes rolled out
and swam ashore. Those in the big war canoe cut the line, and all
sprang to one side, careening the canoe so that its side shielded them
as they paddled away. Two of Vancouver's men were wounded, and
before they could proceed the swimmers climbed the sheer bluff and
hurled rocks down upon the boats.
Yess Bay, on the mainland shore opposite Traitors' Cove, is a
mere ship-way through the forest, navigable by large steamers for 2
miles to a point where the cannery is situated, and accessible only to
canoes beyond that point. The narrow passage is exceedingly picturesque, and the brawling stream by the cannery leads to a lake of great
beauty, where 60 pounds of trout have been lured by the commonest
fly in two hours. The Coast Survey named the place McDonald Bay,
but the local name having become well established in commerce beforehand, it is only alluded to as Yess Bay.
Burroughs's Bay, at the mouth of the Unuk River, is a deep bowl in
the mountains where Vancouver fished in August, 1793, and called his
prizes " hunchbacked salmon." " They had little of the colour and
nothing of the flavour of salmon, and they were very insipid and indiffer-
ent food," he wrote. The shores were covered with dead salmon then, as
they are now at the height of the run, when the retreating tides strand
acres of fish on the river bars. A cannery was established at Bur-
roughs's Bay in 1885, and while it was in operation the mail steamers
regularly made the tour of Behm Canal *. There is placer gold in the
bars of the Unuk River, a turbid, glacier-fed stream, which heads 100
miles inland. It is navigable for 70 miles by canoe, but hunters of
the bear, mountain goat, and mountain sheep, which abound in this
region, are warned by the surveyors of dangerous rapids and whirlpools.
The mainland shores are very abrupt all along Behm Canal, the
way is narrow, and Commander Newell, U. S. N., who was among the
first to carry a large steamer around Revillagigedo, declares the view
northward from Point Sykes the finest in southern Alaska. The
landmark in that stretch is the New Eddystone Rock, which rises
like a ruined vine-clad tower 250 ft. from the water, with a circumference of less than 50 yards at the base. There are a few crevices in
its side to maintain the green wreaths and plumes that permanently
decorate it, and it could be easily scaled. Vancouver named it after
breakfasting on its sandy base; and in 1879 the Coast Survey named
the Rudyard Bay and the other points near it for engineers and others connected with the building of the famous Eddystone Light on the
coast of England.
Prince of Wales Island.
Prince of Wales, the largest island of the Alexander Archipelago, is second in size to Vancouver Island, extending 200 miles from
N. to S., with a breadth of 20 and 60 miles. It is a miniature continent, with an island belt on the ocean coast sheltering a continuous
Inside Passage, navigable by canoes and launches. It is mountainous
throughout; cedar groves dot its shores ; fine salmon streams lead to
scores of mountain lakes, and in climate it has been called the Lancashire of the coast. Because of its wealth of cedar and salmon, Congress was once asked to declare the island a government reservation of
ship timber for the use of the navy-yards on the Pacific coast, and to
* Named for Major Behm, commandant at the Russian port in Kamchatka, where Cook's ships wintered under Captain King. George
Vancouver was midshipman on this third and last voyage of the great
navigator, James Cook,
lease the salmon-fisheries. The very mention of Alaska has always
been sufficient to convulse the Congress at Washington ; and although
the proposed reservation was larger than the State of New Jersey, and
would have brought in a considerable revenue, the humorous legislators
did nothing.
The yellow cedar (Cupressis nutkakensis), which ranges from the
Queen Charlotte Islands to Yakutat, is the most valuable timber on
the Pacific coast. The tree reaches a diameter of 5 and 8 ft. and a
height of 150 ft., growing in patches and small groves, and easily
distinguished from the rigid, symmetrical spruces by its darker foliage,
its' ragged and uneven limbs with their plumy, willowy, tasselled tips.
It has a pale-yellow colour and a close fine grain, exhaling a slight
resinous odour when first cut. The Chinese valued it highly, and the
Russians carried on a large trade in cedar logs. At Canton it was
made into chests that passed as camphor-wood, and when carved and
scented was palmed off as sandal-wood. It is as much the aversion of
moths as are the other fragrant cedars. It is the one ship timber of the
Pacific coast, the only wood which repels the teredo, and ships' timbers have been found to be sound and good after lying under water for
thirty years. The few vessels built of yellow cedar have the best
standing, since hulls of Oregon pine can only be insured as A. No. 1
for three years, and the average Puget Sound pile is eaten through in
the same time. One million dollars a year is said to be spent in driving and replacing piles in Puget Sound wharves, while the yellow cedar
of Alaska is untouched, and the law forbids its exportation. Small
lots of yellow cedar have been sold at Portland for $75 per thousand
feet; local cabinet-makers have made much use of it, and Hon. William H. Seward secured enough cedar during his visit to Alaska to
finish the great hall of his Auburn residence. The natives use this
wood for canoe and house building, for totem-poles and all carved
work. The inner bark furnishes them with a tough fibre which replaces ropes or thongs, and, finely shredded, is woven into mats, sails,
blankets, baskets, and hats. They destroy countless trees by this
girdling, and ghosts of dead cedars show all along shore.
All the S. and W. coast of Prince of Wales Island is historic ground.
At Cape Chacon, or the traders' Musatchie Nose, Juan Perez landed in
1774, and finding a native with a Russian gun in his possession, marked
the line of 54° 40' as the limit of Russian rule, and by the same token
the northern boundary of Spanish possessions.
The Haneagas originally claimed all the ocean shores, but one hundred and fifty or two hundred years ago they were driven northward by
the Haidas from North Island of the Queen Charlotte group, a band of
pirates and freebootors who successfully defied the neighbouring tribes,
and terrorized the mainland coast. At last the other Haidas, combined
with the Nass and Tsimsian warriors, attacked North Island, routed the
renegades, and destroyed their villages. The survivors put to sea,
landed on the opposite shore of the entrance, and in time pushed their
villages up to Tlevak Strait and around to Thome Bay, on the E. side
of the island. They drove the French flag from this coast early in the
century by killing the native otter-hunters whom a French trader had
leased from the Russian chief manager at Sitka. After indemnifying
the Sitkans for their 23 dead relatives at $200 each, the Frenchman
had 63 otter-skins worth $5 each to take to Canton. His experience
deterred his countrymen from competing in the profitable fur-trade of
the Northwest Coast.
These Tleviakans, Kaigahnees, or Prince of Wales Haidas, have
their largest village at Howkan, in Cordova Bay, behind Dall Island.
The Boston fur-traders used to anchor near the village in the harbour
which Captain Etholin surveyed in 1833, and named American Bay.
Howkan is a Stikine word meaning "fallen stone," and the original
howkan lies on the beach, whether myth or meteorite none know.
The village is rarely visited by mail steamers, receiving its mail
and consignments by small steamer from Mary Island or Fort Wrangell.
A Presbyterian mission was established at Howkan in 1881. In 1883,
when the writer first visited the village, it was a place of totemic
delight. Tall totem-poles guarded houses, and skeleton ruins of
houses, crowded to the water's edge, ranged back through the underbrush, and lined a farther beach where graves and ruins were entangled in a young jungle. Mosses and lichens half covered the faces
of the crows and eagles, grasses and ferns flourished in every crevice
of the carvings, and bushes and even young spruce-trees, 10 ft. high,
grew on the tops of totem-poles. Skolka, the head chief, had a magnificent column by his doorway, with two children with storied hats above
his ancestral eagle and the image of a bearded white man beneath the
bird. He read a sad chapter of his family history from this picture record. A woman of the eagle clan went to gather salmon-eggs one day,
and while she cut fresh branches to lay in the water, and filled her
baskets, her two children played. When she was ready to return she
called the children, but they ran and hid. She called again and again,
but they answered her from the woods with the voices of crows, and
for many moons the crows mocked her cries. It was believed that the
white traders had stolen them. The lost ones never returned, and the
story of the kidnapped children has frightened generations of little
eagles. The same twins and trader ornament a pole in Kasa-an Bay,
and exhort those small Kaigahnees of the eagle brand to civil speech
and obedience. Skolka's next-door neighbour in days of yore was an
old chief, whose young and pretty wife found a big frog while searching in her liege's locks one day. The nine days' wonder was recorded
in the next tolem-pole erected, and there one may still see the old
chief, the frog, and the moon-faced bride to prove the tale.
The Kaigahnees, like every tribe, have a legend of a great flood and
a single canoe coming to rest with two survivors on the top of a mountain. In 1883 one ancient claimed to have the bark rope that held
the anchor of the big canoe when it rested on the high mountain
behind Howkan—a talisman of great power. They have a tale twin
to ours of Lot's wife, but their Sodom and Gomorrah were on Forrester
Island, and a brother and sister fleeing from a pestilence were both
turned to stone, because the woman looked back while crossing a river.
Their petrified bodies still stand in that river, and their petrified lodge
may be seen on its bank.
When Wiggins's storms were promised to all North America in March,
1882, a white man at Kasa-an Bay read and explained the prophecies
to the Kaigahnees. The warning ran rapidly from village to village,
and at Howkan all began moving their things to the high ground, and
were carrying up water and provisions for one whole afternoon. They
believed that the promised tidal wave was coming, and, at the time set
for the storm, began to say, " Victoria all gone!" There was a heavy
storm outside that March night, and the agent of the trading company,
returning from the Klinquan fishery in a whale-boat, was drowned by a
wave upsetting the boat as he let go the tiller to furl the sail.
It was at Port Bazan, across Dall Island, that a Kaigahnee found
the remains of Paymaster Walker, who was lost with the steamer George
S. Wright, in February, 1873. The loss of the Wright was one of the
tragedies of the sea, and is still a current topic in Alaska. The steamer
left Sitka on its return trip to Portland with several army officers and
their families and residents on board. It was last seen at Cordova
Bay, on the south end of Prince of Wales Island, and, in the face of
warnings, the captain put out to se\ in a heavy storm, as he was
hurrying to Portland for his wedding. It is supposed that the sh^)
foundered, or struck a rock on the Queen Charlotte shore. The most
terrible anxiety prevailed as week after week went by with no tidings
of the Wright, and the feeling was intensified when the rumour was
started that it had been wrecked near a village of Kuergefath Indians,
and that the survivors had been tortured and put to death. Two years
after the disappearance of the Wright the body of Major Walker was
found in Port Bazan, recognizable only by fragments of his uniform
that had been held to him by a life-preserver. Other remains and bits
of wreckage were found in the island recesses, and the mystery of the
WrigJit was cleared.
In the Howkan and the Kaigahnee region everything has been named
and charted three and four times. Cape Muzon itself was named Gape
Munoz by the Spaniards, and Vancouver copied the name incorrectly.
Dixon had named it Cape Pitt before him, and Tebenkoff called it Cape
Kaigahnee afterward. The original village of Kaigahnee was near this
cape, but since its abandonment that name is as often applied to Howkan.
Kaigan is the Japanese word for strand or seashore, and its use in this
connection gives great comfort to those who contend for the Asiatic
origin of these people. The missionaries named the place Jackson, and
the Post-Office Department sent blanks and cancelling stamps marked
Haida Mission.   Captain Nichols resisted all appeals to enter Jackson on
the Coast Survey charts, and the Board of Geographic Names made
Howkan the legal and official appellation. This is only one of' many
similar incidents in the naming of the region.
The Howkan Mission has a saw-mill beyond American Bay, and the
Klawak cannery and mill are niched in the far end of Bucarelli Bay,
that picturesque, cedar-lined reach where Bodega and Maurelle took
possession in the name of Spain in 1775. Mail and excursion steamers
never visit this, shore, and the Klawak cannery runs its own schooners to
San Francisco, and steam launches to Howkan, or Fort Wrangel, for
mails. A mission and a Government school care for the Hanegas, who
inhabit this W. coast, a tribe quite as untamable for a century as the
Kaigahnees. There is an inside passage from Dixon Entrance to Sumner
Strait, and a large cannery and saw-mill at Shakan, or Chican, off the
N. end of Prince of Wales. That saw-mill was doing a large business
in cedar shingles with San Francisco in 1889, when the zealous timber
agent descended, a cargo was confiscated, a large fine levied, and the
mill was silenced.
Vancouver sighted the " very remarkable barren, peaked mountain "
on the N. end of Prince of Wales, which he named for his friend
Captain Calder, of the navy; but other navigators briefly describe Mt.
Calder as a-volcano, and tell of its eruption towards the close of the last
century. The northern and eastern shores of the island down to Th.orne
Ba*y are claimed by the Stikines, and their first village is in Red Bay,
the Krasnaia of the Russian traders. The dreaded Eye-opener, or Shoo-
Fly Rock, is off its entrance, and by a sharp turn a ship run's into a
small opening that narrows until it can barely pass. Beyond this
gateway the bay rounds out into a placid reach, with magnificent trees
crowding to the water's edge. There was a small saltery there in 1884,
and another at Salmon Creek, E. of Red Bay.
Kasa-an Bay, on the E. coast of Prince of Wales Island, penetrates some 17 miles in a westerly direction, and several fine salmon
streams empty into its arms and inlets. Skowl's old village, the original
Kasa-an, is on Skowl Arm, which opens southwardly near the entrance.
At the time of Skowl's death his village held 17 great lodges,
and the threescore totem-poles constituted the finest collection of their
kind in Alaska. This chief of the eagle clan was an autocrat of the
old school, ruled his people with a rod of iron, held them to the old
faiths and customs, and gave missionaries no welcome. A totem-pole
in his village showed the image of a priest, an angel, and a book, and
was intended as a derisive reminder of the efforts made to convert him.
There is an interesting old graveyard on the N. shore, half-way up Kasa-
an Bay, near the Baronovich copper-mine, which was much exploited
twenty years ago.
The Baronovich Fishery is in a cove of Karta Bay, at the extreme
end of the opening, and was established at the time of the transfer by
a Russian trader who married Skowl's daughter. It was a headquarters
of smuggling operations during the first years of United States ownership of Alaska, and Baronovich was one of the first of pelagic sealers
or rookery raiders, returning with 9,000 fur-seal skins from a mysterious
cruise in a small schooner in the summer of 1868. In 1885 the customs
officers found over $40,000 worth of prepared opium at this fishery,
packed in barrels and ready for shipment below as salt salmon. Since
that event the fishery has been abandoned, and the catch of Kasa-an,
Tolstoi, Thome, and Salmon Bays on the E. coast of Prince of Wales
Island, are towed in scows to the Loring cannery.
Cholmondeley Sound, which extends inland for 16 miles, was
named by Vancouver, and Dora Bay, its scenic boast, with Mt. Eu-
dora, 3,500 ft. high at its end, were named for Mrs. Richardson Clover.
Moira Sound, another of Vancouver's discoveries, and the northern arm
reaching almost to the base of Mt. Eudora, is much lauded for its scenic
combination. Niblack anchorage was named for Lieutenant A. P. Nib-
lack, U. S. N., who conducted the surveys in this region and gathered
the material for his valuable work on The. Coast Indians of Southern
Alaska and Northern British Columbia, published as part of the Report
of the U. S. National Museum, 1887-'88. It contains the fullest explanation of the arts, customs, and social organization of these interesting people.
This report, and the other U. S. Government publications referred
to, cannot be purchased, but can be obtained for any United States
citizen who makes proper application to a Senator or Representative
in Congress from his State.
Fort Wrangell.
Vancouver's Duke of Clarence Strait is 107 miles in length,
and at its northern end is sensibly discoloured by the fresh water of the
Stikine River. Fort Wrangell, on the island of that name off the
mouth of that river, was the second settlement in southeastern Alaska
after Sitka, and commands a broad mountain-walled harbour that lies 80
miles in from the open ocean. This gives it warmer and drier summers and colder winters than places on the outer coast, the mercury
often rising above 90° in July, and remaining above 80° for a fortnight
at a time.    The winter average of 28*3° leaves the harbour open, and
extreme cold is rarely known. John Muir has highly extolled its bland,
soothing, " poultice-like atmosphere," and greatly praised the mountain
panorama unrolled to one who climbs the hill behind the old fort.
The first settlement on Wrangell Island was made by order of the
chief manager, Admiral-Baron Wrangell who sent the captain-lieutenant,
Dionysius Feodorovich Zarembo, down from Sitka, in 1834, to erect a
stockade-post, and with the aid of a corvette prevent the Hudson Bay
Company from re-establishing trading-posts on the Stikine River. This
Redoubt St. Dionysius was built on the first point of land below the
wharf, and with the hostile threats of the natives Zarembo succeeded
in driving off the British ship. This hindrance to the free navigation
of the Stikine was a plain violation of the Treaty of 1824, and after five
years of diplomatic controversy it was settled by Russia paying £20,000
indemnity and leasing all the Thirty-mile Strip from Dixon Entrance to
Yakutat to the H. B. Co., first for a term of ten years, and then by renewed leases until the transfer of Russian America to the United
States. Sir George Simpson considered all the British possessions in the
interior, adjacent to the Thirty-mile Strip, as worthless, unless it were
leased to them. He named the new post Fort Stikine, and his men led
an exciting life there, their fierce neighbours attacking and besieging
them, and several times cutting their foot-bridge and the flume that
carried water to the fort. After the discovery of gold on the river and
the influx of miners, fur-trading languished, the river posts were abandoned, and there was little loss to the company when its lease ended
with the transfer of Russian America to the United States.
A new site was chosen for the United States military post of Fort
Wrangell in 1867, and the large stockade was first garrisoned by two
companies of the Twenty-first Infantry, that remained until 1870, when
the post was abandoned, the ground and buildings sold to W. King
Lear for $600. The discovery of the Cassiar mines, at the head-waters
of the Stikine, and sent a tide of new life into the deserted street, and a
company of the Fourth Artillery occupied the barracks from 1875 to 187V,
when the Government withdrew its troops from all posts in Alaska.
During the second occupation the tenants fixed the rent of the property, and paid the protesting landlord a tenth of what he might have
received at that time. In 1884 the Treasury Department took possession of the buildings, on the ground that the sale of 1870 was illegal,
and installed the deputy-collector in the fort. Twenty years after Mr.
Lear's purchase of the property, the Sitka court decided that, as the
original sale was illegal and unconstitutional, Mr. Lear was entitled to
his $600 with interest, and the cause celebre was ended. As the old
buildings went to. ruin, they lent Fort Wrangell a certain interest and
picturesqueness, and the weather-beaten stockade and a leaning blockhouse were most sketchable; but all these fine studies in weather tones
and lichen-growths have been destroyed, the restorer has driven picturesqueness out of the quadrangle, and the old quarters are used by
the civil officers—a deputy-collector, commissioner, marshal, postmaster, and superintendent of education.
With the abandonment of the mining regions up the Stikine, Fort
Wrangell's trade has fallen to almost nothing, and the saw-mill represents its chief industry. The Stikines do a large curio business in the
summer season, and the traders' stores overflow with coarse carvings,
baskets, and native silver-work. A few furs are brought from the
Stikine country. Specimens of dark-gray mica slate, sprinkled with
large almandite garnets, are brought from a ledge near Point Rothsay
for sale.
There is an old river-boat on the beach, so built over and grown
with weeds that only the line of the guards suggests its original estate.
This Rudder Grange cleared $135,000 each season its stern-wheel
beat the Stikine flood, and when its machinery gave out beyond all repair, it was floated ashore, and was a profitable venture as a hotel.
Then it fell to the mission of a bakery, whose Chinese proprietor gathering his kind about him made it headquarters for those Celestials who
patiently worked abandoned placers, and carried much Stikine gold
away long after the boom had broken.
As late as 1883 a forest of totem-poles rose by the great lodges in
the Stikines' village. In 1893 only a half dozen remained, and the
show pair guard a bay-windowed cottage which replaces the ancestral
lodge. One of these relates the legends of the builder's family, the
other that of his wife. The wife's pole is surmounted by her clan-
totem, the eagle. The image of a child, a beaver, a frog, an eagle, a
frog, and a frog, continue to the ground. This frog is the crest of a
sub-family, the insignia of a medicine-man, a pestilence, a miraculous
cure, big medicine, or as the food of the eagle naturally represented
with it—all according to' as many interpreters. The builder's pole is
covered with his own image, the two-storied hat indicating two great
potlatches or degrees in greatness. Beneath is his own mother totem,
the crow, and at the base of the pole the eagle, the totem of his wife,
and hence of his children.
The wolf and the whale, from two famous medicine-men's grave,
ornament the old parade-ground.
Shakes's Grave, on the point reached by a foot-bridge, is an object
of interest. Shakes and his rival, Qualkay, were in evidence when Sir
George Simpson visited Fort Stikine in 1841. Qualkay long ago succumbed and was set away in charge of his totemic guardian, but Shakes
cumbered the earth for another forty years, causing and spilling much
bad blood, foraging the lower coast to far Nisqually, opposing the missionaries, brewing hoochinoo, and quarrelling with the other village chiefs
as long as the breath was in him. He was a chief of the old school,
like Skowl, and when he died there was a wake and a funeral that
paled all potlatch tales of old. His body was laid out in state trappings. The carved chests were piled high. There were furs and blankets galore; tows past envious counting; gangs of slaves, and last the
precious heirloom and insignia of his line—a stuffed grizzly with copper claws and eyes, and movable jaws that assisted at great dances and
ceremonies, and, being possessed by the body of a man, took part in
theatrical representations that depicted the great family legends.    In
deluge-time Shakes's ancestors took the bear into their canoe and saved
him from drowning. When the canoe grounded on a mountain, the
bear brought them food, and from an alliance with this bear were descended all his people. One bear column shows the footprints of the
bear that crawled to the top of the tree whence he was rescued by
Shakes's ancestors; and when Shakes was laid away in a balconied pavilion on the Point, a bear was put on guard.
Kadashan has inherited the orca-staff that rules the tribe and a fine
war canoe. For a sufficient purse he and a rival tyee will muster crews
of thirty-two and paddle a spirited race. They paddle to a chant, the
fierce old war-song of the " northern Indians" that spread terror on
the lower coast.
Shusiacks Point was the home of another chief, who long defied
the missionaries' efforts, but who was laid away in his ornamented
grave soon after Clah, the Christian Tsimsian, acceded to the Stikines' request and opened a school in their midst. Mr. Seward and
General Howard had vainly appealed to mission boards, but the letter
of a private soldier describing the pathetic efforts of these people to do
for themselves made most impression, and in 187V the Presbyterian
Board sent Rev. Sheldon Jackson to investigate. He found the wonderful Clah teaching in a dance-hall leased from the miners, and,
guarded by the chief Toyatt, opening his school with hymn and prayer.
A teacher was left for that winter, and the next year Mrs. McFarland
opened a girls' boarding-school, which, after its own building was
burned, was united with the Sitka school. A Catholic chapel was built
during garrison days, and receives periodical visits from the Jesuit
father at Juneau, but as the Tlingits have been given in charge of the
Presbyterian Board, the Roman church does not attempt any evangelical work among them. A Methodist and a Presbyterian church and
Government day school are the forces at work, and are judged sufficient and satisfactory.
The pre-emptor of the old company gardens beyond the fort has
proved in these later days that vegetable and poultry raising are more
certain and profitable ventures in Alaska than mining. Cabbages and
mangel-wurzel reach prodigious size; cauliflowers measure 18 inches
around; and peas, beans, lettuce, celery, rhubarb, and radishes thrive.
This enthusiastic planter believes that he could have ripened wheat
during two dry summers, and perhaps corn. Wild timothy grows 6 ft.
high in old clearings, and clover-heads are twice the size of Eastern
clover, each blossom wide-spread, as red and fragrant as a carnation
The Stikine River.
There is a salmon cannery at Iiabouchere Bay, 2 miles from
Fort Wrangell, on the north point of the island. A trail through the
woods connects the two settlements. This spot is better known as
the Point Highfield of Vancouver, and commands a view of the mouth
of the Stikine River and the high peaks surrounding its delta.
Although Vancouver's men, in reaching this point, were surrounded
by the grey-green and turbid flood of the great stream, they did not discover it, the third great river of the coast which they almost entered
unawares. Captain Cleveland, of the American sloop Dragon, and Captain Rowan, of the Eliza, visited the delta and learned of the great
stream in 1799. Hudson Bay' Co. employes knew the head-waters,
soon after their repulse by Zarembo at Fort Dionysius. Mr. Robert
Campbell tells of his discovery of its sources in a letter to Senator M.
C. Butler, dated Riding Mountain House, Manitoba, November 30,
" Being an employe of the Hudson Bay Co., I was for a series of
years employed by it in exploring, trading, and extending the trade in
the till then unknown part of the Rocky Mountains, and especially in
search of rivers, or sources of rivers, flowing from the west of the
" In summer, 1838, I ascended to and established a trading post at
Dease's Lake (since then a gold field), and soon after, in July, I crossed
the mountain and came to the head-waters of a river, which with a
party of two Indian boys and a half-breed I followed for some time,
and came to a tributary which we crossed on Terror Bridge, a very
shaky structure over a foaming torrent. About 15 miles beyond the
bridge we came on a very large camp of Indians assembled there for
the double purpose of catching salmon, which abounded in the river,
and of trading with the then notable chief ' Shakes,' who ascended
there from Fort Highfield, a large trading station of the Russians, established at the mouth of the river, on the Pacific coast. From these
Indians I was glad to learn that the name of the river was ' Stikene.'
" I gave notes to some of the Indians, to be delivered at any Hudson
Bay Co. post, relating the result of my discovery thus far, and as the
object of my trip was now attained I wished to retrace my steps without
delay; but it was with no little difficulty that we got away from the
camp of the savages. We owed our safety to the Nahany chief, and
the tribe we came first in contact with in the morning. This discovery,
which made no small noise at the time, led in a great measure to the
Hudson Bay Co. leasing from the Russians a stretch of country along
the coast, for purposes of trade."
The Hudson Bay Co. first established Fort Mumford, 60 miles up
the river from Fort Wrangell, at the supposed Russian boundary line,
and Fort Glenora, 126 miles up river, at the head of canoe navigation.
When .the miners came with steamboats, fire-arms, and blasting powder,
game was frightened away, and the Indians found more lucrative pursuits than hunting and trapping. In 1878 the company abandoned the
river posts, the mines failed, and the region relapsed into a wilderness.
The scenery of Stah-Keena, the Great River, will revive the fortunes of the region when increasing tourist travel makes it better
known. Prof. John Muir, who canoed its length in 1879, epitomized its
finest reach as "a Yosemite 100 miles long." Three hundred living gla-
ciers drain directly into the Stikine, and Prof. Muir counted 100 from
his canoe. The river is very shallow at the mouth, with a current
running 5 miles an hour, but in the upper canons the current is terrific. Steamers were withdrawn from the river in 1883, but a relic
continued to navigate until 1891, although canoe travel was and is still
more satisfactory to those who can give a fortnight to the excursion.
In busy times, when all the standing-room was taken on these river-
boats, and they tied to the banks each night to give passengers room
to sleep, it was a 3 days' trip up to Glenora by steam, and 10 days in
canoe. Returning, the steamers made the 150 miles in 8 or 12 hours,
the machinery reversed much of the time, to restrain the boat from
going entirely with the mad current.
Itinerary of the Stikine River.
The first object of interest is the Popoff, or Little Glacier, 10 miles
above Point Rothsay. At the Big Bend, a few miles above, the Iskoot
River opens a valley southward, its course defined by the sharp needle
peaks of the Glacier Range. The natives, following the Iskoot canons
for 50 miles, reach a table-land from which they descend the Nass
River to Fort Simpson. Besides scenery of the wildest description,
peaks, precipices, and glaciers that defy Zermatt climbers, the Iskoot
region is a great preserve of big game. Grizzly, cinnamon, and black
bears, mountain goat and mountain sheep, deer and elk, roam undisturbed, grouse abound, and mosquitoes surpass in numbers and voracity any others of their kind. The same condition as to game and
insects exists all along the Stikine.
The Great, or Orlebar Glacier, 20 miles above the Little Glacier, and 40 miles from Fort Wrangel, is often visited in chartered
steamers, when mail steamers are delayed at the latter port for a
whole day, and offers an interesting excursion. The glacier descends
through a mountain gateway less than a mile in width, and spreads out
in a broad, rounded, fan slope measuring 3 miles around its rim. A
terminal moraine half a mile in width lies between it and the river, a
place of sloughs and quicksands cut by the milk-white Ice Water
River, and scores of streams through which the pilgrim wades to the
foot of ice-cliffs rising abruptly 500 and 700 ft. The glacier slopes
back easily and disappears in fine curves behind mountain spurs. Its
surface is much broken, but it has not been explored nor its motion
recorded.   Two young Russian officers once came down from Sitka to
explore this glacier to its source, but they never returned with its
secrets. Old miners and river traders say that it has shrunk and retreated
much since those good old days when " the boys," with their. bags of
flour gold, and nuggets, used to congregate at Buck's Bar (Choquette's)
on the opposite bank, and, while boiling themselves in the Hot Springs
baths, contemplated the great ice stream over the way. A smaller glacier faces the Great Glacier on the Hot Springs side, and there is an
Indian tradition to the effect that these two glaciers were once united,
and the river ran through in an arched tunnel. To find out whether it
led out to the sea, the Indians determined to send two of their number
through the tunnel, and with fine Indian logic they chose the oldest
members of their tribe to make the perilous voyage into the ice mountain, arguing that they might die very soon anyhow. The venerable
Indians shot the tunnel, and, returning with the great news of a
clear passage-way to the sea, were held in the highest esteem forever
Near a bend in the river known to the miners as the Devil's Elbow,
the Mud or Dirt Glacier pours through a defile and spreads along
the river bank like a high terrace for 3 miles. Next, the Flood Glacier descends from a hidden neve. Every summer something gives way
in the glacial fastness and a flood bursts out with a roar, the river
rises several feet and races with a swift current, while the unknown
reservoir empties itself. Caution has kept miners and Indians away,
and no scientist has investigated to see how and where the ice spirits
build their dam. Beyond it is the dreaded Little Canon, a gorge a
half mile long, narrowing to a width of 100 ft., where ascending
steamboats struggle for nearly an hour before they can emerge from
the frightful defile. Steamers often tie up for days, waiting for the
furious current to slacken. Next is the Kloochman's or Woman's
Canon, where the noble Stikine, exhausted by paddling or tracking
his canoe through the preceding canon, leaves the cares of its navigation entirely to his wife. Here he crosses the backbone of the Main
or Sawback Range, and here are summer camps by that fine salmon
stream the Clearwater. The Big Ripple, or the Stikine Rapids, offer
the last difficulties for canoemen, and then the country opens out into
more level stretches, and a dry and wholly different climate causes
Shakes's, Carpenter's, and Fiddler's Bars, where men picked up fortunes 30 years ago, to scorch in dry summer heats.
At Glenora, 540 ft. above the sea, steamers discharge their cargoes
and start on the wild sweep down the river. Canoes can ascend another 12 miles to the mouth of Telegraph Creek, where the surveyors
decided that the Western Union wires should cross, and where the
Great Canon of the Stikine begins, a rocky gorge 50 miles long that
no craft can traverse, but which in winter offers a level ice highway
and a snow-shoer's short cut towards Cassiar.
H. B. Co. agents disclaim any previous knowledge of the existence
of gold along the Stikine River, and deny any exchange of gold dust
ounce for ounce for lead bullets as with the natives on the Fraser. In
1861, Pierre Choquette and Carpenter his partner discovered gold on a
bar near Glenora. Camps quickly dotted the river's length, and in 1873
richer fields were discovered in the Cassiar regions, at the head-waters
of the river, by Thibert and McCulloch, two trappers who had made
their way overland from Minnesota. Ten thousand miners reached
the diggings in 1874, and the yield was estimated at $1,000,000. The
new camps were 300 miles from Fort Wrangell and 150 miles from
Glenora. The centre of trade was at Laketown, on Dease Creek, near
Dease Lake. The Omineca region at the head of Peace and Skeena
Rivers was deserted. Four ocean steamers ran regularly from Victoria,
transferring to Six River steamers at Fort Wrangell. Freights
from the latter place to the mines ranged from $20 to $80 and $160
per ton, the last half of the transit being by pack-mules or on men's
backs over the roughest mountain trails known. While the mines
were paying, Fort Wrangell was the winter resort of the miners, and
the liveliest as well as the most important town in Alaska. Travel
turned inland in February, miners travelling by snow-shoes and with
hand-sleds on the ice until well into March. Active work began in
May, and the freezing of the sluices in September closed the season.
When the placers were exhausted and machinery was needed to work
the quartz claims, the miners left. Chinese for
abandoned river bars and Cassiar placers.
. The returns of the Cassiar mining district, as given by the British
Columbian Minister of Mines, show the quick decrease in the bullion
a long time worked
Number of
Gold product.
Number of
Gold product.
The leasing of the Thirty-mile Strip to the H. B. Co. did away with
the necessity of precisely marking the boundary line on the river, and
the Russians felt no concern in the matter until the gold discoveries of
1862. It was provided in the Russian American Company's lease that
all mineral lands should belong to the crown ; and the Czar, who had
been brooding much over the mineral possibilities of his American
province, ordered Admiral Popoff to send a corvette from Japan to see
if the British miners were on Russian soil. Prof. William P. Blake,
the geologist, accompanied Captain Bassarguine on the Rynda from
Hakodate in 1863, and his report, with the Russian officers' maps, were
the first authentic geographic and geologic information. Since their
survey five different places have been designated as the boundary,
ranging from the Little Glacier to the crossing of the Sawback Range.
The report of the Dawson-McConnell survey of the river is included in
the Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Canada for 1887. The
report of the Special U. S. Treasury Agent, W. G. Morris, in Extra
Senate Document No. 59—Forty-fifth Congress, third session, gives a
full account of the attempts to determine some limit during. Cassiar
days and the necessity for some settlement of the question.
From Sumner Strait to Prince Frederick Sound via
Wrangell Narrows.
Sumner Strait extends 80 miles from the mouth of the Stikine
River to the open ocean, and on its N. shore, 19 miles from Fort
Wrangell, a narrow river of the sea leads to Prince Frederick
Sound, the next great transverse channel in the archipelago. Wrangell Strait, more commonly known as Wrangell Narrows, is 19
miles in length, at times not 100 yards in width, and in the course of
its windings presents features that entitle it to being one of the most
famous landscape channels on the regular tourist route. Vancouver's
men entered its mouth, but, believing it another inlet, turned back. It
was long considered navigable only for light-draught vessels at the
highest tide, and Government transports went outside from Fort
Wrangell to Sitka, until the perils of Cape Ommaney, the fogs,
storms, and currents of the ocean induced Captain R. H. Meade to survey a way for the U. S. S. Saginaw, in 1869. Captain J. B. Coghlan,
U. S. N., voluntarily surveyed and buoyed the channel in 1884, and
later the Coast Survey made soundings. The tender of the Thirteenth
Lighthouse District, which includes all of the United States shores between the Columbia River and Cape Spencer, inspects and replaces the
buoys each summer.
The tourist should not miss any part of this scenic passage; the
near shores, the forested heights, and the magnificent range of peaks
around the Stikines delta, composing some of the noblest landscapes he
will see. The sunset effects in the broad channels at either end are
renowned, and the possessor of a Claude Lorraine glass is the most
fortunate of tourists. He who has seen the sunrise lights in the narrows has seen the best of the marvellous atmospheric effects and colour
displays the matchless coast can offer. It is a place of resort for
eagles, whose nests may be seen in many tree-tops, and is a nursery
for young gulls who float like myriad tufts of down in the still reaches.
A hedge of living green rises from the water's edge, every spruce twig
festooned with paler green mosses. At low tide, broad bands of
russet sea-weed (cdgai) frame the islets and border the shores, and
fronds, stems, and orange heads of the giant kelp float in the intensely
green waters. The tides rushing in from either end meet off Finger
Point, whose two red spar buoys are prominent in the exciting navigation. The tide-fall varies from 14 to 23 ft., and salmon, entering with
the tide, turn aside at the red spar buoys, clear an islet, manoeuvre to
the foot of a fall, leap its 8 ft. at high tide, and swim to a mountain
Along Prince Frederick Sound*
Prince Frederick Sound won its name from the meeting of
Whidbey and Johnstone on its shores on the birthday of H. R. H.
Frederick, Duke of York, in 1794. Vancouver lay at anchor at the
time in Port Conclusion, just within Cape Ommaney, while these two
lieutenants made their final search for some opening on the mainland
coast. Landing on the Kupreanoff shore, they took formal possession
of the country, and dealt out double grog to their men. This ended
the actual exploration, the fruitless search for the mythical straits of
Anian, and " with no small portion of facetious mirth " they remembered that they had sailed from England on the 1st day of April to
find the Northwest Passage. These lieutenants made plain to their
chief the " uncommonly awful" and " horribly magnificent" character
of the scenery along the Prince Frederick shore; and Vancouver began
the lavish use of adjectives which is in vogue in Alaskan narratives to-day.
The Devil's Thumb, a dark spire rising 1,600 ft. from the rim of
an amphitheatre 7,000 ft. above the sea, was named by Captain Meade
because of its resemblance to a similar thumb or monolith on the
Greenland coast. This great landmark shows from the upper half of
WrangeU Narrows, and looms from every quarter as the ship boxes the
compass in its varied course. It is a finger-board to the tourist's first
Alaskan glacier which is a prominent feature in the long panorama along
the N. wall of Prince Frederick Sound. This glacier, named Patterson
for the late Carlisle Patterson, chief of the Coast Survey, pours over
and down a great slope, showing a beautifully blue and rumpled front.
In Vancouver's time it dropped icebergs from the cliffs to the water.
A fine waterfall decorates the front of Horn Cliffs at the foot of the
The Thunder Bay Glacier.
. The first tide-water glacier on the coast, latitude 56° 50' N., is
hidden at the end of Hutli * (Thunder) Bay, and sends out the myriad
bergs that sparkle along the sound. It is picturesquely set, debouching grandly from a steep canon cutting at a right angle from the head of
the bay, and the walls are forested close to the glacier's edge. The Hutli
is a pure white, deeply crevassed ice-stream half a mile in width ; and
the ice-cliffs, rising 100 and 200 ft. above the waters, are always toppling and crashing with the glacier's rapid advance. The bay is seldom
navigable, because of the ice-floes, which are either* packed solidly or
whirling with the tides. San Francisco ice-ships loaded from this glacier as early as 1853, and halibut schooners often put into the sound
for ice to pack their catch. Lying at 56° 50' N. latitude, it shows all
the features of a Greenland glacier, but its wonders were unheralded
until John Muir visited it in 1879. The Stikines claim to remember a
time when the glacier reached nearly to the mouth of the bay, and Vancouver's description supports them.
The Stikines, hearing the mysterious roars and crashes from within
this bay, believed it the home of the Thunder Bird, and Hutli's rough
syllables stand for that mythical creature, the flapping of whose wings
causes the rolling noises heard. All Tlingits believe that in the beginning the mountains were living creatures, grandly embodied spirits,
whom they long worshipped.    The glaciers are the children of the
* Since named by the Coast Survey Le Conte Bay and Le Conte
;i ;
mountains, and these parents hold them in their arms, dip their feet in
the sea, cover them with deep snows in the winter, and scatter earth
and rocks over them to ward off the summer sun. Sitth is their general name for ice, and its whispered sibilants suggest the Tlingits'
horror of cold, even their dull imaginations conceiving a hell of ice—a
place of everlasting cold as the future state of those buried in the
ground rather than cremated. Sitth too Yehk is their ice spirit, an
invisible power of evil, whose chill breath is death, who manifests
himself in the keen, peculiar wind blowing over glacial reaches ; whose
voice is heard in the angry roar of falling bergs, and in the hiss, the
crackle, and tinkle of singing ice-floes. He hurls down bergs in his
wrath, he tosses them to and fro, crushes canoes, and washes the land
with great waves. When the ice-wind dies away and the glacier's front
is still, Sitt7i too Yehk sleeps or roams under ice labyrinths, planning
further destruction. The natives speak in whispers, for fear of rousing
or offending this evil one, and refrain from striking his subjects—the
icebergs—with their canoe-paddles. When they must make a journey
across a glacier, they implore the mercy of Sitth too Yehk with much
big medicine and incantations, speak softly, tread lightly, and neither
defile nor offend it with crumb or odour of their food. The hair-seals
are the children of the glacier, and proof against all this magic. They
may ride on the ice-cakes with impunity, and in under the Hutli's and
Klumma Gutta's (Taku's) front the man-faced seals live, terrible
creatures whose spell can only be broken by one's pouring some fresh
water into the sea.
All the flats between Hutli and Point Highfield are visited by flocks
of ducks that offer sportsmen unrivalled opportunities.
The Baird Glacier shows its upper slopes just west of the Patterson
Glacier, but the finer view of its full front and long reaches is obtained
from Thomas Bay, which, commanding views of other glaciers, of
waterfalls and splendid cliffs, has been much extolled as the scenic gem
of the sound.
Cape Fanshawe is the great landmark of the sound, a storm-
king and cloud-compeller that, fronting to southwestward, gathers to it
all the storms that drift and draught in from Cape Ommaney. Canoes
are storm-bound for weeks, and ships labour heavily to round this
promontory when the great winter winds blow; but in summer the
waters ripple away to clear emerald and pearly reaches. The sound is a
favourite breeding-ground of whales, and in these safe, deep waters one
may see the leviathans frisking, and infant spouters taking their first
lessons. They were once snapped in the act by Lieutenant Niblack,
whose ready camera had already caught the flying eagle and the leaping
Kupreanoff and Kuiu Islands, The Land of Kakes.
Less is known of Kupreanoff and Kuiu Islands—the Land of
Kakes—than of the others of the archipelago, because of the bad
name of that tribe inhabiting them. The Kakes frightened Vancouver's men by their manners, and are dreaded by other Tlingits, who
say that they are outcast Sitkans.
They were the most dreaded of all the " northern Indians " who
devastated the lower coast. In 1855 several canoe-loads were driven
from place to place in Puget Sound, and ordered to go home by the
U. S. S. Massachusetts, which served a final notice to those encamped
on the spit opposite Port Gamble's mills, and then opened fire. The
Kake chief and several of his men were killed, and the Massachusetts
took the Kakes as far as Victoria, and once more told them to go.
Two years later a war party of nearly a thousand arrived at the sound,
and, landing on Whidbey Island in the night, called out and shot Colonel
Eby, collector of customs. They mounted his head and those of three
other whites on poles in their canoes, and paddled away in triumph.
No retaliation was attempted, but some years later Captain Dod, of the
Beaver, visited a Kake village, and bought Colonel Eby's scalp for six
blankets, six handkerchiefs, and two bottles of rum. In 1866 the
Kakes seized the schooner Royal Charlie, anchored near a Kuiu village,
murdered the crew, and scuttled the ship. The finding of a few relics
during the Kake war of 1869 cleared the mystery of that craft. They
divided honours with the Haidas and Stikines in piracy and murder
down the coast, but were looked down upon by both those superior
people. The famous "KakeWar" of 1869 arose from the Kakes
murdering two Sitka traders in revenge for the shooting of a Kake by
a Sitka sentry. Captain Meade took the U. S. S. Saginaw and destroyed
three villages by fire and shell.
These three villages were in bays on the northern end of the island,
and it was many years before the Kakes attempted to rebuild them.
They roamed the archipelago as waifs and free-lances, creating trouble
wherever they drew up their canoes. Their visits were dreaded by
natives and whites. A few of the better-disposed Kakes were tolerated at Killisnoo for a time, but their reputation effectually kept
fishermen and mineral prospectors away from their shores. The military census of 1809 estimated the inhabitants of Kuiu and Kupreanoff
Islands at 2,000. Petroff's census of 1880 numbers them 568. The
enumeration of 1890 gives but 236 Kakes, and notes but the two villages of Port EUis on Kuiu and Port Barrie on Kupreanoff Island.
In 1891 a Government school was established at Hamilton Bay at the
north entranee of Keku Strait, and in January, 1892, the teacher, C.
H. Edwards, was killed by two men who came in a small sloop, as he
"believed, to sell liquor to the Kakes.
Keku Strait, connecting Sumner Strait and Prince Frederick Sound,
was long suspected to afford a safer and more direct ship-channel than
Wrangel Narrows, and more scenic beauty is claimed for it,
Kuiu Island is the most extraordinary arrangement of forest-
land ever scattered upon Alaskan waters. Map-makers' favourite but
unpleasant comparison is to a mass of entrails surrounded by flies. The
island is over 60 miles in length and 30 miles across at its widest point,
but it is such a mass of peninsulas, isthmuses, and inlets fringed with
tiny islets that the ordinary statement of dimensions cannot describe
it. Its shores are least surveyed of any in the archipelago, and mail
steamers have only touched at the cannery at Vancouver's Point Ellis
in the Bay of Pillars. Dense groves of yellow cedar may be seen on
its shores, and in both 1874 and 1876 the Alaska Lumber and Ship-building Company prayed Congress to grant it or to sell it 100,000 acres of
timber lands on Kuiu Island, binding itself to establish mills and
yards, and build a vessel of 1,200 tons burden within two years. The
franchise was refused, and Kuiu remains a wilderness.
From Cape Fanshawe to Taku Inlet, Shucks and Sum
Dum Bays.
Mt. Windham, 2,500 feet in height at the N. entrance of Windham
Bay, marks the beginning of Stephens's Passage, 25 miles above Cape
Fanshawe. The mining-camp of Shucks, the Shuk'hte of the Tlingits,
lies at the end of Windham Bay, 8 miles from the entrance.
Gold was discovered at this place in 1875, and in the centennial
year 30 miners were at work. In 1879 Professor John Muir visited
the camp, and the miners put him on the trail of more glacial game
than he had anticipated. After the Juneau discoveries Shucks was
abandoned for ten years, when a company took up the basin and began
hydraulic mining on a large scale. Their pipe-line and flume lead to
the Uncle Sam Basin, 1,000 ft. above the bay, whence it is a short
climb to the crest of the divide between Shucks Bay and the southern
arm of Sum Dum Bay.' The higher meadows, thickly carpeted with
dwarf laurel, violets, daisies, anemones, buttercups, lilies of the valley,
and that royal flower, the black Kamchatka lily (Fritillaria Kamschat-
kensis), are rich botanical ground, and to the sportsman the region presents the greatest attractions. These are the chosen pastures of the
mountain-goat; and the mountain-sheep, keeping usually to the second
and interior ranges, comes to the coast between Cape Fanshawe and
Shucks is the accepted site of the " Lost Rocker," the standard
romance necessary to each mining region. In that dim time of mystery and fable " before the transfer," two Stikine miners found pockets
of nuggets in a lone bay near Cape Fanshawe. They were attacked by
Indians, and one miner killed. The other, left for dead beside his
rocker, managed to crawl and paddle away to a settlement, and died
 No large steamers enter the bay, and Juneau launches proceed with
extreme caution. There are three small tide-water glaciers in inlets of
Endicott Arm. One of these canons is known as Ford's Terror, in
honour of the draughtsman of the Patterson, who rowed in at slack
water to look for ducks. The tide turned with a roar, and the 5-mile
canon, less than 100 yards wide in places, was a stretch of rapids and
whirlpools in which small bergs from the glacier raced and ground together. The sportsman was a prisoner for six hours, when he was
able to make his escape with the last of the ebb-tide. There are
many such reversible cataracts within the bay, and gloomy canons
that only need their Hugo, their Verne, and their Dore to immortalize
The most remarkable glacial exploit on this coast was that of Captain J. W. White, U. S. R. M., who took the Wayanda into the bay
while on an exploring cruise in 1868„ Seeing a great arched opening
in the face of one tide-water glacier, he steered his gig into a vast blue
grotto, and was rowed 100 ft. down a crystalline corridor. The colouring
of roof and walls and water was marvellous, the air was pure, palpitant
sapphire, and in the shadowy indigo alcove at the end the boatmen
poured out libations to the ice spirits. They emerged safely, unsuspecting the perils they had braved.
The finest scenery of all is reported in Tracy Arm, and the camp
in Roaring Inlet was visited by Prof. John Muir in 1879. He found
two splendid tide-water glaciers in that magnificent fiord, one a mile
and the other a half mile wide, and common Swiss or Alpine glaciers
fronting on terminal moraines filled every ravine.
The Sum Dum mining camp was deserted for a decade after Juneau's discoveries, but recently the claims have been relocated, and a
quartz-mill will do its feeble grinding beside the primeval mills of the
while describing the place where the rocker full of nuggets was left.
For a quarter of a century prospectors have searched for the phantom
rocker. Jo Juneau admits of having thought of it, and the tradition,
dear to the Alaskan heart, has been dramatized, and every season
" The Lost Rocker " draws crowds to the Juneau Opera-House.
Sum Dum, the bay whose long-drawn Tlingit syllables express
in sound and meaning the noise of falling ice, was named Holkham
Bay by Vancouver. The broad bay is seen from the steamer route
with the great Sum Dum Glacier sloping down from the snow-fields
beyond Mt. Harrison. It divides into the Endicott Arm, extending
25 miles in a southeasterly direction, and the Tracy Arm cutting N.
and then E., some 22 miles altogether. It is a great glacial trough,
soundings giving no bottom at 200 fathoms; is set with pinnacle
rocks and reefs, and contains but one anchorage. Strong tidal currents
and floating ice further oppose navigation.
Port Snettisham gives promise of importance, when its ledges of
gold and silver are worked; and prospectors report the Speel River
canons at the head of the bay as rivalling any others in point of
In Taku Harbour', or Locality Inlet, as Sir George Simpson named
it, the remains of the old H. B. Co.'s Fort Durham may be seen. The
Takus drove the traders away at the end of three years, and the company secured their furs by annual visits of their steamers. The Takus
several times seized these ships and looted them, and were much
dreaded by all the whites. Most mercenary of all Tlingits and sharpest of bargainers, the Takus are called "the Alaska Jews," and in view
of the financial advantages resulting did not oppose the coming of
miners. They were never a totem-pole people; their villages are uninteresting, and they have too quickly assumed the outer habits of the
whites. They were estimated as numbering 500 in 1869, but in 1880
only 269 Takus were counted; and in 1890 they had fallen to 214,
with their largest village at Juneau.
Taku Mountain, 2,000 ft. high, a most symmetrical and densely
forested cone, and Grand Island, 1,500 ft. in height, are the two most
conspicuous landmarks. Above them is the Taku -Open, a water crossroads, where Stephens's Passage, Taku Inlet, and Gastineau Channel come together—a broad and treacherous reach where canoes are
threatened by winds from the four quarters. Taku Inlet is the cradle
of squalls, and Taku Open their playground. In winter, fierce willa-
waws or | woolies " sweep from the heights, beat the waters to foam,
and drive the spray in dense, blinding sheets; but in summer it smiles
and ripples in perfect peace, sparkles with little icebergs, and is a
point of magnificent views.
Taku Inlet and the Taku Glaciers.
Taku Inlet extends 18 miles in a N. E. direction from Stephens's
Passage, widening to a basin where the Taku River, a tide-water, and
an Alpine glacier discharge their floods.
It is one of the show places on the Alaska coast, and is regularly
visited by excursion steamers. The Taku Glacier was christened the
Schulze Glacier in 1883, in honour of Paul Schulze, of Tacoma, and in
1891 was renamed the Foster Glacier, in honour of the then Secretary
of the Treasury; but locally to geologists, tourists, and navigators it
remains the Taku.    The native name is Sitth Kluny, Gutta, " the
spirits' home." It is Sitth too Yehk's, the ice spirit's, very palace of
delight, and the fabled man-faced seals with their human hands live
and frolic in its clear blue grottoes and crystal dells. The ice-stream,
a mile in width, fills its canons from wall to wall, and its squarely
broken front rises from 100 to 200 ft. above the water. It is one of
the purest and cleanest glaciers, without medial or apparent lateral
moraines, and deeply fissured and crevassed for the 5 miles of its
course which is visible from the water. Because of its purity, ships
prefer to fill their ice-boxes in this basin, and the process of lassoing
the icebergs and hoisting them on board is an interesting feature in
ship life.
On the north shore of the inlet there is a large glacier of the Swiss
type, two ice-streams joining and sweeping in a broad fan slope to a
terminal moraine a mile in width. A forest has grown upon the western edge of the moraine, and the sandy level is cut by many watercourses and covered with beds of crimson epilobium. A landing is
sometimes made, and tourists are given opportunity to visit this glacier,
which the natives call Sitth Kadischle, the Spaniards' Glacier. The
Kadischle was christened the Norris Glacier in 1886, for Dr. Basil
Norris, TJ. S. A., and in 1891 was named the Windom Glacier, in honour
of the late Secretary of the Treasury. To tourists and scientists it is
most commonly known as the Norris. It is more broken than either
the Mer de Glace or the Aletsch Glacier, and is six times the width of
the former and three times the width of the latter at the last gateway,
where it spreads out into the great rounded front.
Whidbey and his men were doubtless the first whites, the supposed
Spaniards, to enter the inlet, August 10, 1794. From Vancouver's account, the rapid retreat of these glaciers may be estimated. " From
the shores of this basin a compact body of ice extended some distance
nearly all around; and the adjacent region was composed of a close
connected continuation of the lofty range of frozen mountains, whose
sides, almost perpendicular, were formed entirely of rock, excepting close
to the water-side, where a few scattered dwarf pine-trees found sufficient
soil to vegetate in; above these the mountains were wrapped in undissolving frost and snow. From the rugged gullies in their sides were
projected immense bodies of ice that reached perpendicularly to the
surface of the water in the basin, which admitted of no landing-place
for boats, but exhibited as dreary and inhospitable an aspect as the
imagination can possibly suggest." The Takus claim that their fathers
remembered a time when the Kadischle (Norris-Windom) Glacier broke
off into the sea, and that the Kadischle came at that time.
None of these glaciers have been explored or mapped, nor their mo-
tion measured, although the basin is the most accessible and convenient
place for a geologist's summer camp. John Muir says that he only
"glanced" at the Taku glaciers in 1879. In 1889 Viscount de la
Sabbatiere and his comrades of the French Alpine Club camped here,
but mainly as sportsmen. In 1890 the Coast Survey charted the
The Taku River, leading to the interior, was known to the H. B. Co.
and its head-waters were carefully explored by the Western Union
Telegraph Company's parties, 1865-67. Prospectors have followed the
Taku since, reporting it navigable for canoes for 60 miles, but plagued
with mosquitoes. In 1891 Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka and Dr. C.
Willard Hayes ascended to the head-waters and crossed to an affluent of
the Yukon, by which they reached Fort Selkirk and proved the existence of an easy route to the northern mines.
The Harris Mining District.—Juneau and its Vicinity.
Gastineau Channel, named for an old H. B. Co. ship, which
was named for the Gastineau River near Quebec, Canada, separates
Douglass Island from the mainland above the Taku Open. It narrows
from a mile and a quarter at the entrance to a half mile above the
Juneau wharf, and the precipitous mountains on the eastern side are
over 2,000 ft. in height, with niany cascades slipping down those velvety green precipices with continuous roar.
Juneau, the largest town in the Territory and the centre of mining
operations, is situated on the north or mainland shore of Gastineau
Channel, 10 miles above its entrance. It has a population of 1,500,
which in winter is largely increased by the miners who come in from
distant claims and prospecting tours. It has a court-house, several
small hotels and lodging-houses, 3 churches, 3 schools, a hospital, an
opera-house, a weekly newspaper, a volunteer fire brigade, a militia company, a brass band, and, in 1891, 22 saloons. A village of Taku Indians
adjoins it on the E. below the wharf, and an Auk village claims the flats
at the mouth of Gold Creek. A few interesting graves are on the high
ground back of the Auk village, many ornamented with totemic carvings, and hung with valuable dance-blankets and other offerings to the
departed spirits which no white dares disturb. The town-site covers the
slope of Chicken Ridge, separated from Bald Mountain by Gold Creek.
Numbered avenues running parallel with the beach terrace the slope,
and are intersected by Gold, Lincoln, Seward, and Harris Streets.
At Third and Seward Streets is the heart of the town, and the Indians
hold a daily open-air fish, berry, vegetable, and curio market there, in
- addition to the curio market on the wharf on steamer days.   There are
several curio shops along Water or Front Street, and on Seward Street,
and the finest display of seal, otter, beaver, bear, fox, wolf,- mink, ermine, squirrel, and eagle skins will be found at the largest trading
stores. A path leads from the top of Seward Street to the Auk village
and to the cejtnetery across Gold Creek.
The eminence between the town and the Auk village is known as
Capitol Hill, and Juneau citizens are confident that the future Legislature of Alaska will convene on that hill. Juneau miners wrested from
Congress the few political advantages the Territory enjoys. They once
sent a delegate to Washington, and even had a clause moving the capital from Sitka to Juneau considered in Congress. There is bitter rivalry between the capital and metropolis.
In 1879 Indians brought bits of gold quartz from Gastineau Channel
to Captain L. A. Beardslee, commanding the TJ. S. S. Jamestown at Sitka.
In 1880 Mr. N. A. Fuller, a Sitka merchant, " grub:staked " Joseph Juneau and Richard Harris and sent them to search " the largest of three
creeks lying between the Auk Glacier and Taku Inlet." They beached
their canoe on October 1st, and broke rich specimens from the "Fuller
the First " claim in the Basin at the head of the creek three dajs later.
Returning to the beach, they held a meeting, with Joseph Juneau in the
chair, organized the " Harris Mining District of Alaska," and made Richard Harris recorder. When the discovery was made known, there was
a stampede for " the Taku Camp," and hundreds reached Miners' Cove
that winter in order to be on the ground in the spring. A guard of
marines from the TT. S. S. Jamestown maintained order during the first
year, but when withdrawn, an era of lawlessness succeeded, which was
slightly quelled by the vigilance committee of 1883-'84. With no land-
laws, and no Government recognition or protection, the miners could not
effect much until the passage of the organic act, in 1884, gave them
title to mineral claims, since which the region has rapidly progressed.
The new camp was named Pilzbury, for the first assayer who came;
then Fliptown, as a miner's joke; next Rockwell, for the marine officer
of the TJ. S. S. Jamestown; fourthly, it was called Harrisburg; and
fifthly, Juneau. This last name was formally adopted at a miners'
meeting held in May, 1882, and at the same time all Chinese were ordered to leave the camp. There were anti-Chinese riots in 1886 ;
Chinese cabins were blown up by dynamite, and the Chinese in town
and at the mines on the island were driven on board a schooner and set
adrift without provisions. The town-site was surveyed and patented in
The Silver-Bow Basin Mines.
The mines in the Silver-Bow Basin, at the head of Gold Creek,
are reached by a well-built waggon-road, 3^ miles in length. The old
trail may be seen zig-zagging across the hillside behind the beach, but
is so overgrown on the Basin side that its use is impracticable. There
is a road along either side of the creek, that on the southern or Juneau
side affording the finest views of the opposite Yosemite walls.
Snowslide Gulch, on this Juneau side, usually bars the pathway with
deep snow-banks throughout the summer. " Coulters," or the Taku
Union mill, is half-way up the canon, and on the northern side a wire
tramway brings buckets of ore from a claim high on Bald Mountain,
among bryanthus meadows where the mountain-goat browses. Granite
Creek, a clear blue mountain stream, joins Gold Creek at the entrance
to the Silver-Bow Basin, which a party of Montana miners named for
their last camp in that State. This deep bowl in the mountains has
long received the dSbris ground from the perpendicular walls, and was
the rich placer-ground worked in those first years when a half million
in gold dust and nuggets was carried out by the miners each season.
When these placers were worked as low as their water system would
allow, the claims were abandoned. Over 50 old placer claims, all the
level floor of the Basin, are owned by the Silver-Bow Basin Mining
Company, of Boston, which has driven a tunnel 3,000 ft. in length in
from Charlotte Basin below, and made an upraise of 90 ft. to pits
where two hydraulic giants are washing out the banks by many acres
each season. Work is continued night and day from May to October
by the use of electric lights. The same company have acquired many
of the quartz claims surrounding the Basin, and their 20-stamp-mill
disposes of many tons of ore daily. The Silver Quiver, a vast
cataract of foam, in outline like an arrow-case, hangs high on the
farther wall, its 300 ft. fall dwarfed by its gigantic surroundings. The
Eastern Alaska Mill is driven by this waterfall, and the ore comes to it
in buckets moving on a wire tramway from the tunnel, 1,000 ft. above.
Sheep Creek, 4 miles S. E. of Juneau, holds a waggon-road which
leads by steep and picturesque shelves to a small basin where rich silver veins crop out. A mill was erected and the ore successfully worked
for two seasons, 1890-'91. The ore averaged $40 per ton, and beautiful specimens of ruby-silver, averaging 75 per cent silver, were found.
The same veins crossing the ridge reappeared on Grindstone Creek, on
the Taku Inlet side. The Sheep Creek Basin is the most picturesque of such high mountain valleys, its floor a vast flower-bed, and its
perpendicular walls support gleaming glaciers.
Lemon, Montana, and Salmon Creeks, on the mainland shore above
Juneau, hold large gravel-beds, which it is proposed to work with hy-
draulic giants. The upper reaches of Gastineau Channel were not navigable in Vancouver's time, because of the floating ice from the great
Auk Glacier* the Sitth Klee Chanaje (the place where beef or meat
is found). The Auks gave it this name because they were always sure
of finding mountain-goat on the pastures around its neve. The glacial
debris has now filled out the channel, until it is only navigable to
canoes at high tide.
These Auks, who claim Douglass Island and the shores fronting
it, are said to be outcasts from the Hoonah tribe, and have always had
a bad name. They numbered 800 in 1869, in 1880 they were counted
for 640, and in 1890 there were but 277 found by census enumerators.
When Vancouver's men hurried away from the trumpeting Chilkats
they fell among the Auks. Their canoes trailed after and surrounded
Whidbey's boats. With daggers lashed to their wrists, the warriors
landed in advance, and danced on the beach, spears in hand. Mr.
Whidbey became nervous, and considering it more " prudent and humane " not to disturb them, whiled away the night in his boats, and then
returned to the fleet at Port Althorp.
The Largest Quartz Mill in the World. |
Douglass Island, 25 miles long and averaging from 5 to 8 miles
in width, is as much a treasure-island as the Pribyloffs. One mine, the
Treadwell, has yielded more gold than was paid for all of Alaska,
and while a few prospectors have crossed the island, they have only
scratched its shore-line in their search for minerals. Vancouver named
the island for his friend the Bishop of Salisbury. It was an untouched
wilderness until 1881, when miners, who came too late to stake off
anything on the Juneau side, made a camp opposite the tiny Juneau
Isle. John Treadwell, a San Francisco builder, unwillingly took the
origmal Bean and Matthews claim on Paris Creek as security for the
loan of $150. After it had fallen to him, he bought the adjoining
claim of M. Pierre Joseph Ernsara, or " French Pete," for $300.
Messrs. Frye, Freeborn, and Hill, of San Francisco, and Senator John
P. Jones, of Nevada, became equal partners with him. Mr. Treadwell
remained on the ground, and personally held and defended his property from lawless squatters, who washed off the surface of his lode,
and could not be driven off until the organic act secured his title.
* The Auk Glacier was named the Mendenhall Glacier by officers
of the Coast Survey in 1891.
f There are single mining corporations in Hungary and South Africa
employing as many stamps, but in separate bundings and plants.
,000 has been spent upon the Treadwell works since
then; $100,000 was spent on a ditch 18 miles long, and $300,000 in
experimenting with different processes of chlorination before a satisfactory one was found. The one mill of 240 stamps, the largest of its
kind in the world, has never stopped night or day, summer or winter,
save to set new machinery. Six hundred tons of ore is milled each
day, averaging from $3 to $7 per ton in value, and milled at a cost of
$1.25 per ton. The ore is quarried in open pits, and, falling through
ore-shoots to cars in the tunnels below, -is moved by gravity through
every process. The heavy plume of smoke from the Treadwell's chlorination works has killed vegetation for a mile up and down the island's
The mill-owners make no objection to tourists visiting the establishment, but as they cannot undertake to suspend work nor to station
guards or guides, visitors are urged to exercise great caution in entering tunnels, where trains are always moving; pits, where blasts are being fired; and the mill, where no voice can be heard to warn them of
belts and cogs. By following the path around to the left of the mill,
one may reach the edges of the two great pits, and by following the
pipe-line up to the reservoir, a quarter of a mile from the wharf, he
reaches a meadow of dwarf laurel and countless strange wild flowers.
The ditch and flume furnish a pathway through the heart of the forest,
following the convolutions of the hillsides to a point 8 miles above the
mill in air-line, but 18 miles distant by the flume.
The Mexican mine, adjoining the Treadwell on the east, is owned by
the same stockholders, and further claims assert the extension of the
same mineral vein nearly to the foot of the island.
The Bear's Nest mine, adjoining the Treadwell on the west, is
owned by German and English capitalists, and, owing to disagreements
between mining engineers and stockholders, the big mill was never operated after its completion in 1888. Its promise built up the adjacent
Douglas City, which held but 300 inhabitants in 1890, with a street
of stores, a saw-mill, a church, and a school-house.
The U. S. Geological Survey has never made examination of this
mineral region. The enormous deposit of low-grade ore on the Treadwell claim is a fault or freak, a mere pocket or chimney of quartz
not parallelled elsewhere,on the channel. The most experienced mining superintendents confess themselves puzzled in this country, geologically unlike any other. The country rock, the general formation, is
slate, which, with granite, holds the quartz veins, but the veins are
broken, confused, thrown in every way, often without distinct walls,
and a large party contend that there are not any true fissure veins in
the country. Dr. George M. Dawson visited the Treadwell for his own
geological satisfaction, and wrote in " The American Geologist," August, 1889 : "It presents none of the characters of an ordinary lode or
vein, being without any parallel or arrangement of its constituents, and
showing no such coarse crystalline structure as a lode of larger dimensions might be expected to exhibit."
Miners' wages range from $2 per day for Indians, and from $3 per
day upward for white men, with board and lodging provided by the employer. The cost of provisions averages more than $1 a day for each
man in the larger establishments. Beef cattle are brought up from the
Sound and slaughtered at Juneau, which is the only place in Alaska enjoying a regular supply of fresh beef. With the abundance and cheapness of venison, duck, salmon and other fish, the prospector lives better with less exertion and cost than in any other known mining region.
Ten-pound salmon may be bought for five and ten cents in the summer,
halibut as cheaply in the winter, and a whole deer for $2 at any season,
and the miner has less to contend with than in Arizona, Montana, or
other new countries. Every condition of life in those regions is reversed, however. All travel is by water, the canoe becomes his pack-
mule, and water-courses are his only trails. He has to cut his way
througn an unbroken forest from the moment he leaves his canoe, sinking knee-deep in the thick moss or sphagnum, and a camp-fire built on
such ground gradually burns a deep well-hole for itself. A tent and
a Sibley stove are necessary in this region of frequent rains.
Admiralty Island.
Admiralty Island, 100 miles in length, with an average breadth
of 30 miles, is unsurveyed like the other great islands, save as the
prospectors have followed the shores and the water-courses. Kootz-
nahoo Inlet cuts it nearly in two, and is an inland sea embracing a
small archipelago of its own, sheltered in the heart of the little Admiralty continent.
Glass Peninsula, on the eastern side, is a considerable island itself,
and only joined to the parent shore by a spongy isthmus, over which
the Auks drag their canoes. Hawk Inlet almost cuts loose the northern end of the island, which is as large and considered as rich miner-
alogically as the opposite Douglass Island. A snow-capped mountain
range fills the interior. Marble bluffs front for miles on the western
shore, and coal has been found in Koolznahoo Inlet, and on the southeastern shore.
Gold quartz veins were found on the northern shore, and this " Tellurium Group " promises to build a second Juneau in the picturesque
bay named for Captain Robert Funter, an early navigator of the Northwest Coast.
Killisnoo, on Kenasnow (" near the fort ") Island, holds Koleosok
Harbour between it and the Admiralty shore, and is the site of large
oil and guano works. There are a post-office, Government school, and
Russian chapel at, this place, and a village of Kootznahoo Indians,
under command of their great chief Kitchnatti, or Saginaw Jake.
The first post of the Northwest Trading Company was established
here in 1880 as a shore station for whaling. The explosion of a bomb
harpoon killed a great medicine-man in 1882, and the company refused the Kootznahoos' demand of 200 blankets as indemnity. The
natives held a white man as ransom, but discovering him to possess
but one eye they returned him as cultus (worthless), and demanded a
whole and sound man as an equivalent for their dead shaman. Their
threats to murder the whites at the station were answered by Captain Merriman, the naval commander at Sitka, who hurried over in
a revenue cutter, held a council, and bombarded the village of Angoon,
the Bear Fort of the Kootznahoos in the great inlet. Much indignation was vented by Eastern editors at the occurrence, and sad pictures
were drawn of the natives left shelterless among " the eternal ice and
snows of an arctic winter." The mercury stood 20° higher for the
month than in New York and Boston, and the Kootznahoos, securing
front seats on the opposite shore, watched the bombardment and
cheered the neatest shots. The tribe saved their winter provisions
and all their belongings, save what pilferers took during the bombardment. They paid a fine of 400 blankets, and have since kept the
The cod which abound in Chatham Strait were for a time~ packed
at Killisnoo, the natives receiving two cents apiece for the 8,000 and
10,000 fish of 5 pounds' average weight which they brought in daily from
their trawls. The cod were dried artificially, and an excellent quality
of cod-liver oil was made, but this factory could not compete with the
Shumagin fleet which controlled the market at San Francisco. The
has decided the destiny of nations," next made the
Killisnoo. From September to May all these waters are
visited by great schools of herrings, aud once in August the mail
steamer passed through one school for four hours—the water silvered
as far as could be seen, many whales and flocks of gulls attracted
by this run of plenty. The natives rake them from the water with a
bit of lath set with nails, and a family can fill a canoe in an hour.
Spruce branches are laid in shallow water along the shore, and the
herring roe deposited on them are stored in cakes for winter use. The
factory's crews net from 300 to 600 barrels of herring at a single
haul. Often 1,000 barrels are seined at once, and 1,500 barrels were
recently taken by one cast of the seine in Sitka harbour. The same
machinery and processes are used at Killisnoo as at the menhaden
factories in the East. Each barrel of fish when pressed yields 3
quarts of oil, valued at 25 and 35 cents a gallon. The refuse of 50
barrels of fish, dried and powdered, furnishes one ton of guano, worth
$30, and is much in demand for Hawaiian sugar plantations and California fruit ranches.
One hundred whites and 50 natives are employed, and the factory is
a model of neatness and order, despite the odours. Its gardens are
worthy of a visit.
herring, " which
fortunes of
Saginaw Jake is a chief object of interest to tourists. His people,
the Kootznahoos, whose name has been spelled in fifteen ways, claim to
have come from over the seas, and deny any common origin with the
Tlingits. They first manufactured the nativ^ppirit, hoochinoo, which
carries more frenzy in each drop than any other liquid, and is distilled in old coal-oil cans from a mash composed of yeast and molasses
or sugar, mixed with flour. They made hostile demonstrations to Vancouver's men, and Whidbey believed it " more humane and prudent"
to leave before tempted to hurt the Kootznahoos. They murdered
traders and prospectors as soon as the Russians left, and in 1869 Commander Meade, U. S. N., went in the Saginaw, shelled the village in
the inlet, took Kitchnatti prisoner and conveyed him to Mare Island,
Cal., where he was confined on the Saginaw for a year. The result of
this arrest rendered it unnecessary to transfer the garrison from
Sitka and build a post on Admiralty Island, as had been contemplated. The tribe, reduced to 470 souls in 1890, one half the number
reported in 1869, are peaceable followers of this old chief, who wears
a gaudy uniform, and posts this scutcheon over his log-cabin door :
" By the Governor's commission,
And the company's pel-mission,
I'm made the Grand Tyhee
Of this entire illahee.
" Prominent in song and story,
I've attained the top of glory.
As ' Saginaw' I'm known to fame,
Jake ' is but my common name.'"
A young demagogue, a common Kootznahoo politician, has lately
set up as a rival and successor of Jake, displays a bombastic couplet
on his door-post, and matches every move the great man makes.
There is a large lagoon opposite Killisnoo, reached by a rocky pass
at high tide and by carries at low water, where herring swarm in their
time, malma swim in the tourists' season, and luck always attends a
fisherman. Killisnoo is an admirable headquarters for sportsmen,
who can here charter launches and find native guides and canoemen.
Kootznahoo Inlet can busy sportsmen-explorers for more than
a month, and is a maze of islands, inlets, bays, coves, lagoons, creeks,
and lakes. The narrow-entrance is 3 miles above Killisnoo, and just
within there is a reef-strewn pass, where the tide runs out with great
overfalls and roars, attaining a speed of 12 knots an hour—the equal
of Seymour Narrows. At the Second Rapids, Captain Meade anchored the Saginaw at slack water in 1869, but with the ebb of the
tide the whirlpools and overfalls caused the vessel to keel over, to
sheer violently and nearly snap its cables before it could get away.
He named the place Hell's Acre. The large village facing this watery
acre, although deemed a secure retreat in all attacks, was strongly fortified, and the older lodges and the graveyard are interesting.
Veins of bituminous coal at the head of the inlet were discovered"
by Lieutenant Mitchell, U. S. N., in 1868, were visited by Mr. Seward
the following year, and have been regularly rediscovered every season
since. As first tested, it burned quickly, produced great heat, but
rapidly destroyed grate-bars and boiler-iron. Many interesting fossil
plants and shells and larger remains have been found in the shales,
clay, and sandstones of these formations, and the supposed collar-bone
of a pterodactyl, exhumed here by Rich and Willoughby, was long exhibited at Juneau. Bear, deer, wild fowl, salmon, malma, and trout
reward those seeking them, and artists are promised landscape rewards.
Along Chatham Strait and Lynn Canal.
Chatham Strait and its northern continuation, Lynn Canal,
afford the noblest water-way in the archipelago, a broad highway running almost due N. and S. for 200 miles, with an average width of 6
miles. Geologists easily recognize it as the bed of a great glacier.
Colnett and the early fur-traders knew it and named it before Vancouver arrived, and the latter wrote that " the sea-otter were in such
plenty that it was easily in the power of the natives to procure as
many as they chose to be at the trouble of taking." The free fishing
which Russia allowed for the ten years after the conventions of 1824-
'25 exterminated the precious animal.
Chatham Strait is a playground of inferior whales, great totemic
creatures whom the Tlingits believed were once bears, but, going to
sea, wore off their fur on the rocks and had their feet nibbled off
by fishes. A demon, or the all-mischievous raven, often creeps down
the whale's throat, and causes such agony that the whale rushes to
shore and vomits the intruder on the beach. Paintings and carvings
showing the demon in the whale's body are often assumed as proof
that the Tlingits have a Jonah legend and direct Asiatic descent. The
Chatham Strait whales are credited with the same aggressive disposition as the cinnamon bear, attacking and destroying canoes. A few
years ago, a duck-hunter, who unintentionally wounded a frolicking
whale, was attacked, and only escaped by reaching shallow water.
Halibut-fishing may be followed with success anywhere in the
strait, and the crudest tackle with a bit of salmon or a herring for
bait will decoy "chicken halibut" of 80 and 60 pounds while a
steamer waits at Killisnoo wharf.
Lynn Canal, the grandest fiord on the coast, was named for
Vancouver's native town in' Norfolk, England, and Point Couverden at
its entrance celebrates his own country estate. It extends for 55 miles
to Seduction Point, where it divides into the Chilkat Inlet on the W.
and the Chilkoot Inlet on the E. It has but few indentations, and the
abrupt palisades of the mainland shores present an unrivalled panorama of mountains, glaciers, and forests, with wonderful cloud effects.
Depths of 430 fathoms have been sounded in the canal, and the continental range on the E. and the White Mountains on the W. rise to
average heights of 6,000 ft., with glaciers in every ravine and alcove.
The Eagle Glacier shows first on the mainland shore above the
Auk Glacier. " It is surmounted by a rocky crag, which resembles
our national bird so much more than does the figure on the new dollar,
that we christened it the Eagle Glacier," wrote Captain Beardslee in
August, 1879.
The Cameron Boundary Line* crossing from Point Whidbey to
Point Bridget would cut the fiord in two and give to Canada Ber-
ner's Bay, where the Tucknook placers and the Seward City mines
give great promise. Captain White, who found rich sulphurets at
Funter Bay in 1868, took the Wayanda into Berner's Bay and found
"numerous quartz veins containing sulphurets," which he had also
found " occurring in similar formation along the N. E. shore of Admiralty Island, and on the mainland as far as Taku Harbour, 60 miles
S. E. of Berner's Bay."
William Henry Bay, on the opposite shore, is a nook commended to sportsmen by Captain L. A. Beardslee, whom the struggling salmon tripped up as he attempted to wade the stream; who found many
bear-tracks, and evidences of the best duck-shooting. Fifty spider
crabs were speared by his companion in a few hours, a crab whose
claws measure 5 ft. from tip to tip, and whose 7-inch shell is packed
with a fine, delicious meat.
Seduction Point was so named by Vancouver because of " the exceedingly artful character" of the natives inhabiting it. Several
canoe-loads of Chilkats met Whidbey at this point, seemed most
friendly and hospitable, and led the way up the western arm, but grew
hostile when the Englishmen refused to cross the bar and ascend the
river to the village where eight chiefs of consequence resided. All
were arrayed in ceremonial dress, wearing the fringed narkheen, or
Chilkat dance-blanket, with tall head-dresses, and one flourished a
* See map on page 51.
brass speaking-trumpet with great effect. When Whidbey returned
from this cruise, Vancouver abandoned all hope of finding the Northwest Passage :
" From the close connection and continuation of the lofty, snowy
barrier, little probability can remain of there being any navigable
communication, even for canoes, between such waters (Hudson Bay)
and the North Pacific Ocean, without the'interruption of falls, cataracts, and various other impediments," and for 90 years explorers
halted at the foot of this great barrier, the " firm and close connected
range of stupendous mountains forever doomed to support a burden
of undissolving ice and snow."
The Davidson Glacier, which sweeps superbly from a gorge in
the White Mountains and spreads out in a broad, evenly ribbed fan
front, is the most imposing and symmetrical ice-stream of its type in
the region. It is named for Prof. George Davidson, the astronomer,
who explored its lower slopes during his visits to the Chilkat country
in 1867 and 1869. It has built a terminal moraine far out into the
channel, and a half-mile-wide forest belt encircles the three-mile curve
of the glacier's foot. The moraine is channelled with streams and is
swampy throughout. The base of the glacier presents a chaotic mass
of grimy ice-blocks, and it is a tortuous mile up the ice cliffs and between crevasses to the line of the mountain gateway, where Prof.
Davidson found the ice-level 645 ft. above the channel. Steam-
launches can be chartered at the canneries to convey tourists to this
glacier, and a tolerably dry path has been found leading to the ice.
The finest view of the glacier is had from the ship when directly
abreast of it in the morning. From Pyramid Harbour the ice mass
seems to project in air and overhang its base.
The Chilkat Country and the Passes to the Yukon.
There is a small glacier in the canon behind Pyramid Harbour
which lies at the foot of the precipitous mountain named for the H. B.
Co.'s ship Labouchere. This remarkable mountain rises as straight as
a mason's wall for 2,000 ft. above the beach, " subtending an angle
of more than 30° as seen from the shore of the harbour," and shadowing a ship at anchor. It has been climbed in two hours by an
approach from the west side, but its forests contain many bears, whom
the climber must be prepared to meet. The cannery and trading station
at Pyramid Harbour were established in 1882, and have been successful,
save in the season of 1891, when a spring avalanche wrecked the can-
nery and cabins. There is usually a large camp of Chilkat Indians below the cannery, and addition to baskets, spoons, and curios they often
make a flower market with the wild roses and iris which attain wonderful size and colour in this Alpine valley. Wild strawberries are
found on the flats, together with the salmon-berries and thimble-berries of the coast.
The little Pyramid Island, off Pyramid Harbour, has been also
known as Stony, Sandy, Farewell, and Observatory Island. The native
name is Shla-hatch. It is the U. S. astronomical station, its position 59° 11' north and 135° 26' west, and is the tourist's farthest
north, where he exposes photographic plates, and reads fine print, at
midnight in July.
Chilkat, a rival cannery and trading station, was built on the opposite side of the inlet in 1884, and as a point of departure for Yukon
travellers this Chilkat has become quite a village. The Chilkat cannery is one of the largest in southeastern Alaska, and its catch of king
and red salmon busies a large force of whites and Chinese. The natives were not altogether pleased with the canners' invasion, and there
have been many troubles. The rivalry of the canneries once raised
the price of a single salmon from two to fifteen cents, and when the
two establishments agreed upon a common price for the next season
the Chilkats rejected their terms. Once fifteen cents, always fifteen
cents, they insisted. Chinese and whites were sent for, and there has
been trouble nearly every summer since. The Chilkats naturally objected to this invasion of their own-fishing grounds, the seining of the
river of every salmon, and the great waste and destruction of other
fish that are their main food supply; but each time the Governor and
the man-of-war are summoned, and the Chilkats are bidden to let the
white poachers and their nets alone, on pain of punishment.
A trail a mile and a half long leads through the miry woods across
to the site of the mission station of Haines, on Chilkoot Inlet, whence
Yukon miners canoe to the end of Taiya Inlet. Dr. and Mrs. Willard
abandoned the mission a few years ago because of the hostile and suspicious actions of the Indians after the death of a child to whom they
had given medicines.
The Chilkats and the Chilkoot s, really one tribe, are the great
people of the Tlingit nation. Captain Beardslee says, that "their
legend is that originally all the Tlingits lived in the Chilkat country;
that there came great floods of ice and water, the country grew too
poor to support them, and many emigrated south." No geologist
takes exception to this legend.
They have always been great grease-traders and middle-men, and
possessed more wealth than any other tribes. They were opposed to
any white interference with their trade with the Tinnehs, or interior
tribes, and for fifty years successfully resisted the attempts of traders
and miners to cross the passes to the Yukon basin. The Chilkats' fur-
trade was most valuable to the H. B. Co., but its agents never saw or
traded directly with the Tinnehs, who furnished the pelts brought to
them at Mt. Labouchere. The Chilkats met the Tinnehs at the divide
and bought their furs.
The Tinnehs never attempted to pass the line, and the few brought
as guests were overpowered with the sights of the great villages, the
war canoes, and the traders' fire-ship, smoking like a huge pipe, and
moving without paddle or sail. The H. B. Co. sold flint-lock muskets
for as many marten-skins as could be piled between stock and muzzle,
and the fashion in gun-barrels progressed until the huntsman's weapon
was as tall as himself. The white men made a profit of a few hundred
per cent on these sales, and the Chilkats cleared a few thousand per cent
when trading with the Tinneh. A Boston brig visited Lynn Canal in
1807, and in an attempt to board and loot her 70 Chilkats were killed.
They were dreaded by the smaller tribes below them, and fought all
the villages between their homes and the Nass River.
The Chilkats "mustered about 2,000 " in 1869, in 1880 there were
988, and in 1890 only 811 of the tribe, the enumerators finding that one
whole village had been wiped out by la grippe. Their winter homes
are in three villages up the Chilkat River—Hindasetukee, or Tondustek
(" the village on the east bank of the river"), or Doniwak's village, is at
the mouth of the Chilkat River, where only canoes can go. Kut-
kwuttlu-lu, "the place of gulls"—and no gull could speak it more
plainly—is next on the river, and then comes the capital, Klukwan,
" old town," where Kloh-Kutz lived and ruled; where every house was
fortified with bastions and port-holes; where each totem had a splendid feast-house, with massive carved columns inside; and the graveyards are still an ethnologist's paradise. In summer these villages are
depopulated, the people flocking to Chilkat and Pyramid Harbour to
sell curios and spend what little they may acquire in debaucheries.
Saloons were openly kept in 1892, the Chilkats were able to buy liquor
by the barrel, if they wished, and the end of the great tribe is at hand.
Kloh-Kutz, Chartrich, or Hole-in-the-Cheek, their great head-chief,
was a hero worthy of Cooper, and of the best type of Chilkat warriors.
His father was one of the band that went over and destroyed the H. B.
Co.'s Fort Selkirk, on the Yukon, in 1851, because of interference with
their trade; and Kloh-Kutz drew for Professor Davidson the first map
of the passes leading from the Chilkat country to the Yukon. The
great astronomer first knew him in 1867, and when he returned to
observe the total eclipse of the sun in 1869, Kloh-Kutz made the party
his guests, and established them in the council-house at Klu-Kwan,
Mr. Seward spent eclipse-day (August 8, 1869), at Klu-Kwan, escorted
up and down the river by war canoes manned with the flower of Chilkat
chivalry. These people commanded the admiration of all whites who
knew them before the canneries and miners came, and contact with
civilization wrought their ruin. Professor Davidson brought first word
of them, and made a vocabulary of their dialect. Lieutenant C. E. S.
Wood visited them in 1877, and recorded much of interest in his
" Among the Thlinkits in Alaska " (Century Magazine, July, 1882), noting their rope-duel, the counterpart of the Scandinavian beltespannare.
Ensign Hanus's report of his peace mission of 1880 is a valuable ethnological contribution, and is reprinted in the census report of 1890. The
Drs. Krause came from Berlin to study them as finest and least corrupted of Tlingit tribes, and their " Die Thlinket Indianer " is the most
valuable publication of its kind. Lieutenant Emmons learned much of
them before their decadence, and as proof of their friendship was permitted to'buy Kloh-Kutz's ancestral narkheen or dance-blanket after
the chiefs death.
The Chilkats long knew the art of forging copper, and many fine
specimens of jade have been obtained from them. They were great
hunters as well as traders, and bear and mountain-goat were their especial game. The latter, the " wool-bearing antelope " is found throughout their country, and they have the credit of first weaving the elaborate
narkheen, or dance-robes, known as Chilkat blankets, but made by Haidas and Tsimsians as well. They wove them a century ago, but few are
made to-day, reduced size, coarse weaving, and traders' dyed yarns rendering the modern ones poor imitations of the originals. The old blankets, over 2 yards in width, 1 yard deep, with a yard-long fringe bordering three sides, were woven of finely spun goat-wool on a warp of fine
cedar threads suspended from an upright loom and tautened by weights.
The designs were combinations of totemic figures, rigidly conventionalized and balanced, that recorded the legends of the wearer's family.
The claws and the inverted eyes found on nearly all blankets are those
of Hutli, or Hah-tla, the thunder-bird ; the full face is the bear and the
whale's profile easily recognized. Each piece and part of the design
is woven separately, as in Japanese tapestry, connected by occasional
brides, and the even satin stitch over and beneath every two threads
gives a smooth, fine surface. Black, white, yellow, and a soft greenish-
blue are the colours employed, and in a particularly fine blanket belonging to a Nass River chief, a rich dull red was employed with fine effect.
The black is made from soot, charcoal, or lignite ; the yellow from sek'
hone, a sea-weed found on the rocks; the greenish-blue from boiling
copper and this sea-weed together; and the red from spruce-juice, berry-
juice, and ochre.
To the Yukon River and Mining Camps*
Either the Chilkat or the Chilkoot Inlet leads to passes over the
continental range, by which the head-waters of the Yukon River may
be reached.   The Drs. Krause, Dr. Everette, U. S. A., and Mr. E. J.
Glave have explored the head-waters.of the Chilkat and Alsekh Rivers.
Mr. Glave descended the Alsekh to Dry Bay on the ocean-coast one
season, and in 1891 took pack-horses over the Chilkat, and proved the
feasibility of a pack-trail to the Yukon and the existence of suitable
pastures for such animals. His " Pioneer Pack-horses in Alaska," Century Magazine, September, 1892, describes the regions traversed.
The Chilkoot Trail, used by miners since 1880, begins at Haleys,
26 miles from Chilkat Cannery; in 12 miles it ascends to the pass, and
in 11 miles more, or 23 miles in all, drops to Lake Linderman in the bush
country, beyond the range. There is a magnificent view over the lake
country northward from the summit of the pass. This Shaseki Pass
of the natives, Chilkoot of the miners, Perrier of Schwatka, and Taiya
of Ogilvie, is variously estimated from 3,378 to 4,100 ft. above the sea.
The Lewis River flows from the chain of lakes, and at Fort Selkirk,
357 miles from Lake Linderman, unites with the Pelly, and forms the
Ynkon, which flows thence 2,000 miles to Bering Sea, the third river
in size in North America.
At the junction of the Porcupine River the Yukon touches the Arctic Circle, the true "Land of the Midnight Sun."
The mining camps on Forty-mile Creek and the Tenana receive
accessions from Juneau each spring, and over 300 miners remain in
camp each winter. The following is the table of distances from Juneau
to the Yukon mines:
To Head of cation  225
" Head of White House Rapids.. 228
" Takheena River  240
" Head of Lake Le Barge 256
" Foot of Lake Le Barge  287
" Hootolinqua  320
" Cassiar Bar  347
" Little Salmon River  390
" Five Fingers  451
" Pelly River  510
" Stewart River  630
" Forty-mile  750
To Haines Mission    80
" Head of canoe navigation 106
I Summit of Chilkoot Pass  115
" Lake Linderman  124
| Head of Lake Bennett  129
" Boundary line  139
" Foot of Lake Bennett  155
" Foot of Caribou Crossing 158
" Foot of Taku Lake  175
I Takish House  179
" Head of Mud Lake  180
" Foot of Lake Marsh 200
Small steamers have ascended to the foot of White Horse Rapids.
The Alaska Commercial Company, of San Francisco, chiefly controls
the fur-trade within United States lines from its ocean post at St.
Michael's. The miners have their own river-boat connecting with an
annual supply ship from Seattle to St. Michael's. The country is
almost destitute of game, forest fires started by miners having driven
animals back from the river; and the herds of moose and reindeer
were rapidly exterminated after 1867, when the natives first obtained
good rifles and fired at everything from pure wantonness. The river
tribes are of Athabascan stock, poor and degraded. There are Roman
Catholic missions at Kosoriffsky and Nulato, and an Episcopal mission at Anvik. King salmon 5 and 6 ft. in length, and weighing as
much as 120 pounds, are reported as crowding the Yukon; red salmon
attain great size, and wild fowl gather on the flats in incredible numbers.
The head-waters of the Yukon were first discovered by H. B. Co.
men in 1840. The W. U. T. Survey explored the region in 1865, and
Dr. W. H. Dall and Frederick Whymper, who wintered there, have fully
described it in their works. Captain Raymond, U. S. A., made a military reconnoissance "in 1867, when he obliged the H. B. Co. to remove
to British territory. A pioneer prospecting party crossed the Chil-
kootPass in 1880, and miners have gone in increasing numbers each
season since. Lieutenant Schwatka crossed the Chilkoot and rafted
his way to the sea in 1883. In 1889 the U. S. Coast and Geodetic
Survey despatched the Turner and McGrath parties .to definitely determine the line of the 141st meridian, the International Boundary Line.
McGrath placed his monument a little W. of the mouth of Forty-mile
Creek, and 13 miles farther E. than the Canadian monument erected by
William Ogilvie in 1887.
Glacier Bay.
Captain Beardslee's Glacier Bay, the Sitth-gha-ee, or " great cold
lake " of the Hoonahs, indents the northern shore of Icy Strait, extending over 50 miles from N. W. to S. E., and is from 5 to 10 miles
wide. There are strong currents in the strait and the line of a terminal moraine forms a bar off the bay's mouth. Steamers often anchor
for the night in Excursion Inlet, a few miles E. of the entrance, or at
Bartlett's Bay, just within Point Gustavus. The cannery established at
the latter place in 1883 was closed for many seasons, but there is a
Hoonah salmon camp on the beach each summer. There is another
summer fishing camp in Berg Bay, 10 miles above Point Carolus, on
the W. shore. The natives only visit the upper reaches in search of
the hair-seal, which delight to ride around on the ice-cakes. Bears are
abundant in the forested regions, and have exterminated the deer,-as
in the Chilkat country, and the big white mountain-goat is found on
all the heights.   No salmon are found beyond the islands.
Vancouver's ships were anchored at Port AUhorp, on the N. W.
shore of Chichagoff Island, while Whidbey and Lemesurieur explored
the region. They camped at Point Carolus, and reported that to the N.
and E. of that point " the shores of the continent form two large open
bays which were terminated [July 12, 1794] by compact, solid mountains of ice rising perpendicularly from the water's edge, and bounded
to the N. by a continuation of the united, lofty, frozen mountains that
extend eastward from Mt. Fairweather.   In these bays also were great
quantities of broken ice, which, having been put in motion by the
springing up of a northerly wind,, were drifted to the southward."
The " frozen mountains," as he termed glaciers, were uncompre-
hended then, and his scarcely indented coast-line was retained in Te-
benkoff's later charts. The Russian traders named Icy Strait, and,
dreading its currents and icebergs, kept close to the S. shore, and
never knew the bay.
In 1869, Kloh-Kutz told Prof. Davidson of a great bay full of
glaciers lying 30 miles to westward of the Davidson Glacier, one day's
journey on snow-shoes. In 1877 Lieutenant C. E. S. Wood, while seal
and goat hunting after the forced abandonment of Mr. Charles Taylor's plan to climb Mt. St. Elias, canoed abojit this " great bay 20
miles S. E. of Mt. Fairweather," and crossed by the Muir Glacier to
Chilkat.* In October, 1879, the glaciers were really discovered and
made known to the world by John Muir, the California geologist, who
had before that discovered the residual glaciers of the Sierras. He canoed its length with the Rev. Hall Young, and spent a few days f near
the Pacific Glacier, and lectured that winter about " the Fairweather
glaciers." In September, 1880, Mr. Muir returned alone and spent several weeks exploring and enjoying the glacier afterward named in his
honour. In July, Captain L. A. Beardslee, U. S. N., had entered
the bay in the trading steamer Favourite, accompanied by Cozian, the
famous Russian pilot, who had never heard of the bay before, and by
Dick Willoughby. who was living in a Hoonah village in Cross Sound.
Captain Beardslee went as far as Willoughby Island, when fog shut
down and the owner of the chartered steamer insisted on returning.
He charted the lower part of the bay, and by dint of persistent argument had the name of Glacier Bay accepted by the Coast Survey. He
gave a tracing of his chart to Captain James Carroll, who took the
mail steamer Idaho up the bay in July, 1883, found the glacier John
Muir had described, and named both inlet and ice-stream for him.
Tourists have been taken to Muir Glacier by that same course
every summer, and the next discoveries in the bay were made by Captain Carroll in August, 1892, when he took the Queen to the front of
the Pacific Glacier, and found the picturesque and unsuspected
Johns Hopkins, Rendu, and Carroll Glaciers as named by Prof.
Reid.    The Coast Survey has not yet.(1893) charted the bay.
The Hoonahs could not tell .anything of the glacier that the scored
hillsides, the windrows of old terminal moraines, whether as islands or
shoals, did not more plainly declare. They feared and kept away
from the region fraught with terrors and dangers, and only seal and
goat hunters ventured near.    They say that in their " fathers' time "—
* See Century Magazine, July, 1882.
f See N. P. folder Alaska, by John Muir; Century Magazine, July,
1895; National Geographic Magazine, April, 1896.
an indeterminate period, as often 50 as 250 years before—the ice
reached to Bartlett's Bay. About 1860 it was in line with Willoughby
Island. " Long, long ago" the glacier advanced and swept away
Klemshawshiki, " the city on the sand at the base of the mountains,"
where the Beardslee Islands now rise. " It came down in a day and it
did not go away in ten years," they say, telling how the ice floods descended, plowed up their fields, destroyed their houses, as the Gorner
glacier once devastated its valley. Again, a great wave rushed in
from the ocean, swept away the village near BartlettBay, mowed down
the forests with icebergs, and left no living thing. They remember,
too, that a glacier once crept down and dammed up their best salmon
stream. Two slaves were offered up, and Sitth-too-Yehk relented, the
.barrier melted, and the tyee gaily leaped again.
In 1886, Prof. G. Frederick Wright, of Oberlin, Ohio, Rev. J. L.
Patton, of Greenville, Mich., and Mr. Prentiss Baldwin, of Cleveland,
camped for a month on the E. moraine, two miles below the ice front.
By observations made on pinnacles of ice fixed in memory, Prof.
Wright figured an advance of 70 ft. a day, and included the results of
his studies in the first chapters of The Ice Age in North America (D.
Appleton & Co., New York).
In 1890, John Muir camped for three months on the east moraine,
joined by Prof. Harry Fielding Reid, of the Case School of Applied
Sciences, Cleveland, Ohio, who had associated with him Messrs. H. P.
Cushing, H. M. McBride, R. L. Casement, C. A. Adams, and J. F.
Morse. They built a substantial cabin a half mile below the ice wall
with a noble chimney of glacier-cut stones cemented with glacier mud,
and from this home station explored every part and arm of the glacier.
They mapped the glacial region by plane table from the higher stations.*
Prof. Reid measured his base-line on the west moraine and triangulated the heights of his stations; a line of red and black flags was
set across the living stream, and sets of observations taken from station E on the ridge of Mt. Wright and from K on the opposite spur, 3
miles apart. The result of this careful work reduced the glacier's pace
to about 7 ft. a day in mid-stream.-|- The little company were a board
of geographic names and aptly baptized the landmarks found on the
map, and their work is accepted as final and exact by all scientists and
In 1891 a pleasure party of seven, including the artist, T. J. Richardson, Mr. C. S. Johnson, a hunter of big game, two ladies, a maid
* See " Studies of Muir Glacier in Alaska," by Harry Fielding Reid,
National Geographic Magazine, March, 1892. " Notes on the Muir
Glacier," by H. P. Cushing, American Geologist, October, 1891, and
March, 1893.
f The Mer de Glace advances 33 inches a day, the Aletsch 19
inches, the Svartesen 12 inches, and the Selkirk Glacier 12 inches.
and small boy, made the cabin a summer home. In 1892 Prof. Reid
devoted another season to mapping, exploring, and studying ice movement.
Itinerary of the Bay and Inlet.
The shores of Glacier Bay are densely forested for 20 miles
above the entrance. The Beardslee Islands, crests of so many terminal
moraines are low, green gardens that successively illustrate the
stages of afforestation. Willougliby Island, a solid limestone mass 3£
miles long, from a half to three-quarters of a mile wide, and 1,500
ft. high, named for the old Alaska prospector, marks the gateway
to the glacial region. Francis Island, named for the Govern-
ment pilot, and the site of palaeozoic fossil remains, lies N. W. of Willoughby Island, close to the same western shore. Geikie Inlet, which
opens from the W. shore just above Francis Island, holds the Geikie
and the Wood (Lieut. C. E. S.) Glaciers at the end of its long rock
Mt. La PSrouse, 11,300 ft., Mt. Crillon, 15,900, and Mt. Fair-
weather, 15,500 ft., are visible from the entrance of the bay, and the
snow's of the Crillon and Fairweather summits feed the great glaciers
that slope from their heights to the bay. Mt. Fairweather shows
the same summit outline as Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Elias, and this
triple-crowned p'eak, the sharply cut Gable Mountain and the attendant white host, with every foot of their elevation from sea-level to
summit visible, complete one of the subliraest mountain views
in the world. Of the great glaciers pouring to the upper bay, the
Geikie, the Hugh Miller, and the Pacific were named by their first
visitor, John Muir, and the Wood, the Charpentier, the Johns Hopkins,
the Rendu, and the Carroll Glaciers by Prof. Reid. This end of the
bay is usually so blocked by ice that canoes rarely, and only one steamer, have navigated it. There is a large bay on the E. shore, below the
mouth of Muir Inlet. The last forest may be noted at this point, a
moss-hung, dark, mysterious place, among whose venerable spruces
John Muir found his richest botanical field.
Muir Inlet and the Great Muir Glacier.
Muir Inlet, 5 miles long and If to 3 miles wide, opens on the E".
shore 20 miles above Bartlett Bay. It stretches due N. and S., the
Muir Glacier walling the end with a line of ice-cliffs 9,200 ft. or
If mile in length, rising 100 and 250 ft. from" the water, and extending,
   GLACIER  BAY. 101
it is believed, some 900 ft. below the surface of the sea in a long, plough-
shaped forefoot. The vast ice plain slopes back at a grade of 100 ft.
to the mile to the mountains, 10 and 13 miles distant from the inlet.
The Muir Glacier, 58° 50' N., and 136° 5' W., drains an area of
800 square miles. The actual ice surface covers about 350 square
miles, the mass of it 35 miles long and 10 to 15 miles wide, lying but
a few hundred feec above sea-level. It is fed by 26 tributary streams,
7 of which are over a mile in width. If all their affluents were named
and counted, as in Switzerland, the Muir might boast 200 branches or
glaciers in its system. The mountain gateway, 2f miles wide, through
which it pours to the sea, is formed by spurs of Mt. Case (5,510 ft.)
and Mt. Wright (4,944 ft.) on the E., and a spur of the sharply cut
Pyramid Peak on the W. All the mountains immediately surrounding the glacier average from 4,000 to 6,000 ft. in height. The main
stream of the Muir flows from the N. W., rising in neve's 40 miles
distant. The main current of this magnificently crevassed and broken
ice pours through the great plain at a rate of about 7 ft. a day. All
efforts to cross it within 10 -miles back from the water front have
failed." *
Seven medial moraines stretch away in dark fan-rib lines from the
front, rising in terraces on the ice and indicating the course and source
of chief tributaries. Lateral moraines extend in crumbling bluffs and
gravel terraces for 3 miles down either side of the inlet.
Ships do not approach the ice wall nearer than an eighth of a mile,
because of the masses of ice falling from its face with terrific noise
and agitation of the water, and of submarine bergs detached from the
sunken forefoot and rising to the surface with tremendous force.
Soundings of 86 and 120 fathoms have been made within 100 yards of
* Of the Norwegian glaciers, which may be most fairly used for
comparison with the Muir, the Jostedalbrae, the largest glacier in Europe, lies 3° N. of the Muir, at an elevation of 3,000 ft. above the sea,
and covers 470 square miles. It is an ice-cap on the top of a range,
with five arms flowing down and one reaching within 150 ft. of sea-level.
The Svartisen, the show glacier of the Norway coast, 8° N. of the
Muir, and on the line of the Arctic Circle, is an ice mantle 44 miles
long and 12 to 25 miles wide, occupying a plateau 4,000 ft. above the
sea. The arm in Melo, visited by North Cape tourists, does not reach
tide-water. The Swiss glaciers, all lying from 4,000 and 6,000 ft.
above the sea are like those of Mt. Rainier, and in no way to be compared to the Muir, 20 of whose arms each exceed the Mer de Glace in
the ice wall. Every break reveals surfaces of intensest clear blue ice,
which quickly weathers to opaque whiteness and coarse granular snow.
The enormous pressure condenses the original snow flakes to this clear,
transparent ice, which is often umber and darkest green with morainal
matter. Bergs 200 ft. in length, 50 and 70 ft. high, only one seventh
of a berg being visible, are often seen near the front, but break apart
and grind together as they sail down the bay, and avalanches of loose
particles cover the bay with " mush ice " for miles.*
Steamers usually anchor one fourth of a mile below the E. end of
the ice wall. P. C. S. S. Co.'s ships usually remain six or eight hours,
taking advantage of the tide in entering and leaving the bay when
possible and landing their passengers. Vessels of British register cannot land passengers, owing to U. S. customs regulations. A well-
built trail and board walk lead over the bluff and the quicksands of
glacial mud in the moraine to the surface of the ice, which is there a
rolling white prairie, over which a regiment of cavalry might deploy,
and where future tourists will travel on sleds, or even horses. There
are no dangers to require the ice-axe, rope, creepers, or extraordinary
costumes, unless the traveller goes out of his way and seeks them in
the crevassed regions of mid-stream. Rubber shoes are a necessity,
but are quickly cut by the sharp ice crystals.
The Dirt Glacier, filling, the canon between Mt. Case and Mt.
Wright, is a treacherous place full of sink-holes and quicksands of
glacier mud, where boulders reel and sink beneath one, and the fine
" mineral paste and mountain meal" make a sticky, slippery compound that hardens like cement. It is worth walking far out on the
ice to see the splendid White Glacier, 4 miles long and a half mile
wide, sweeping from the E. side of Mt. Case with a black serpent of a
medial moraine curving down its dazzling slope. The eastern arm has
almost no motion, and melting 20 ft. of its surface each year is fast
uncovering nunataks, or islands in the ice.
The slate knobs peeping through the ice abreast of Mt. Case, 3
miles from the beach, are known as the " Dumplings " ; the red granite
nunatak, a mile beyond, at the edge of the swift-moving crevassed ice,
is the tourist's " Mouse," 800 ft. in height. The " Rat," 4 miles across,
on the opposite bank of the raging ice torrent, is 1,855 ft. Both are
easily climbed by crevices or canons in their sides and command mag-
* Captain C. L. Hooper notes, that in the Pacific arctic, off the Siberian and Alaska coast, 20 ft. is the average of the highest ice met.
nificent views of the glacier, its branches, the surrounding mountains,
and the inlet. The Mouse is easily reached on steamer days by good
walkers, who, keeping well to the right until past the Dirt Glacier,
may follow an air-line to its base without having to turn aside for a
crevasse. There are lakes, blooming epilobium, and tattered driftwood
in its recesses. The whole surface is brilliantly polished, and avalanches of pebbles are frequent. A cairn on the highest point is
Prof. Reid's flag station H, and cards of climbers will be found in
tins and bottles. A field glass will show the ancient spruce-trees growing on Tree Mount, 2,700 ft., and 9 miles due E., a " Foret," corresponding to the " Jardin " of the Mer de Glace.    The triple-crowned Mt.
Young is 16 miles distant, and on its other side are the feeders of the
Davidson Glacier in Lynn Canal. Endicott Lake at its base, and Berg
Lake N. of it, are miniatures of the glacier's inlet front, replicas of the
Margellen Zee in the Aletsch Glacier which moved Prof. Tyndall to
such raptures. These lakes are not seen from the Mouse, but a
glass shows the Girdled Glacier. The extraordinary moraine with
two ends and no present beginning runs from the Mouse to the
brink of the ice-cliffs on Berg Lake, a glacial phenomenon discovered',
by Prof- Muir. Snow Dome, Red Mt., Black Mt., and Gable Mt., are
easily identified on the N., and magnificent ice falls, chains of nunataks
and eddies over uncovering islands, may be studied, while at one's feet
is the broken, tempestuous ice-stream, so evidently in action that one
listens for its roar and to see the great ice waves comb over and scatter their spray. The silence is profound, and the north wind that
blows perpetually with the current of the ice-stream makes no sound.
The Morse, Cushing, McBride, Casement, and Adams
Glaciers were named by Prof. Muir as a deserved recognition of the
excellent work of those members of his'staff of 1890 in exploring these
main tributaries of the Muir.
The Lateral Moraines.
It is an easy walk up the east beach to the base of the ice-eliffs.
whose wings override the gravel-bed of an older moraine, and hold
many spruce and alder twigs. As falling bergs send great waves
across the inlet, it is a little dangerous to follow the beach at high tide.
Six Hoonah hunters were swept from the narrow footway by a berg
wave a few seasons since, and incautious visitors have many times been
drenched knee-deep.   There are quicksands at the water's edge, and
the crumbling bluffs and melting ice-cliffs launch tons of sand, boulders
and ice-blocks without warning. A roaring torrent emerges from an
ice canon at the end of the beach and prevents (1891-'92-'93) access
to. caves at the base of the ice wall as formerly. Many subglacial
streams boil up at the base of these cliffs, and these fierce torrents fill
the air with a steady undertone like the boom of the Yosemite Fall.
The tide-fall of 15 ft. leaves a dark-blue base-line by which one may estimate the heights above.
A considerable stream, the East River, drains the extreme flank of
the glacier, and reaches the inlet a half mile below the ice. On its
farther bank there is a large flat covered with driftwood, mainly
spruce, and in hollows in the gravel terraces there are the stumps of
large spruce-trees, whose fringed fibres tell of an oversweeping ice
sheet. Streams are uncovering other buried spruce groves, and one
such is disclosed on the beach below high-tide mark. Shrimps, shells
of spider crabs, and sea-weed are found on this beach. The whole
perpendicular front of Mt. Wright is scored and grooved to a height
of 2,000 ft., which, with the spruce and alder stumps found in the
older moraine beneath the ice-wings, prove that the glacier has advanced and receded in times past with different climatic conditions.
The whole glacial basin was possibly once a forest, and salmon streams
frolicked in all the tributary canons. At another time there was one
vast sea of ice over all the region, and the battlemented summit of Mt.
Wright was but a nunatak.
On the West Moraine the draining stream is much larger, and a
tributary has uncovered a buried spruce forest whose stumps are 10
and 15 ft. in height. The rounded arch of the tunnel from which the
stream flowed in 1883 has fallen in, and it is a long and wearisome approach to the surface of the ice on that side.
Rain weathers and breaks away the ice most rapidly, and during a
close watch maintained by the writer in July and August, 1891, it did
not seem that the stages of the tide had any connection with the fall
of ice. On many warm, clear days, when a hot sun fell upon the ice
front for 16 and 18 hours continuously, there was no sound. After
days of silence came tremendous displays, one quarter and one third of
the long wall falling away at once. These falls often occurred in the
middle of the night and frequently at daybreak, contraction in the
colder hours seeming to free most bergs.
By photographic evidence the glacier receded more than 1,000 yards
between Prof. Wright's visit of 1886 and Prof. Reid's first camp in
1890. Photographs taken by the writer in 1891 showed a.retreat of
300 yards in- the next year. Prof. Muir recognized a retreat of a mile
between his visits of 1880 and 1890, and the writer was as much bewildered by the marked changes occurring between 1883 and 1890. In
1894 the front line had advanced nearly to the line of 1890.
The Ascent of Mt. Wright, to the  Hanging Gardens and
Mountain-Goat Pastures.
By crossing the East River, following the tributary stream that descends the steep ravine on the right, and climbing by the boulder-filled
crevices on its north wall the tourist may reach the long spur of Mt.
Wright. Professor Reid's cairn and flag Station E, at the brink overlooking the glacier's front wall, command a magnificent view. Station E
may be reached in two and a half hours from the landing, when the bridge
near the cabin allows East River to be crossed at that point. An easy
slope through knee-deep lupin-beds, over acres of bryanthus, buttercups, forget-me-nots, violets, blue-bells, gentians, geums, asters, and
golden-rod leads. from Station E to a 3,000-foot terrace extending
south a couple of miles and commanding views of all the inlet and
lower bay, out to the Chichagoff shore. This region is the favourite pasture of mountain-goats; hoof-marks and tufts of wool are seen all the
way, ptarmigan run beside one, and marmots whistle on every side.
During the weeks the writer spent at Muir Glacier in 1891, the hunters
kept the camp larder well supplied from this lofty game preserve. The
view from this second terrace (3,000 ft.), Flag Station V, is best in the
early morning, when Mis. Crillon, La Perouse, and Fairweather are clearly
cut on the western sky. The Fairweather group hides any view of Mt.
St. Elias, 100 miles distant. Station E commands the finest view of
Mt. Case's dark, red-purple, slate mass, its velvety patches of vegetation and its jewelled glacier gleaming high on its shoulder.
By photographs taken from Station E, in 1890-'91-'92, Professor
Reid has been able to note very closely the rate of recession. Tourists
sufficiently interested in glacial phenomena to climb to that outlook with
cameras may assist this study by forwarding such pictures, with dates
attached, to Professor H. F. Reid, care of Secretary of National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C. Photographs from V, from M, on the
beach close to Muir's cabin, and from A B on the bluff S. of the mouth
of West River on the west side of the Inlet, will also assist in the record.
Auroras, Mirage, and the Phantom City.—Brilliant auroral displays
are often witnessed in August, and mirages frequently appear. By
refraction the ice-floes are often magnified into ice-cliffs 1,000 ft.
high, apparently barring a ship's retreat southward. The so-called
Phantom or Silent City was a hoax of Dick Willoughby's in 1889.
Thousands of prints from a cloudy negative of Bristol, England, were
sold, upon his statement that he had seen and photographed the city
from Glacier Bay.
Amateur photographers will find it almost impossible to secure a
sharp negative of a mirage. The lines of glimmering ice-cliffs leave
no definition or shadow, waver and fade quickly. The reflected light
from these glaciers and snow-fields misleads even professional photographers to over-expose their negatives. The smaller stops in a lens
are often sufficient for an instantaneous exposure, and such exposures
may be successfully made with ordinary stops on cloudy days. In
weak sunlight the lens should be stopped down, and in the developing-
room the bromide should be in hand.
On the Mainland Shore of Cross Sound.
Dundas Bay and Taylor Bay, W. of Glacier Bay, contain tidewater glaciers and are favourite sealing-grounds of the natives, who
bitterly resented the incursion of Tsimsian seal-poachers in 1880.
The Tsimsians were driven off, but threatened to return with 90
canoes and exterminate the Hoonahs. By the intervention of Captain
Beardslee, U. S. N., and Dr. Powell, Indian Commissioner for British
Columbia, an impending war of all the coast tribes was averted, and
the Tsimsians were threatened with severe punishment if any more
poaching should be reported. The glacier in Taylor Bay was visited
by Mr. Charles Taylor and Lieutenant C. E. S. Wood in 1877, and
explored by John Muir in 1880. Its front and slope are seen at long
range from ships passing through Cross Sound.
The Chichagofl' Island Shores.
Chichagoff Island, named for the Russian navigator who first
attempted to find a Northeast Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific,
is least known of the greater islands of the archipelago. It is about 70
miles long, with an average breadth of 40 miles. Cross Sound, leading in from the ocean on the N., was named by Captain Cook on Holy
Cross Day, May 3, 1778. Port AWwrp, within its entrance, was Vancouver's anchorage for several weeks in 1793.    Idaho Inlet, E. of
Port Althorp, was discovered by Captain James Carroll, July, 1883,
upon Dick Willoughby's assurance that it was a broad forty-fathom
channel leading to the open ocean N. of Salisbury Sound, frequently
traversed by himself. The Idaho ran aground a few miles from the
entrance in waters alive with salmon and flounders, between shores
where deer wandered in plain sight, and many bear-tracks could be
seen.    A saltery built in 1884 was closed after a few years.
The Hoonahs (Hoon, " the north wind," and iah, " lake "), inhabiting Chichagoff Island and the shores of Icy Strait, have been longest
preserved from contact with white civilization. They have had a
bad name from earliest times. In 1862 they" seized the H. B. Co.'s
ship Labouchere at Swanson's Harbour, imprisoned the captain and
crew, and looted the vessel completely. It was not the H. B. Co.'s
policy to retaliate and injure the fur-trade, and they passed by Hoonah
anchorages for several seasons. Ambassadors besought the resumption of trade, and when the " fire canoe " came again the whole tribe
joined in the water parade, the songs and dances of peace, filled the
air with the eagle down of peace, and carpeted the deck., with poHatch
otter-skins. In 1867 the chief in his war-canoes met the U. S. revenue
cutter Lincoln, but was not allowed on board. " You come Icy Strait.
Me give you big fight! " the chief bawled in Chinook as he left.
The Hoonahs numbered about 1,000 in 1869. In 1880 there were
908 enumerated, and in 1890 only 590. Their chief village of Kom-
tokton in Port Frederick, has been known as Hoonah P. O. since the
mission and Government day school was established. It numbered
438 inhabitants in 1890. The smaller village of Klookukhoo has but
15 inhabitants. Lieutenant C. E. S. Wood, in the Century Magazine,
July, 1882, and Captain Beardslee, in his Forest and Stream letters of
1878-'79, have given interesting descriptions of Komtokton, the Hoonahs, and their legends.
The finest halibut grounds in the archipelago are those off Point
As soon as the ice breaks, in March, a hundred canoes are seen
fishing among the floes. Captain Beardslee and one other angler
caught 47 halibut averaging 40 pounds each in one hour in July, after
the regular halibut season. One Hoonah managed the canoe, clubbed
and gaffed the fish, caught with salmon bait and native tackle. Tlingit halibut hooks, lines, and clubs are most ingeniously and often
richly decorated. The lines are made of the giant kelp (nereocystis),
which often grows to a length of 300 ft. in tide-swept channels. It
is soaked and bleached in fresh water, and then stretched, dried,
smoked, and worked until it is as firm as leather but pliable as silk.
The foot-long hook is cut from the heart of spruce or cedar roots—
for the halibut can detect the taste of resin—and this hook as well as
the club are carved with the owner's totem and other significant devices bound to ensure the fisherman's luck. With such tackle, a lone
fisherman can haul up and quiet even a 200-pounder; but chicken
halibut, weighing 30 or 40 pounds, are the choice, and 70-pounders the
There is a canoe portage from Port Frederick to the Tenakee Passage, leading into Chatham Strait. There are hot sulphur springs on
the passage, long resorted to by the natives, and a chosen winter campground of miners. There are also hot sulphur springs on the W.
coast of Chichagoff, between Cape Edward and Lisianski Strait,
strong sulphur water bubbling up in natural rock pools on the beach.
From Chatham Strait to the Ocean by Peril or Po-
gibshi Straits.
Peril Straits, the Tlingits' Koo-le-tchika (a dangerous channel),
40 miles in length, bend in a great bow from Chatham Strait to Salisbury Sound, separating Chichagoff and Baranof Islands. It is a famous
landscape reach, and at the two narrows there  are strong tidal rapids.
The east half of the straits is a broad, smooth water-way for 18
miles, narrowing beyond the opening of Hoonah Sound on the north
shore. Deadman's Reach is the smooth stretch on the Baranof
side before reaching Poverotnoi (Turnabout) Island, a symmetrical
green island that blocks the pass. On one side of it is the true Po-
gibshi, or Peril Point, and opposite is the Poison, or Pernicious Cove,
where one hundred of Baranof's Aleut hunters were killed by eating
poisonous mussels in 1799. For this reason the Russians as often
called them Pagoobnoy, or Pernicious Straits. For the next 3 miles the
half-mile-wide channel is swept by strong tidal currents, the tides from
Chatham Strait and the open ocean meeting at these First or Northern Rapids. A half hour of slack water intervenes between the
hours when the tides race at eight and ten knots an hour, and vessels
are timed to pass within that limit of safety.
The straits widen beyond the Rapids, and inlets open magnificent
vistas from the main canon, whose steep shores are densely forested
from tide-line to the snow-line of the mountains. At the Second
or Southern Rapids, 12 miles beyond, the channel " at its narrowest
part is scarce 100 yards in width, and is rendered very dangerous by
the sunken rocks over which the tide rushes in its strength with the
sound of a roaring cataract, the current often running more than ten
knots an hour. . . . For 8 miles the navigation is the most dangerous
of any in southeastern Alaska, except Kootznahoo Inlet, owing to the
strong tide and the sunken rocks that obstruct this passage."
Baranof traversed these straits in 1804, and Langsdorff wrote an
account of his exciting run with the tide in 1805. These straits were
surveyed and buoyed by Captain Coghlan in 1884, and since then there
have not been any such disasters as bef el the U. S. S. Wayanda and
the mail steamer Eureka. Tourists going through at high-water slack,
when the current boils slowly, do not see nor hear the bore 4 ft. high
rushing by, eddies sucking down, waves boiling up, spar-buoys borne
under, and kelp snapping in the current, as at the turn of the tides.
Salisbury Sound was named for Portlock's friend, the noble
Marquis of Salisbury, in 1787. The Spaniard Galiano anchored there,
in the Puerto de los Remedios, in 1775. Captain Cook called it fhe Bay
of Islands in 1778, and the Russians named it Klokacheff Strait. The
peak of Mt. St. Elias has been seen from its mouth. St. John the Baptist Bay, at its eastern end, holds beaches and bluffs of marble and a
vein of lignite discovered by Professor Blake in 1867.
Neva Strait, leading from Salisbury to Sitka Sound, was little used
in Russian days because of the sunken rocks and ledges in White-
stone Narrows, and vessels went around Kruzoff Island to avoid
them. Surveys have made the course plain and safe, but as it can only
be run at a certain stage of the tide by large steamers, a few hours'
anchorage is sometimes enforced.
Nakwasina Passage surrounds Halleck Island, and is a great resort
of winter sportsmen. It was recommended as a site of a new military
post to which the garrison of Sitka should be removed. Qvassinsky,
" the place where qvass was brewed," is the local name for the level
meadows and the hay ranch maintained by the Russian Company, and
occupied since 1867 by American settlers. Beehive Island is an unmistakable landmark at the southern entrance of Nakwasina.
The entrance to Katliana Bay is 2 miles S., and within it there
is another hay ranch and a cabin resorted to by sportsmen for bear,
deer, duck, geese, grouse, and swan shooting in the winter. This Kat-
liansky camp is 3 miles in from the entrance, and there is a sharply
cut pyramidal peak as landmark at the end of the valley.
The Bay of Starri Gavan, or Old Sitka, 2 miles below Katliana
Bay, is the site of Baranof's first settlement, the Fort Archangel Gabriel
established in 1799 and destroyed by the natives in 1802,   It is Z miles
N. of the present Sitka, on the E. shore of Sitka Sound, which is 14
miles long and from 6 to 7 miles broad, an island-studded expanse
sheltered between the Kruzoff and Baranof shores.
Baranof Island and the Russian Settlements.
Lisianski, who first surveyed them, named Baranof, Chichagoff,
Kruzoff, and Jacobi's Islands, and charted them in 1805 as the Sitka
Islands. Baranof, best known of any island in the archipelago, is
over 120 miles long and about 80 miles wide. All its shore-line has
not been surveyed, the interior is unknown, and no one has yet (1893)
crossed it. There is a cannery at Red Bay on the S. W. shore, but
the only other settlements are in the immediate neighbourhood of
The Russians reached the Pacific shores of Siberia in 1639, Vitus
Bering, by commission of Peter the Great, discovered the strait separating Asia and America in 1728, and in 1741, at the behest of the
Empress Anne, started to find Vasco da Gama's fabled land. His two
ships separated in a storm and fog about latitude 46° N. Bering sailing
N. E. reached Kayak Island on St. Elias Day, July 17, 1741, saw and
named the great mountain, touched at the Shumagins, and was shipwrecked on the Comandorski Islands. The commander died, but the
scurvy-stricken crew survived, reached Kamschatka with the pelts of the
sea-otters on whose flesh they had lived, and stimulated traders to continued voyages in search of such furs. Tschirikow, reaching the coast
near Sitka, sent a boat's crew in to reconnoitre the bay; at the end of
six days sent a search party for them, and left after a three weeks' stay
short of fourteen men and all their boats. The defiant behaviour of
canoe-loads of natives that paddled out to the ship, the din on shore
and columns of smoke, pointed to some savage sacrifice at the base of
his Mt. St. Lazaria.
In 1783, Gregory Shelikoff, a rich Siberian merchant, established a
post on Kadiak Island, and joined to him Alexander Baranof, a Russian merchant who had entered the Siberian trade and been ruined by
the loss of his caravans. Baranof pushed the enterprise in every way,
and in May, 1799, reached Sitka Sound and built a stockaded post 3
miles N. of the present town. An imperial charter with monopoly of
the American possessions for twenty years had been obtained by
Resanof, the son-in-law of Shelikoff, and a court councillor, and Baranof was made chief manager of the Russian American Fur Company, in
which nine rival Siberian firms were consolidated and members of the
imperial family were stockholders.
The fort at Sitka was destroyed in 1802, and all save a few Russians, who found refuge on a British trading-ship, were murdered.
Baranof was absent at the time, but returned in August, 1804, with
800 Aleut and Chugach hunters,    The natives fled at sight, and he
went back through the archipelago destroying villages everywhere.
The Sitkans entrenched themselves on Katlean's Rock, or the Kekoor—
" a hill at the end of a peninsula "—and at the mouth of Indian River.
Captain Lisiansky had arrived meanwhile with a man-of-war, and in
two days captured the Kekoor, and four days later the river fort capitulated, the occupants fleeing in the night, however, killing dogs and
strangling babes lest any sound betray them. By Baranof's advice Re-
sanof went to Japan and vainly attempted to open trade to secure supplies for the new colony. Baranof contemplated building a fort on the
Columbia, but through Resanof opened trade with the Spanish colonies
in California. Resanof, whose wife had died, paid court to Donna
Concepcion Arguello, daughter of the alcalde at San Francisco Bay;
they were .betrothed, and Resanof died in Siberia while on his way to
Petersburg to obtain the Czar's consent to the marriage. Baranof
was suspicious of John Jacob Astor's fort on the Columbia and his
many ships, and distrusted the New York trader's offer of a permanent alliance of interests, which was cut short by the War of 1812.
Baranof established an agricultural colony at Bodega Bay in the
redwood country north of San Francisco, and the mills and lands were
tended until sold to General John A. Sutter for $30,000, a few years
before the discovery of gold in California. An Hawaiian colony prospered for a time, and Baranof planned the annexation of those islands,
but, after eighteen years of service, he was summarily deposed, his
son-in-law, a young naval officer, took charge, and until 1864 the chief
managers were naval officers, who filled five-year terms at a salary of
$5,000 a year, with a residence and many perquisites furnished by the
company. Baranof, Nanok, or the master, as all Tlingits called him,
died in Batavia on his way home to Russia, April, 1819. Resanof in
his journal, Langsdorff, Lisiansky, and Washington Irving have pictured this able tyrant and his surroundings, and the wretched condition of the Aleuts he impressed as hunters, and the promyscldniks or
indentured Siberian labourers whom he kept so deeply in debt that
they were never free to leave. None of the chief managers succeeding Baranof were able to make as large returns as he, and after renewed leases the company saw the advisability of closing out, and the
Russian Government the disadvantage of holding such remote dependencies.
The Russian chief managers were:
Gregor Shelikoff, August 3, 1784, to July 27, 1791.
Alexander Baranof, July 27, 1791, to January 11, 1818.
Lieutenant Yanovsky for Captain Hagemeister, January 11, 1818,
to January, 1821.
Captain Mouravieff, January, 1821, to January, 1826.
Captain Chistiakoff, January, 1826, to January, 1831.
Baron Wrangell, January, 1831, to January, 1836,
Captain Kupreanoff, 1836-1840.
Lieutenant-Commander Etholin, 1840-1845.
Captain Michael Tebenkoff, 1845-1850.
Lieutenant-Commander Rosenberg, 1851-1853.
Captain Voevotsky, 1854-1859.
Captain Furuhelm, 1859-1864.
The military governor, Prince Demitrius Maksoutoff, 1864, to October 18, 1867.
Baron Wrangell, the arctic explorer, was a diplomatic agent to
Mexico as well as chief manager at Sitka; and after Captain Moura-
vieff, Captain Etholin was the great constructor and. most enterprising
manager. His was the golden age of the colony. Captain Tebenkoff
made thorough surveys ; and Kadin, an Aleut from the parish school,
drew the 38 charts, and Terentieff, another Aleut, engraved on copper
the maps of the great atlas of 1848, which is authority where not succeeded by the U. S. Coast Survey's recent work. Prince Maksoutoff,
the only " governor," was detailed toward the end of the fur company's
last lease, when their unwillingness to continue the charter under the
same burdensome conditions made it probable that the Czar would
have to govern this like his other provinces, instead of farming it out.
The approaching expiration of that profitable lease caused him to seek
a purchaser for these remote possessions, so impossible to defend in
case of war, and so directly adjoining British territory.
In 1844-'45 the Emperor Nicholas offered Russian America to the
United States for the mere cost of transfer, if President Polk would
maintain the United States Une at 54° 40', and shut England out from
any frontage on the Pacific. In 1854 it was offered to the United
States, and again in 1859, when $6,000,000 was refused. From 1861 to
1866 survey parties of the W. U. T. traversed Alaska, choosing a route
for a telegraph line to Europe via Bering Strait. The success of the
Atlantic cable in 1866, after the failure of 1859, ended the project, and
the line completed to .the Skeena River was abandoned. A California
commercial syndicate proposed the leasing and then the purchasing of
the country in 1864 and 1866, and the project was informally considered at St. Petersburg. Secretary Seward deeply appreciated Russia's
tacit alliance in sending its fleets to the harbours of San Francisco and
New York in 1863, and keeping them there at that critical time when
France and England were on the point of recognizing the Richmond
government. Upon an intimation that the Czar wished to sell Russian
America to any nation but England, Secretary Seward opened negotiations with Baron Stoeckl in February, 1867. A treaty of purchase was
sent to the Senate March 30,1867, reported April 9th, ratified May 28th
by 30 yeas to 2 nays, and proclaimed by President Johnson June 20,
1867. Senator Charles Sumner, who especially championed the purchase, suggested Alaska—the name the natives gave to Captain Cook
—r-for the name of the mainland. It was intended to make General
Garfield a first Governor of the Territory, and later divide it into six
Immediate military occupation was decided upon. General Lovell
H. Rousseau, as commissioner on the part of the United States, and
Captains Pestschouroff and Koskul on the part of Russia, met at Sitka,
October 18,1867. Three men-of-war, the Ossipee, Jamestown, and Resaca,
and General Jefferson C. Davis and 250 regular troops were in waiting,
and at half past three o'clock that afternoon Prince Maksoutoff and
Vice-Governor Gardsishoff and the commissioners met the United States
officers at the foot of the Governor's flag-staff. Double national salutes
were fired by the men-of war and the land battery as the Russian flag
was lowered and the American flag raised. Captain' Pestschouroff advanced as the Russian flag fell, and said : " General Rousseau, by authority of his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, I transfer to
you, the agent of the United States, all the territory and dominion now
possessed by his Majesty on the continent of America and in the adjacent islands, according to a treaty made between those two powers."
General Rousseau accepted, with similar brief phrases, and his young
son raised the new flag slowly. Prince Maksoutoff gave a dinner and
ball that night, the shipping was dressed, and fireworks were displayed.
There was an immediate exodus of all Russians able to leave, the
Government offering free transportation to and homes in the Amoor
settlements. The Julian gave way to the Gregorian calendar overnight, and a day was dropped from Sitka's records to right the difference
of twenty-four hours between the Russian day coming eastward from
Moscow and our day coming westward from Greenwich.
During the summer of 1867 Prof. George Davidson and eight scientists made a reconnoissance of southeastern Alaska, and their report
with Senator Sumnei,'s speech, were the strongest arguments Secretary
Seward offered in his "Russian America" (Fortieth Congress, second
session, House of Representatives, Ex. Doc. 177), submitted at the convening of Congress in December. There was bitter opposition to appropriating the $7,200,000 gold equal to $10,000,000 in paper at that
time, to pay for the territory so summarily taken possession of; but on
July 14,1868, the House agreed by a vote of 98 against 49, and the draft
was handed Baron Stoeckl. Corruption in the purchase was alleged, and
a winter of investigation followed the winter of contest and ridicule.
In 1869 ex-Secretary Seward visited Alaska, was first a guest of Mayor
Dodge, and went off to Prof. Davidson's observatory in the Chilkat country. Returning by way of Kootznahoo, Mr. Seward was the guest of
General Davis en the Kekoor, and addressed the citizens in the Lutheran
church. He visited the Taku Glacier, the mining camps on the Stikine
and Fort Wrangell, and was more than ever convinced of the great advantages gained by the purchase of Alaska. Lady Franklin reached
Sitka by the troop-ship Newbern in 1870, and with her niece Miss
Cracroft was a guest of the commandant on the Kekoor. The discovery of gold in 1871 lent an excitement to garrison life, and army
pay-vouchers were sunk in mining experiments at Sitka as profitlessly
as navy pay-vouchers were poured into Juneau prospect-holes ten years
Alaska was at first a separate military department, General J. C.
Davis commanding, with garrisons at Sitka, Fort Tongass, Fort Wrangell, Kodiak, Fort St. Nicholas in Cook's Inlet, and a detail on the Seal
Islands. Eight officers succeeded General Davis at Sitka, after Alaska
became a part of th^e Department of the Columbia, and June 14, 1877,
Sitka, the last garrison, was vacated, and " all control of the military
department over affairs in Alaska" ceased.
Within a few months after the troops left Sitka, the Indians had destroyed all Government property outside the stockade and threatened a
general massacre. Appeals to Washington for protection were unheeded. The residents were besieged in the old fur warehouse in
February. H. B. M.'s Osprey, Captain Holmes A'Court, was at Esquimault, when a last desperate appeal came to Victoria, and without
orders or instructions hurried north, arriving from the ocean as a great
war party was coming in from Peril Strait for the final attack. The
residents attempted to raise the British flag and implore annexation
and protection by England, but were prevented by Michael Travers,
Duke of Japonski, an ex-sailor of the United States navy. Captain
A'Court remained until a revenue cutter and a man-of-war arrived.
A man-of-war has been continuously detailed to service in southeastern Alaska ever since, and until the establishment of civil government such commanding officers were virtually naval governors and the
ships Jamestown, Wachusett, Adams, and Pinta the seat of government.
Captain Lester A. Beardslee, whose reports (Forty-sixth Congress, second
session, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 145, and Forty-seventh Congress, first session, Senate Ex. Doc. No. 71) are the most valuable contributions to
Alaskiana since the transfer, was succeeded by Captains Glass, Merri-
man, Coghlan, and Nichols.
Thirty bills providing a form of government for Alaska were introduced between the transfer and the passage of Senator Harrison's bill,
May 13,1884, which gave the nondescript tract the skeleton of civil government ; a governor, district judge, marshal, clerk, and commissioners;
with right to enter mineral claims, but distinctly withholding the general
land laws. Attempts toward securing representation at Washington
failed, and the invitation to join in the Columbian. Exposition on a footing with other Territories was the first civil recognition given the so-
called district, and the admission of delegates to the National Conventions at Minneapolis and Chicago in 1892 the first political privilege.
" Alaska for the Alaskans " is vehemently claimed as a fit rule in executive appointments.
The Territorial Governors have been; John H, Kinhead, of Nevada,
May, 1884, to September, 1885 ; A. P. Swine ford, of Michigan, September, 1885, to June, 1889 ; Lyman E. Knapp, of Vermont, June, 1889;
James Sheakly, June, 1893."
The Russian archives, manuscript journals, records, logs, and account-books were transferred from Sitka to the State Department at
Washington in 1867, and, with Tikhmenieff's history of the colony, offer
much of interest to those reading Russian text and script.
Sitka, the Capital of the Territory of Alaska.
Sitka, the capital and seat of government of the Territory of Alaska,
is situated on the W. coast of Baranof Island. It is the official residence of the Governor, United States District Judge, and other Territorial
officers, and had a population of 1,188 in 1890, composed of 298 whites,
859 natives, and 31 Chinese. Sitka is the home port for the U. S. man-
of-war detailed for protective duty in these waters, and its marines are
quartered on shore.
The town is built on level land at the mouth of Indian River at the
foot of Mt. Verstovoi (3,216 ft.). Lincoln, the main street, extends
from the Government wharf to the old Russian saw-mill, and the Governor's Walk, a beach road built by the Russians, continues to the Point,
a half mile distant. A large parade-ground fronts the harbour. A granite monument at its centre is the U. S. Astronomical Station (latitude
57° 02' N., and longitude 135° 19' W.). Mail steamers remain twenty-
four hours, and excursion steamers make shorter stay. Ships' time is
one hour in advance of local time, which tourists should remember. The
chief objects of interest are the so-called " Castle," or old residence of
the Russian Fur Company's chief managers, the Greek cathedral church,
the Indian village, the block-houses and Russian cemetery, the Sitka
Mission and Industrial School, the Sitka Museum, and the Park along
the banks of Indian River. There are several traders' stores with curio
departments, and private dealers in curios offer interesting and very expensive souvenirs. The Alaska totem spoon was designed by the late
Frederick Schwatka, and two native silversmiths make unique silver trophies. The spoon mania has always flourished in Alaska, and the Haidas'
carved goat-horn spoons are real works of art. Spoon-polishing is a
fashion of every tourist season.
The Barracks and Custom-House at the right of the wharf were built
by the Russians, and the barracks building is the Territorial jail and
court-house, with apartments above for civil officers. A long flight of
steps leads to the Castle, as Americans have called it since 1867, crown-
ing a rocky eminence 80 ft. in height. Baranof first occupied a leaky
two-roomed cabin at the foot of Katlean's Rock, where the barracks or
jail kitchens stand. Later he built a block-house on the height, which
was burned. Governor Kupreanoff built a large mansion, which was
nearly completed at the time of Sir Edward Belcher's visit, 1837. It
was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1847, and rebuilt on the same
plan. Lisiansky, Lutke, and Whymper have given pictures and descriptions of these three citadels protected by stockades, bastions, and battery of forty pieces, and with Sir George Simpson have described its
social life. It is a massive structure, measuring 86 x 51 ft., built of cedar
logs, joined with copper bolts and riveted to the rock. It is three stories
in height, with a glass cupola, which was formerly the light-house of the
harbour, the lamp standing 110 ft. above the sea. It was richly furnished and decorated when transferred to theU. S. military commandant
in 1867, but after the departure of the troops was looted of every belonging, wantonly stripped, and defaced. No repairs were made until
1893, and just after the completion of the repairs the castle was destroyed by fire, March 17, 1894.
Baranof's daughter, Mme. Yanovski, was the first hostess on the
Kekoor(l805-'21), but the Baroness Wrangell (1831-'36) was first to
leave any social fame. Mme. Kupreanoff (1836-'40) crossed Siberia on
horseback to accompany her husband to this distant post. Mme. Etholin (1840—45), a native of Helsingfors in Finland, was the Lady Bountiful of blessed memory who did most for the colony. She established a
school for creole girls, dowered them, and gave them wedding feasts in
this home. Sir George Simpson has described her refined hospitality,
the banquets of 30 and 50 guests, the costly plate, and appointments.
Mme. Furuhelm (1859-64), a Petersburg beauty,was long remembered
for her accomplishments and kindness. The first Princess Maksoutoff
(1864), an Englishwoman, died soon after her arrival, and was buried
in the Lutheran cemetery on the knoll in line half-way between the two
block-houses. The second Princess Maksoutoff was young and beautiful,
with great tact and charm, and made life on the Kekoor one round of
gaiety until the day when with streaming eyes she watched the Russian
flag flung down and the United States colours run up on the citadel's flagstaff. It was the residence of the successive military commandants from
1867 to 187V, and Lady Franklin and Mr. Seward were entertained there.
Two young officers of the U. S. S. Adams and the purser of the*
Idaho manufactured a ghost story to meet the demands of the first
pleasure travellers in 1883, who insisted that the deserted and half-
wrecked castle must be haunted. A Lucia di Lammermoor, condemned
to marry against her will, killed herself, or was killed by a returned
lover, in the drawing-room, the long apartment on the second floor,
north side, adjoining the bail-room, where she walks at midnight,
General Davis cleared away the old ship-yard, and filled in and made
the present parade-ground. The officers' quarters that fronted on two
sides were nearly all burned by the natives between 1872 and 1877, the
one nearest the sea-wall and native village being used as residence by
the territorial governors. The heavy stockade around the settlement
was torn down piecemeal after the troops left. The Sitka Historical
Society was organized in time to preserve the two block-houses.
The large log building next the Custom-House, occupied by the Sitka
Trading Company, was the old fur warehouse, and often held pelts to
the value of $1,000,000 in Russian days.
Russian Orthodox Church of St. Michael.
Baranof built a small chapel in 1816, but when Ivan Veniaminoff
was made bishop of the independent diocese of Russian America he
built this cathedral, occupying a quadrangle midway in the main street.
It was dedicated in 1844. Veniaminoff, then Metropolitan of Moscow,
sent rich vestments, plate, pictures, and altar furnishing to the church,
which was also under the special protection of the imperial family, who
filled it with gifts. The chime of six bells in the cupola was sent
from Moscow.
The interior is richly decorated, and is open to visitors on steamer
days for a small admission fee, which goes to the poor fund of the
parish. There are no seats, the congregation standing or kneeling, and
a male choir chanting throughout all services. The interior is finished
in white and gold, and the inner sanctuary, where no women may enter,
is separated from the body of the church by elaborate bronze doors.
The picture of the Ascension over these doors was formerly in the
chancel of the Lutheran church. Massive candlesticks stand at either
side of the doors, and the screen holds full-length pictures of St. Michael
and St. Nicholas in armour and robes of beaten silver, with jewelled
halos and helmets. The chapel and the altar in the right transept are
dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The chapel of St. Mary on the left
is used for winter services, and the altar picture of the Madonna and
Child, their sweet Byzantine faces shadowed with heavy silver draperies, is much admired.
The church treasury contains many rich vestments, jewelled crowns,
crosses, caskets, and reliquaries; a fine baptismal bowl, illuminated
breviaries and missals with jewelled and enamelled covers. The bishop's mitred cap and the crowns used in the wedding ceremony are very
ornate. The bishop's see was transferred to San Francisco in 1868,
and the great diamond cross, and a Bible whose silver covers weighed
twenty-seven pounds, were taken there, together with the richest vestments. In the following year discharged U. S. soldiers robbed the
church of the Czar's jewelled Bible and many valuable pieces of plate,
a few of which were recovered in a mutilated condition.
The Czar of Russia, as temporal head of the Greek Orthodox
Church, maintains the 17 churches and 92 chapels in Alaska, and the
chapels in Chicago and San Francisco, at an expense of $60,000 a year.
He transferred the bishop's see from Sitka to San Francisco, and then
to Unalaska, and back to Sitka, partially restoring at last some of its
glory to this Cathedral of St. Michael. The bishop resides in the long,
green-roofed dwelling on the Governor's Walk, and there is a tiny
Chapel of the Annunciation off his drawing-room whose altar shines
with many fine silver icons.
The Chapel of the Resurrection, built into the stockade near the
present Marine Barracks, was used for the native communicants until
the transfer. It was once seized and used as a fortress during an uprising of the natives. It fell to ruin and was destroyed some years ago,
and all communicants now worship together at St. Michael's.
The Lutheran church, built by Governor Etholin in 1840 for the
Swedes and Finns employed in the foundries and ship-yards, was the garrison church after the transfer, later was abandoned," and finally torn
down. Prince Maksoutoff sent all the plate and furniture back to the
mother church in Finland in 1867. Lieutenant Gilman rescued and repaired the wrecked organ, that afterward found a place in the museum.
The ponderous log building on the S. side of the church, occupied as
a general trading-store, was formerly the head office and counting-house
of the Russian-American Fur Company. The deacon's house and other
dwellings, which are church property, face on the N. side. The Officers'
Club-House at the corner of the quadrangle was a richly appointed
building in Russian days. It was the club-house of the U. S. military
officers, but only a tenement-house since the garrison left. A small
spruce-tree growing from the crevice of a boulder, beside the engine-
house facing the club-house, is one of the regular sights of the town.
The eminence N. of the church, formerly the tea-gardens and racetrack of the Russians, is reserved as site for a Governor's mansion. A
path continues to the Russian Cemetery overlooking Swan Lake, which
at one time furnished ice for a large ice-house whose stone foundations
remain on the point of land S. of the church. A railway connected the
lake with the ice-house, and shipments were made to San Francisco.
The winters proving too mild, and the ice too thin and porous, operations
were conducted at Gloubokoe Lake, or the Redoubt, then transferred to
Kodiak, and finally suspended upon the perfecting of ice-machines.
Foundries once occupied the land between the church and the sawmill. Ploughs and farm implements were exported to Pacific colonies,
and the bells of nearly all the mission churches in California were cast
here. These works and the ship-yards, being the only ones of their
kind on the Pacific shores until after the gold discoveries in California,
made Sitka the rendezvous of all ships and fleets.
The "Blarney-Stone," a square block on the beach opposite the
Mission, is believed to dower the one kissing it with a magic tongue.
Baranof is said to have spent many fine afternoons sitting on it. There
is a Russian inscription on the face, and each U. S. man-of-war or revenue cutter used to cut its name on it as imperishable record of entry.
The Sitka Mission and Industrial School was established by the
Presbyterian Board in 1878. In 1884 the Indian appropriation bill
provided " $15,000 for the support and education of Indian children of
both sexes at industrial schools in Alaska." An allowance of $120 per
capita was made for each pupil enrolled. In 1888 this educational
fund was transferred to the Board of Education, and the Indian Bureau
ceased to have any connection with the natives of Alaska. There were
164 pupils in 1890-'91, and the group of buildings include dormitories,
school-rooms, work-rooms, a hospital, church, museum, cooper, carpenter, blacksmith, and shoemakers' shops. The laundry and industrial
school building were the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Elliot F. Shepard, of New
York. There is a model settlement of school graduates beyond the
Mission. Exercises are held in the school-rooms on steamer days. The
Mission band plays there, and usually as a farewell at the wharf.
Chief Michael's village, destroyed by Lisiansky in 1804, occupied
the Point Koloshenskoy at the mouth of Indian River. Afterward
the Swedes and Finns in 'the Russian Company's employ built their
group of cottages, and traces of the ruins may be found in the parklike reach.
The Indian River Park.
Kaloschinskaia Retscha, or Indian River, has been admired by
every visitor of the century. It rises in the valley that opens behind
the town, and is fed by the snow-banks of Verstovoi and the Three
Brothers, or Valley Mountains. In Sir George Simpson's time (1844) it
was so crowded with salmon that a canoe could not be forced through.
Malma trout are the best catch of summer weeks now, and salmon
swim occasionally. By Executive proclamation of June 21, 1890, a
strip of land 500 ft. wide on the right bank and 250 ft. wide on the
left bank of Indian River, between the falls and its mouth, were reserved for a public park, and 10 acres of land beyond the Mission grant
was reserved for a naval and military cemetery. It is a beautiful natural park, and contains much of interest to the tourist—thickets of
devil's club 20 ft. high, thickets of salmon-berry and thimble-berry
bushes, and a wealth of strange ferns and mosses. One path leads from
the Governor's Walk through the model village beyond the Mission to
the river's bank, and two other paths lead from the Governor's Walk
to the bridge spanning the stream above its mouth. Many side paths
diverge from the main path along the left bank, which extends from
the falls to the beach. At the latter point are the graves of Lisian-
sky's men who were killed by ambuscaded Indians while obtaining
water for the ship in 1804. The path continues thence to Jamestown
On the right bank near the falls, the prostrate trunk of a cedar 10
ft. in diameter, with a group of young trees growing on its mossy terrace, lies beside the path. The rustic seats, bridges, and the cleared
path are part of public improvements made by Lieutenant Gilman, U. S.
M. C, in 1884. His rustic bridge at the falls was destroyed by woodcutters, who allowed un trimmed trees to float down and jam above it;
and the lower bridge was destroyed by flood. The Davis Road connects the old brewery above the falls and the Governor's Walk, crossing a high swamp covered with blueberry bushes and moroshkies
(Rubus charmavorus), a small ground berry. The Cemetery Road joins
it near the beach.
The Indian Tillage.
The native village fronting on the harbour N. of the wharf has been
transformed since 1880, and does not contain One of the original lodges
or great communal dwellings of old. Captain Glass had the village
cleaned in 1881, and the houses numbered, Sor record and sanitary
inspection. An ambition to display the highest number has caused
each one to raise the figures on his doorway since such discipline was
relaxed. The silversmiths and basket-weavers often have choice pieces
of their work in reserve, and the tourist readily pays a higher price for
the privilege of purchasing on the premises. Mrs. Tom, who is not a
princess, but of commonest Yakutat stock and of an inferior totem, is
possessed of great wealth in silver dollars, and is one of the shrewdest
and largest traders in the Territory, owning schooners and branch stores.
Extensive advertising has made her famous and raised the prices of her
goods, but few of the romantic histories current have any foundation
in truth.
A trail leads up the beach to the sawmill, and another across to
Swan Lake. Gavan, or Harbour Hill, N. of the village, is 2,200 ft. in
General Halleck's census of 1869 estimated the Sitkans at 1,200.
Captain Glass's winter census of 1881 found 840.   The official census
of 1890 recorded 814 villagers in July, but residents say that there are
always more than 1,000 living in the ranch in winter.
The Sitkans are of mixed and common stock, descended from outcasts, renegades, malcontents, and wanderers of many tribes. The
original word " Sheetka "—sh or sha, a mountain, and tukwan, a village—
is freely translated as " the people living at the base of the mountain "
(Verstovoi), and the true Sheetka was the fortified village of 800 people
destroyed by Baranof and Lisiansky at the Point. All other Tlingits
looked down upon them at that time, and a Hoonah or Kootznahoo
child was most insulted when called " as great a blockhead as a Sitkan."
An old Kootznahoo told Lisiansky that long, long ago, in a bay (Kat-
liansky) near Old Sitka, two orphan brothers of unknown origin lived
alone in a world of plenty until Chat, the younger, ate a sea vegetable
like the prickly cucumber. The elder knew it was the one forbidden
fruit; the abundance ceased, and the two nearly starved. The bay
was common hunting-ground to all tribes, and some visiting Stikines,
pitying them, left them Stikine wives of the Crow clan to teach them
how to live in the changed world. All Sitkans of the Kaksatti, or
Crow totem, are descended from this pair. The Kaksattis and the
Kokwantons, or Wolf clan, about evenly divide the tribe now, the latter
a band of mixed Auk and Chilkat stock, who came over from the
Kootznahoo country in Baranof's time.
Until 1821 the Indians were not allowed to settle on the fort shore,
and they kept to the harbour islands. Lutke (1827) first described the
present ranch, the vast lodges with the totem's effigy before the door,
and the feasts and dances that went on at these signs of the Crow, the
Wolf, and the Bear. Although the fort was strongly defended, 3,000
warriors once appeared, demanded blankets, and began a dance
that frightened the Russians into compliance. In 1836 an epidemic
of small-pox began, lasted for four years, and reduced all the tubes
to one half their number. Long before the Russians came the great
Crow had sent the same fatal disease as punishment for the continual
wars among the Tlingits; but the medicine-men ascribed this epidemic
to the white priests and doctors, and, like the Salish, viewed baptism
and vaccination as rites of evil effect. In 1855 the Sitkans attacked
the fort, but were quickly subdued.
They were displeased at the change of flags, puzzled by the lax rule
of the new owner, and Katlean told General Davis to put his soldiers
in canoes if he expected to control the Tlingits. When the troops left
they enjoyed a season of lawlessness, but were quickly brought around
by the man-of-war government. Schools and prosperous trade have
transformed them, and they are but frontier fishermen, loggers, or
boatmen, differing only in complexion and occasional speech from the
average white backwoodsman. Their canoes are the only picturesque
thing left them, and the winter dances are fast taking on the nature of
historical plays, representations of ancient times and customs. The
berry feast in midsummer is often celebrated with spirit, and a water
procession of decorated canoes carries the whole tribe off on a picnic to
gather salmon-berries on favoured shores.
Lisiansky made a vocabulary of the Sitkan dialect, and Dixon recorded several of their songs. Baron Wrangell wrote much of them, and
Veniaminoff compiled a valuable ethnological work. He recorded their
legends and folk-lore, and described their customs in detail. Since the
transfer the only ethnological work has been that of Lieutenant George
T. Emmons, U. S. N., whose collections in the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, New York, and for the Alaskan section in the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893, embody all of Tlingit art, and
his note-books contain all of Tlingit record and lore resulting from nine
years' systematic study.
The Ascent of Verstovoi.
The ascent of Verstovoi is the most profitable day's excursion around
Sitka. The first shoulder, the Mountain of the Cross (2,697 ft.), commands as fine an outlook as the very tip of the Arrow-Head peak, and
may be reached by either of two trails, in two and a half or three hours
from the wharf. No climber.should attempt it alone or unarmed, as the
way puzzles woodsmen, and bears are numerous in the salmon season.
The old Russian Trail starts from the ford of Indian River at the
end of the wood-road leading past the cemetery. It was cleared in the
last decade of Russian rule, when an energetic Alpine Club member
scaled and planted crosses on all the heights around the bay. During
this official's stay there was an epidemic of mountain-climbing, and the
Russian women took part in the many picnics and dances on the
heights. The trail is now overgrown and blocked in many places, and
is longer than Koster's Trail from Jamestown Bay.
The climber may be rowed to the water-trough in Jamestown Bay,
where Koster's Trail begins, or follow the path leading from the Lisiansky graves on Indian River through to the bay. At low tide short
cuts may be taken across the thick, slimy beds of sea-weed covering the
rocky beaches. The same Executive proclamation that reserved the
banks of Indian River, reserved a tract of land 250 ft. wide on either
side of the little stream feeding the U. S. S. Jamestown's water-trough.
The trail is about two and a half miles to the Cross, a steep and steady
ascent, first following the stream to the logger's cabin. The dense
underbrush ceases at about the level of 800 ft., and beyond everything is covered with moss. At the timber-line are beds of yellow violets and acres of heathery bryanthus and cassiopea, daisies, buttercups,
anemones, and cyclamen. The view of the Baranof mountains, Silver
Bay, the ocean, sound, and Mt. Edgecumbe, with Sitka at one's feet,
well repay the climber who reaches tile. ifiXi wqqcU/U Cross.
 *vj   JJ.1H01YCIH   pauuuuo.     j. iic  uucti-axicuis  tiuu  puwuer-iiiai^aamt; are   Tne
only buildings besides Travers's  cabin.    Etholin's  observatory was
b turned by the Indians when the troops left.
Bay, the ocean, sound, and Mt. Edgecumbe, with Sitka at one's feet,
well repay the climber who reaches the tall wooden Cross.
Verstovoi, named because the summit was thought to be one verst
distant from the Castle, has also been known as Popoff Mountain, the
Pouce, the Arrow Head, and Anchor Peak—the latter because a snowy
anchor is seen from the N. outlined near the summit. The Verstovoi
peak cannot be reached from the Jamestown side. The climber must
circle around the snow-fields on the valley side to reach the small platform 3,216 ft. above the bay. A record was left by the W. U. T. surveyors who reached the top and took observations in 1865, and the
Jamestown's officers erected a flag-staff, which each climbing party replants. The peak is said to have been split by an earthquake in the
last century, exposing the smooth, triangular mass shaped like an arrowhead. By climbing the slippery grass and bryanthus beds on the Cross
side to the hanging hemlock grove, one may see the great tent roof of
Mt. Crillon and the triple peak of Mt. Fairweather lying a hundred
miles due N.
Excursions in the Ray and Vicinity of Sitka.
No other settlement in Alaska offers so much in its immediate
neighbourhood as Sitka. The ascent of Verstovoi is the only land
excursion possible from the town. All other trips involve cruises in
canoe or in sail-boat, unless a launch is brought from Juneau or Killisnoo. Shumakoff, Clements, Frobese, and other local guides will undertake all arrangements for sportsmen, naturalists, or pure pleasure-seekers. The usual rates are $2 a day for a canoe, and an additional per
diem for each oarsman. Sail-boats with covered cabins cost $5 to $10
a day. The regular day's wages for camp hands and others is $2. The
guides expect more.
The Harbour Islands.—It is possible to make a canoe or fishing trip among the harbour islands during the steamer's regular wait.
Japonski, opposite the Indian village, is the largest of the 130 Harbour Islands. It measures a mile in length and is a half mile in
width. Its name, " Japan," was given because of the residence there of
the crew of a Japanese junk wrecked at this point in 1805. It was the
site of a large native village in Baranof's time. In 1840 Captain Etholin
built a magnetic and meteorological observatory, and records were kept
until the day of transfer. General Davis reserved all the harbour islands for military use, and Japonski was garrison, stock-yard, and naval
coal station in turn. Michael Travers, " Duke of Japonski," lived
there and cultivated vegetable gardens and hay-fields, until the reclamation of the land for Government use in 1890 drove him insane, and a
special agent was sent from Washington, D. C, to convey him to St.
Elizabeth's Asylum near that city, the only refuge of the kind available
to Alaskan patients. The coal-sheds and powder-magazine are the
only buildings besides Travers's cabin. Etholin's observatory was
b uxned by the Indians when the troops left.
Harbour Island lies S. of Japonski, and contains several Indian
caches often mistaken for shamans' graves, and Aleutski Island beyond
is the site of truck-gardens of a retired marine. The ship channel lies
between Aleutski and Kutkan islands, the latter the home of a chief
converted and baptized by Veniaminoff, and who related to the latter
much of the legend and folk-lore he recorded.
Makhnati (Rugged) Island is the landmark for ships from the
ocean. It was chosen for a light-house site in 1867, and Captain Beards-
lee's wooden beacon on the seaward bluff is often taken for a shaman's
grave. Signal Island was the place for bonfires to light and lead ships
in Russian days. The firing of a gun caused the beacon on the citadel
roof to flash out, and men were in waiting to light the signal-fires that
marked the course into the harbour. Departing ships were blessed by
the Russian bishop in full canonicals, and deck, mainmast, flag, and
crew were sprinkled with the jewelled holy-water brush. All small
boats rowed three times round, singing a farewell, and nine cheers sped
the ship as the sails filled.
Sea bass may be caught at each flood tide off the N. shore of Japonski, and on the S. shore between it and the bold bluffs of Charcoal
Island. Cod, flounders, and sea trout reward the angler, and any native boatman knows the best fishing-banks and trolling-grounds and
the times and places for salmon " runs." Between Japonski and Sasedni
Island, next beyond, W. of jt, is a sea garden worth floating over to
admire. The growths of sea-weed and submarine plants are of tropical
luxuriance. Fronds as large as a banana or lysichton leaf crowd stems
80 ft. long; kelp lines 100 and 200 ft. long are coiled on the surface,
and their " orange heads " float in groups. Coral and sponges are found
in the bay, the teredo is as destructive as in the tropics, and strange
drift is left by the ocean currents. Sasedni, W. of Japonski, is the most
beautiful of the islands—the "black beach " on the S. W. shore commanding the finest view of Mt. Edgecumbe. Beds of large blue-bells and
thickets of salmon-berries are found on all the islands, and they are
nesting-places of the olive-backed thrushes, whose song is a repeated
" Te Deum 1 Te Deum I Te Deum / " in ascending notes of entrancing
sweetness. Crows, the red-footed "oyster-catchers," sidle over all
Alaska beaches in search of clams, but find abalones on these islet
shores, pry them off and carry them to the tree-tops to devour. These
scavengers are guardian spirits and the great Crow is tutelary genius
of the region. Deceased shamans and illustrious ones of the Crow
clan are supposed to assume this form, and this reincarnation saves
them from native shot or snare.
The Ascent of Mt* Edgecumbe*
The climbing of this extinct volcano on Kruzoff Island involves an
indefinite time, as one reaches its base by launch or sail-boat after
crossing waters open to the heaviest swells when southeast winds blow.
Fogs are frequent, and the waters are full of sunken rocks.   Landing
on the Sitka side, there is a hard tramp for 6 or 7 miles through a
swampy forest to the actual slope. In favourable weather a ■ better
landing may be made in a cove on the ocean side, whence it is only 2
or 8. miles to sloping ground. Once out on the open lava and scoriae it
is but an easy walk up an incline, and the crater is entered by a gap in
the southeast rim. The snow leaves the slopes and crater entirely in
midsummer. Steam rises from many sulphur-crusted vent-holes, and
beautiful specimens of sulphur, lava, and volcanic glass are obtained.
Several women have made the ascent in recent years.
After Tschirikow charted this mountain of St. Lazaria it was next
seen by Maurelle, the pilot of Heceta and Bodega y Quadra's expedition
sent out by the Spanish Viceroy Bucarelly. He entered " the great
bay among mountains " St. Jacinth's day, August 16, 1775, named the
peak San Jacinto and the bay Guadalupe. La Perouse next saw
this peak of St. Hyacinth, and then Cook, May 2, 1778, named it Mt.
Edgecumbe, and the bay the Bay of Terrors. Dixon called the bay
Norfolk Sound, and Marchand (1791) took his predecessors to task for
this renaming. " Que gagneroit la Geograpbie a ce changement de
nom ? qu' y gagneroit Vimmortel Cook " ? he exclaimed, when the natives
made him understand that the bay was Tchin-Kitane (a useful arm).
He did not record the native name— Tlugh, or sleeping mountain.
Two Kadiak hunters climbed the mountain in 1804 and reported
the crater filled with water. Lisiansky and Lieutenant Powalshin ascended in 1805, and found " a basin 2 miles in circumference and 40
fathoms deep filled with snow," July 23d. Lisiansky estimated the
height at 8,000 ft., with forest reaching to within a mile and a half of
the top. Lutke was told (1827) that the mountain was in eruption in
1796 and 1804. In 1867 Professor Davidson estimated its height at
2,855 ft. In 1886 Professor William Libby, Jr., of Princeton College,
climbed to the crater's rim and gave its height as 3,782 ft. The whole
mountain, according to Prof. Libbey, is only a parasitic cone on a
greater volcanic mass of which the Camel's Back, N. of Edgecumbe, was
the chief vent-hole. The oval crater in the Camel's Back is 5 miles long
and 3 miles wide, a basin 1,500 ft. deep, with an internal slope of about
60°. The level floor is covered with forests and open parks, with several lakes. The Camel's Back rose from the sea cycles ago, and built
around it the terraced platforms constituting Kruzoff Island. Edgecumbe was formed on its inert slopes only a few score centuries ago.
Sportsmen find many attractions within the 18-mile limits of the
Kruzoff shores. There are bear and deer. There is a lake on the
Sitka side where rainbow trout may be caught. There are many clam
beaches, and a bay where Captain Beardslee found as many soft-shell
crabs as in those exceptional seasons when Massett Inlet and Prince of
Wales bays have been edged with broad windrows of cast-off shells.
Silver Bay and the Sitka Mining District*
Silver Bay, or Serrebrennikqf Bootka, as named for a Siberian explorer killed at Copper River, is the Kakette, or " lake belonging to
black fish-men " of the natives. It opens at the south point of Jamestown Bay, 2-J miles below Sitka, and extends for 6 miles with a width
of less than half a mile between mountains rising precipitously 2,000
ft. and more. Lakes on the south foot of Verstovoi feed Saw-mitt Creek.
The remains of the Russian crib dam and flume are on the bank a
quarter of a mile from the mouth. The mill was burned by the Indians after the departure of the troops. Malma or Dolly Varden trout
are to be caught below the dam, and in the farther waters the rarer
beauties with the rainbow speckles abide.
Round Mountain, at the turn of the fiord, is a symmetrical green
landmark, with a lofty cave on its east side into which a canoe may be
rowed at high tide. Kalampy's Land-Slide, on the opposite mountain
wall, marks where a Russian hunter in chasing a deer encountered a
bear just as the earth trembled and the crust of the mountain slipped
down into the water. The deer was caught by the branches of a tree
at the water's edge, and Kalampy, while hanging on the next tree, saw
the bear drown. Bear Bay, the first indentation on the east shore and
home of a famous grizzly, holds a magnificent landscape canon, three
massive peaks ranging in echelon on one side with a massive broad-
armed cross outlined by the snow on Kupolinaia's summit—a symbol
seen from the farthest end of Sitka Sound. A waggon-road leads up
the canon to a group of mines.
At the extreme end of the bay the Silver Creek Fall shoots down
800 ft. in long rapids, the last leap of 60 ft. bringing it to tide-waters.
From the wharf of the Stewart mine a road leads to the mill and tunnels of a valuable group of mines. There is fine fishing in Salmon
Creek, and trails lead to several mines, those of the Great Eastern
Group lying on the divide between Silver Bay and Gloubokoe Lake at
an elevation of 6,500 ft.
The Gold Mines.—The Russian Fur Company's officers never wanted
to discover and made but half-hearted search for precious minerals,
their charter providing that any lands containing minerals should belong to the crown. Mining has been most disastrous to fur-trading
interests, and opposed by such everywhere. Baranof is said to have
knouted a promyshlenik who brought a piece of gold quartz from
Silver Bay, and discouraged prospecting for all time. Prof. Blake
reported to Mr. Seward, in 1867, that there was little promise of
precious metals " in the hard conglomerate or grit passing into argil-
lite" in the immediate neighbourhood of Sitka. In 1871 Edward
Doyle found float gold in the Silver Bay shores, uncovered a quartz
stringer on Round Mountain, and another on Indian River. The Haley
and Rodgers lode, on Salmon Creek, was the first worked by garrison
officers. The Stewart Mill, on the neighbouring claim, was built in
1877, and the Bald Mountain claims were worked for a few years.
The Juneau discoveries drew miners away, and the district was virtually abandoned. Governor Swineford's energy caused a revival of
mining interests in 1885; other mills were built and work pushed, but
a second lull ensued when he left, and for several seasons only prospecting and assessment work was done. Differences among stockholders and want of means have prevented any of the mines being thoroughly and systematically worked for any time. The tons of high
grade ore taken out, and the rich specimens obtained, prove the existence and quality of the lodes, and the prosperity of the region is
but a matter of time.
The Baranof Shore south of Sitka.
The tourist can visit The Redoubt, or Drashnikoff settlement, in
the Toyon's, or Ozerski Bay, 12 miles S. of Sitka, and return in a day
by canoe; or one may go through to the Hot Springs in one day's
canoe trip, stopping at the Redoubt on the way.
From Sitka the course leads for 8 miles through a maze of wooded
islets to the mouth of the bay, that extends 4 miles as a narrow canon
or rock cutting to the natural dam holding the waters of the Glou-
bokoe Lake, or the " Deep Sea." Drashnikoff Peak rises at the end
of the bay perpendicularly from the water 1,500 ft. The Russians
had a fortified settlement and jail here, and cured their winter supplies of salmon. There were 2 flour-mills, a saw-milL tannery, church,
and residence buildings, within a stockaded post, and substantial
weirs in the rapids between the lake and bay. Lutke visited and
described the Redoubt in 1827, and Sir George Simpson in 1844. The
buildings were burned by the natives after the troops left Sitka, and
the stockade destroyed. The pioneer Alaskan cannery established at
old Sitka in 1878 was moved to the Redoubt, but closed in 1890 and
for several seasons, and work conducted at Red Bay, 20 miles below,
where the catch of several salmon streams could be centred.
Glouhokoe Lake, 8 miles long and less than three-quarters of a
mile wide, has a depth of 50 fathoms, and is chiefly fed by a large
stream at the N. E. end. The stream may be ascended 3 miles, and
trails lead from the banks to the mines on Bald Mountain and down
the range, and over the divide to Salmon Creek and Silver Bay.   There
is a fine glacier on the mountain at the E. end of the lake, and the
mountain walls rise precipitously on either side of the flooded canon.
From the S, E. end of the lake a portage of a mile crosses a low divide
to Hot Springs, or Klukacheff Bay. The Redoubt is an admirable
headquarters for sportsmen or anglers, and permission may be had to
use some of the abandoned cannery buildings for shelter.
The White Sulphur Hot Springs.
At the highest tide, a chain of intricate passes may be used by
canoes, and several miles saved in the voyage from the Redoubt to
Hot Springs Bay. It is worth several hours' delay to thread these
labyrinths through the trees and rocks, and it furnishes the ideal
water trip of the archipelago, bringing more of landscape beauty in
range than any other three hours of canoeing. The Hot Springs curative qualities were long known to the natives, and the bay.was neutral
ground where all tribes met, but none built a permanent village.
Lisiansky discovered or explored the bay in 1805, and spent a
week there. Lutke mentions his visiting the one house at the springs
in 1827 and in 1837 Captain Belcher spoke of the saw-mills at
I Les Sources, or warm springs, which serves as a sort of Harrow-
gate to the colony." Sir George Simpson enjoyed his stay in the
comfortable quarters at the hospital. In 1852 the natives attacked
the settlement, burned the buildings, and drove the invalids to the
woods. AU of them reached Sitka, although compelled to cross the
mountains in the dead of winter. The new stockaded post contained a
hospital, chapel, residences for two doctors, and a pharmacist, and
there was daily communication by steam-launch with Sitka. There
were gardens and hay-fields on the great cleared hillside, and the subterranean heat still forces a rich vegetation. The buildings were all
burned by the natives after the departure of the troops from Sitka.
By an oversight, the Hot Springs were omitted from the list of lands
reserved for Government use, and this tract was taken up by a Sitka
merchant, who has built a group of cottages and a rude bath-house.
Arrangements for the use of these cottages may be made in Sitka,
where the keys are kept. A charge of 50 cents a night is made for
each person sleeping in the hay-filled bunks of the cottages, using the
cooking-stoves and fire-wood.
The White Sulphur Spring bubbles from a gem-like pool and
crevices among the rocks, and has a temperature of 155° Fahr. The
other spring has a temperature of 122°, and both are impregnated
with sulphur, iron chlorine, and magnesia.    They are sovereign for
rheumatism and skin diseases, and are said to be the most valuable
springs medicinally of any N. of the Harrison Hot Springs on the
Fraser River.
The extensive meadows and gardens cleared by the Russians are
relapsing to wildernesses again, and mosquitoes are as many and venomous as in Lisiansky's day. There is a Tlingit legend that the mosquito
was originally a giant spider, but an evil spirit threw him in the fire,
where he shrivelled to his present size and flew away, with a coal of
fire in his mouth, with which he retaliates upon mankind. Hummingbirds nest in the trees, and thrushes call from island to shore.
The mountains behind the bay are full of game, and the black-tailed
deer may be easily found, or lured by the low, wailing sound made by
blowing on a blade of grass held between the thumbs. Sportsmen
have had bear-hunting in the dense berry thickets, and there are several trout streams near.
One of the finest views of Mt. Edgecumbe is from the Hot Springs
hillside, the hyacinthine peak seeming to float enchanted beyond the
long, island-dotted.water foreground. The ball of the July sun drops
evenly within the crater's edges, with the most superb colour panorama that northern skies and sea can summon, and not an hour of the
long-drawn summer sunsets should be missed by those who visit the
-steaming hillside by the ocean.
"To westward" from Sitka to Unalaska, along the
Continental Shore.
A steamer of the North American Commercial Co. leaves Sitka for
Unalaska upon the arrival of alternate mail steamers from the Sound
during seven months in the year and on or about the 13th day of June,
July, and August, when possible. The P. C. S. S. Co. allow stop-over
privileges' to those holding its excursion tickets, and the opportunity is
given the tourist to see Mt. St. Elias, a different scenic panorama, and
the strange life in the farthest and most out-of-the-way region of the
United States. The steamer calls at Yakutat, Nuchek, Kadiak, Karluk,
Unga, and Sand Point, giving tourists opportunity to see everything
of interest on or near the route, within the 27 or 30 days scheduled for
the round trip of 2,500 miles from Sitka. The fare, $120 for the round
trip, includes meals and berths going and coming, board and lodging
at the N. A. C. Co.'s house at Dutch Harbour, Unalaska, and the trip
to Bogoslov beyond Unalaska.    The steamer is staunch and well offi-
cered, and all the accommodations for the 22 cabin passengers are above
deck. In midsummer smooth passages may be expected. The Kadiak
and Unalaska regions contain the oldest Russian settlements, but they
had no regular communication with the rest of the world until the
establishment of this, mail route in 1891. Up to that time even criminals
were sent to Sitka for trial by way of San Franciscp. The tourist service was inaugurated in 1893. Passage can be engaged only from the
N. A. C. Co.'s agent at Sitka.
From Sitka to Yakutat.
The westward steamer's course is directly out from the harbour to
the open ocean and around Mt. Edgecumbe. Mt. St. Elias has been
seen from Salisbury Sound, at the N. end of Kruzoff Island, and on any
clear day is visible 160 miles at sea.
There are but two indentations, in the plateau bordering the ocean
from Cross Sound to Yakutat Bay, and these, Lituya Bay and Dry Bay,
have no commercial importance.
The plateau supports four great peaks—Mt. La Perouse (11,800 ft.),
Mt, Crillon (15,900 ft), Lituya Mt (10,000 ft), and Mt Fairweather
(15,600 ft). The Crillon and La Perouse Glacier join and front on the
ocean for 2 miles just N. of Icy Cape.
Lit ii va Bay, 40 miles N. of Cape Spencer, cuts in 6 miles to
the base of Lituya Mt in T-shape, and the cross-piece is 8 miles in
It presents the greatest dangers to navigation. The tide enters in_a
bore, and it can only be run at slack water. La Perouse lost two boats'
crews in this bore in 1786, and erected a wooden monument to their
memory on Cenotaph Island within the bay. Dr. Dall surveyed the bay
in 1874, described his entering with the tide as " sailing down-hill," and
epitomized its scenery as " a sort of Yosemite Valley, retaining its glaciers, and with its floor submerged 600 or 800 ft" Lieutenant G. T.
Emmons explored it, and crossed overland to Dry Bay. He then learned
the native legend of " the two men of Lituya," who, assuming the shape
of bears, sit at either side of the entrance holding a sail-cloth just beneath the surface, and rudely tossing any incautious canoeman who
paddles across it Placer mining has been successfully conducted on
the shores of the bay since 1889.
Dry Bay is a shallow lagoon at the delta of the Alsekh River,
which rises near the Chilkat's source and flows in behind Mt Fair-
Mt. St. Elias: View from End of Sainovar Hilts.
weather through the depression noted by Captain Cook. It was explored from source to mouth by the Frank Leslie Expedition of 1890,
along the old trail used by Klohkutz's Chilkats. This glacial river is
crowded with salmon in their season.
Yakutat Bay, 45 miles above Dry Bay, is only an indentation of
the coast curving inward some 20 miles, and the whole force of the
north Pacific sweeps into it, rendering landing difficult and dangerous
at all times. The bay always contains much floating ice from the glaciers at its head, and a heavy surf beats, on the St. Elias shore.
There is an Indian village, trading-store, and Moravian mission at
Port Mulgrave, opposite Khantaak Island, where Baranof established a
colon^ of Siberian convicts. Several ships were built there, but the
natives burned the fort and massacred the settlers. There was great
excitement in 1880 at the discovery of gold in the black-sand beaches,
and in 1883—'86—'88 there were considerable mining camps. By using
the same rotary hand amalgamators as on Californian gold beaches, as
much as $40 a day to the man was realized. The Yakutat chief exacted licenses and royalty from the unprotected miners. A tidal wave
heaped the beach with windrows of dog-fish, which, decaying in the hot
summer sun, soaked the sands with oil and the mercury could not act.
The miners moved to a new beach; a tidal wave washed all the black sands
away, and the camp was abandoned. The sea has since been restoring
the black sands. A vein of good coal was found a mile and a half inland and 800 ft. above the bay, and, but for the difficulty of loading
ships in that bay, the coal problem would be solved for all the Sitkan
region. Yakutat village contains some original Tlingit lodges, and the
Yakutat women are the finest basket-weavers on the coast.
In 1890 Captain C. L. Hooper, U. S. R. M., pushed into the head of
Malaspina's Disenchantment Bay, 60 miles beyond the point where the
Spanish explorer represented the water-line as ending, and discovered
the Dalton and Hubbard tide-water glaciers. In 1891 Prof. Russell explored the bay farther in a canoe, and found it bending sharply southward and extending for another 60 miles to a level prairie country at
the foot of Mt. Fairweather. Prof. Russell charted the bay and named
Mts. Unana, Ruhamah, and Pinta.
Mt. St. Elias.
Since Bering sighted the Bolshoi Shopka (" great peak") on St.
Elias day, 1741, it has been the goal of many navigators and explorers,
and their records of its height, latitude, and longitude are:
Height and Position of Mt. St. Elias.
La Perouse	
12,672 ft.
17,851 ft.
17,850 ft.
16,938 "
16,988 "
16,758 "
14,970 "
19,600±400 "
18,500 ft.
15,850 "
18,100±100 "
18,110±100 "
18,024 "
60° 15' 00"
140* 10' 00"
Portlock and Dixon *
Douglass *	
60  17 85
60 22  80
140 52  17
140  39  00
Russian       Hydrographic
Chart, 1878	
60 21  00
60 22 86
60 21   30
60  17 80
60 21   00
60  20 45
141  00  00
Tebenkof (Notes)	
Tebenkof (Chart VIIV
Bach. Can. In&eln	
140  54  00
140  54  00
140  51  00
English Admiralty Chart
141  00 00
U. S. Coast Survey	
Prof. Ctaas. Taylor, Lieut.
C. E. S. Woodt	
141  00  12
Lieut. F. Schwatka, Prof.
William Libby, Jr., A.
W. Seton-Karr %	
W.   H.   Topham,   Edwin
Topham, William Williams, George Broke....
Mark   B.   Kerr,  topogra-
Prof.  I.   C.  Russell  (for
National Geographic Society) 	
Turner,   McGrath   (U. S.
Coast Survey)	
60  17 61
140  55  30
U. S. Coast Survey	
60  17 86
140 55 47
* No observations made. t Indians obliged them to turn back.
1 New York Times Expedition. Reached Chaix IIills. No observations made.
I National Geographic Society's Expedition, commanded by Prof. I. C.
It was reported as emitting smoke and vapour in 1889, and in 1847,
at the time of the great Sitka earthquake, flame and ashes came from
its summit.
The ascent of Mt St Elias offers the longest snow-climb in the
world outside of arctic or antarctic regions. The line of perpetual
snow is at 8,000 ft Fuel and supplies must be carried from the start,
and weeks spent in tents on the ice.
The members of the Topham Expedition were all experienced Alpine
Club climbers, and were first to stand on Mt St Elias slopes.   They
ascended from Icy Bay to the rim of the crater on the S. E. side, a
point 11,460 ft. by aneroid measurement. Mr. Williams, of New London, the only American of the party, left a tin box containing a United
States flag as a record at that point. The expedition of the National
Geographic Society of 1890, under Prof. I. C. Russell, crossed Yakutat
Bay and reached a height of 9,500 ft. on the E. face of the mountain
on the Newton Glacier.. In 1891 Prof. Russell was sent again by the
same society. Six- lives were lost in landing in the surf at Icy Bay, and
Prof. Russell reached the eleyation of 14,500 ft. on the N. side of the
mountain, when driven back by storms and scarcity of provisions. He
explored the plateau of the Malaspina Glacier from Icy Bay to Disenchantment Bay on the return.
The observations of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey party in
1892 were for the purpose of continuing Messrs.* Turner and McGrath's
work on the international boundary line, and establishing the longitude
of Mt. St. Elias. It is now definitely accepted as beyond the United
States lines, but as a natural corner-stone or monument sufficiently
marking the line of the 141st meridian, although overtopped by the
neighbouring Mt. Logan (19,639 ft.), now the highest mountain on the
North American continent, as the peak of Orizaba measures but 18,314
ft. by latest estimate.
The full accounts of the later expeditions to Mt. St. Elias since 1867
will be found in the following publications:
Karr, H. W. Seton. " Shores and Alps of Alaska." London:
Proceedings of Royal Geog. Soc, London.    Vol. IX.    1887.
Kerr, Mark B.    Scribner's Magazine, March, 1891.
Libbey, Prof. William, Jr. Bulletin Am. Geog. Soc, New York,
Russell, Prof. Israel C. Century Magazine, April, 1891, and
June, 1892. Natl. Geog. Soc. Magazine, Washington, D. C, May 29,
1891. Am. Journal of Science, March, 1892. Thirteenth Annual Report, Director of U. S. Geol. Survey, 1892.
Topham, H. W.    Alpine Journal, London, August, 1889.
Williams, William.    Scribner's Magazine, April, 1889.
Wood, C. E. S.    Century Magazine, July, 1882.
Continental Alaska*
While the steamer waits at Yakutat, there is in full view the magnificent line of the St. Elias Alps towering in the sky above the low,
green forest land. Upon leaving, the ship skirts along the front of the
Malaspina Glacier, which borders the ocean for more than 60 miles,
with the sea breaking fully on its ice-cliffs in places. Mt. St. Elias,
Mt. Cook, and Mt. Vancouver are easily distinguished by their great
height.    There is no break in the mainland mountain panorama from
Edgecumbe to Makushin, 1,250 miles, and in this respect the voyage
is unparallelled.
The Copper River region was believed to be an El Dorado by the
Russians, but their efforts to explore it failed. Rufus Serrebrennikof
and his men were murdered before they had explored the river's mouth.
General Miles's first expedition under Lieutenant Abercrombie,
U. S. A., in 1884, failed to ascend the river and come out by the
Chilkat country. A second expedition, in 1885, was led by Lieutenant
H. T. Allen, U. S. A., who ascended the Copper, crossed the divide to
the Tenana. sailed down that stream to the Yukon, and explored the
Koyukuk River before returning to San Francisco via St. Michaels.
His report (Forty-ninth Congress, second session, Senate Executive
Document, No. 125) gives a detailed account of the trip; of the
magnificent Miles Glacier, which fronts in ice-cliffs for 6 miles on the
banks of Copper River; of Wood's Canon, 40 yards wide, with perpendicular walls; and of the smoking cone of Mt. Wrangel, which he reduced from fabled height to an actual 17,500 ft. No mountains of pure
copper were found, nor anything to induce others to run the risk of starvation in the almost uninhabited country. In 1891 Lieutenant Schwatka
and Dr. Hayes came out to the sea by Copper River, after their great
circuit of the interior from Taku Inlet to the Yukon and White rivers.
Prince William's Sound and its Great Glaciers.
Nuchek, or Port Etches, is at the entrance of Prince William's
Sound, as Captain Cook named the Chugach Gulf when he keeled and
mended his ships at Snug Corner Bay, 1778. Shelikoff came in 1783,
and Baranof built the ships that took his first expedition to Sitka.
The Russian trading-post was known as the Redoubt Constantine, and
the furs of the Copper River country are brought to Nuchek, where
there is a salmon-cannery and trading-post In 1892 the Victoria
sealing fleet rendezvoused off Nuchek to meet their supply steamer
CoquiUam, revictual, and transfer their catch of Pacific sealskins before
venturing into Bering Sea. Captain C. L. Hooper, with the revenue cutter Corwin, surprised them in the act, and the Coquitlam, with her valuable cargo, was seized and taken to Sitka for a violation of U. S. revenue
laws in transferring cargo without authority of the customs district.
The Chugach Alps surrounding Prince William's Sound hold
some of the grandest scenery of the Alaska coast, and the tide-water
glaciers in the recesses of the sound even surpass those of southeastern
Alaska. Vancouver describes the gloomily magnificent sound, and Mr.
Whidby felt the ground shake when 6 miles away from the falling ice.
Prof. Davidson had a glimpse of the ice falls in 1867, and Russian offi-
 Scale 1: 22,000,000.
Chief Routes of Alaskan Explorers.
cers told him of one glacier that showed a peculiar rose-red tint in a
certain light. Dr. Dall visited the sound in 1874, and declared the glacial landscapes the finest of their kind, j Mr. Seton-Karr makes reference
to them in his " Shores and Alps of Alaska." The dangers of navigation
deter large vessels from attempting cruises in the unsurveyed waters,
and the floating ice menaces canoes, so that the number, size, movement,
and general features of these Chugach ice streams await exploration.
Cook's Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula.
Cook's Inlet extends inland 160 miles between the Alaska or
Chignik range and the mountainous Kenai Peninsula. Sheltered by the
great barrier on the west, its shores enjoy a different climate from any
of the coast region south of it, and the warm, cloudless summers won
Cook's Inlet the name of the Summer-land from the Russians. The
best agricultural land lies along the Kenai shore of the Inlet, and the
Russian company established five colonies of their pensioners in this garden spot, where they raised crops and cattle, and still continue to do so.
The Inlet is renowned for its scenery, which Captain Cook was first
to extol. He discovered the great estuary during his search for a passage to Hudson Bay, passing the south point of Kenai Peninsula on the
birthday of the Princess Elizabeth, May 21,1778. The mainland point, 40
miles across from this Cape Elizabeth, was named for Dr. Douglass, Canon
of Windsor. Captain Cook took possession in the name of His Majesty,
and buried coins and records in a bottle at Possession Point at the head
of the Inlet, and Vancouver'searched for these records in vain. Cook
did not name the place on his map, referring to it as the Great Riyer
in his text. Lord Sandwich wrote in " Cook's River" after the great
navigator's death. "Cape Elizabeth is 550 miles from Sitka and 1,670
miles from San Francisco.
Coal-Fields.—Portlock mentioned the coal-veins in Graham or English Harbour, near Cape Elizabeth, in 1787, and the Russians afterward
worked them on a considerable scale, and exported much of this lignite
to California previous to the discovery of the Vancouver coal. Tramways, stone piers, and decaying buildings are memorials to the immense sums sunk by the Russian company and some San Francisco
merchants who shared in the enterprise at Coal Harbour in Chugachik
or Kachemak Bay. Recently, interest in these coal-mines has been revived, and also in the old works near Fort Kenai, where the equal of
Nanaimo coal was promised.
Port Kenai, the old Redoubt St. Nicholas, was garrisoned by
U. S. troops for a few years after the transfer. There are two trading
stations and three canneries in the Inlet, arid king salmon weighing 100
pounds are often caught.    Gold was found in small quantities by a
Russian engineer in 1855, and prospectors are camped at many places
along shore every summer, the great " boom " and influx of miners occurring in 1896.
The Volcanoes.—Cook's Inlet is the finest Alaskan pleasure-
ground for scientists, sportsmen, anglers, artists, and yachtsmen, and
its climate enhances all attractions. A chain of active volcanoes extends along the W. shore. Iliamna, the great volcano of the Inlet
(12,066 ft.), was named Miranda, the Admirable, by the Spanish navigators. It is snow-clad, but steam and smoke issue from two craters
near the summit, and when arrested for any time frequent earthquakes
are felt. Iliamna was ascended by a party sent from the Imperial Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg in 1852, and by several parties of
U. S. officers while the garrison was maintained at Fort Kenai, 40 miles
distant across the Inlet. There was an eruption in 1854, and in 1869
climbers found running lava near the lower crater, a vast oval bowl
full of sulphur crystals, and were driven from the upper crater by the
volumes of dense black smoke. Many hot springs occur on the slopes,
and the heat furnishes a luxuriant growth of trees in the valleys and
ravines.    The natives have many superstitions concerning it.
Goryalya, or the Redoubt (11,270 ft.), stands N. of Iliamna,
and smokes and steams on a lesser scale. It was in eruption in 1867,
and ashes fell to a depth of one inch and a half on Kadiak Island, 165
miles away.
August in, on an island near the mouth of the Inlet, is a symmetrical cone whose fires are extinct.
A trail leads from the native village in Kamishak Bay, S. of Iliamna, for 7 miles through a gap in the mountains to a chain of lakes
discharging at the end of 15 miles into Iliamna, the largest lake in
Alaska. Iliamna Lake, 90 miles long and from 30 to 40 miles
wide, is an inland reservoir or hatchery of king salmon, who use the
Kvichak River as their highway to Bering Sea. This chain of watercourses and the short portage are used by hunters who come over from
Bristol Bay to the sea-otter rookeries along the Cook Inlet and Shelikoff shores.
Either shore offers unlimited opportunities to sportsmen. The
only herds of wild reindeer remaining in Alaska are in the regions
along the Alaskan and Kenai ranges. The big brown bear of Cook's
Inlet has world-wide fame, and these monsters are the great prizes of
native hunters.    Moose, caribou, mountain-goat, mountain-sheep, and
deer are found. There are many trout streams besides the salmon rivers
on the E. shore, and wild fowl haunt the marshes in that same region.
The finest waterfalls in Alaska leap from the cliffs along the Inlet,
and the alternation of snow-peaks, volcanoes, forested slopes, and fertile prairies continually charm the eye. There are glaciers in the
mountains on either shore of the Inlet. Those facing the Kachemak
Bay coal-mines were explored and named by the Russian scientists in
1852, and their map showing the Grewingk, the Wossnessenski, the
Doroshin, and the Sud glaciers is included in the Gletscher-Karte,
of Berghaus's Physikal Atlas.
The Inlet is swept by tremendous tides, and there are strong tide
rips at the entrance and at the Forelands beyond Fort Kenai. In
Turnagain Arm, or Resurrection Bay, there is a tide fall of 20 and 27
ft., and the tide enters in a huge bore or wave. Expert canoemen
take advantage of and ride the bore safely, and are swept rapidly on
their way by its aid.
The natives, the Chugachs, like the inhabitants of Prince William
Sound, are Indians of Athabascan stock. They are not a canoe people, and differ as much from the Tlingits on one side as from the Esquimaux on the other.
Hi I
Kadiak and the Great Salmon Canneries.
The dense forests of the Northwest Coast finally cease at the line
of the Kenai Peninsula, and there are but scattered groves on the
Kadiak Islands.   Beyond that line the shores are covered with grasses,
shrubs, and thick mosseswthat, freshened by perpetual fog and rain, are
so brilliantly and intensely green as to dazzle the eye.    The dug-out
canoe disappears at this forest edge, and boats of sea-lion or walrus
hide stretched over driftwood frames replace them.    The bidarka, a
narrow shell pointed at either end, carries one or two men, who sit
each in a small hatch furnished with an apron that fastens around his
body, and these bladders ride the roughest seas safely.   Women and
children are even packed beneath the oarsmen's feet for short voyages.
Lutke called these bidarkans the " Cossacks of the sea," and Billings
wrote, | If perfect symmetry, smoothness, and proportion constitute
beauty, they are beautiful beyond anything that I ever beheld."    They
have also the oomiak, or large open walrus-hide boat, as a family and
trading.canoe, and these two craft, with slight modifications, are in use
from Kadiak around to the arctic coast.
In 1850 three Russian sailors deserted from Kadiak and reached
Shoalwater Bay, Wash., in bidarkas. In 1884 two Danes went from
Kadiak to San Francisco in a bidarka 19 fc. long, making the 1,600
miles to Victoria iii 105 days' paddling, with frequent camps at night
along the coast. In 1892, a 12-ton schooner was blown off Karluk in
a storm, and the one man navigated the 2,000 miles to San Francisco in
20 days, a feat which matches the bidarkans' record.
Lisiansky was told that the Kadiak Islands were once separated by
only the narrowest pass from the peninsula's shore. A huge Kenai
otter attempted to swim through and was caught fast. Its struggles
widened the Shelikoff Strait, and pushed Kadiak out to its present possession. By tradition, the original inhabitants were descended from a
dog. There is one legend of a man and a dog being set adrift on a
stone that finally turned to an island. Another tells that the daughter of a great chief living north of " the peninsula of AJaxa " was banished in wrath with her dog husband and whelps. The dog tried to
swim back but was drowned, and the pups fell upon their grandfather,
tore him to pieces, and ruled in his stead. Lisiansky found the Ka-
diakers in the lowest stages, sitting on the roofs of their sod huts or
on the beach, like herds of animals, gazing at the sea in stupid silence.
The want of oral intercourse proved their estate, but the courteous explorer said that " their simplicity of character exceeds that of all other
people." He built ice bills for the Christmas of 1804, the Aleuts and
Kadiakers went crazy over toboganning, and the natives came from the
farthest points to watch.
Afognak, the northern island of the group, was declared a Fish
and Timber Culture Reserve, by Executive proclamation of December
24, 1892.
The steamer calls on both E. and W. trips at the headquarters of
the N. A. C. Co. for the Kadiak region on Wood Island near St. Paul.
The furs of Copper River and the Kenai region reach those warehouses.
There are large ice-houses on the island, whence cargoes were shipped
to San Francisco previous to the perfecting of the ice-machine. The
owners of the latter paid the Kadiak company a subsidy to withdraw
from competition, but ice was regularly stored year after year, and the
agent ruled patriarchally over a model village, virtually surrounded by
a park and game preserve.
St. Paul (population, 495), on the N. E. shore of Kadiak Island,
was the first headquarters of Shelikoff's and BaranoPs fur-trade, and,
as their early capital and older home, was the boast of the Russians in
Sitka's better days. It is the headquarters of the A. C. Co. in this
region, and furs to the value of $300,000 are shipped yearly. There
was a garrison of U. S. troops here for a few years after the transfer.
The Greatest Salmon Stream in the World*
Karlnk is another important port of call on both trips of the mail
steamer. Two-thirds of the entire salmon pack of Alaska are furnished
by the ten canneries on the Kadiak Islands, which are almost entirely
supplied from the Karlnk River. This stream, on the W. coast of
Kadiak, is 16 miles long, from 100 to 600 ft. wide, and less than 6 ft.
deep. These figures give the dimensions of the solid mass of salmon
that used to ascend the Karluk to a mountain lake before canners came
with traps and gill-nets in 1884. The largest cannery in the world is
at Karluk. There were 1,100 employes altogether at the Karluk canneries in 1890, and over 200,000 cases of 48 one-pound tins contained
the 3,000,000 salmon packed. A single haul of the seine has beached
17,000 salmon, yet each ebb tide then left thousands of stranded fish to
die on the banks and bars. The canners enjoy their monopoly without
tax, license, or any Government interference. The nearest civil official
is the U. S. Commissioner at Unalaska, 700 miles away, or the customs
deputy at Sand Point. Stores, employes, and .pack are conveyed to and
from San Francisco in the canners' own vessels, and the hundreds of
Chinese, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, and Americans constitute the most
untrammelled communities anywhere under one flag from May to September of each year. There is much agricultural land on these islands
and cattle graze the year round, the thermometer never recording zero,
and snow lying on the ground but for a short time. .
The Shnmagin Islands and the Cod Fisheries.
Bering landed on this group in 1741 to bury Shumagin, one of his
crew; and Steller, the naturalist, who accompanied that expedition and
first classified the Pacific fishes, mentions the cod. Captain Cook and
other navigators referred to the cod; and Senator Sumner laid great
stress on the value of these cod banks in his farewell speech, thereby
causing several New England cod-fishing communities to "protest against
the purchase of Alaska. Prof. Davidson reported the Shumagin cod
banks—since named the Davidson Banks—in 1867, and twenty years
later the Fish Commission steamer Albatross began its work of sounding
and mapping the banks on either side of the Aleutian Islands. Over
10,000 square miles of cod banks were surveyed in three years. Popoff
Island, opposite Unga, is the/headquarters of the cod-fishing fleet, and
there are large warehouses at Humboldt Harbour and Pirate Cove for
salting and storing fish.    The industry is conducted by San Francisco
fish-dealers, and the cod are taken there to be cured. The dry California
climate is said to be the reason for that process not resulting as satisfactorily as on the Atlantic coast A colony of Gloucester fishermen
rounded the Horn after the troubles on the Great Banks in the Atlantic,
and many others have followed, but the immediate profits of sealing overshadow cod-fishing for the time being. The extinction of the fur seal
will give the cod-fisheries a greater following and importance; men
will depend upon more certain wages and employment, and cod will increase in numbers, as each seal is said to consume in one summer cod
equalling in value the price of a raw sealskin. The pack of Shumagin
cod for 1890 was valued at $500,000, and for all the seasons from 1867
to 1890 at a total of more than $8,000,000.
A coal-mine on Unga Island furnishes fuel for local consumption
here and around Kadiak, and the Apollo Gold Mine, on the same
island, has been a paying concern from the start The outer shores of
the Shumagins are haunts of the sea-otter.
The Aliaska Peninsula*
From Cook's Inlet to the beginning of the Aleutian chain the E.
shore of the Aliaska Peninsula is a precipitous mountain range rising
abruptly from the sea. These dangerous shores are haunts of the sea-
otter, and in several places salmon streams connect with mountain lakes.
There are canneries and trading stations at Chignik Bay, Wrangell,
Portage, and Pavloff Bays. A railway 18 miles in length connects
Portage Bay with Herendeen Bay and the Bering Sea shore, and brings
coal from the mines owned by the Alaska Commercial Company to shipping wharves. This is regarded as the most valuable coal deposit in
southern Alaska.
Belkofsky, at the foot of the volcano Mt Pavloff, is the centre of
the sea-otter trade. The village of 185 people maintains a handsome
Greek church, and there is a Government school.
A century ago sea-otters were plentiful along all the Alaskan coasts,
but persistent hunting has nearly exterminated them, and they now
take refuge on the stormiest and most dangerous shores, and live in beds
of floating kelp. The hunters lie in hiding on the rocks for days in
order to creep upon or surround their game, or they may happen upon
an otter while it sleeps floating on the water. Only natives were allowed
to hunt otter, and firearms were thus prohibited on the otter-grounds
until 187S, when the Secretary of the Treasury allowed white men married to native women to be considered natives in regard to the privileges
of hunting, which " put otters at a discount and women at a premium,"
The native spear and arrow are no longer used. Steamers and schooners carry contract hunters to the best otter-grounds, where they camp
until called for by those vessels. All the tide-water shores from
Prince William's Sound to the Aleutian Islands are otter-grounds, and
the peninsula coast near Belkofsky, the outer Shumagins, and the
Sannakh Islands are the richest grounds. Otter-skins have increased
enormously in value, and a single one of these purplish-brown pelts
sprinkled with delicate silver-tipped hairs is worth from $150 to $300.
It is the court fur of Russia and China, and at one time laws prevented
commoners from wearing it.
The Aleutian Islands.
The seventy islands of the Aleutian chain lie like natural stepping-
stones from the point of the Aliaska Peninsula for 1,000 miles toward
the Kamchatka shore, and Attou, the last in line, lies beyond the one
hundred and eightieth meridian and within the Eastern hemisphere.
They are of volcanic origin, and many craters still smoke along the
chain. Only one island, Unalaska, contains a white settlement; and
only one island, Amchitka, is seen from any established route of commerce. The Canadian Pacific steamships often sight the low, green
shores or see the reflected glow of the volcano on Amchitka on their
course from Vancouver to Yokohama. They are natural stations for
the proposed trans-Pacific cable route from British Columbia to the
terminus of the Siberian Great Northern telegraph lines.
The islands are treeless, but covered with grass and mosses, and in
summer with a wealth of wild flowers. They are capable of cultivation,
and afford excellent pasturage. The temperature varies little from Sitka's averages, and fog and rain are almost constant during the summer.
"The wolfs long howl" is not heard, but several islands are blue fox
ranches, and great care is taken to increase and improve the quality of
pelts from such preserves. Over two hundred blue fox skins are
shipped from Attou each season. Cod banks border the islands, and
salmon and herring swarm, yet through improvidence the natives of
some remote villages barely manage to exist through the winters.
The Aleuts numbered but 900 altogether in 1890. They are now of
mixed Russian descent, but the original Aleuts were a gentle, intelligent
people when impressed by the first fur-traders, and in their speech and
customs showed resemblance to the Ainos of northern Japan. Baranof
literally enslaved them, took 1,000 Aleut hunters with their bidarkas
to Sitka in 1804, and often leased them under contract to British an*d
American traders for otter-hunting on the lower coast. Their damp,
half underground houses and the native qvass have been sufficient reason for their rapid decline in numbers. Despite the introduction of
foreign liquors, only one murder was committed by Aleuts in fifty years,
They are quick to improve educational advantages, and Aleut women
of the better class possess many accomplishments. The older women
weave exquisitely fine baskets, cigar-cases, etc., from the dried grasses
and fibres, but the supply of this work diminishes each year.
Unimak Island, the first of the Aleutians, contains two volcanoes,
Shishaldin (8,953 ft.), and Pogromnaia, or Destruction (5,525 ft.).
Shishaldin is the most symmetrical and perfect cone along the whole
" Pacific Ring of Fire," tapering evenly from sea-level to the sharpest
point, from which a smoke pennant always floats. The sea beats at its
base, and the snowy cone retains its white covering to within 2,000
ft. of the surf the year round. It was in eruption in 1826, and in
1827 opened a new crater and rained ashes far and wide. The perpetual mist and vapour in the atmosphere defeat photographers' efforts to
secure sharp negatives from a moving ship.
Unimak Pass and Akutan Pass are the usual ships' entrances to
Bering Sea. Between the two lies the island holding the volcanic peak
of Akutan, 3,988 ft in height.
Unalaska, the most important island of the Aleutian chain, is
mountainous throughout, with the volcanic mass of Makushin, 5,961
feet, at its northwest end.
Dutch Harbour, on the north shore, fronting Akutan Pass, is the
headquarters of the North American Commercial Co., and tourists by
their mail steamer from Sitka wait here while the vessel refits for the
return cruise.
Captain Cook twice repaired his ships at this harbour in 1778, and
here met Ismyloff, commander of the Russian factory on the other side
of the island. He gave the great navigator much information as to
local names, which the latter received with caution. Here Cook wrote:
" They (the Aleuts) call it by the same name Mr. Staehlin gives to his
great island, that is Alaschka. Stachtan Nitada, as it is called on the
modern maps, is a name quite unknown to these people, natives of the
islands, as well as Russians, but both of them know it by the name of
America." Then later Cook wrote: " I have already observed that the
American continent is here called by the Russians as well as by the
islanders Alaschka, which name, though it properly belongs only to the
country adjoining Unimak, is used by them when speaking of the
American continent in general, which they know perfectly well to be a
great land."
IIiuliuk, " the curving beach," more commonly known as Unalaska, population 817, one mile below Dutch Harbour, is port of entry
for all ships passing in or out of Bering Sea and the metropolis of all
the region " to westward,"   The U. S, commissioner and deputy-col-
lector reside here. The Greek church is second in size and importance
to the cathedral at Sitka, and the bishop for a time resided here. Besides the Russian parish school, there are a Government day-school and a
Methodist mission. It is headquarters for the Alaska Commercial Co.,
which occupies the old fort of the Russian Company. The ships of the
Pacific arctic whaling fleet call here for water, coal, supplies, and mail,
transship cargo, leave and receive news of the ice line, the position, and
catch of each whaler. In 1891, 1892, and 1893, during the modus vivendi, it was headquarters of the United States and British fleets engaged in the Bering Sea patrol, and lines of captured sealers often
waited at anchor.
There is direct communication with Sitka, 1,250 miles, by monthly
mail steamer, from April to October, and frequent communication with
San Francisco, 2,100 miles, by traders' supply steamers, which take passengers under certain conditions.
Excursions from Unalaska.
Mrs. Shepard's " Cruise of the Rush " shows how agreeably time may
be passed on this northern isle, and suggests minor excursions to the
miniature forest, the waterfall, and the cave near Dutch Harbour. The
wealth of wild flowers carpeting all the hillsides is the delight of every
visitor, and none weary of the beautiful harbour and the landscape
wealth around. Those travelling by the Sitka steamer will find themselves the guests of the N. A. C. Co. at their Dutch Harbour establishment, and every arrangement is made for those wishing to hunt, fish,
botanize, or climb.
Bogoslov volcano, with its sea-lion rookeries, is the great point of
attractionj and a day's excursion to this island of St. John the Theologian is included in the tour from Sitka by the N. A. C. Co.'s vessel.
It lies in Bering Sea some 40 miles W. of Unalaska harbour, and rose
from the waters in 1796 after a day of rumbling, thunder, and violent
explosions, accompanied by much sulphurous gas and dense smoke.
The rocky mass grew after a similar demonstration in 1805. It continued to grow for a quarter century, often showing a light at night and
darkening the sun with its smoke by day. There were disturbances" in
1883, the year of Krakatoa's great eruption, and showers of fine ashes
fell from concealing clouds that finally lifted and disclosed a second
peak joined to the first by a sandy isthmus. Ship Rock, 86 ft. high,
stood on the isthmus.   The earthquakes of 1889-90 left only a thread
of this isthmus, and in 1891 it had sunk beyond soundings, Ship Rock
had wholly disappeared, and a new peak was in action. The upper parts
of these peaks have been too hot for one to climb, and the intense heat
and steam are rotting away the rocks, that drop continually. Sea-lions
swarm on the rocks and ledges along shore, and myriads of birds have
their nests on the warm rocks. A landing is usually made and opportunity given for all to gather specimens and souvenirs of the visit, cook
eggs over the steam-jets, and put the volcano to other practical uses.
Opportunity sometimes offers for a circuit of the island by sea, and
is an excursion much enjoyed. Makushin Harbour, on the W. coast,
where Glottov and his Russians first landed in 1757, is some 30 miles
from Unalaska. The great mountain is easily climbed from that side.
Prof. Blake, Lieutenant Hodgson, and Dr. Kellogg, of Prof. Davidson's
expedition, climbed Makushin, 5,961 ft., September, 1867, and found
" a crater 2,000 ft. broad by estimate, and filled with snow, in the northwestern portion of which was an orifice giving vent to clouds of smoke
and sulphurous fumes."
The volcano of Vsevidoff, 8,000 ft., on Unimak Island, S. W. of Unalaska, attracts attention. BorJca, on the little island of the same name
at the N. E. end of Unalaska Island, is an Aleut village of as extraordinary neatness and cleanliness as the show villages of Holland.
The Bering Sea and Shores.
The Nushegak and Kuskokvim Rivers.
Bering Sea was described by Prof. Davidson as " a mighty reservoir of cod," and a large cod bank extends all along the W. side of the
great peninsula. The Nushegak River reaches the sea at Bristol Bay,
on whose shores are four large salmon canneries, and the king salmon
of the Kvichak and Nushegak average from 40 to 60 pounds' weight.
On this side of the peninsula all the coast people are Innuits or Esquimaux (ces qui miaux), differing entirely from Aleut, Tlingit, and the
Tinneh or Athabascan tribes of the interior. They live in underground huts, wear the loose parka or hooded smock, and skin boots,
and use dogs as draught animals. The Russians made few attempts
and had no success in civilizing or Christianizing them. There is now
a Moravian mission at Carmel on the Nushegak, and one at Bethel on
the Kuskokvim, with Government contract schools at both places.
Kuskokvim Bay is the Fundy of this coast, the tide rising 60 and
60 ft., and rushing in in a great bore or wave. The Kuskokvim is the
second great river of the Territory, and navigable for 900 miles from
its mouth. Well-populated Esquimaux villages line its banks, and the
natives have an abundant food supply in the salmon, white-fish, seals,
and beluga, or white whale. Prospectors have found gold on all these
Western rivers, and the fur-trade is considerable, the Kuskokvim
country furnishing the finest black bear skins in Alaska.
The Pribylov or Seal Islands*
These four volcanic islands lie 220 miles N. W. of Unalaska, veiled
in perpetual mists and fogs of the summer season, and ringed round
with drift ice in the winter. They are treeless, covered with moss and
grass, and brilliant wild flowers in their season. The odours of the
rookeries, where hundreds of thousands of seals gather annually, and
of the slaughter-grounds, where millions of seals have been killed for a
century, are perceived far at sea, and, with the barking of the animals,
are often the mariner's only guide in those dense and protracted fogs.
Only Government vessels are allowed to approach or enter the harbours.
St. Paul, the larger island, is 12 miles long and from 6 to 8 miles
wide, and its village is the headquarters of the N. A. C. Co., leasing the
seal fisheries. St. George, 30 miles N., is a little smaller, and between
them lie the tiny Otter and Walrus Islands. The 400 Aleuts inhabiting the islands are gathered in tidy villages, with Greek churches and
school-houses. The islands are a Government reserve, and are leased
for terms of twenty years by the U. S. Treasury Department. For
over a century they have yielded more wealth than any gold-mine, but
with the settlement of the Northwest Coast their prosperity has diminished, and the seals will be exterminated as ruthlessly as those of the
For forty years Siberian traders hunted for the fabled island of
Amik, where they believed the "sea bears" lived. In 1786 Gerassim
Pribylov heard the barking through the fog and found the fur-seals'
summer home. Two million seals were killed within a year, and the
reckless slaughter so nearly exterminated the herds that Resanof ordered killing stopped for five years, when the rookeries regained their
numbers. Baranof used the Piibylovs as a bank. The sealskin, then
valued at $1 Mexican, was the unit of currency, and regularly taken in
payment for any commodity by American traders, who exchanged them
at Canton for silk and tea. In 1835 the islands were ringed with ice
into midsummer, the seals could not land, and the pups born in the
surf died with their mothers. The herd was again nearly extinct, and
Baron Wrangell stopped the killing until the rookeries had regained
their numbers. Sir George Simpson (1844) found the company taking
200,000 and 300,000 skins annually, and the market so overstocked
that the skins did not pay for carrying. In similar situations before as
many as 700,000 and 1,000,000 skins were thrown into the sea to keep
prices up, and in Baranof's time improperly cured skins were thrown
away in as great numbers.
The value and importance of these islands were not appreciated at
the time of the transfer. No protection was afforded in 1868, and
seven concerns enjoyed free sealing that season. In 1869 they were
declared a Government reserve and guarded by soldiers, and in 1870
the islands of St. Paul and St. George and the seal-fisheries were leased
for twenty years to the Alaska Commercial Co., of San Francisco,
which had previously bought all the buildings and the good-will of
the Russian American Fur Co. throughout Alaska. They were permitted to kill 100,000 seals each year, 80,000 on St. Paul and 20,000
on St. George, for an annual rental of $55,000, a tax of $2.62£ on
each skin, and 55 cents on each gallon of seal-oil. The lessees furnished fuel and certain rations to the Aleuts, provided schools and medical care, and paid them 40 cents for each skin taken. A special Treasury agent resided on the islands each season to protect Government
interests, and guards prevented any killing on Walrus or Otter Islets.
At the expiration of their lease the A. C. Co. had paid $5,956,565.67
to the Treasury, or 4 per cent interest on the sum paid for all Alaska.
The A. C. Co. was believed to have divided from $900,000 to $1,-
000,000 profits each year between 12 original stockholders. Holding
also the lease of the Comandorski Islands from Russia, they controlled
the sealskin supply of the world; and having 36 other trading stations
in Alaska, they monopolized land furs as well. Salmon canneries and
coal-mines added to the profits of this most remarkable commercial
company, whose preserves were not invaded nor monopoly threatened
until toward the end of the Pribylov lease. By their management
salted sealskins rose in value from $2.50 to $3 in 1868, to $10 and
$18 in 1884, and to $30 in 1890.
In 1890 a twenty-year lease was awarded to the North American
Commercial Co., of San Francisco, for an annual rental of $100,000, a
tax of $9.62 on each of 100,000 skins taken, the islands then to return
over a million a year to the Government, or 14 per cent on Secretary Seward's investment. Pelagic sealing and rookery raiding by the
Victoria fleet had so diminished the herd that the lessees were only
permitted to take 20,000 skins the first season, and for three seasons
while the seal question was a matter of diplomatic discussion only the
few seals sufficient for a food supply for the natives were killed.
For half the year the Aleuts and foxes have their islands undisturbed.    In May the "sea bears" swim through the Aleutian passes
after a six months' circuit of a kitershaped track whose lower loop is
in the latitude of Los Angeles. They are followed as they sweep close
along the Northwest Coast by the increasing fleet of sealing schooners,
whose hunters secure about one seal out of ten shot.- At the rookeries, polygamous families herd in little groups on the rocks, and the
patriarch stays at home with the little black pups all summer, while
the mother seals swim even 200 miles in search of their daily 10 and
20 pounds of cod or salmon. They are timid creatures, and at any
strange noise they rush to the water. The keeping of a pet dog lost
one Russian manager $100,000 in one season by the depopulation of
a rookery.    No fire-arms, whistles, or bells are allowed on the island.
The seal's fur is in best condition immediately on arrival, but he
assumes a new coat in August, which is in fine condition when about
to leave at the end of September. Only male seals from two to four
years of age are killed. These bachelors herd alone, and the Aleuts
running between them and the water in the early morning drive them
slowly to the killing-ground, where they are despatched by a blow on
the head, quickly bled, and the skins taken to the salting-house. Except as the Aleuts make use of the flesh and blubber, the carcass goes
to waste. The cool, moist climate prevents these killing-grounds from
causing an epidemic, and by the next spring the hollow, bird-like bones
are lost in the grass and earth.
The salted skins are sent to London, the fur-market of the world,
auctioned off, and prepared for use. These perfect " Alaskas " command first price, and " Victorias"—the poachers' riddled, torn, and
slashed skins—inferior prices. Seven London firms, employing some
10,000 workmen, finish sealskins at a cost of 7 shillings each. No
machines have been able to supplant the many hand processes requiring the greatest skill and nicety. The skins are worked in sawdust,
cleaned, scraped, washed, shaved, plucked, given from 8 to 12 coats of
dye with a hand-brush, washed, and freed from any remaining grease
by a bath of hot sawdust or sand. The Chinese began plucking and
dyeing fur-seal over a century ago to furnish an imitation of sea-otter.
French furriers have insisted on the darker dyes, but the strong nut-
gall and acid render the skins less'durable than when dyed to the
bright brown of 30 years ago. Finished skins pay a duty of 20
per cent on re-entering the United States.
As sealskins rose in value and the seafaring population increased
on the Northwest Coast, pelagic sealing and poaching had their rise.
A first poacher went from San Francisco in 1872. A revenue cutter
was soon detailed to cruise in Bering Sea and seize such craft. The
sealers then took out British papers and made Victoria their home
port, and by 1879 brought in and reported 12,500 skins to the Canadian officials. In 1886 they brought in 38,907 skins; the rookeries
were openly raided; three Canadian vessels were seized; the British
minister at Washington protested, and the Bering Sea Question arose.
"In 1887 six Canadian vessels were seized, and in the brief and argu-
ment prepared by A. K. Dulaney, U. S. District Attorney at Sitka, the
first formal plea was made that Bering Sea was an inland water, a
mare clausum—no part of the Pacific Ocean; and that the United
States and Russian boundary line from Bering Strait to Attu Island
enclosed protected seal waters within which the United States had complete jurisdiction by virtue of rights obtained from Russia.
In 1890 over 100 schooners trailed the Pribylov herd up the coast;
and while the lessees of the islands could only take 20,000 skins, 50,-
000 skins were brought inio Victoria. Schooners boldly raided the
rookeries, and the Aleuts battled with the crews.
June 15, 1891, after every schooner had cleared from Victoria,'
Great Britain agreed to the modus vivendi proposed by the United
States, whereby all sealing in Bering Sea by citizens of either nationality should cease. The joint patrol of gunboats and cutters warned
73 and seized 6 schooners in Bering Sea. Commissioners from the
United States and Great Britain visited the islands and met in conference at Washington, in February, 1892. The modus vivendi was renewed for another season, and a treaty of arbitration negotiated. The
seizure of the supply steamer Coquitlam off Nuchek prevented the
Victoria fleet from invading Bering Sea to any extent duiing 1892.
The tribunal of arbitration met in Paris, March 28,1898. Its members were: Justice John M. Harlan and Senator John T. Morgan, arbitrators for the United States; Lord Hannen and Sir John Thompson,
for Great Britain; Baron de Courcelles, for France; Gregers Gram,
for Sweden; and the Marquis Venosta, for Italy. Hon. John W. Foster appeared as agent for the United States; Hon. E. J. Phelps, J. C.
Carter, Frederick Coudert, H. W. Blodgett, and R. Lansing, as counsel.
Hon. C. H. Tupper appeared as agent for Great Britain, and Sir Charles
Russell, Sir Richard Webster, Mr. C. Robinson, and Mr. W. H. Cross
as counsel.
The arbitration covers the following points:
1. What exclusive jurisdiction in the sea known as the Bering Sea,
and what exclusive right in the seal-fisheries therein, did Russia assert
and exercise prior and up to the 'time of the cession of Alaska to the
United States ?
2. How far were these claims of jurisdiction as to the seal-fisheries recognized and conceded by Great Britain ?
3. Was the body of water now known as Bering Sea included in the
phrase "Pacific Ocean" as used in the Treaty of 1825 between Great
Britain and Russia, and what right if any, in Bering Sea was held and
exclusively exercised by Russia after said treaty ?
4. Did not all the rights of Russia as to jurisdiction and as to the
seal-fisheries in Bering Sea, east of the water boundary, in the treaty
between the United States and Russia of the 30th of March, 1867, pass
unimpaired to the United States under that treaty ?
5. Has the United States any right, and, if so, what right of protection of property in the fur-seals frequenting the islands of the United
States in Bering Sea, when such seals are found outside the ordinary
three-mile limit?
The tribunal rendered a decision adverse to the United States, refusing to consider that the United States had entire property rights in the
seal herds, or to consider the question of damages to United States
property by pelagic sealing. The effect of the decision made the United
States liable to damages for seizure and detention of sealing schooners.
The Secretary of State and the British ambassador, in 1895, fixed upon
the sum of $425,000, as covering all such damages, but Congress refused to appropriate that sum in settlement, deeming the amount exorbitant. In 1896, Congress authorized a commission of one British, one
United States, and one Swiss citizen to examine and recommend such
claims for damages.
The tribunal instituted such regulations as it judged sufficient to
protect the seal herds from extermination by pelagic sealing, but as
these proved wholly insufficient, the seals rapidly decreased, thousands
of young seals starving to death on the beaches each summer, and Congress long discussed the Dingley bill, which provided that the lessees
should kill every seal that landed on the islands, and the Bering Sea
question thus be forever ended.
Other Islands in Bering Sea*
Less than 300 Esquimaux manage to exist on St. Matthew and St.
Lawrence, and nearly all the inhabitants of the latter island died of
starvation in 1878—'79. Polar bears come down to these islands on the
ice-floes, and their glossy winter-killed skins, averaging from 12 to 15
ft in length, bring from $30 to $50 in trade.
St. Michael's, on an island in Norton Sound, 70 miles N. of the
Yukon's mouth, is commercial headquarters for the Yukon and Arctic
regions, and farthest trading-post of the A. C. Co. Miners and
freight exchange from ships to light-draught river steamers, as with its
many mouths no navigable ship-channel into the Yukon has "been
found, and bars extend for 100 miles from shore. There are 1,370
miles of navigation between St MicHaels and Forty-Mile Creek, at the
crossing of the international boundary line on the Yukon. There are a
Swedish mission and school in Norton Sound, and a Congregational
mission and school at the large Esquimaux village just below Cape
Prince of Wales.
The Bureau of Education, in order to provide a future food supply for the natives, has established a reindeer farm at Port Clarence,
bringing the domesticated animals from the Siberian side and training Innuit boys to care for them.
Bering Strait.
Bering Strait, dividing the continents of Asia and North America, is 36 miles wide between East Cape and Cape Prince of Wales,
with the three Diomede Islands standing midway. The shallow water
and upward current prevent any great icebergs floating down through
this strait, and the ice to northward has rarely been seen to exceed
50 ft. in height above the water. There are no glaciers on either the
Bering or Arctic coast, hence no icebergs, but only packs and floes.
The Jeannette passed through this strait in 1879 and sunk off the
Siberian coast; and Nordenskj old brought the Vega successfully through
from the Atlantic in 1880. Eugene Sue's Wandering Jew is described
as standing on the Siberian promontory and conversing across the
waters with the unknown female on Cape Prince of Wales; and telegraph cables and railway bridges have been nlanned to connect the
continents at this point.
In the Arctic Ocean.
The Arctic Circle is drawn across the water just above the capes,
and the true Land of the Midnight Sun is entered. The shores of Kotzebue Sound are the same marsh and tundra, covered with summer wild
flowers, as seen along all the coast from the point of the Aliaska Peninsula.
The Pacific Arctic is the last whaling-ground left. The Pacific
whaling fleet, which numbered 600 vessels a century ago, includes but
50 now. There are 10 steam whalers, and they obtain fuel from the
coal-veins at Cape Lisburne, discovered and used by Captain C. L.
Hooper during his arctic cruises in search of the Jeannette. The average whaler is a dilapidated bark or brig, which with difficulty obtains a
crew and can seldom be insured. A few of these whalers have wintered
off the mouth of the Mackenzie River, in order to be on the ground in
the spring. The crew go on shares, each man on board taking a percentage of the season's catch on his return to San Francisco. Oil is
not the prize sought now, and the bowhead, or Kadiak whale, ranks the
sperm, since whalebone commands $6 a pound, and a single bowhead
yields from $5,000 to $7,000 in bone. The whalers trade with Siberian and Alaskan natives, and a revenue cutter patrols the Arctic each
season to see that liquors and fire-arms are not introduced; to aid and
rescue whalers when necessary; to give them communication with the
world below, and to administer justice. -xS-v
Point Barrow, named by Beechey in 1826, which corresponds in
latitude to the North Cape of Norway, is 600 miles E. of Bering Strait,
and the most northern point of Alaska and of the continent. A U. S.
signal station was maintained there for two years, as one in a chain of
Arctic stations maintained by European governments for magnetic and
meteorological observations. A refuge station was next built, 50 out
of 87 whalers having been wrecked near that point, and the crews of
12 whalers preferring to go down with their ships in 1877, than to
chance the slower death in small boats or on shore. A Government
school and Presbyterian mission was built in 1890 to care for the Esquimaux settled around the station. It is visited and revictualled annually by the revenue cutter.
A first pleasure tourist visited the arctic whaling ground in 1891, a
New York yachtsman paying $25,000 for the three months' cruise in
a Japanese steamer chartered at Yokohama. Its presence created almost
as great an excitement as the Confederate privateer Shenandoah when
it appeared among the New Bedford fleet in 1865, captured and burned
35 whalers, and sent three to San Francisco as cartels. The Shenandoah made but one port in the thirteen months after leaving Glasgow.
It was the only vessel that carried the Confederate flag around the
world, and carried it for six months after Appomattox. It visited every
ocean save the Antarctic, carried its anchors at its bows for eight months,
•ran 38,000 statute miles, and never lost a chase. A Melbourne whaler
warned and saved many Yankee ships, and the Shenandoah hunted for
the Australian ship in vain, else Shenandoah claims might have aggregated more than $6,000,000.
Demarcation Point, 600 miles E. of Point Barrow, is the international boundary line, where " the meridian line of the 141st degree in
its prolongation reaches the Frozen Ocean."
Beyond lie the Northeast and the Northwest Passage, in search for
which two generations of explorers sacrificed their lives. The country
" beyond the north wind " still lures, and scientist, mariner, and fireside
tourists dream of the place where latitude stops, longitude centers,
time ends and time begins, and where the sun circles around the summer sky brooding above the pole.
The following list contains the more easily accessible books con.
earning Alaska and the Northwest Coast:
Early Voyages.
in H. M. S. Blossom in the
in H. M. S. Sulphur
Voyages.   London, 1813.
Voyage around the World.    London,
Voyage around the World, 1803-6.
Beechey, F. W.   Narrative of a Voyage
Years 1825-'28.    London, 1831.
Belcheb, Sir Edward.    Narrative of a Voyage
during the Years 1836-'42.    London, 1843.
Cook, James. The Account of his Third and Last Voyage in the
Years 1776-'80.   By James King.
Dixon, George. Voyage around the World in 1785-88. London,.
Langsdorff, George H. von.
La Perouse, Jean Francois.
LrSIANSKI, Imri Feodorovich.
London, 1814.
Lutke, Feodor Petrovich.   Voyage autour du Monde.    Paris, 1835.
Marchand," Etienne. Voyage around the World. Written by C. P.
Meares, John.    Voyages.   London, 1790.
Poole.    Queen Charlotte Islands.   London, 1872.
Portlock, Nathaniel.    Voyage around the World.   London, 1789.
Simpson, Sir George.   Narrative of a Journey around the World.
London, 1847.
(Sir George Simpson was Governor of the Hudson Bay Company, and in
i840-'43 visited all the stations of Ms company, the Spanish colonies in California, the Russian settlements in North America, and returned to Europe
by way of Siberia.)
Vancouver, George. A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific
Ocean and around the World, performed in the Years 1790-'96.
London, 1798.
(Prof. Dall has called attention to the fact that there is no biography of
Vancouver. The date of his birth is not known. He was midshipman with
Captain Cook on his third and last voyage. While superintending the publication of his voyages in London, Vancouver was challenged by a young officer
whom he had disciplined during a cruise. Old and feeble, he was unwilling
and unable to meet him, nor did he think the exercise of naval authority war-
ranted a duel as defence. His assailant meeting him in Bond Street after the
refusal to fight, struck Vancouver in the face and publicly insulted him. The
old officer, humiliated and chagrined, failed rapidly, and died May 10,1798,
just before bis voyages were published. He is buried in the churchyard at
Ham, near Richmond, Surrey. Dr. Dall has found reference to the challenge
to the duel in a story of Charles Reade. " What has become of Lord Camel-
ford's Body ? "—Harper's Weekly, May 6.1876).
Von Staehlin, J.    Account of the New Northern Archipelago,
don, 1114.
(This is the first published account of Bering's, Tchirikow's, and other Rus-
-sian discoveries on the coast of North America.)
Wilkes, Charles, U. S. N.
dition, 1S38-42.
Narrative of the U. S. Exploring Expe-
Badlam, Alexander.   The Wonders of Alaska.   San Francisco, 1889.
Ballou, Maturin M.    The New El Dorado.    Boston, 1888.
Bancroft,- Hubert Howe. Works. History of the Northwest Coast,
vols, xxvii and xxviii. History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana,
vol. xxxi.   History of British Columbia, vol. xxxii.   History of Alaska,
vol. xxxiii.
Beardslee, Lester A. Letters in Forest and Stream in 1879, signed
" Piscco."   Report on Affairs in Alaska, Congressional Document;
Bell, W. H. The Stickeen River and its Glaciers. Scribner's Monthly,
April, 1879.
Briggs, Horace.    Letters from Alaska.    Buffalo.
Collis, Mrs. Septima M. A Woman's Trip to Alaska. New York,
Dall, William H. Alaska and its Resources. Boston, 1870. The
Coast Pilot of Alaska, 1883. Partial List of Books, Maps, and Charts
relating to Alaska and the Adjacent Region. (A quarto volume of 210
pages, cataloguing the literature of the region down to the year 1882.)
Davidson, Georgk.    Coast Pilot of Alaska.    1869.
Dawson, George- M.   Monograph on the Queen Charlotte Islands in
Annual Report of Dominion Geological Survey.
Elliott, Henry W.   Monograph on the Seal Islands.   Census Report,
1880.    Our Arctic Province.
Finck, Henry T.   The Pacific Coast Scenic Tour.    New York, 1890.
Glave, E. J. Pioneer Pack-Horses in Alaska. Century Magazine,
September and October, 1892.
Greenhow, Robert.    The Northwest Coast.
(Mr. Greenhow was Librarian of the Department of State at the time the
Oregon question rose to prominence, and his book is almost the argument
of the United States case, containing a resume of all the early history of
the region.)
Hallock, Charles.    Our New Alaska.   New York, 1886.
Hine, C. C.    Alaska Illustrated.    Milwaukee, 1889.
(Contains a sketch of life at Sitka
(A brief sketch of the first mission
Irving, Washington.   Astoria,
during Baranof's time.)
Jackson, Rev. Sheldon.   Alaska
Karr, H. W. Seton. The Shores and Alps of Alaska. London, 1887.
Proceedings of Royal Geographic Society, vol. ix, 1887.
Matne, R. C. Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver's Island.    London,1862.
Milton, Cheadle.   The Northwest Passage by Land.   London, 1865.
Muir, John.   Picturesque California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.
J. Deming.    New York and San Francisco.
Niblack, Albert P., U. S. N.    The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska
and Northern British Columbia.    Report of U. S. National Museum
Nicholls, Henry E., U. S. N.    U. S. Coast Pilot of Alaska.    1892.
Petroff, Ivan. Population and Resources of Alaska. (A volume of
the Eleventh Census Report, 1890.) Internal Commerce of the United
States. (Published by Bureau of Statistics, U. S. Treasury Department.)   U. S. Census Report, 1S80, and U. S. Census Report, 1890.
(Mr. Petroff gathered materials for H. H. Bancroft's History of the Northwest Coast and Alaska, and wrote a part of the History of Alaska in that
series down to the year 1841.)
Pierpoint, Edward.   From Fifth Avenue to Alaska.   New York, 1883.
Ray, R. C, U. S. N. The Coast of British Columbia. U. S. Hydro-
graphic Office, 1891.
Reclus, Elisee,    Geographie Universelle, Boreal America, vol. xv.
Reid, Henry Fielding. Studies of Muir Glacier. National Geographic Magazine, March, 1892.
Rollins, Alice Wellington.   Palm to Glacier.   New York, 1892.
Russell, Israel C. An Expedition to Mt. St. Elias. In National
Geographic Magazine, May, 1891, and Thirteenth Report of Director
of U. S. Geological Survey. (See also Century Magazine, April, 1891,
and June, 1892.)
Schwatka, Frederick. Along Alaska's Great River. New York,
Scidmore, Eliza Ruhamah. Alaska: Its Southern Coast and the Sit-
kan Archipelago. Boston, 1885. Alaska, in Reports of Director of
the Mint, 1883 and 1884. Monograph. Census Report, 1890.
Harper's Weekly, August 30, 1884, March 28, 1885, May 14 and
July 23, 1892. Century Magazine, July, 1891. Wide Awake,
March, 1885. Northwest Magazine, June, 1891. New York Times,
October, 1884.    St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 1883 and 1884.
Sessions, Francis C. From Yellowstone Park to Alaska. New York,
Shepherd, Isabel.   The Cruise of the Rush.   San Francisco.
Spboat.   Scenes and Studies of Savage Life.    London, 1868.
Swan, James G.   The Northwest Coast.   New York, 1857.
St. John.    The Sea of Mountains.   London, 1877.
Victor, Mrs. Frances Fuller.
(Mrs. Victor assisted in gathering materials for H. H. Bancroft's histories,
and wrote the volumes pertaining to Oregon.)
Wardman, George.   A Trip to Alaska.    Boston, 1884.
Webb, Seward.   Yellowstone Park and Alaska.    New York, 1890.
Wellcome, Henry.   The Story of Metlakahtla.   New York, 1887.
Wells, Ensign Roger, U. S. N., and John W. Kelly. English-Eskimo
and Eskimo-English Vocabularies. U. S. Bureau of Education—Circular of Information No. 2—1890.
Whymper, Frederick. Travel and Adventure in the Territory of
Alaska.   London, 1868.
Winthrop, Theodore.   Canoe and Saddle.
Wood, C. E. S. Among the Tlingits in Alaska. Century Magazine,
July, 1882.
Woodman, Abby M.    Picturesque Alaska.    Boston, 1889.
Wright, G. Frederick.   The Ice Age in North America.    New York,
 The Canadian Pacific Eailway.
Briefly speaking, this great Canadian railway is an imperial highway
across Canada, from east to west. Extending in one uninterrupted
main line from the Atlantic to the Pacific, it forms, in connection with
trans-Pacific steamers, a new route to the Orient and round the world.
In addition to this main or transcontinental line, the longest continuous line of railway in the world, the Canadian Pacific has a far-
reaching system of branches, extending in all directions to and beyond
the chief commercial centers of Eastern Canada, affording direct connections with the more important American systems.
In the construction of the Canadian Pacific every provision had to
be made not only to build a road fit to meet every demand of an immense traffic, but to provide a short line between England and China
•and the East. Hence it is not surprising to find it, as now completed,
not alone the longest line under one management, but the most substantial and best equipped railway on the North American Continent.
To the tourist and sportsman it offers attractions un ipproached.
By it are reached the game forests and pond region of Maine; the wildfowl marshes of Western Ontario; the salmon rivers and trout streams
tributary to the St. Lawrence; the haunts of the moose and caribou in
Northern Ontario; the broad prairies of Manitoba, Assiniboia, and Alberta, now the best shooting-grounds for large and small game available ; the Rocky Mountains, the Selkirks, and kindred ranges of British
Columbia. In fact, this railway gives access to nearly every picturesque
and sporting region in Canada worth the attention of travelers.
For a tour across the continent to the Pacific coast, the city of
Montreal is the most convenient starting point. From here the route
leads to Ottawa, the capital of the Dominion, thence up the beautiful
Ottawa Valley and through the wild forest region about Lake Nipissing.
Beyond that point it traverses another region of forest and countless
lakes and streams until the imposing rock cliffs of the north shore of
Lake Superior are reached; thence winding through and around these
to Port Arthur. Beyond Port Arthur we pass through the district of
Kee-way-din, thence along the shores of the superb Lake-of-the-Woods,
and on to Winnipeg, near the eastern limit of the great prairies of the
Northwest. From Winnipeg the rolling grassy sea of plains extends
for nearly a thousand miles to the Rockies. Crossing this vast expanse
of fertile lands, after passing towns, villages, farms, and ranches
uncounted, the Rocky Mountains are entered at " the Gap," 2,326
miles from Montreal. Eighteen miles within the mountains is Banff,
the station for the Canadian National Park, a valley of many miles
in extent, elevated 4,500 feet above sea-level. The Fraser is followed
amid scenes too magnificent for words to describe, until finally the
tide-waters of the Pacific are reached at the city of Vancouver, the
western terminus of the road. From Vancouver steamships depart
regularly for Japan and China; for Victoria; for Port Townsend,
Seattle, Tacoma, and other Puget Sound ports; and for San Francisco,
and northward to Alaska.
jTT.    UNITED  ST A TES.    With numerous Maps and  Illustrations.     Revised   annually.      i2mo.     Flexible  morocco, with
tuck, complete, $2.50.
Part I, separately, New England and Middle States and Canada,
cloth, $1.25. Part II, separately, Southern and Western States,
cloth, $1.25.
"Bears every evidence of the amount of care bestowed upon each edition."—
Baltimore A merican.
"Without an equal in its special field."—New York Herald,
^J.    Complete in one volume.    With Maps, numerous Illustrations,
and an Appendix giving Fish and Game Laws, and Lessees of
Trout and Salmon Rivers.    i2mo.    Flexible cloth, $1.50.
In one convenient volume are presented Professor Roberts's delightful Guide to
Eastern Canada, and also supplementary chapters which guide the tourist through
Western Canada across the plains of Manitoba, through the beautiful scenery of the
Canadian Rockies and British Columbia to Vancouver and Victoria. The complete
volume furnishes a useful and comprehensive study of the great empire of Canada as a
whole which will be indispensable for any one interested in the subject.
zj.   By  Miss  E.   R.  Scidmore.     With Maps and   Illustrations.
i2mo.    Flexible cloth, $1.25.
" A charming little volume by an expert traveler, who sees everything that is to be
seen and knows a good deal more than she can tell in half a dozen books."—New
York Herald.
"Crowded with statistical, historical, ethnological, and purely itinerary information,
and so handy in form, that it can be heartily recommended to all intending travelers to
this great and noble Territory."—The Critic.
"As valuable as a complete work of reference for the library as to the tourist who
visits the region."—Washington Post.
jTl    SUMMER RESORTS.    With Maps, Illustrations, Table of
Railroad Fares, etc.   Revised annually.   i2mo.   Paper, 50 cents.
" An enticing pamphlet of mingled pictures and descriptions, which contains about
everything which it is at all desirable for the summer wayfarer tto know."—Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.
<rl WINTER RESORTS. For Tourists and Invalids.
Giving complete information as to winter sanitariums, and places
of resort in the United States, the West Indies, and Mexico.
With Maps, Illustrations, Table of Railroad Fares, etc. Revised annually.    i2mo.    Paper, 50 cents.
"Unquestionably the best and fullest hand-book of American winter resorts in existence."—Brooklyn Standard Union.
/~L   AND ITS VICINITY.    An Alphabetically Arranged Index
to all Places, Societies, Institutions, Amusements, etc.    With
Maps.    Revised annually.    i6mo.    Paper,  30 cents; flexible
cloth, 60 cents.
" A slight examination of the articles makes good the claim to semiannual revision
upon the ude-page.   The Dictionary needs no fresh praise."—The Nation.
./jl A Complete Guide for English-Speaking Travelers to the Continent of Europe, Egypt, Algeria, and the Holy Land. With a
Vocabulary of Travel-Talk in English, German, French, and
Italian ; a Hotel List, and " Specialties of European Cities" ;
Maps and Plans of Principal Cities ; Information about Steamers,
Passports, Expenses, Baggage, Cuslom-Houses, Couriers, Railway Traveling, Valets de Place, Languages, Funds, Best Seasons
for Visiting Europe, Table of Coins, etc. Two vols., i2mo.
Morocco, flexible, gilt edges, $5.00.
Hundred and Forty-three Illustrations of Street Scenes, Buildings, River Views, and other Picturesque Features of the Great
Metropolis.   With Maps.    Large 8vo.    Paper, 50 cents.
^~L    Chapter on  Guatemala, and an English-Spanish  Vocabulary.
By Alfred R. Conkling, formerly United States Geologist.
With a Railway Map and numerous Illustrations.    New revised
edition.    i2mo.    Cloth, $2.00.
HTHE FLORIDA OF TO-DAY   A Guide for Tour-
A    ists and Settlers.   By James Wood Davidson, M. A.   With
Railway and County Map printed in colors, and Illustrations.
l2mo.    Cloth, $1.25.
CONTENTS.—History;   Geography;   Climate;  Divisions;   Health;  Geology;
Travel; Population; Education; Productions; Sporting; Pests; Appendix, contain-*
ing Railroad Routes, River Routes, List of Hotels.
/CALIFORNIA   OF   THE   SOUTH: Its Physical
\^s     Geography, Climate, Resources, Routes of Travel, and Health Resorts.    Being a Complete Guide to  Southern California.    By
Walter  Lindley, M. D.,  and J. P. Widney, A. M., M. D.
"With Maps and numerous Illustrations.    i2mo.    Cloth, $2.00.
For sale by all booksellers, or sent by mail on receipt of price by the publishers.
New York: D. APPLETON & CO., 72 Fifth Avenue.
Connecting the Commercial Centres and rich
farms of
The Broad Corn and Wheat Fields and Thriving
Towns of
The Fertile Eiver Valleys and Trade Centres of
The Grand, Picturesque and Enchanting Scenery, and the Famous Mining Districts of
The Agricultural, Fruit, Mineral and Timher
Lands, and Famous Hot Springs of
The Beautiful Boiling Prairies and Wood landa
of the
The Sugar Plantations of
The Cotton and Grain Fields, the Cattle Ranges
end Winter Resorts of
Historical and Scenic
And forms with its Connections the Popular
Winter Route to
For full descriptive and illustrated pamphlet of
anv of the above States, or Hot Springs, Ark , San
Antonio, Texas, and Mexico, address Company's
Agents, or
Gen'lPamngerfc Ticket Agent, .    ST. LOUIS, mo.
 St. Louis^San Francisco
<£ Railway «*
From St. Louis
DAILY between St. Louis and Texas, New and
Old Mexico, Colorado, California, and intermediate States and Territories.
The most Famous Health and Pleasure
Resort oe the Southwest, affords a delightful visit for Tourists.
For illustrated Pamphlets, Maps, Time-Tables, etc., address
either of the under-named:
General Manager, ST. LOUIS, MO. General Passenger Agent, ST. LOUIS, MO.
They are the most comfortable
"to wear. They are fitted upon
scientific principles by competent and skilled
fitters who are familiar with the anatomy of
human stamps.
Glen Springs, S. C, August 3,189k.
A. A. MARKS, Dear Sir: I received the artificial
leg which you made for me, and commenced using
it on the 13th of the game month.   I must say that
it fits the best of any artificial leg I have ever had.
S. S. Beardon.
"UVH A TTCJT1     Thay obviate
JDJjUAUoXi     Btumna.  The a
concussions to
stumps. The sponge rubber foot
affords a yielding medium to walk, run, jump,
or aught upon without jarring. «
Wanganui, New Zealand, June 12,189k.
A. A. MARKS, Dear Sir: On September, 1892,
you forwarded to me an artificial leg for my son.
It has given the greatest satisfaction.   My son has
worn it continuously; he can do all sorts of work;
he can walk all day in a rough country and never becomes
sore or lame.   He has jumped ten flight of hurdles, 8 feet
3 inches high, in 120 yards.    1 have seen him jump a
standard wire fence. C. M. Tatxob.
The method of fitting and construction
'prevents chafing and abrading.
Ottawa, Ohio, July 80,189k.
A. A. MARKS. Dear Sir: The leg which 1 purchased
from you for my daughter about a year ago has been worn
constantly. When she received the leg it was a perfect
fie My daughter put it on and wore it to school the first
day.   The stump has never been chafed or sore.
Respectfully,      J. S. Cartwright, C. E.
p-np a TTOT1 They are noiseless.    The absence of
JJXiUiiUoXi complicated ankle articulations removes absolutely the tell-tale thud, thump, and
flop which are the most objectionable features of all
other artificial legs. ■
"Mr. Marks makes absolutely the best artificial leg I
have ever seen. The core of the foot is covered with India rubber, so that from the instep to
the toes and back to the heel the foot is simply solid spring rubber. The elasticity of the toes
and heel compensat es for the absence of ankle motion, and in walking there is none of the
jarring, 'dot and go one' walk so characteristic of the jointed foot."
De. LEWIS A. SAYRE, Lecturer at Belleyue Hospital. '
A treatise of 430 pages with 300 illustrations sent free.   Address
;| A. A. MARKS, §•      gjf
Established 42 years. 701 Broadway, New York.
iff °iL 
In Action and Effect
To all other known Aperients or Cathartics,
Used in the hest families, and recommended by the leading physicians during the past fifty years as the best and simplest preparation for regulating the
action of the bowels. It corrects indigestion, cures sick headache,
biliousness, and constipation in such a gentle, coaxing way that the unpleasant results of more active remedies are avoided.
A Bottle of Tarrant's Seltzer Aperient should be
carried by every traveler for use in emergency.
For Seasickness and Squeamishness it has no equal.
Sold by Druggists throughout the United States, British Provinces, and by
Newbery & Sons, London; Roberts & Co., Paris ; J. Labadie Sucr.s. y Ca.,
City of Mexico; Jose SarrA, Habana.
Directions in French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish accompanying
each package.
Established 1834. Manufacturing Chemists, New York*
   PLATE Nb. 15 7 5
Cape Edward,
Nautical IMile s


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