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The routes and mineral resources of north western Canada Dyer, E. Jerome 1898

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Honorary Secretary of the Incorporated London Chamber of Mines^ London.
Published under the Auspices of
{with which are affiliated the Australasian and Canadian Chambers of Mines, London).
LIVERPOOL :—Philip, Son & Nephew, 45—51, South Castle Steeet.
(All right» reserved,)  PREFACE.
In my capacity as Honorary Secretary of the
Incorporated London Chamber of Mines (with which is
affiliated the Canadian Chamber), I have had continuous
occasion to remark the need of an abridged hand-book
upon the mineral resources of North-Western Canada, g
The gold discoveries in the Upper Yukon Country
have made this want even more keenly felt, for it is
believed that throughout the vast expanse of the
Northern Dominion there are innumerable openings for
the intrepid mineral explorer with the fascinating
possibility of many " Klondikes " awaiting the pick and
pan of the adventurous pioneer. Meanwhile millions of
many nations that have heard the name and news of
I Klondike " are eager for more information of the Great
Territory of which this newest marvel in goldfields is but
& spot.
Shaping my efforts by the numerous enquiries that
iiave come before me, I have endeavoured to compile a
work to meet the demand, and have embodied other
necessary information that I think will interest those
The chief consideration, after ascertaining the
existence and locality of payable minerals, is how to
reach them. A considerable proportion, therefore, of
this book is devoted to the question of routes. On this
subject, for obvious reasons, I write from the point of
view of a resident in England and show that there are
many routes into the N. W. Territories and the Yukon
from the East and South East which are, perhaps,
superior to those from the Pacific Coast. This
question, together with Mining Fields being developed
and those prospective, is dealt with in Part L
Special attention is drawn to the Mackenzie Eiver and
Bay, for the discovery of an evidently immense tract of
gold-bearing Country in the Mackenzie-Yukon lends a
deeper interest to the value of Mackenzie Bay by
making it a means of opening up a Commercial route to
the Bay by way of Behring Straits and the Arctic Ocean.
Its superiority over the Yukon Eiver Eoute is also
a 2 pointed out. Dr. Dawson's views—that Mackenzie Bay
will one day serve British North America as the White
Sea serves Eussia will, doubtless, soon become fact.
The inimitably rich resources of this huge territory
reached by the Mackenzie, Peel and other rivers flowing
into Mackenzie Bay are indicated, as also are the
advantages of a direct route from Hudson's Bay through
Chesterfield Inlet, or from some other point leading from
this great arm of the sea.
Part II. and the Appendix consist wholly of a
classified digest of the chief works of reference, books of
travel and exploration, recent reports and other publications of the N. W. Territories together with extracts from
various official reports, leading newspapers and expert
authorities upon the resources, chief waterways, routes
and distances around and throughout the far Northern
Dominion, and more particularly of the Yukon-Mackenzie
Country and the means of access to that region.
I would direct special notice to the accompanying
map which is based upon the most recent information
and discoveries, and has received the best attention of
the Publishers.
Whether this book fulfils the object with which it is
written or not, I shall be quite satisfied if it directs
some attention to the splendid work of the Geological
Survey of Canada under the brilliant directorship of
Dr. G. M. Dawson, to whom I must acknowledge my
chief indebtedness. Nor can the name of Mr. Wm.
Ogilvie be omitted in any present day work on Canada's
Mining Industries : a name, practically, synonymous
with the World's greatest goldfields, whom the "Times""
(London) describes as a man of indomitable courage and
sterling integrity, whom the " Toronto Globe" names
"The Modern Cato," to whom thousands of Miners will
owe more than they can ever repay and to whom this
Book's greatest attraction is due. The many others to
whom I am indebted are mentioned below along with
such publications and special reports as I have quoted
in Part II. and the Appendix, and to some extent in
Part I.
List of Authorities consulted in the preparation of
this Work.
Heport of the Select Committee of the Senate appointed in 1888
to enquire into the Eesources of the Great Mackenzie Basin
(many of  the names  mentioned  below—indicated  by  an
asterisk—gave evidence at this Committee).
British Columbia Year Book (Gosnell's) for 1896—97.   Victoria
(B. C), 1897.
Exploratory Surveys in 1887—88 by Mr. Wm. Ogilvie (Ottawa,
1890), and Mr. E. G. McConnell (Montreal, 1890), and by Dr.
G. M. Dawson (Ottawa, 1890).
Annual Eeports of the Geological Survey of Canada for the years
1886 to '95, inclusive.
Official Handbook of the Dominion of Canada, published August,
Eeports on the Yukon and adjacent country by Mr. Wm. Ogilvie
during 1895, '96 and '97 (Ottawa, 1897).
Summary  Eeport   of   the   Geological   Survey  Department   of
Canada for 1896.
Annual Eeports of the Minister of Mines for Canada for 1894—96.
The 12th Annual Eeport of the U. S. Geological Survey referring
to Mr. Frederick Schwatka's exploratory tour through the
Yukon Valley in 1891.
Canadian Pacific Eailway publications for 1880, and also for
1896, '97, '98;
Chartered Hudson's Bay and Pacific Eailway publications, compiled by Col. J. Harris, F.E.G.S., F.E.C. Inst., London, 1897.
Journals of the Eoyal Geographical Society of Great Britain
(numbers referred to where quoted).
fi The Early Chartered Companies," by Geo. Cawston, Barrister-
at-Law, and A. H. Keane, F.E.G.S,, London, 1896.
£ On Snow Shoes to the Barren Grounds," by Caspar Whitney.
London, 1896.
u The Barren Grounds of Northern Canada," by Warburton Pikë.
London, 1892.
4t Through the Sub-Arctic Forest," by Warburton'Pike.   London,
eg History of  the North-West " (3 vols.), by Alexander
Toronto, 1884. VI.
" The Great Lone Land," by Major W. F. Butler, C.B., F.E.G.S.
London, 1874.
| The Wild North Land," by Captain W. F. Butler, F.E.G.S.
Montreal, 1874.
"The Great Fur Land (Sketches of Life in the Hudson's Bay
Territory)," by H. M. Eobinson, New York.
" Our North Land," by Chas. E. Tuttle, of the Hudson's Bay
Expedition of 1884.   Toronto, 1885.
/' Life and Labours in the Far North West," by W. Henry
Barnaby.   London, 1884.
"History of Canada" (8 vols.), by Wm. Kingsford.    London,
"By Track  and   Trail   through   Canada," by Edward  Eoper.
London, 1891.
" Manitoba and the Great North-West," by John Macoun, M.A.,
Dominion Government Explorer of the Nortn-West.   London*
I British North America " (Stanford's).   London, 1897.
British    Columbia    Development    Association's    publication.
London, 1897.
Bulletin de la Société de Géographie, Paris, 1875.
Narrative of Discovery and Adventure in the Polar Seas and
Eegions, by Professors Leslie, Jameson and Hugh Murray.
Edinburgh, 1830.
Geology of  the Mackenzie Eiver, by G. F. B. Meek, Chicago
Academy of Science, 1868.
Eeports by Dr. E. Bell on the Geology of Canada, 1882—84.
Boat Voyage through Eupert's Land and the Arctic Seas, by Sir
J. Eichardson, London, 1851.
A Voyage of discovery, for the purpose of exploring Baffin's Bay*
&c, by Sir John Eoss, in 1818, London, 1819.    Geological
Appendix by Dr. McCulloch.
j Narrative of a Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea in the
years   1819—22,   by   Captain   J.   Franklin,   London,   1823.
Appendix 1, by J. Eichardson, M.D.
Journal of a Second Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West
Passage, &c, 1821—23, by Captain Parry, London, 1824.
Journal of a Third Voyage for the Discovery of a North-West
Passage, &c, by Captain W. E. Parry, London, 1826.  Appendix
by Prof. Jameson on Geology of Countries discovered during
Captain Parry's Second and Third Expeditions.
Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea
in the years 1825—-27, by Captain J. Franklin, London, 1828.
Appendix 1, by J. Eichardson. Narrative of a Second Voyage in search of a North-West Passage,
&c, 1829—33, by Sir John Eoss, London, 1835.   Appendix on
Geology by Sir J. Eoss.
Narrative of the Arctic Land Expedition, &c, 1833—35, by Capt.
Back, London, 1836.   (See also Journal Eoyal Geographical
Society, vol. iv., 1836).
Narrative of an Expedition in H.M.S. "Terror," 1836—87, by
Captain Back, London, 1838.
Narrative of the Discoveries on the North Coast of America, &c,
1836—39, by Thomas Simpson, London, 1843.
Some account of Peel Eiver, North America, by A. EL. Isbister,
Journal Eoyal Geographical Soc, London, vol. xv., 1845, p. 332.
Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea in
1846—47, by Dr. John Eae, London, 1850.
Journey from Great Bear Lake to Wollaston Land, and Explorations along the South and East Coasts of Victoria Land, by
Dr. J. Eae, Journal Eoyal Geographical Soc, vol, xxii., 1852.
Journal of  a Voyage in Baffin's Bay and Barrow Straits in
1850—51, by P. C. Sutherland, M.D., London, 1852.   Geological
Appendix by J. W. Salter.
On the Geological and Glacial Phenomena of the Coasts of Davis'
Strait and Baffin's Bay, by P. C. Sutherland, M.D., Quarterly
Journal Geological Society, vol. ix., 1853, p. 296.
A Summer Search for Sir J. Franklin, by Captain Inglefield, 1853,
Contains a Geological Appendix.    " Arctic ManUal " of 1875.
Tho Last of the Arctic Voyages, &c, 1852—54, by Sir E. Belcher
London, 1855.
On some additions to the Geology of the Arctic Eegions, by
J. W. Salter. Eeport of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 1855.
Further Papers relative to the recent Arctic Expeditions in Search
of Sir John Franklin, &c.   London, Government, 1855.
On the Geology of the Hudson's Bay Territories and of Portions
of the Arctic and North-Western Eegions of America, by
A. K. Isbister, Quarterly Journal Geological Society, vol. xi.
(Also reprinted, without map, in American Journal Science
and Arts, second series, vol. xxi., 1856, p. 313).
The Discovery of a North-West Passage by H.M.S. " Investigator," Capt. E. McClure, 1850—54. London, 1857. Geological
Appendix by Sir E. Murchison.
A Personal Narrative of the Discovery of the North-West Passage,
by A. Armstrong, M.D., late Surgeon and Naturalist to H.M.S.
"Investigator."   London, 1857.
Arctic Explorations by Dr. E. K. Kane, American Journal Science
and Arts, second series, vol. xxiv., 1857, p. 235. Eeport from the Select Committee on the Hudson's Bay Company,
&c.   London, Government, 1857.
A Narrative of the Discovery of the Fate of Sir John Franklin, by
Captain McClintock.    London, edition of 1859.    Geological "
Appendix by Professor Samuel Haughton.
Eeport of the Assiniboine and Saskatchewan Exploring Expedition, by H. Y. Hind, Toronto, 1859.
The Polar Eegions, by Sir John Eichardson, Edinburgh, 1861.
(Eeprinted from   Encyclopedia Britannica,  Eighth  edition,
Scientific Eesults of the "Polaris" Arctic Expedition.   Nature,
vol. ix., 1874, p. 404.
A Whaling Cruise to Baffin's Bay, &c, by A. H. Markham,
London, 1874.   Appendix C, List of Geological Specimens, by
E. Etheridge.
Manual of the Natural History, Geology and Physics of Greenland and Neighbouring Eegions, &c,  Edited by Professor
T. E. Jones, London, 1875.
Géographie de l'Athabaskaw-Mackenzie et des Grands Lacs du
Bassin Arctique, par l'Abbé E. Petitot.   Bulletin de la Société
de Géographie, Paris, tome x., 1875.
L'Expédition Polaire Américaine, sous les ordres du Capitaine
Hall.    Letter by Dr. E. Bessels.    Bul.  Soc. Géog., Paris,
vol. ix., 1875, p. 297.
Narrative of a Voyage to the Polar Sea during 1875—76, &c, by
Captain Sir G. S, Nares, London, 1878, Appendix xv., Geology,
by C. E. De Eance and H. W. Fielden.
Geology of the Coasts of the Arctic Lands visited by the late
British Exdedition under Captain Sir George Nares, &c, by
Captain H. W. Fielden and C. E. De Eance, Quarterly Journal
Geological Society, vol. xxxiv., 1878, p. 556.
Narrative of the Second Arctic Expedition made by C. F. Hall.
Washington,   Government  1879.     Appendix  iii.,   by   Prof.
B. K. Emerson,
Encyclopedia Britannica, Greenland, by Eobert Brown.   Polar
Eegions, by C. E. Markham.   (Geological sketches appended
to both these Articles.)
Three Years of Arctic Service, an account of the Lady Franklin
Bay Expedition, by Lieut. A. W. Greely, New York, 1886.
Eeports of the Eoyal Commission on the Mineral Eesources of
Ontario.   Toronto, 1890.
Notes to accompany a Geological Map of the Northern portion of
the Dominion of Canada. East of the Eocky Mountains, by
Geo. M. Dawson, D.S., F.G.S., Montreal, 1887. IX.
Descriptive Sketch of the Physical Geography and Geology of the
Dominion of Canada.    By Alfred E. C. Selwyn and G. M.
Dawson, Montreal, 1884.
, " Canada—A   Geographical,    Agricultural    and    Mineralogical
Sketeh," by T. Sterry Hunt.   Quebec, 1865.
Eeport on the Climate and Agricultural Value, General Geological
Features and Minerals of Economic Importance of part of the
Northern Portion of British Columbia and of the Peace Eiver
Country.   By Geo. M. Dawson, 1880.
Lecture   by Mr.  Wm.   Ogilvie,  delivered Victoria   (B. C.)  on
November 5th, 1897.   Government Printer, Victoria (B. C),
Annual Eeports of the Governor of Alaska for each year, from
1884—95 inclusive.   Washington, U.S.
The 6th Annual Eeport of the Ontario Bureau, of Mines (1897).
The 18th Annual Eeport of the British Columbia Board of Trade
for 1896-97.
* James Anderson, Explorer, Franklin Search Expedition (quoted
by his son before the Committee of the Senate, Ottawa, 1888).
*His Lordship Bishop W. C. Bompas, N.W. Territories.
Archibald Blue, Director Bureau of Mines, Ontario.   (Summary
of Geological Survey of Canada for 1896.) . J||B|
F. G. Hinde Bowker, N.W. Territories.    (Interview, Pall Mall
Gazette, London, October 28th, 1897.)
Inspector   Constantino,   Commandant  Yukon   Police  Division.
(Eeports of the Commissioner of the N.W. Mounted Police
for 1895 and 1896.
*Hon. Wm. Christie, Late Chief Inspecting Factor, Hudson's Bay
*His  Lordship   Bishop   Clut,  Mackenzie Eiver District,  N.W.
fDr. G. M. Dawson, C.M.G., F.G.S., Director of the Geological
Survey of Canada.
Thomas  Deasy,   Chief  of   Fire  Department,   Victoria,   B. C.
(Extracts from Letters to Commander Wells, E.N., London,.
August 27th, 1897.)
Eussell L. Dunn, M.E., London.    (London Mining  Journal*
October 2nd, 1897.)
fProf. J. B. Hurlbert, Geological Survey of Canada.
W. A. K. Isbister, Explorer N.W. Territories, 1844 (mentioned
Joseph Ladue, Yukon Pioneer, DaWson City.   (McClure's Magazine, September, 1897.)
Sir J. H. Lefroy, President Geological Section British Association,.
A  * f
fProf. Macoun, Geological Survey of Canada.
E. G. McConnell, B.A., Geological Survey of Canada (mentioned
elsewhere). T$k&
Hon. H. C. Macintosh, Lieut.-Governor of N.W.  Territories.
(Interview, Pall Mall Gazette, 16th September, 1897.) S |?fe|t$
•♦ Donald Mclvor, Manito^tfi^ 1
*Wm. J. McLean, Chief Trader, Hudson's Bay Co.
♦Malcolm McLeod, Q.C., Ex-Judge, Ottawa.
♦Stuart D. Mulkin, N.W. Territories.
Wm. Ogilvie,;F.E.G.S., Survey Department of Canada (mentioned
♦Frank Oliver, Editor, Edmonton, N.W. Territories,
Eoger Pocock, Journalist, London (for many years in the N.W.
Territories,,  and   Special   Correspondent   Lloyd's    Weekly,
London, October and November, 1897).
♦His Lordship Dr. Eeeves, Bishop, Mackenzie Eiver District,
Hon. Lindsay Eussell, Surveyor General for Canada, 1881.
Hon. John Schultz, late Lieut.-Governor of Manitoba.    (27th
Annual Eèport of the Department of Marine and Fisheries of
Canada for 1884. wsjjEjjsJg**,
Inspector Strickland, Yukon Police Division.
A.   E.   Ironmonger   Sola,   Klondike   Pioneer,   and   Author   of
" Klondyke, Truth and Facts."   London, 1897.   1JÎ|
J. Burr Tyrrell, B.A., Geological Survey of Canada (Chesterfield
Inlet Expedition of 1893.   Ottawa, 1897).
J. W. Tyrrell, CE., D.L.S., Geological Survey of Canada (Chesterfield Inlet Expedition of 1893.   Ottawa, 1897).
H. de Windt, Explorer (Strand Magazine, London, October, 1897,
and London Times, July 23rd, 1897).
Professor N. S. Shaler, Harvard University, U.S.A.
Dr. W. H. Dael, Smithsonian Institute, Wasnmgton, U.S.A.
Professor Geo. F. Wright, Professor of Geology, Oberlin Collège,
Wm. Van Slooten, M.E., U.S.A.
J. Edward Spurr, Geological Survey, Washington, U.S.A.
Dr. Geo. F. Becker, Geological Survey, Washington, U.S.A.
And others, together with the many reports, publications and
newspapers mentioned along with their respective extracts.
* Gave evidence before the Committee of the Senate, 1688, mentioned
at the beginning of this List.
t Also gave evidence before the 1888 Committee, and are identified
Tràth several works qnoted separately. XI.
Introductory Chapter            	
What has hitherto prevented Mining development
The first and following Mining developments    ...
À matter of the highest importance to commercial men
The Colonizing power of gold discovery	
Present   wealth   and  future   prospects of   the   N.W
The great future of the region
The question of access        ...        ...
The great keynote—gold     	
À splendid future of mineral developments
Mining Fields now being Developed   	
British Columbia	
First discovery of gold and subsequent work
Vancouver Island ; gold and coal ...
Kootenay       ...        ...       ...^i' ...
Gold output and characteristics of the country
Other minerals
Classification of B.C. ores
Government mining grants.
Mining wages...
Dr. Dawson's opinion of B.<
Free grant lands
The new value of nickel
The minerals and metals of East Ontario
Petroleum springs and salt wells   ...
The oldest mining district ,
Lake of the Woods district ...        ...
Lake of the Woods gold output    	
A new goldfield	
Northern Alberta	
Gold on the Saskatchewan Biver ...
The Yukon Country       	
Reference to Part II. and Appendix
C. mining prospects
12 r
Mining Fields awaiting Development          12
Important Extracts from a notable report ...       ... 12
Extent of auriferous country in the N. W. Territories   ... 12
Location of various mineral deposits       ...         13
An immense petroleum area          13
Bich fields beyond the Klondike district  13
The new gold discoveries at Michipicoton   14
The Canadian Chamber of Mines, London          14
Professor Wilmott's Report on Michipicoton        14
Position of the new field       15
Routes to the Michipicoton country &  15
Gold-bearing country north of Lake Winnipeg  16
A New Mining Field        16
Routes to the field      17
Numerous quartz veins               ...          1&
Promising field for prospectors        2G
Soil and climate       ...        «           20*
Extracts from Geological Notes on the North-western
Territories by Geo. M. Dawson, C.M.G., D.5., F.Q.S.,
Director of the Geological Survey of Canada  20
Slave River, petroleum deposits      20*
Salt springs         ...          21
Great Slave Lake   22
West end of the Lake—Bitumen  22
Geological definition         ...        ...        ... 22
Mackenzie River, from Great Slave Lake to Bear Lake
River        ...        \         23
Geological formation ...                 ...        ... 23
Bituminous shale     ...        ...        ...        ...        ...        ... 2&
Liard River  2B-
.   Graphite and iron ore   24
Beds of lignite   24
Great Bear Lake and vicinity   25
Bitumen, alum, shale and brown coal      ..        ...        ... 25
în^r&* Limestone rocks, saturated with petroleum          25
I Salt.          25
Mackenzie River and vicinity, below Bear Lake River ... 26
Peel River      ...       ...         ,         26 INDEX—continued,
Country between Great Slave Lake and the Mouth of
Coppermine River                26
The copper mountains                   .. 29
Mode of occurrence of the copper ...        ...        ...        ... 29
Country North of Copper Mountains       ...          30
Chromic iron              30
Arctic Coast, West of the Mackenzie River           30
Continental Coast|*from  Mackenzie   River to Boothia
Peninsula                    31
Boothian and Melville Peninsulas, and vicinity         34
Melville Peninsula       34
Northern Continental Shore  East of Hudson Bay, with
Baffin Land       ...         35
Copper and iron ores                    ...        ...        ... 36
Coal formations          37
Coal outcrops                     ... 38
Routes to the Yukon and Far N.W. Territories cf Canada       ... 39
Routes to the Yukon from the West Coast ...       ... 'fijr ... 39
Railways from the West Coast       .40
Objections to short costly railways             40
Railways from a dividend-paying point of view  40
Good waggon roads v, short railways         40
Travellers and Traffic v. Railway Shareholders  41
White Pass and Stikeen routes  41
The White Pass route           42
The Stikeen route              ... 42
Ugly features of the St. Michael's Chilkoot and Taku
River routes      ...  42
The St. Michael's Route  43
The Chilkoot Pass Route      43
The Taku Pass Route           43
Chief object of these pages  43
Routes and approaches from the East and South East   ... 43
Overland from Edmonton  43
A bad feature in the railway question       44
Liard and Peace River routes               ... 44
The Mackenzie River route        ..,       ... 44
Route from Hudson's Bay to the Yukon        45
The Route of the future        45
Hudson's Bay  46 INDEX—continued,
Safety of navigation in Hudson's Bay       46
Resources of the Hudson's Bay country  47
The route after leaving Chesterfield Inlet   47
A waterway between the Inlet and Great Slave Lake ... 47
The Great Slave Lake section of the route          4&
The Mackenzie River section  4B
Navigation of the Mackenzie    48
Country tapped by a Hudson's Bay route      49
The navigable area of the Mackenzie and its resources... 49
The Peace River       1       ... 49
The Liard River         49
The Peel River   50
Serviceable tributaries of the Mackenzie  50
A report of great value         50
Summer route from the  Mouth of the Mackenzie to
the Yukon ... 51
Winter route from the Mouth   of  the  Mackenzie to
the Yukon   51
Valuable discoveries on this route  51
The through Peel River route                 ... 52
Mr. Ogilvie on the through Peel River route to the
headwaters of the Stewart River   52
The Up-Porcupine route via Tatonduc River       52
Navigation of rivers by the Mackenzie Mouth Route   ... 53
Proximity of Yukon and Mackenzie navigable waters ... 53
Official particulars which establish important facts       ... 53
Route via Behring Strait and Mouth of Mackenzie     ... 54
The Arctic Ocean route ; important points   54
A noteworthy extract bearing upon the navigation of
Canadian Arctic seas       ...         55
An important adjunct; Arctic Sea Fisheries        55
Whaling in Mackenzie Bay...        ...        ...        ...        ... 55
Taking machinery,  etc., to   headwaters   of the Peel,
Stewart, and Macrnillan Rivers  55
American whalers in Mackenzie Bay         56
An attractive opening for British enterprise         56
The Archangel of North America  57
Comparisons with Arctic seaports in Northern Europe
and Asia       57
The Canadian Dominion's future  57 INDEX TO PAKÏ II.-AUTHORITIES.
Untold wealth of Alluvial Gold in the Country  59
The Yukon Goldfields       60
The Klondyke River and District           64
1888 Committee's Report and Evidence of Bishop Clut      ... 67
Mr. W. Ogilvie's 1887 Report  67
Important and Reliable Newspaper Reports, commencing at
page     ...                 •••        ...       ...       ... 69
Eeport of Inspectors Constantino and Strickland      ...        ... 76
The Stupendous richness of Klondyke  77
New Gold Discoveries of great richness            80
A Quartz Reef on the White Pass          ,          81
A Stupendous Output of Gold predicted for 1898       „\        ... 81
The Great " Rush " of 1898        „ 82
Klondyke's Marvels, by a Yukon Pioneer        83
A Miner's Life on the Klondyke  84
A New Field in Alaska  84
An Interview with an Alaskan Pioneer            84
Interview with a Klondyke Miner          87
Ontario Mining      I         87
The Richest Man in the World...            88
Mr. Wm. Ogilvie on the Yukon Goldfields      ;  88
Value of Yukon Gold        89
Quartz Reefs in the Mountains and at the Headwaters of
the Rivers  90
Wm. Ogilvie's 1896-97 Report on Quartz Reefs           90
Inspector Constantine's Report  91
Interview with Dr. Dawson         92
The Source of the Klondyke Placer Gold  93
Quartz Reefs in the Rockies towards the Mackenzie River ... 94
Quartz Reefs on Stewart River and Headwaters         94
Formation of the Yukon Goldfields        95
Other Minerals          97
Reports of 1888 Committee and Experts, commencing page.. 97
Mineral Resources of the N. W. Territories  99
Evidence of McConnell and Prof. Bell              99
Evidence of Anderson, the Explorer, and Dr. Dawson        ... 101
Evidence of Wm. Christie and J. Burr Tyrrell            102
Discoveries of Gold, Iron and Copper ; Chesterfield Inlet
and Lake Athabasca                     ..       ... 102 INDEX—continued.
Petroleum Fields of Immense Value   ...       	
Ironstone and Copper, West of Chesterfield Inlet
5. Coal for Visiting Steamships, Manufactures and  Mining
Evidence of Professor Macoun and Dr. Hurlbert
Evidence of Wm. Ogilvie and M. McLeod, Q.C.
Coal near the Mouth of the Mackenzie    ...
A Fore-runner of Great Coal Discoveries
Coal on the Yukon 	
6. Hydraulic and Placer Mining      	
Report by Mr. Wm. Ogilvie
Gold in the Stewart River (R. G. McConnell).
Placer Mining in the Klondyke Country
Prospecting with " Rocker " and Pan  ...
7. Furs, Ivory, &o	
Evidence of Experts        ...       	
London Sales of Hudson's Bay Company's Furs, etc. ... •
Large and Exceptionally Fine Specimens of Ivory found ...
An Alaskan Plain strewn with Ivory Tusks	
8. Steam Navigation from Vancouver via Behring Straits to
Mackenzie Bay and through to Mackenzie River
The only Navigable Channel ; a Safe Harbour
9. Whaling and Sealing off the Mouth of Mackenzie River;
Splendid prospects       	
Valuable Ivory Deposits	
Whaling Statistics	
Inspector Constantine's Report on Mackenzie Bay and the
Whaling there 	
Whaling Profits and Particulars 	
Whaling in the Arctic Ocean via Mackenzie River
10. Navigability, Ac, of the Country's Seas, Rivers and Lakes
a. Distance between Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers
The Mackenzie River and Tributaries ...
b. The Porcupine, Rat and Bell Rivers    ...
Bell and Rat Rivers, and McDougal's Pass
c. The Peel River     	
d. The Yukon River	
A Trip up the Yukon	 XV11.
e.   The Klondike River          135
/.   The Tatonduc, Porcupine and Peel Rivers       136
g.   The Stewart River  ♦         139
h.   MacMillan River  141
The Porcupine Mackenzie Route ...         141
i.   The Pelly River              142
*   The Lewes River  142
7c,   The Liard,   Francis  and Dease Rivers;  also Dease and
Francis Lakes  142,
The Liard River  143
Dangers of the Liard Route      ...               ...       ... 144
From the Liard to the Pelly        144
Gold on the Liard and Francis Rivers *       ... 145
Francis Lake  145
Road from Francis Lake to Pelly Banks          145
I.   Dease River   146
m.   The Peace River  146
Coal on the Peace River  146
Distances and description of the Peace River  146
Agriculture on the Peace River  148
n.   Old Stikine Route   148
The New Stikine Route  150
The Stikine Route Railway          152
The C.P.R. and the proposed Stikine Railway   152
Gold on the Stikine   153
The Tes-lin-too (Hootalinqua) River  153
The Big Salmon River  153
The Tahl-Tan River  154
The Chilkoot (Taiya) Pass   154
A Railway Line from Chilcoot Inlet to Fort Selkirk  154
The Chilkat Pass  155
The White Pass  155
The Taiya Pass Route        ...156
Taku Route to Lake Teslin-too           156
A Significant Incident     ...                 ...       ...        ... 157
Taku and Windy Arms  15Ô
Large Rivers Flowing into Hudson's Bay      ...          158
11.   Distances of Chief River, Sea, Lake and Overland Routes... 160
Routes from Liverpool to the Yukon Goldfields          160
W. Ogilvie's Distances, 1896        161
y INDEX—continued.
Government Map Measurements 	
The Upper Pelly	
Dawson's Distances from Fort Selkirk to Taiya Inlet
Distances from Head of Chilkoot Inlet to the Boundary Line
on the Yukon River between N. W. Territories and Alaska 165
Distances from Fort Macpherson to Fort Chipewan 166
Distances to points on Peace River from Fort Chippewyan on
Athabasca Lake         ... 168
Athabasca Landing to Great Slave Lake         -        ... 168
Lengths of some of the Chief Lakes               ... 169
Route from Athabasca Landing to the Peace River 169
Ice on Rivers and Lakes 169
Ice on Mackenzie and Tributaries        ...                 ... 169
Ice on Great Slave Lake 170
Ice on the Stikine  170
Ice on Dease Lake  171^
Ice on the Liard 171
Ice on the Peace 171
Ice on the Lewes 171
Ice on the Yukon 1        ... 171
Ice on Lake Bennett        172
Ice on the Churchill River  172
Restrictions to large Foreign Joint-Stock Companies on
the British Yukon         172
Daylight in the N.W. Territories (Actual Sunlight)   ...
Mean Temperature at Fort Franklin, Great Bear
Lat. 65° 12'	
Small Snowfall on the Mackenzie
The Open Sea at the Mouth of the Mackenzie..
Important Changes in the Climate
Indians and Esquimaux	
Employment of Indians : their numbers
Trading with the Indians	
16. Fish (freshwater) and Game
17. Corn, Vegetables and Pasturage
18. Difficulties of Routes from the South
.. 174
.. 174
.. 175
.. 175
.. 176
.. 177
.. 177
.. 178
.. 178
.. 180
.; 182 SECTION
Reindeer, Dogs, etc.
Sub-Arctic Winter Travelling;
Dog-Trains for the Yukon
Prices and Particulars of Dogs
River Travel in Winter   ...
Reindeer Transport
River Travelling on the Yukon
Population of the Future	
The " Rush" of '98 to alter the face of the Country...
New Comers must go far Afield...
Present and Prospective Routes to the Gold Fields	
St. Michael's Route
The Chilcoot Pass Route	
The Chilcat Pass Route   ...
The Taiya Pass Route     	
The White Pass Route    	
Behring Strait to Mouth of Mackenzie River ...
The Mackenzie River Route      	
Edmonton Route via the Mackenzie River
The Peace River Route	
The Liard River Route             	
The Stikine River Route via Teslin Lake
The Taku River Route via Teslin Lake 	
Bound's Overland Route ...        	
Dalton's Overland Route	
The Edmonton Routes	
All Canadian Routes        .,	
The Most Likely Route from Edmonton to the Yukon
The Churchill Route from Hudson's Bay        	
The Old Hudson Bay  Route  from York Factory at the
Mouth of the Nelson, Hudson Bay, to the Mackenzie
River        ...       	
U. S. America v, British Routes to the Yukon Goldfields    ...
The Chesterfield Inlet and Mackenzie River Route	
Another   Route   from   Mackenzie  River   to   the   Stewart
Headwaters    ...         	
, 186
, 188
, 189
. 189
. 190
. 190
. 192
. 192
, 193
. 193
. 193
. 193
, 193
. 193
. 193
. 194
. 194
. 195
. 195
. 196
. 196
. 196
. 196
. 196
. 199
. 200
. 202
The Chesterfield Inlet Route            ... 206
The shortest Route from Europe to the Yukon Country     ... 207
London to Klondyke in a Fortnight      208
The Hudson's Bay to Klondyke scheme...     ...        ...        ... 210
Trade Routes from the East to the Yukon      212
23.   To Chesterfield Inlet from Athabasca Lake   ...
215 INDEX—continued.
24. The Sub-Arctic Territory of North Canada 217
An Important Un-Mapped River  219
Extracts from the Explorer Anderson's Diary 220
Agriculture on the verge of the Barren Grounds        220
The Chesterfield Inlet Country 221
25. Important Comparison with Northern Russia and Asia   ... 223
Some Particulars of Archangel 223
Populous Towns in Sub-arctic Europe and Asia       223
The Possibilities of the Mackenzie-Yukon Country 224
26. Hudson's Bay and its Territory 225
Extent and Resources of the Territory 225
The Hudson's Bay Sea Route 227
Exports and Cost of Transport 227
Hudson's Bay        227
Navigation of the Bay      • 228
Resources of the Hudson's Bay Territory        229
Minerals in the Hudson's Bay Territory         230
The New Importance of Hudson's Bay 231
Agricultural Possibilities 232
Advantage in Distance of the Hudson's Bay Route 232
A Passenger Route of National Importance   ...        233
No Obstructions to Navigation         ... 234
Period of Open Navigation in the Bay and Rivers     234
Economic Advantages of this Route to Europe  235
Record of Wrecks in Hudson's Bay; only one in 374 Years ... 236
Important Evidence of the Bay's Navigation 236
27. Dangers of the Chilkat, Taiya, Chilkoot and White Passes... 237
28. General  * 24a
A Yukon Outfit      243
Joe Ladue's Food Outfit for Twelve Months 244
Klondyke Market Prices, July, 1897     244
Another Table of Prices 245
A Light-Weight Outfit               246
A 12 Months'Outfit  246
Fares and Time from Liverpool to the Klondyke      247
How a Miner " Pegs-Out " on the Yukon        248
The British Columbia Boundary question       ... 248-
Hints to the Mining Novice        252
Condensed Foods for the Far N. W. Territories        254
The Table of a Year's Food       257
The Klondyke Food Pack  258
Termination of the Hudson Bay Company's Charter          ... 258
Appendix   ...        , 259 [ THE
N.   W.   CANADA.
Until a few months ago the Canadian Dominion was
chiefly known, written about, and lectured upon as a
country of great and promising agricultural capacity,
excepting that portion west of the Bockies known as the
province of British Columbia, which enjoys such worldwide repute as a country of well-nigh illimitable resource
in its mining, agricultural, pastoral, timber, and fishing
industries, as to need little more than passing reference
in these pages.
Well-informed people, however, had kept themselves
posted up in the reports of the Dominion's ably conducted Geological Survey, and were aware of the
boundless stores of mineral wealth, only awaiting man's
enterprise and ingenuity to locate it and his energy to
unearth it.
There were, however, many circumstances which 2thertoapre-
prevented mineral exploitation, but the most potent Developmentg
hindrances were the inaccessible character of the country
and the want of a prospecting community. Means of
access would soon have been forthcoming had a pressing
demand arisen, but this could only be provided by population. The steady growth of an agricultural people
could not supply this want, it required the colonizing
influence of gold discoveries.
The majority of mining men are rovers ; here to-day,
Australia to-morrow—so to speak—and South Africa the
next day.   Had it not been for the gold-mining attractions
B 2
The first and
A matter of
the highest
importance to
of the last-mentioned countries, following those of
California fifty years ago, this roving band of adventurous
men would long ago have turned their attention to this
most promising land, and brought it well on to the high
road of mineral development, instead of it being as it is
to-day merely in the groping stage.
On the decline of the Californian diggings the miners
gradually scattered and many found their way into
Canada, chiefly along the Columbia and Fraser Eivers,
and in the late fifties the placer mines of Cariboo
became known. These were followed by the Cassiar
"rush," and ultimately led to the discovery of magnificent gold-bearing quartz in Kootenay, where a large
amount of British capital has been invested during the
last two years.
As the Cassiar placers were worked out miners
drifted further west and north, prospecting on the Dease^
and Liard Eivers, and along the Lewes into the Yukon
district. Others sought the snow-bound regions of
Alaska, ultimately finding their way on to the gold-
bearing tributaries of the Yukon Eiver. The wonderful
discoveries on the Klondyke creeks of 1896, and last
year, '97, are the result, and are believed by the highly
qualified officers of the Canadian Geological Survey and
other experts, to be the very probable forerunner of
greater and richer discoveries in that immense gold-
bearing region between the Yukon and Mackenzie Eivers
which Dr. Dawson describes as occupying a total
approximate area of 192,000 square miles. (See Section 1.
Part II.)
The prominence which this vast region will occupy
amongst the gold-bearing countries of the world, and the
important position it will take in the eyes of the world's
commercial centres, may be gauged by the facts that the
above-mentioned area is nearly equal that of France, and
greater than the United Kingdom by 71,000 square
miles, and that almost all supplies must be imported, as
the soil and climate are unsuited for any appreciable
agricultural production. A considerable proportion of the North-Western The colonising
r    r ç power of gold
Territories of Canada may be unquestionably termed discovery,
sub-arctic, but in this hitherto shunned region there is
every reason to believe the proud and promising Dominion
will find its greatest source of wealth. But what cares
the gold-seeker for snôw-swept plains and ice-locked
streams ? These obstacles may throw him back beaten
and bruised to-day, but the sesame "gold" brings him
back undaunted on the morrow and passes him-through.
Countless numbers follow on his track and the history of
a new country, possibly a nation, begins. The story of
California, Australia, and South Africa is again repeated.
Such is the colonising power of gold discovery.
The permanency of this new field will depend upon Present wealth
the existence and value of quartz reefs which all experts prospects of
declare must exist to great extent in close proximity. It tories. '
is reasonable to believe that the value of these reefs will
be in proportion to that of the adjacent placers, the
extraordinary richness of which is vouched for by the
highest authority on the district—Mr. "William Ogilvie,
who has repeatedly declared that out of two Klondyke
creeks alone—the Bonanza and the El Dorado—
£15,000,000 worth of gold will be taken, and that Canada
has in the Yukon district 100,000 square miles over the
whole of which rich prospects have been found. But
Mr. Ogilvie also reports having tested quartz reefs in the
neighbourhood which yielded gold at the rate of 1,000
dollars worth to the ton. Inspector Constantine, chief
of the police during 1896 also reports the country being
full of quartz ledges more or less valuable, and that the
best paying streams are those which, rising in the Eocky
Mountains, run into the Yukon from the East. When
to these official statements is added that of Dr. G. M.
Dawson, the chief of the Geological Survey of Canada—
"the entire range of the Eocky Mountains extending to
the Arctic regions is rich in minerals," and referring to
the rich Klondyke placers—" where such large deposits
of heavy placer gold have been found there must have
been at some time large quantities of gold in quartz at no
b2 The great
future of the
The questî(
of access.
The great 1
very great distance and these quartz veins still exist,"
(see Section 2. Part IL), one's eyes are opened to a
long and widening vista of future possibilities for the
North-West Territories.
It must, consequently, be taken for granted that the
Western side of these sub-Arctic mountains—on the
tributaries and at the headwaters of the Lewes, Yukon,
Pelly, Macmillan, Stewart, Peel, Porcupine and other
rivers—will be the scene of great activity in years to
come, when the glens and mountain passes of this wild
region will resound with the whirr and thud of mining
machinery and the strident march of civilisation.
It is quite reasonable to suppose that the Eastern
side of these far Northern ranges may also be found
equally rich as is the case further South in the neighbourhood of the Liard and other adjacent rivers, and
still further South in the States. And in the pursuit of the
yellow metal are there not in this region vast stores of
other concomitant products such as coal and iron which
may open up such a field of industry in this far North-
West Territory as not even the most sanguine has
dared to forecast ?
The question of access, as has already been pointed
out, has been one of the obstacles to mineral exploitation
of North-West Canada in the past. But the solution of
this matter only awaited the striking of a note in a
certain key and all difficulties surrounding the question
became mere details to be summarily swept aside
before The Great Purpose. This key note was struck
in California fifty years ago when similar difficulties
were dealt with as drift before a cyclone. One of these
difficulties was a 2,000 mile waggon journey through
an unknown country that was not only heartbreaking in
its trials, but was infested with robbers and hostile
Indians who ravaged, murdered and despoiled in a
manner sufficient to terrify the most courageous, excepting those lured by the keynote—gold.
This keynote was next struck in Australia, and
18,000 miles of what was then considered a desperate and perilous voyage was undertaken by scores of thousands
without a moment's hesitation. New Zealand, Mexico,
Columbia, South Africa, West Australia—all countries
where trials had to be endured—each struck this irresistible keynote, and a new era of prosperous development
set in for each. Great cities arose, costly railways were
built, manufactories were established and splendid
fortunes were made ; the countries were developed. The
richer and more permanent the fields the greater the
development, and the more magnificent the cities and
With these examples before us there is every reason a splendid
splendid future of mineral development mineral
to anticipate a
for the Canadian North-West Territories, now that the
magical keynote has been struck in the Yukon, and with
this a development of trade, manufacturing and agricultural production which will not only bring wealth to the
Dominion, but will give this great British possession a
position in the world which will qualify it to play no
unimportant part in those questions which concern the
world's welfare.
Mining Fields now being Developed.
Before dealing with the important question of means
of access to the Yukon and other far distant portions of
the North-West Territories, a brief reference might be
made to the mining fields of the Dominion now being
worked, and those that might be termed prospective.
British Columbia.
{See, also, Appendix),
Gold was first discovered in this province early in First discovery
the fifties, following the great Californian rush of 1849. subsequent
At first, and for many years, it was nearly all placer or
alluvial mining in valleys on the banks of rivers or along
old creek beds. Splendid returns were made on many
occasions and there were several " rushes " to different
parts of the country.   In the year 1863 gold to the value 6
Island; gold
and coal.
- Koofcenay.
of £800,000 was taken out of British Columbia placers,
but from about that time returns declined until in 1893
the annual output was valued at only about £70,000.
About 1890, however, quartz mining, under modern
methods, was introduced and a new era in the industry
set in for the province. The Cassiar and Cariboo fields
have not yet been exploited for quartz and are still being
successfully worked for placer gold.*
It is said that from the time the traveller enters
British Columbia through Hell's-gate Pass till he reaches
salt water, or the extreme west of Vancouver Island, he
cannot get away from minerals. At Alberni and Barclay
on this island miners claim to have had assays running
£2 to the ton, while the placers on China Creek are said
to be miniature El Dorados. Gold mining on Vancouver
Island is not done on a very extensive scale, though
prospects appear promising enough, but the coal mines
are big enough to supply the world. Since these mines-
were first worked in 1836 they have yielded 11,000,000
tons, worth £6,600,000. For the last six years the output
has represented £400,000 per year.
It is on the mainland, however, in the Trail district,
the Slocan, East Kootenay, Boundary Creek, Harrison
Lake, Cariboo and Cassiar, that the great mineral
development, in gold mining chiefly, is looked for.
The great gold-producing district of British Columbia
is the Kootenay, which is by far the most important
mining sub-division of the province. Its richest part
is that known as Trail Creek on either side of the
Columbia Eiver. Its chief centre is Eossland, a town
with a population of 5,000.
This district is by no means a new one. It was
first discovered in 1824 by H. B. Coy voyageurs and
further exploited by miners travelling into Canada from
California along the Columbia river. A "rush" to the
district took place in the early sixties, but the difficulties of
mining the low grade surface ores in the district, the want
of means of communication and gold rushes elsewhere
(*See Appendix—" Another New Gold Field in British Columbia.") drove (or drew) the miners away, and it was not until the
last six or seven years that systematic efforts were made to
open up the fields. The results have been most encouraging.
In 1896 £773,000 worth of gold and silver was
produced in the Kootenay and last year (1897) it is
expected there will be a large increase ; £2,000,000
worth of gold being the estimate, though five years ago
the lode-gold production was practically nil,
British Columbia's record in gold production up to anddcharacter-
date is the very respectable total of nearly £12,000,000, ^^the
while the total value of the output of mineral wealth is
set down at £20,000,000. This is not brilliant compared
with some of the Australasian colonies, but it must be
remembered that gold mining in British Columbia has
scarcely passed beyond the surface-scratching stage.
As showing, however, the rapidity with which developments are taking place it is recorded that in 1896 upwards
of 12,000 mineral claims were staked out, 8,000 of these
being in West Kootenay. Another point to be borne
in mind is that there is scarcely a square mile of the
province that is not in sight of gold-bearing country.
Mining in British Columbia is not altogether confined
to gold. Various minerals are worked, the chief of which
are silver, lead, iron, cinnabar, and copper. Coal is also
found in several localities, especially on Vancouver Island
and in the south-east, in the vicinity of the Crow's Pass.
Here 20 outcropping seams were recently discovered,
having a total thickness of from 132 to 448 feet. Just
outside the border on the Canadian Pacific Eailway line
and on Queen Charlotte Islands large seams have been
found. On these islands, also, there are very rich
undeveloped anthracite fields.
The Standard of August 28th gives the following
classification of British Columbia ores :—(a) Coarsegrained pyrrholite, or " iron ore," containing very little
gold; (b) ore containing iron pyrites, arseno-pyrites, and
other compounds, in which the silver value exceeds the
gold ; (c) typical ore of the principal mining camps,
divided into two classes, the first of which yields on an
Other minerals
of British
Columbia ores. 8
mining grants,
Mining wages
in British
Dr. Dawson's
opinion of
average 2*6 oz. of gold, 1*8 oz. of silver, and 2-5 per cent,
of copper to the ton, and the second about half the
quantity of each. According to the mining regulations,
a Crown grant is given on completion of £100 worth of
work, while a claim held as a location requires that its
owners each have a free miner's license and do £20
worth of work per annum, or pay £20 into the provincial
treasury. Wages run from 12s. to 20s. a day for shifts
of eight to ten hours.
Dr. Dawson, the recognised and greatest authority
on mineralogy in Canada, states—" Everything that
has been ascertained of the geological character of the
province, as a whole, tends to the belief that, as soon as
means of travel and transport shall be extended to what
are still the most inaccessible districts, they also will be
discovered to be equally rich in minerals, particularly in
precious metals—gold and silver.
(See, also, Appendix,)
This province bears the reputation of being the most
beautiful and healthful in America, if not in the world.
It may also truthfully be said to have the most fertile
soil, the richest area of mineral country, and the most
liberal land laws.
Its immense area of 222,000 square miles only contains a population 2,114,000, thus providing wide scope
for the industrious immigrant. A word or two for the
intending emigrant bent on agriculture.
Any head of a family, whether male or sole female,
having children under 18 years of age, can obtain a grant
of 200 acres ; and a single man over 18 years of age, or
a married man having no children under 18 residing
with him, can obtain a grant of 100 acres.
Such a person may also purchase an additional 100
acres at 50 cents (2s. Id.) per acre, cash.
This province is known to be extremely rich in
minerals throughout its entire extent, which, however,
is practically unexplored ; but enough is known to prove 9
that the districts north of Lakes Huron and Superior
are enormously rich in gold, iron, silver, copper, nickel
and other minerals.
The nickel deposits are practically of illimitable extent
and enormous value. They are situated at Sudbury,
near the north shore of Lake Huron. Their importance,
which was first recognised six or seven years ago, has
been much enhanced by the recent decision of the
Admiralty to use nickel-steel armour plating for our new
ships of war, as only one other large deposit of the
metal is known to exist—namely, in the Erench Colony
of New Caledonia, where it is much less accessible than
at Sudbury. The nickel occurs in association with
copper, in the form of pyrrhotite, and it was for copper
that the mines were originally worked. The presence
of nickel was only discovered through metallurgical
difficulties in treating the copper ; but since 1890 the
mines have been worked for both by a Copper Company,
a concern consisting chiefly of American capital. The
ore contains from 2 to 3 per cent, of nickel, and the
deposits have been proved to be very extensive. The
deepest shaft occurs in what is known as the " Copper
Cliff Mine; " it has been sunk to the eleventh level—say
about 700 feet—and the ore shows no sign of giving in.
Other nickel companies have now been formed for ex*
tending the industry, and Canada looks forward with
good reason to developing it into a leading source of
In eastern Ontario there have been considerable
finds of gold, galena and mica, while the quarrying of
apatite, or phosphate of lime, and marble of excellent
-quality, are both profitable industries.
In the southern district, near Lake Huron, are the
famous oil springs, from which petroleum is obtained
in immense quantities. In 1896 the value of the crude
petroleum was valued at 1,155,646 dollars, and of natural
gas 276,301 dollars. Further to the north, in the same
district, are prolific salt wells, which send forth an
-abundant supply of brine ; the salt obtained from which
The new value
of Nickel.
Gold, galena,
mica, apatite,
and marble in
B. Ontario.
springs and
salt wells. wmmmmm
The oldest
Mining District
in Ontario.
The Lake of
the Woods
The Lake of
the Woods Gold
Output has
already trebled
the total Output of Ontario.
forms a large item in the commerce of the place ; and
north of Lake Superior, in the Thunder Bay district,
rich ores of silver are found; while eastward, on the
Grand Eiver, there are extensive mines of gypsum, or
Plaster of Paris. There are also considerable areas of
peat beds in several parts of the province.
The oldest mining district is at Hastings, near the
eastern border of the province. Gold was first found
here in 1866, when the discovery caused considerable
excitement for a time. The ore, however, proved refractory to the processes of that day, and very little gold,
was produced ; but within the last year or two a marked
revival has taken place ; there has been a large expenditure on modern plant at several mines in the district*
and the prospects are improving. It is at the other end
of the province, however, near the Lake of the Woods
and the Eainy Eiver that most activity prevails. Here
an immense and richly auriferous region has been
opened up quite recently. The area is 250 miles long,
and about half as broad. Gold occurs only in quartz
veins, but unlike the Hastings ore, it is nearly all free
milling. Dr. Coleman, the expert of the Bureau of
Mines at Toronto, has just returned (August, 1897) from
an official inspection of the gold fields, and reports very
favourably upon them. The whole thing is still in its
infancy ; the oldest mine has only been worked for three
years, new ones are being started almost from month to
month, and further prospecting is still being carried on
under a Government concession. But already the
results have trebled the gold output of Ontario, and
Dr. Coleman expects a large and rapid increase.
% There is every prospect," he says, " that a number of
mines will be producing gold in 1897, and that the total
will rapidly increase. The area of the auriferous
country is so enormous, and the ores as a whole so
easily treated, that within a few years a very large
output may be expected." In addition to these two
principal gold fields at opposite ends of the province,
mines are now being worked at various intervening
points near the shore of Lake Superior and at Lake
is, 11
Perhaps the most important of the many mining gejjfw gold"
discoveries made in Ontario was that recently made on
the Michipicoten Eiver, near lake Wawa. Mr. Blue,
Director of the Ontario Bureau of Mines, returned in
October, 1897, from inspecting this new find, and
reports the discovery of a vein of quartz then yielding
600 dollars of gold to the ton. (This new field is referred
to at greater length further on, under the heading of
1 Mining Fields Awaiting Development.") In short,
great activity prevails throughout Ontario.
Northern Alberta.
This section of the North-West Territories of
Canada is the only remaining portion, excepting the
British Yukon, in which gold mining is carried on.
For some years past, since 1863, an average of about
50,000 dollars worth of gold has been washed out of the
bars and banks of the Saskatchewan Eiver. In the
early days 10 to 15 dollars per day was the average
earnings of the miner, but the return now averages very
little over 1^ dollars per day.
New interest has been lately aroused in the possibilities of this industry, from the fact that some
Americans, who made tests in 1896, found that only
about ten per cent, of the gold was saved by the hand
1 grizzlies " used by the miners.
For many years placer mining has been carried on Gold onîthe
along the big Saskatchewan Eiver, chiefly on the north Eiver.
branch, about 200 miles north of Calgary, where fair
wages are now being made every summer; the same
bars being worked year after year and never becoming
exhausted. Last year (1896), says the Calgary Herald of
September 16th: "A small boom was started by discoveries of high gold values in the black sand with which
the river abounds. Some 30 mining scows are now at
work taking out the black sand, but for want of smelting
facilities and improved methods, little is yet known of the
real value of the diggings There is gold on
the bars of the south branch of the Saskatchewan, as
well as on the north branch, and of the two rivers ; old Part DZ. and
Appendix to be
referred to.
placer miners, who have worked on both, give the south
branch the preference.    On some of the bars, near the
Hat Eiver, plenty of gold is being taken out	
On the famous Livingstone bar there is, this summer
(1897), a gold camp, where we found miners who were
perfectly satisfied with their lot, one making splendid
The Yukon Country.
Under this heading the astounding gold discoveries
on the Klondyke tributaries, the Stewart, Indian and
other rivers tributary to the Yukon, as well as further
south on the Lewes, Pelly, Hootalinqua and Big Salmon
rivers, are all fully dealt with in Part IL, under Sections
1, 2 and 10, and throughout the Appendix.
extracts from a
notable report.
Extent of
country in the
far N.W*
Mining Fields Awaiting Development.
(See, also, Appendix—" Another New Gold Field in
British Columbia.")
As Canada's great development, which the world is
looking forward to in high, and in some cases jealous,
expectation, will be the direct outcome of vigorous and
systematic mineral exploitation, a short review of those
richly mineralised fields—many of which, though now
wild forest or desolate waste, will probably be Canada's
busiest and most populous centres—should prove interesting, and, perhaps, helpful to many who contemplate
sharing in the operations which are to bring about this
magnificent expansion of wealth and industry.
Before proceeding with the very cursory survey of
the Dominion's Mining Areas, which only await man's
enterprise and skill to yield up their riches, an important
extract from the report of the Select Committee of the
Senate (Canadian Dominion), appointed to enquire into
the resources of the Great Mackenzie Basin, in 1888,
might be quoted :—
" Of the mines of this vast region little is known of
that part east of the Mackenzie Eiver and north of Great
Slave Lake.    Of the western effluents of the Mackenzie
MM 13
An immense
petroleum area.
enough is known to show that on the headwaters of the
Peace, Liard and Peel Eivers, there are from 150,000 to
200,000 square miles which may be considered auriferous,
while Canada possesses, west of the Eocky Mountains,
a metalliferous area principally of good yielding rocks,
1,300 miles in length, with an average breadth of 400 to
500 miles, giving an area far greater than that of the
similar mining districts of the neighbouring Eepublic.
" In addition to these auriferous deposits, gold has Location of
r '   ° various
been found on the west shore of Hudson's Bay, and
has been said to exist in certain portions of the barren
grounds. Silver on the Upper Liard and Peace Eivers,
copper upon the Coppermine Eiver, which may be connected with on Eastern Arm of Great Bear Lake by a
tramway of 40 miles, iron, graphite, ochre, brick and
pottery clay, mica, gypsum, lime and sandstone, sand
for glass and moulding, and asphaltum, are all known to
exist; while the petroleum area is so extensive as to
justify the belief that eventually it will supply the larger
part of this continent, and be shipped from Churchill,
or some more northern Hudson's Bay port, to England,
" Salt and sulphur deposits are less extensive, but
the former is found in crystals, equal in purity to the
best rock salt, and in highly saline springs ; while the
latter is found in the form of pyrites, and the fact that
these petroleum and salt deposits occur mainly near the
line of division between deep water navigation and that
fitted for lighter craft; give them a possible great commercial value. The extensive coal and lignite deposits
of the Lower Mackenzie and elsewhere, will be found to
be of great value when the question of reducing its iron
ores, and the transportation of the products of this vast
region, have to jbe solved by steam sea-going or lighter
river craft."
No important mention is made in the above extracts of
the regal mineral which is now creating such a sensation
in the Yukon-Mackenzie country, particularly on the
tributaries of the Klondyke Eiver. But the above report
was handed in years before the marvellous goldfinds of
Bich fields
beyond the
district. 14
The uew gold
discoveries at
the Bonanza and El Dorado Creeks came to light. The
country between the Yukon and Mackenzie Eivers,
described by both Dr. Dawson and Mr. Wm. Ogilvie,
covering an area of 150,000 square miles of auriferous
country, comprises the largest and most attractive—because of its fascinating possibilities as evidenced by the
Klondike goldfinds—fields for the gold prospector in the
Canadian Dominion—or, perhaps, in the world. This
region is dealt with at some length in Sections 1 and 2,
Part II.
The Montreal correspondent of the Standard
(London), of November 12th, 1897, writes that " The
excitement caused by the gold discoveries in the Yukon
country has led to reports of new Klondykes all over this
Continent, most of them with very little foundation.
But in the case of Michipicoton, in Ontario, official
investigation has established the genuineness of the gold
deposits, and given some indication of their probable
extent. Mr. Archibald Blue, Director of the Bureau of
Mines established by the Ontario Government, visited
the new gold fields some weeks ago, but he was not able
to do more than establish a registration office, to prevent
disputes between the prospectors already rushing into
the country. He saw enough, however, to warrant him
in sending Professor Arthur B. Willmott, M.A., B.Sc,
to make a further investigation of the district. Professor
Willmott visited Michipicoton in September, and on his
return prepared a preliminary report, which has been
issued by the Ontario Government as a bulletin of the
Bureau of Mines."
The Canadian
Chamber of
Mines, London
This report runs into many pages, and anyone proposing to visit this promising field should read the whole
publication at the offices of the Canadian Chamber of
Mines, 165, Fenchurch Street, London, or at the High
Commissioner's Office, Westminster.
Professor Willmott sums up as follows:—"From all
that I can learn from prospectors, from the number of
finds of free gold, from the quantity of quartz pebbles in
the lower parts of the streams, and from the great re- 15
semblance of the country rocks to the Lake of the Woods
region, I think there is every reason to believe that the
Division will well repay careful prospecting, and that in
a few years gold mining will here be established on as
profitable a basis as in other parts of Ontario."
This field has an advantage over almost all other
Canadian goldfields that should bring it into rapid favour
—if its prospects are good enough, it is easy of access, it
is situated on the North-East shore of Lake Superior,
between the Lake and the Canadian Pacific Eailway,
and may be reached from either. The lake route is probably the easiest, and was chosen by Mr. Blue for his
hurried visit. Michipicoton is about seventy-five miles
directly North from Sault Ste. Marie by steamer, which
lands passengers about two miles from the mouth
of the river. There is an Indian reserve in the bay, so
that it is not difficult to obtain canoes for the rest of the
Professor Willmott, having more time at his disposal, took the inland route, travelled by the Canadian
Pacific Eailway to Missanabie, and thence with two
Indian guides by canoe. Missanabie is forty-six miles
in a straight line from Lake Superior ; but the prospector
follows a circuitous route, in order to take advantage of
the lakes and streams. There are two routes from
Missanabie, both starting in a South-Westward direction
through Dog and Manitowick Lakes, Thence one
follows the Michipicoton Eiver round one-third of a
circle to its outlet, a probable distance of sixty-five miles.
There are on this route six portages, all well travelled,
but some of them very rough. The Big Stony portage
is five-sixths of a mile long, and the Long portage one
mile and two-thirds. The others are short. Below the
Long portage the river winds about in a gravel plain for
nearly ten miles, with considerable current, making it
necessary to " pole " in many places when ascending.
For this reason, and because of its shortness, the route
which diverges from the lower end of Manitowick is
usually taken.    This ascends a small stream in a South-
Position of the
Eoates to the
field. 16
country North
Of Lake
western direction, passes through a number of small
lakes, over the height of land and down Wawa Lake to
its South-West end. Thence an old Canadian Pacific
construction road may be taken to Michipicoton, a
distance of seven miles, or a portage of two miles to the
Magpie Eiver, and a further portage of a quarter of a
mile at the mouth of this stream. At present two teams
are transporting goods across the " tote-road to Wawa
at exhorbitant rates. This route from Missanabie is
very direct—little over fifty miles—and can be made in
two days by two men travelling in a light canoe. The
portages are numerous but good, except the Big Stony
one. At the time of the construction of the Canadian
Pacific Eailway roads were built by the contractors for
the purpose of getting in supplies. Though these roads
are now overgrown with small brush and the bridges
across the creeks have decayed, they afford to the prospector a comparatively easy entrance to the interior.
The following extract from the Summary Eeport of
the Geological Survey Department for 1896 describes
an exploratory work by Mr. J. B. Tyrrell, of the Canadian
Geological Survey made last year in the country lying
along the Grass Eiver to the North of Lake Winnipeg.
Grass Eiver is a tributary of Nelson Eiver which flows
into Hudson's Bay :—
A New Field for Mining Enterprise North of
Lake Winnipeg.
Report of a Survey by J. W. TYRRELL, B.A., of the Geological
Survey Department of Canada.
f On the 29th of June (1896), I left Selkirk, Manitoba,
accompanied by two canoemen who had been with me
through two previous seasons, and the following day
reached Selkirk Island, near the mouth of the Saskatchewan Eiver. On the morning of the 1st of July we
were taken by a small fishing tug northward to Limestone
Bay, and thence we proceeded by canoe along the north
shore of Lake Winnipeg and through Playgreen Lake to
Norway House. 17
" Here two Indians and an extra canoe were hired, Enumeration
'   of routes sur-
and we turned westward into the country lying to the veyed.
west of Nelson Eiver, exploring Goose-gut, Pine and
Wolf Eivers ; returning from the latter stream to Norway House, where the two Indians were paid off.
I We then descended Nelson Eiver to Cross Lake,
where two other Indians were hired, and the descent of
the Nelson Eiver was continued to the north end of
Sepaywisk Lake, whence we crossed several portages
and small Lakes until we reached Burntwood Eiver,
which was ascended to Nelson House, where the Cross
Lake Indians were paid off and allowed to return
home. With one canoe, and the two men from Selkirk,
I returned to Paint Lake, and then ascended Grass
Eiver, through Setting, Herb and Eeed Lakes to its
source in Cranberry Lake. From the south end of
Cranberry Lake, we crossed the Cranberry Portage to
Athapapuskow Lake, and thence descended Goose Eiver,
through Goose Lake, to Sturgeon Eiver, which was
descended to Cumberland on the Saskatchewan Eiver.
I From Cumberland we ascended the Saskatchewan
Eiver to Fort à la Corne, where the canoe was
stored for the winter, and we drove to Prince Albert,
arriving there on the evening of the 9th of October,
three months and eleven days after leaving Selkirk,
having travelled in all about 1,100 miles, largely over
routes previously unexplored.
I From Lake Winnipeg and the Saskatchewan Eiver,
the horizontal Palaeozoic limestone was found to extend
northward to the south end of Hills Lake, on Pine Eiver,
and Herb Lake, on Grass Eiver. Thence, the northern
limit of the limestone extends westward, keeping to the
south side of Grass Eiver, and generally forming an
escarpment from fifty to one hundred feet high. Goose
and Athapapuskow Lakes lie in a deep bay in the face of
this escarpment. West of the latter lake the northern
edge of the limestone is known to extend along the southwest side of Beaver Lake, and thence onward towards
Lac la Ronge south of Churchill Eiver.
ledge of
limestone 18
and Huronian
Largest Huronian area.
"North of the limestone escarpment, the country is
underlain by Archaean rocks, which have usually a
gently undulating surface contour. From the Nelson
Eiver westward as far as longitude 99° 30" they consist
chiefly of gray and reddish-gray Laurentian gneisses and
granites. Along the Nelson Eiver these are cut by.
numerous dykes of dark-green, highly basic traps, and in
the vicinity of Pipestone and Cross Lakes they are
associated with an area of micaceous, hornblendic and
sericitic schists, stretched schistose conglomerates and
fine-grained slates of Huronian age.
" On the South side of this area, and near the edge
of the gneiss, is an eruptive mass of light greenish-gray
anorthosite, and a gabbro containing a large quantity of
mispickel, associated with some copper-pyrites.
" On the South side of the Indian Eeserve Island in
Cross Lake, the hornblende-schists are cut by wide veins
of coarse, white, pegmatitic granite, containing large
crystals of black and white mica, some of the latter being
nine inches in diameter, and very possibly indicating
deposits of commercial value. On account of the evenly
rounded nature of the surface, and the want of blasting
materials, none of the larger crystals could be taken out,
but some of the smaller fragments obtained were clean
and unbroken.
| Thinly foliated green schists, probably of Huronian
age, were again found on another Pipestone Lake, on the
way from Cross Portage to Burnt wood Eiver.
"But the most extensive and interesting area of
Huronian rocks was discovered on the upper part of
Grass Eiver. Beginning a short distance east of Herb
Lake it extends almost continuously westward through
Eeed, Elbow and Cranberry Lakes, and crossing to the
drainage basin of the Saskatchewan Eiver, underlies parts
of Athapapuskow and Goose Lakes.
" Seven miles east of the north end of Herb Lake,
the Huronian rocks are first encountered, in a hill of
massive or slightly foliated diabase largely altered to 19
chlorite, and a short distance further west is a ridge of
dark-gray micaceous schist studded with rather large
crystals of staurolite. On the east side of Herb Lake is
a ridge of thinly foliated light-grey micaceous gneiss,
containing a good deal of white mica, and cut by many
veins of white quartz.
lt On the west side of the same lake, and extending
south to Wekusko Point, is an eruptive mass of coarse
gabbro, approaching a diabase in texture. South of this
is a considerable area of dark-green, slaty schists. On
the south-west side of the lake these are cut by another
large eruptive mass of a finer grained and more typical
gabbro. The schists are also disturbed and altered by a
large mass of red granite.
" Almost everywhere the schists are cut by larger Numerous
and smaller veins of white quartz. The river above Herb
Lake runs for a considerable distance along the line of
contact of red granite on the west, and Huronian schists
and conglomerates on the east, above which it crosses an
area of coarse, dark-grey gabbro, returning, near the
entrance into Eeed Lake, to the red granite. Near the
contact are many quartz veins, associated with a good
deal of iron-pyrites.
" On Eeed Lake, the Huronian rocks consist chiefly
of fine-grained, green slaty schists, holding much pyrites,
and cut by many stringers of quartz.
' ' Above Eeed Lake the country becomes more rugged Rocks of Reed
1 •   • mi • -i   and Cranberry
and the hills more precipitous.    The river circles round Lakes.
an area of basic igneous rocks, as far as Cranberry Lake,
often occupying a valley along the line of contact of these
rocks with the surrounding granite or gneiss.     Near the
contact, the rocks have been much disturbed and are cut
by   many   veins of quartz,  often containing a large
quantity of pyrite.
" On Cranberry Lake the Huronian rocks are often
altered to a silvery sericitic schist.     The same schists.
extend across the water-shed to Athapapuskow Lake, and
thence continue westward, perhaps beneath the   undisturbed Palaeozoic limestones.
c2 20
field for pros-
Soil and
8 This area of Huronian rocks, extending about
seventy-five miles from east 'to west, and an unknown
distance towards the north, presents a good field of
exploration for the prospector for gold and other precious
metals, on account of the number and variety of eruptive
masses that break through it, surrounded by zones of
highly disturbed and fissured rocks.
" From Nelson "Eiver westward to longitude 100°
30 ', and from the north end of Lake Winnipeg northward
to beyond latitude 56°, the country is generally covered
with a coating of stratified clay, varying in thickness
from a few feet up to fifty, sixty, or even one hundred
feet. This clay is of much the same character as that of
the Eed Eiver valley, having been, like it, deposited in
the bed of the old post-glacial lake that once occupied
the basin of Lake Winnipeg. The rivers have, as a rule,
cut down through this clay to the underlying rock, but
away from the water-stretches, rock-exposures are not of
very frequent occurrence. The soil is rich and fertile, and
since summer frosts do not seem to be very prevalent,
the country will doubtless produce in abundance all the
hardier roots and cereals grown in the province of
Manitoba, and cattle, sheep and horses could be successfully raised. If the country were made accessible by a
railway passing through it to Hudson Bay, it would
certainly support a considerable agricultural population."
Mr. Tyrrell returned to Ottawa on October 16th.
Extracts from Geological Notes on the North»Western
Territories by GEORGE M. DAWSON, C.M.G.,
D.5., F.G.S., Director of the Geological Survey
of Canada.
Slave  River.
The district to the south of Athabasca Lake, on the
Athabasca Eiver and its tributary the Clearwater, (not
included by the accompanying map), and also on Peace- 21
Eiver, is characterized by a great abundance of pitch and
petroleum deposits and springs. These are described by
Sir A. Mackenzie, Sir J. Eichardson, Prof. Macoun, Dr.
Bell and others (Cf. Eeports of Progress Geological
Survey, 1875-6, p. 169, 1882-84, p. 32, c c). It is interesting to observe the recurrence of such deposits at
intervals along the Mackenzie valley to the Arctic Sèa.
At the " Lightening Place of the Hummock " on Slave
Eiver, thirty miles below Fort Chipewyan, the limestone
beds were noted by Eichardson to contain mineral pitch
in fissures (J. B. V., vol. 1, p. 137.)*
About half-way between Athabasca and Great Slave salt springs,
lakes, Salt Eiver joins the Slave Eiver. Of this stream,
Eichardson writes :—" The Salt Eiver flows in from the
westward, a short way below the portages. We ascended
it for twenty-two miles, including its windings, but not
above half that distance in a straight line, for the purpose
of visiting the salt springs from whence it derives its
taste and name. Seven or eight copious saline springs
issue from the base of a long even ridge about six
hundred feet high, and spreading their waters over an
extensive clayey plain, deposit a considerable quantity
of very pure common salt in large cubical crystals. The
mother water flowing into the Salt Eiver gives it a very
bitter taste, which it retains until near its junction with
the Slave Eiver, when the addition of some fresh water
streams, renders it only slightly brackish. A few patches
of greyish compact gypsum were exposed on the side of
the ridge from whence the springs issue.'' (1st
Expedition, p. 518.)
Captain Back, who accompanied Eichardson, again
visited these salt springs in 1833. He writes :—" There
were no mounds like those seen in 1820 ; but just at the
foot of the hill which bounds the prairie in that quarter,
there were three springs, varying in diameter from four
to twelve feet, and producing hillocks of salt, from
fourteen to thirty inches in height.    The streams were
* Journal of a Boat Voyage through Rupert's Land and the
Arctic Sea, by Sir J. Richardson, London, 1851. 22
dry, but the surface of the clayey soil was covered, to
the extent of a few hundred yards toward the plain, with
â white crust of saline particles.'' (Narrative of the
Arctic Land Expedition, p. 80.) Petitot states that,
according to the Indians, the Caribou Mountains,
between Salt Eiver and the Peace Eiver, contain much
rock salt.    (Bui. Soc. Géog., Paris, vol. x, p. 140.)
West end of
Great Slave
Lake, Bitumen
Western part
of Great Slave
Great  Slave  Lake.
Eichardson describes the west shore of this great body
of water as composed of horizontal strata of limestone,
forming a flat country (2nd Exp., appendix p. xxiv.) In
his Journal of a Boat Voyage (vol. i, p. 152,) he writes :
—"In the vicinity of the westernmost channel of the
delta [of Slave Eiver] and from thence to the efflux of
the Mackenzie, the whole western shore of the lake is
limestone, associated with a bituminous shale, and
belonging, as well as can be ascertained from its fossils,
to the Erie division of the New York system, which
includes the Marcellus shales." He also refers to the
limestone as being bituminous, and speaks of fossil shells
of which the cavities are filled with bitumen.
Capt. Back's description and specimens (Arctic Land
Expedition, p. 544, et seq), show that the north side of
Great Slave Lake, from the entrance of the north arm
westward, consists of Laurentian rocks. The hills are
said to be rocky, low, grey and rounded, and gneiss,
porphyry and granite are the prevalent materials. The
large islands and promontory which occupy the centre of
the eastern part of the lake are, on the contrary, " of the
trap formation " and exhibit long lines of high mural
precipices, sometimes distinctly columnar. Back compares these to those formerly seen by him near the
Coppermine, and refers them to the same formation.
Near the western end of the long island, Peth-the-nu-eh,
he says the Indians obtain greenish-grey " marl " of
which they make their pipes. The same point is shown
by Petitot, as composed of black serpentine, which he
also notes is used for the manufacture off pipes, (Bui. Soc. 23
Géog., Paris, vol. x., p. 143). Specimens of slaty
magnesian limestone were obtained by Back from the
south side of the long island. Similar limestone is
associated with the series of the Coppermine Eiver, and
there is every reason to believe that the trap formation
here should be referred to the same great Lower Cambrian
Pebbles of a jasper conglomerate, which evidently
exactly resembles the jasper conglomerates of Lake
Huron, were collected near the east end of the lake.
The rock was, however, not seen in place. (Arctic Land
Expedition, p. 547).
Mackenzie  River  from  Great Slave  Lake to
Bear  Lake  River.
In   the   appendix   to   Franklin's   Second   Journey, Devonian and
rr , .       Cretaceousji
Eichardson writes :—" the only rocks seen in situ rocks. ? \
between Slave Lake and the Forks [mouth of the Liard] shale,
where a bituminous shale of a brownish-black colour, in
thin slates, and a slate-clay of a pure yellowish-grey
colour, which, as well as the bituminous shale, forms
steep banks," (appendix p. xxiv). In his subsequent
Journal of a Boat Voyage, (vol. i., p. 164), he describes
on the same part of the river, " bituminous shale " and
" greyish-green slate-clay," which weathers into a
tenaceous clay, and adds:—"The whole banks of the
river seem to belong to a shale formation ; but from the
want of induration of the beds, they have crumbled into
a slope more or less steep." Though Tentaculites
fissurella is noted as occurring in the bituminous shale,
it appears probable that the general surface of the
country in this vicinity is composed of Cretaceous or
Laramie beds, through which the river has cut in some
places to the subjacent Devonian rocks.
Eichardson did not ascend the Liard Eiver in any of Liara Eiver.
his journeys, but learned that, "for twenty-four miles
upward from its mouth, it flows through sand and shale,
with limestone occasionally cropping out," while seventy-
five miles up it is a high hill, named the " Noh'hanne 24
part of Eocky
Graphite and
iron ore.
Cretaceous and
Beds of lignite.
Butte," on the summit of which is a salt spring. From
this hill, Mr. McPherson brought specimens of limestone,
" similar in lithological character to those procured from
the Eock by the Eiver's Side." (J. B. V., vol. ii. p. 203).
This observation may be regarded as approximately
fixing the western edge of the Cretaceous and Laramie
rocks in this latitude, while the limestone seen further,
down the Liard, may be that underlying these rocks,
exposed by the river in places. In loose fragments of
limestone at the mouth of the Liard, Kennicott collected
fossils which, according to Meek, are referable to the
Hamilton group. (Trans. Chicago Acad. Sci., vol. i.,
p. 69).
The Eocky Mountains, where approached by the
Mackenzie below the mouth of the Liard, are described
as consisting of a number of ridges running S.S.W., or
S.W. by S., with abrupt eastern faces and longer
slopes to the westward, thus corresponding with
the outer ridges of the same range much farther south,
and probably indicating a similar prevalent westward dip. A few specimens obtained from this part of
the range are not sufficiently characteristic to be of
much value, but some of them, from near the Liard
Eiver, are said to be indistinguishable from those of
Limestone Point, in Great Bear Lake, noted further on.
(2nd Expedition, appendix, p. xxvi). Specimens of plumbago and specular iron were also given to Eichardson as
derived from this part of the mountains,    (p. xxv).
The valley of the Mackenzie near the mouth of Bear Lake
Eiver, is occupied by rocks referred by Eichardson to the
" Lignite formation," which, with little doubt, represent
the series now known as the Laramie. The formation
"may be characterized as consisting of wood-coal in various
states, alternating with beds of pipe-clay, potter's clay,
which is sometimes bituminous, and slate-clay, gravel,
sand and friable sandstones, and occasionally with porcelain earth. The strata are generally horizontal, and as many
as four beds of lignite are exposed in some parts." (2nd
Expedition, appendix p. xvii.)   The lignites were observed
i 25
to be on fire in various places, both by Sir A. Mackenzie,
in 1789, by Eichardson and others. Four sections seen
in the banks of the river are detailed by Eichardson—
(1) at the mouth of Bear Lake Eiver, (2) five miles above
the mouth of the river, and (3) ten miles above the same
point. (2nd Expedition, appendix pp. xix-xxi.) A detailed
description of these beds and the lignites they contain is
again given in the Journal of a Boat Voyage, and
fossil plants obtained from the shales are figured,
(vol. i., p. 186.)
Great  Bear  Lake  and  Vicinity.
The greater part of the north-western and western Laramie
shores of Great Bear Lake, together with the low land Bituminous
. , shale, alum
at the base of Great Bear Mountain, which stands on sulphur, and
the promontory to the south, appear, according to
Eichardson's notes, to be formed of rocks referable to
the Cretaceous or Laramie. He describes slate-clay and
shale more or less bituminous, plastic and bituminous
coal and earthy clay, with selenite, pyrites, poor clay-
ironstone and efflorescenses of alum and sulphur. At
the base of Great Bear Mountain, are bituminous slate
and slate-clay, holding brown coal. The indications on
Petitot's map, however, show that limestone and granite
project through the newer formations in places, forming
the hills in the centre of the promontory on the west
shore of the lake, as well as Great Bear Mountain.
Other rocks described on Bear Lake Eiver must be
assigned to the Cretaceous, or possibly in part to the
Laramie. At the mouth of the river, however, rocks,
both of the limestone series and the Cretaceous, evidently
occur, the former probably constituting a projecting ridge.
A hill is described on the north bank of the river, at its
mouth, composed of limestone rocks similar to those of
the ridge at the rapid above referred to. Parts of the
limestone are saturated with petroleum, and petroleum
springs were observed by Franklin.
On Bear Lake Eiver, a little below the rapid, a small Salt'
stream flows in from the southward, near the sources of
Bocks saturated with
petroleum. 26
which the Indians procure an excellent common salt,
which is deposited from springs by natural evaporation.
(1st Expedition, appendix p. xiii).
The Bamparts
to the
Sandstones at
the Narrows.
Peel Eiver.
Mackenzie River and vicinity below Bear Lake River.
In latitude 66J, about 30 miles below The Eamparts,
is a perpendicular sandstone cliff, about one hundred and
sixty feet high, which presents the same castellated
appearance with that above noted. The beds are horizontal, and rest on horizontal strata of limestone. (2nd
Expedition, appendix p. xxxv.) Beyond this point, to
"The Narrows," north of which the river divides and
becomes estuarine in character, several outcrops of
sandstone, marl-slate and shale were observed, all
probably referable to the Cretaceous or Laramie.
At The Narrows the sandstones are said to contain,
1 small, rounded, and also sharply angular grains of
opaque, white, green and blue quartz with grains of
lydian-stone and coal." (J. B. V., vol. i., p. 222.) These
silicious materials are, in all probability, fragments of
the cherty beds of the limestone series. Such material
forms a great part of many of the coarser Cretaceous
beds of the Eocky Mountains where they have been
geologically examined south of the latitude of the
Peace Eiver.
The Peel Eiver, which flows into the Mackenzie not
far below The Narrows, is said to show " the shale formation in its banks," (J. B. V., vol. i, p. 222). while
Isbister mentions that alum-shales occur along it to the
point at which it leaves the mountains. (Quart. Journ.
Geol. Soc, vol. xi., p. 511. Journ. Eoyal Geog. Soc,
vol. xv., p. 343.)
Country between   Great Slave  Lake  and  the  mouth
of  the Coppermine  River.
The following notes, embracing the information available, for the tract of country above defined, are extracts
from or abstracts of those given by Eichardson in
Appendix I., to the narrative of Franklin's first journey 27
(1819-22). The route pursued by the expedition is
sufficiently indicated on the map by the chain of lakes
running from Great Slave Lake to the upper part of the
Coppermine Eiver, to the north of which the river itself
was followed.
Of the country north of the north arm of Great Slave Lale^Fort
Lake, Eichardson writes :—" The granite formation Enterprise,
continued for a considerable distance on our route
towards Fort Enterprise, but it contained more and
more foreign beds as we advanced to the northward.
. . . . At the mouth of Yellow Knife Eiver, and in
Lake Prosperous, mica-slate prevailed. Between Eocky
and Carp Lakes, the granite contains many beds of
mica-slate, and the country is tolerably well wooded "
(p. 520). " At Carp Lake [lat. 63° 35] the hills are of
lower altitude, have fewer precipices, and more rounded
summits ; the valleys are less fertile, contain gravelly
soil, and nourish fewer trees. This appears to be the
commencement of the gneiss, or as it may be termed, in
this latitude the Barren Ground formation, for it seems
to exist throughout the great district to the eastward of
the Coppermine Eiver, termed the Barren Grounds by
the Indians."    (p. 520.)
" The country about Fort Enterprise consists of short Bocks at Fort
, ., . _,...-.   Enterprise.
and very obtuse conical, or sometimes round-backed
hills, of moderate elevations, never disposed in mountain
ranges, but entirely unconnected and separated from
each other by inclined valleys of moderate extent. Their
summits are almost universally formed of naked smooth
rock, and generally of a species of durable red granite
that has been more than once mentioned as composed of
well crystallized reddish felspar and grey quartz. Large,
irregular, but somewhat cubical, fragments of this rock
are scattered over the surface of the hills, or rest upon
their very summits, by two or three angular points, as
if left exposed there by the decay of the less durable
material that enclosed them The acclivities
of the hills, generally speaking, consist of gneiss wrapped
in a mantle form, round the granite."    (p. 520.) 28
Bed Bock
Correspondence with Lake
Following this general description (pp. 522-523), are
local details respecting the vicinity of Port Enterprise ;
granite, micaceous and hornblendic gneiss, greenstone,
mica-slate and clay-slate, being mentioned.
The following notes embody the principal recorded
observations :—
Eleven and a half miles on a north-westward course
from the last mentioned locality (Point Lake), greenish-
grey clay-slate occurs. The rocks at the west end of
Point Lake were then found, for some miles, to consist of
granite and gneiss, probably Laurentian. The shores of
Eed Eock Lake are characterized by reddish and
greenish-grey clay-slates, with hills apparently of trap.
One of these " bore an exact resemblance in altitude and
form to Salisbury Craigs, in the neighbourhood of
Edinburgh." In latitude 66° 45' 11", gneiss and syenite
hills were again observed on the north bank of the east-
and-west reach of the river. These, I suppose from the
description, to form an eastward projection from the
large area of these older rocks between the Coppermine
and Great Bear Lake. Beyond this point the rocks noted
are as follows :—Dark red sandstone ; dark purplish-red
compact felspar rock, with a light reddish and greyish
felspar and quartz rock, the low area characterized by
these rocks is bounded to the northward, and eastward
by a lofty ridge of trap rocks, which constitutes the
famous Copper Mountains ; reddish-grey granular foliated
limestone ; deep red sandstone, grey sandstone composed
of grey quartz and felspar, pale red sandstone with quartz
concretions, greyish-white siliceous sandstone with
imbedded portions of the pale red kind ; greenish fels-
pathic trap, greenstone, flesh-red felspar and hornblende
in concretions, with hornblende and amygdules of
prehnite, hard wine-yellow limestone with thin layers of
flint inclining to flinty-slate.
The above notes, taken in conjunction with Eichardson's description of the Copper Mountains, appear to
show, in so far as lithological criteria may be depended
on,  that representatives   of   both   the   Animikee and 29
Keewenaw series of the Lake Superior region may occur
here. The interest attaching to the Copper Mountains
is so great as to justify the quotation of the paragraphs
referring to them.    They are as follows :—
" The Copper Mountains appear to form a range
running S. E. and N. W. The great mass of rock in
the mountains seems to consist of felspar in various
conditions ; sometimes in the form of felspar rock or
clay-stone, sometimes coloured by hornblende, and
approaching to greenstone, but more generally in the
form of dark reddish-broWn amygdaloid. The amyg-
daloidal masses contained in the amygdaloid, are either
entirely pistacite, or pistacite enclosing calc-spar.
Scales of native copper are very generally disseminated
through the rock, through a species of trap tuff, which
nearly resembles it, and also through a reddish sandstone
on which it appears to rest. When the felspar assumed
the appearance of a slaty clay-stone, which it did towards
the base of the mountains on the banks of the river, we
observed no copper in it. The rough and in general
rounded and more elevated parts of the mountain, are
composed of amygdaloid ; but between the eminences
there occur many narrow and deep valleys, which are
bounded by perpendicular mural precipices of greenstone. It is in these valleys, amongst the loose soil,
that the Indians search for copper. Amongst the
specimens we picked up in these valleys, were plates of
native copper ; masses of pistacite containing native
copper ; of trap rock with associated native copper,
green malachite, copper glance or variegated copper ore,
and iron-shot copper green ; and of greenish-grey
prehnite in trap, (the trap is felspar, deeply coloured
with hornblende), with disseminated native copper : the
copper in some specimens was crystallized in rhomboidal
dodecahedrons. We also found some large tabular
fragments, evidently portions of a vein consisting of
prehnite, associated with calcareous spar, and native
copper. The Indians dig wherever they observe the
prehnite lying on the soil, experience having taught
them   that   the   largest  pieces   of   copper   are  found
The Copper
throngh the
Mode of
of copper. 30
Country north
of the Copper
Chromic iron.
associated with it, We did not observe the vein in its
original repository, nor does it appear that the Indians
have found it, but judging from the specimens just
mentioned, it most probably traverses felspathose trap,
We also picked up some fragments of a greenish-grey
coloured rock, apparently sandstone, with disseminated
variegated copper ore and copper glance; likewise
rhomboidal fragments of white calcareous spar, and
some rock crystals. The Indians report that they have
found copper in every part of this range, which they
have examined for thirty or forty miles to the N. W.,
and that the Esquimaux come hither to search for that
metal. We afterwards found some ice chisels in
possession of the latter people, twelve or fourteen inches
long, and half an inch in diameter, formed of pure
" To the northward of the Copper Mountains, at the
distance of ten miles, in a direct line, a similar range of
trap hills occurs, having, however, less altitude."
A rolled piece of chromic iron was picked up on the
banks of the Coppermine Eiver by Dr. Eae, when
accompanying Sir J. Eichardson, in his search expedition
in 1848.    (J. B. V., vol. i., p. 327.)
Banges \
parallel to
the coast.
Cretaceous or
Arctic  Coast, west of the  Mackenzie  River.
The Arctic coast, west of the Mackenzie, to longitude
148°, was explored by Franklin. The shore is described
as low, but a short distance inland, there is a range of
mountains running nearly parallel to it, comprising, from
east to west, the Eichardson, Buckland, British and
Eomanzoff chains. The low land, at least as far as the
west end of the Eichardson chain, is probably underlain
by Cretaceous or Laramie rocks, continuous with those
of the Mackenzie basin, as beds of lignite were observed
at Garry Island, off the mouth of the Mackenzie, and
near the Babbage Eiver, opposite the west end of the
Eichardson chain. There is, however, nothing to indicate
that these rocks terminate to the west at this place.
(2nd Expedition, appendix, p. xxiii.) 31
Continental Shore from Mackenzie River to Boothian
From Sir J. Eichardson's description of  the rocks Cretaceous,
I and Laramie
along  this   coast,  for   about   270 miles   east   of   the Bocks.
Mackenzie, or to the promontory of Cape Parry, they
are referable, with little doubt, to the Cretaceous, or to
that formation in   conjunction   with   the   superposed
Laramie series.
In the bay west of Cape Bathurst, cliffs of sand and
slaty-clay are noted. The extremity of Cape Bathurst is
composed of cliffs of slaty-clay, which when dry, has a
light bluish-grey colour. East of the Cape are beds of
I alum-shale " said to resemble that of Great Bear Lake,
previously referred to. At Point Trail, in this vicinity, Burnt snales-
cliffs or horizontally bedded "bituminous alum-shale"
of a brown colour and interspersed with crystals of
selenite and ironstone concretions, had been on fire.
| The burnt clays, variously coloured, yellow, white and
deep red, give it much the appearance of the rubbish of
a brickfield," (2nd Expedition, appendix, pp. xli-xliii.)
The circumstances here met with, apparently, exactly
reproduce those presented by similar shales of the Fort
St. John group (Cretaceous) on the Smoky Eiver, a
tributary of the Peace. (Eeport of Progress, Geol.
Survey of Canada, 1879-80, p. 57 b.)
Slate-clay is again noted in cliffs at several points
further east, to the bottom of Franklin Bay, and at one
place, the shaly strata were actually observed to be in
a state of combustion.    (2nd Exp., appendix, p. xliii.)
In his subsequent Journal of a Boat Voyage (vol. i., p. Bichardson's
270), Eichardson remarks of Cape Bathurst :—" I believe
that this promontory, from its northern part to the
bottom of Franklin Bay, is the termination of the
sandy and loamy deposit and bituminous shale,
which, throughout the whole length of the Mackenzie
rests on the sandstone and limestone beds so frequently
noted in the preceding pages, and fragments of which
may be traced among the alluvial islands in the estuary 32
Cambrian area
on the coast.
Silurian or
Bae Biver.
of the Mackenzie, and in Liverpool Bay." (Cf. Bell on
Cretaceous rocks overlying Devonian limestones on
Athabasca. (Eeport of Progress, Geol. Survey of Canada,
1882-84, p. 14 cc.)
East of Cape Parry, for over seventy miles (Cape
Lyon to point Tinney), "the rocks forming the coast
line are slate-clay, limestone, greenstone, sandstone
and calcareous pudding-stone," and are recognized by
Eichardson as belonging to a formation differing from
that met with further west. (2nd Exp., appendix, p. xlv.)
Naked ridges of trap rocks are mentioned in some places,,
and splintery reddish limestone, slate-clay and limestone
interstratified, compact bluish-black limestone and other
rocks are described, the dips observed being generally
to the north-eastward. Though the notes are rather
imperfect for this part of the coast, it is believed to bo
occupied by an extension of the Cambrian rocks of the
Coppermine, possibly with outliers of the Silurian or
Devonian limestone in some places.
In his Journal of a Boat Voyage (vol. 1., p. 283)
Eichardson makes the following additional important
remarks respecting this portion of the seaboard :—
I The quartz-rock beds acquire occasionally a pistachio-
green colour, as if from the presence of epidote-
A similar stone occurs at Pigeon Eiver on the north shore
of Lake Superior ; and the limestones and sandstones of
the latter district, with their associated trap rocks, as at
Thunder Mountain [now classed as Animikie] correspond
in most respects with those between Cape Parry and tho
Coppermine Eiver."
Beyond the district above described, from Point Clifton
to Cape Hearne, in Coronation Gulf, " The whole coast
consists of a formation of limestone precisely similar to
that which occurs at Lake Winnipeg and Parry's Peninsula." (2nd Expedition, appendix p. xlvii.) The strata»
are said to be nearly horizontal.
On Eae Eiver, which flows into Coronation Gulf
from the west near the mouth of the Coppermine, lime- 3»
" Basaltic
stone, bluish-grey quartz-rock and high cliffs of "basalt"
are described from specimens and notes obtained by
Dr. Eae, who ascended the river for about twenty miles
in 1849. Among the limestone and quartz-rock, Dr. Eae
discovered layers of "asparagus-stone or apatite, thin Apatite and
beds of soap-stone, and some nephrite or jade." In
this connection Eichardson further adds:—"From the
similarity of the various rocks associated in this quarter,
to those occurring at Pigeon Eiver, and other parts of
the north shore of Lake Superior, I am inclined to
consider that the two deposits belong to the same
geological era, both being more ancient than the Silurian
series."   (J. B. V., vol. i., p. 312.)
Near Eae Eiver and Eichardson Eiver, immediately to
the north-west of the mouth of the Coppermine, and
also on the western side of the Coppermine Eiver,
Eichardson describes a series of lines of "basaltic"
cliffs. J All these precipices face towards the south-
south-east, or east-south-east, and radiate between west
and south-south-west from a point in Coronation Gulf,
at which they would meet if prolonged. (J. B.V.,
vol. i., p. 316.)
A notice of the rocks near the mouth of the Copper-mine
and of the Copper Mountains has already been quoted
from the narrative of Franklin's first journey. Nothing
material is added to this by the observations in his
second journey, but notes are there given of the rocks
of the Barren Grounds between the mouth of the
Coppermine and Dease Bay on Great Bear Lake. Eocks
of the Coppermine Eiver series are described as extending westward to the height of land and consists chiefly
of purplish grey-spotted sandstone and conglomerate.
(Appendix p. 1.) So far as noted, the western slope
appears to be composed of " granite " and " porphyry."
Eastward from the mouth of the Coppermine, the
rocks of the coast and small islands lying off it, are
described in the narrative of Franklin's first journey as
similar to those of the Coppermine Eiver, as far as
Cape Barrow.
Bocks between
and Great Bear
Coast east of
Coppermine 34
At Galena Point, fourteen miles south of Cape Barrow,
on Bathurst Inlet, a narrow vein of pure galena was
observed traversing gneissic rocks. (1st Expedition,
p. 531.)
Bocks and
described by
Jameson from.
the east coast
of Melville
West Coast of
Hudson Bay.
Boothian and Melville Peninsulas and Vicinity.
In Agnew Eiver, on this coast, copper ore was found
by Eoss, and massive beds of trap are mentioned in the
appendix as occurring in the Saumerez Eiver, though
this is included in the area of country generally characterized by granite.
A specimen of lead ore was found on a hill in lat.
69° 13' 14" on the west side of the Gulf of Boothia,
{Op. cit., p. 115.)
Melville Peninsula.
The rocks referred above, in a general way, to the
Archaean, probably include areas of Huronian. Jameson
mentions as among the prominent varieties of rocks derived from this region, " Granite, gneiss, mica-slate, clay-
slate, chlorite-slate,, primitive-trap, serpentine, limestone
and porphyry." In association with these the following
minerals occur :—" Zircon and beryl, also precious
garnet, actinolite, tremolite, dalage, coccolite, rock
crystal, calc-spar, rhomb-spar, asbestos, graphite or
black lead, specular iron ore, magnetic iron ore,
chromic ore or chromate of iron, titanic iron, common
and magnetic iron pyrites." Some of the "transition
rocks," noticed by Jameson, should probably also be
classed with the Archaean, and in addition to several of
the minerals above mentioned, in these were found
tourmaline (schorl) and molybdenite. (Narrative of
Discovery and Adventure in the Polar Seas and Eegions,
by Professors Leslie, Jameson, and Hugh Murray, 1830.)
Between this point (Cape Esquimaux) and Eepulse Bay,
in the course of the two journeys above referred to,
granite and gneiss were observed in a number of places,
and no mention is made of other rocks in situ, though
among specimens collected, and reported on by Prof. 35
Tennant in the appendix, hornblende and mica-slates and
chloritic and talcose slates are noted. On an island near
the south shore of Eanken Inlet, Dr. Eae "picked up
some specimens of copper ore, but the ore did not appear
to be abundant."
Northern  Continental  Shore,   East of  Hudson   Bay,
with  Baffin  Land.
In the Transactions of the Geological Society, vol. ii. steinhauer on
(1814.) Eev. Mr. Steinhauer describes a number of
specimens sent by the Moravian missionaries from the
Labrador coast, and gives localities for labradorite, and
for the soap-stone used by the Eskimo in making
lamps, &c.
Dr. Bell specially mentions the occurrence of mica Mica and
and graphite on the north shore of Hudson Strait, as rap x (
being of possible economic importance.
In a supplement to the appendix of Capt. Parry's West coast of
Voyage for the Discovery of a North-west Passage in.
the years 1819-20 (Natural History) C. Koning describes
the most characteristic rocks of the west coast of Baffin
Bay as " gneiss and micaceous quartz-rock, with some
ambiguous granitic compound, in which hornblende
seems to enter as a subordinate ingredient (p. ccxlvii).
Dr. P. C. Sutherland, in the Quarterly Journal of the Bemarksby
Geological Society (vol. ix., 1853, p. 299), describes the
east coast of Baffin Land from Lancaster Sound to
Cumberland Sound, as follows:—"On the opposite
(south) shore of Lancaster Sound, at Cape Walter
Bathurst, the crystalline rocks are again recognised, and
from this point they occupy the whole coast southward
to Cumberland Strait (Sound) and probably considerably
beyond it. To this, however, I believe there is one
exception, at Cape Durban, on the 67th parallel, where
coal has been found by whalers ; and also at Kingaite,
two degrees to the south-wesfc of Durban, where, from
the appearance of the land as viewed from a distance,
trap may be said to occur on both sides of the inlet
wr 36
Bocks of
Frobisher Bay.
Copper and
iron ores.
Graphite is found abundant and pure in several islands
situated on the 65th parallel of latitude in Cumberland
Strait, and on the west side of Davis Straight.
A considerable collection of rocks and fossils, made by
C. F. Hall, chiefly in Frobisher Bay and its vicinity, is
described by Prof. B. K. Emerson, in Appendix III. to
Hall's Narrative of a Second Arctic Expedition. The
greater number of these specimens consist of ordinary
Laurentian rocks, including granite, gneiss, magnetite-
gneiss, hornblendic gneiss, mica-schist, etc. In associa*
tion with these, in Frobisher and Field Bays, magnetite,
apatite, bornite and pyrite were found, together with
crystalline limestone holding cocolite. At the head of
Frobisher Bay, from a hill named by Hall " Silliman's
fossil mount,"* which appears to form part of a somewhat extensive development of nearly horizontal cream-
coloured and sometimes magnesian limestone, a number
of  fossils were obtained.
Mr. F. M. Endlich, in a list of minerals obtained in
the Howgate Polar expedition (1877-78) enumerates,
among others, the following from Cumberland Sound :—
Muscovite, crystals and large plates; chalcopyrite,
pyrrhotite, apatite, (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 1882, p. 171.)
In this appendix to M'Clintock's voyage, Professor
Haughton gives the following, respecting the south shore
of Pond's Bay, or inlet at the northern extremity of
Baffin Land. (Lat. 72Q 40'). "In this locality, a
quartziferous black mica-schist underlies the Silurian
limestone, and is inter stratified with gneiss and garnet-
iferous quartz-rock, all inclined 38° W.S.W. (true)."
M'Clintock states the inclination or dip of the beds as
35° to the west, in the same volume,    (p. 156).
be^f^sum From the appendix to Parry's Third Voyage, we
learn that in association with the limestones of the east
side   of Prince   Eegent Inlet,  are subsidiary beds  of
* The position of " Silliman's fossil mount " is shown on the map accompanying Hall's-Life with the Esquimaux.  London, 1864.
Notes by
Endlich and
Haughton. 37
gypsum. Gypsum also occurs on the west side of the
inlet in North Somerset, where it is said to occur in
i beds several feet thick, extending for at least 30 miles
through the country." (App. p. 147.) At the first-
mentioned locality brown haematite was also found,
apparently derived from the limestone.
" Coal, sandstone, clay-ironstone and brown haematite Coal formation
were found along a line stretching E.N.E. from Baring
Island, through the south of Melville Island, Byam-
Martin Island, and the whole of Bathurst Island. Carboniferous limestone, with characteristic fossils, was
found along the north coast of Bathurst Island, and at
Hillock Point, Melville Island."
From a comparison of different coal exposures noted
by M'Clintock, M'Clure, Austen, Belcher, and Parry, in
the Parry Islands, Prof. Haughton has laid down the
approximate outcrops of some of the coal beds. These
he finds to agree remarkably well with the trend of the
boundary of the formation drawn from totally different
data. Lists of fossils and rocks from the following
places, with notes, are given :—Hillock Point, Melville
Island (lat. 76° N. ; long. Ill0 45' W.) Bathurst Island,
north coast, Cape Lady Franklin (?) (lat. 76° 40' N. ;
long. 98° 45' W.) Princess Eoyal Island, Prince of
Wales Strait, Baring Island (lat. 72° 45' N. ; long,
117° 30' W.) In connection with this place, it is
noted that the carboniferous sandstones underlie the
limestones, and that "it is highly probable that
the coal beds of Melville Island are very low down
in the series, and do not correspond in geological
position with the coal beds of Europe " (p. 385).*
Cape Hamilton, Baring Island (lat. 74° 15' N. ; long.
117° 30' W.) Cape Dundas, Melville Island (lat. 74° 30"
N. ; long. 113° 45' W.) Cape Sir-James-Eoss, Melville
Island (lat. 74° 45' N. ; long. 114° 30' W.)    Cape Pro-
* Dr. Armstrong in his Narrative of the Discovery of the North-west
Passage (p. 402), says of the same place, " In Princess-Boyal Island, besides
the characteristic Silurian limestones, there are black basalts and red
jaspers, as well as red rocks, less altered by heat, but showing a passage
into jasper."
Localities of
fossils and
rock-specimen 38
vidence, Melville Island (lat. 74° 20' N. ; long. 120° 30'
W.) Winter Harbour, Melville Island (lat. 74° 35' N. ;
long. 110° 45' W.) Bridgeport Inlet, Melville Island
(lat. 75° N. ; long. 109° W.) Skene Bay, Melville Island
(lat. 75° N. ; long. 108° W.) Hooper Island, Lyddon
Gulf, Melville Island (lat. 75° 5' N. ; long. 112° W.)
Byam-Martin Island (lat. 75° 10' N. ; long. 104° 15' W.)
Graham-Moore Bay, Bathurst Island (lat 75° 30' N. ;
long. 102° W.) Bathurst Island, Bedford Bay (lat. 75°
N. ; long. 95° 50' W.) [Vesicular scoriaceous trap rocks
were found here by M'Clintock, though no such rocks
are mentioned elsewhere in connection with the Carboniferous.] Cornwallis Island, McDougall Bay. Silurian
and Carboniferous fossils were found together at the last
mentioned place. The questions raised by these are
discussed by Haughton on page 389.
Coal outcrops. Eespecting the coal seams which have been dis
covered in the Arctic Archipelago, Prof. Haughton further
remarks :—" If the different points where coal was found
be laid down on a map, we have, in order, proceeding
from the south-west, Cape Hamilton, Baring Island;
Cape Dundas, Melville Island, south ; Bridgeport Inlet
and Skene Bay, Melville Island; Schomberg Point,
Graham Moore Bay, Bathurst Island ; a line joining all
these points is the outcrop of the coal-beds of the south
of Melville Island, and runs E.N.E. At all the localities
above mentioned, and indeed, in every place where coal
was found, it was accompanied by the greyish-yellow
and yellow sandstone, already described, and by nodules
of clay-ironstone, passing into brown haematite, sometimes
nodular and sometimes pisolitic in structure " (p. 388).
mm 39
Routes to the Yukon and far North-
West Territories of Canada.
(See, also, Appendix.)
The points of view from which a new country must
be viewed are (1) the value of the resources, and (2) the
.routes or means by which these resources can be
reached and brought to market. It has been, already,
conclusively shown that the North-Western Territories
of Canada contain mineral resources alone of such
splendid promise as should insure, now that the ball
has been set rolling on the Upper Yukon, this great
Dominion a swift and, perhaps, startling accession of
wealth and eminence. The problem that now appears to
be taxing the ingenuity of all men concerned in the
development of Canada's sub-arctic region is that of the
easiest and most economical routes.
Taking Vancouver as a starting point, it is found
that there are at least nine or ten routes more or less
used:—(1) St. Michael's, the Up-Yukon Eiver route;
(2) the Chilkat Pass ; (3) Bound's Trail ; (4) Dalton's
Trail; (5) Chilkoot Pass; (6) White Pass; (7) Taku
Inlet ; (8) Stikeen Eiver. There are two routes from the
Coast to Telegraph Creek, the starting point on this route ;
one via the Stikeen Eiver, the other (9) ^Overland
and through British Territory from the Kitimat Arm of
Douglas Channel, 308 miles from British Columbia
Coast to Telegraph Creek ; and (10) the Fraser Eiver—
from Ashcroft (B.C.) on the Canadian Pacific Eailway,
800 miles to Lake Teslin, 600 miles further to Dawson
City. These are all so condemned and approved alternately by newspaper critics and returned travellers that
it would require volumes of descriptive and technical
detail to properly represent their respective merits or
demerits. The second part of this volume briefly deals
with these different routes, in the shape of extracts from
various official authorities, publications and newspapers.
(See Sections 10, 18 and 27, Part II.) But a few words
might be.said respecting the different railway schemes.
* This route has not yet been surveyed, and, therefore, caunot be described, but it is said to offer an easy grade route through All-Canadian
territory, much of it good agricultural country, and skirts some of the
active mining fields of B.C., and several prospective ones.
The Eoutes
to the Yukon
from the West
Coast. 40
Railways from
theWest Coast
Objections to
short costly
:The subject of
viewed from
a dividend-
paying point
of view.
Good waggon
roads versus
short railways.
It is proposed to build a railway from Skagway
Bay to Bennett Lake ; another from the Taku Inlet to
Teslin Lake ; another from the Stickeen Eiver to the
last mentioned lake ; and other lines are proposed from
the West Coast, all terminating at some lake or river point
a few miles inland and hundreds of miles from the Yukon.
The question that arises respecting these proposed short
railways is :—While offering a certain advantage in the
matter of taking passengers and goods over the first few
miles of a 600 miles' journey during the short summer
season, what prospect do they present of returning dividends to shareholders ? In a twelvemonth's time Dyea,
Skagway, Telegraph Creek and other shipping termini will
be furnished with numberless transport contractors, with
whom railways will never be able to compete unless
trade and passenger traffic become enormous ; a prospect that certainly looks likely to be realised, but which
at this stage appears too speculative a contingency upon
which to build costly railways.
The gravest objection, however, to these railways is
that, for the most part, they only cover the narrow
coastline between the shipping ports and the inland
waterways leading to the goldfields, and are,
therefore, of little service from September to June of
each year, when these waterways are frozen over.
(See Section 11, Part II.) Eailways that are built over
the mountainous coast country of this part of the American
continent, and which can only command full traffic for little
over four months in the year, will require to charge rather
heavily during those few months if shareholders are to draw
the dividends anticipated. It must also be remembered
that, unlike an agricultural country, or, indeed, any
other country in the world, the railway traffic, excepting
in passengers, will be altogether one way; the return
journeys will be almost wholly unremunerative.
Unless some means are devised of getting heavy
traffic over the ice-laden lakes and rivers* it is difficult to
see the wisdom of building all these short and expensive
railroads until such time as sufficient encouragement is
* Section 19, Part II., refers to the use of dogs or reindeer for this
purpose, but there is no doubt that mechanical science will soon overcome
the difficulty. The traction engine supplies a key with which some genius
will solve the problem.   (See Appendix.) 41
Travellers and
Traffic v. Eailway Shareholders.
forthcoming to build a line from the terminal point of all
the coastal railways right through to the goldfields. At
present good waggon roads to the navigable waterways
and inland trails are all that is needed when the
question is considered from the profitable investment
point of view. As to building a railway 600 miles into
.a gold-mining country like the Yukon, before its widespread richness and permanency have been thoroughly
established, and which, during the summer months,
when the bulk of the carrying trade would be done,
could never compete against the Mackenzie and Yukon
Eivers' traffic, it is sufficient to say that no government
would be so unwise as to countenance such a project.
There is no intention of questioning the value which
these coast lines will prove to traffic during the short
open-waterway season, but with three or four short
oostly railways, all with the same object and converging
towards the one point, competing against all-waterway
routes and good waggon roads, and, more particularly,
against each other, it is difficult to see how they are
going to pay. There is no doubt that the proper course
was for the Canadian Government to have had rapid
surveys made of the most likely routes, before any
oharters were granted, and to have selected the best for
a State railway, which should have been constructed at
once. This would, at least, have stopped many schemes
now afoot in which much disappointment and loss will
be experienced.
As the case stands now, several charters have been
.granted for different railway projects, on some of which,
it is said, preliminary operations have already begun.
If possible, and not too late, it would be a wise move for
the various companies, or concessionaires, to join forces
a,nd decide upon one railway only. The advantages of
such a course are obvious.
The White Pass and the Stikeen proposed railway The white
routes are, no doubt, the best known at present, and, of stikeenRoutes.
these, all information to hand at the beginning of this
year (1898) gives the palm to the first-mentioned.   It must
be noted that railway routes are referred to, not roadways. 42
White Pass
The Stikeen
Ugly features
on the St.
Chilkoot and
Taku River
Skagway Bay, the starting point of the White Pass
Eoute, has the advantage over all other seaports in this
region, in having deep water, excellent shelter, and a
good landing wharf for large steamers at all tides and
seasons. The route, after leaving the Bay, proceeds
along a flat for four or five miles, then over the coast
range—the highest point of which, 2,600 feet, is reached
17 miles from Skagway. Thence it descends to Lake
Bennett, 35 miles from Skagway. A survey reports that
the steepest gradient for a railway by this route is only
3 feet in 100. The line continues to a point on the
Hootalinqua Eiver 90 miles from Lake Bennett, thus
giving a railway of 125 miles from the sea, to an uninterrupted direct waterway to the Yukon.* From this
point on the Hootalinqua it is 400 miles by the Stikeen
Eoute via Teslin Lake to the sea. Of this distance
nearly 150 miles must be covered by a railway from
Telegraph Creek to Teslin Lake.
Navigation is open at all times of the year by sea to
Skagway, while the Stikeen Eiver is closed by ice for at
least six months and Teslin Lake for nearly a month
longer every year. But the Stikeen Eiver labors under
other disadvantages as compared with the Skagway.
Even when open the river is somewhat difficult to navigate by vessels drawing not more than four feet, and lines
have to be taken ashore at one particularly bad spot.
Teslin Lake is closed long after the Hootalinqua Eiver
opens, and ice forms upon it sometime before it appears
on the river. It is a well-known fact that ice remains on
the lakes longer and forms earlier than on the rivers of
this region, though on Tagish Lake and other lakes
amongst the coast ranges the mountain streams keep the
ice from forming and clears it off much earlier than on
the lakes further inland.
These facts, certainly, give many points to the
White Pass Eoute over that of the Stikeen.
There are three other routes, of which a great deal
has been said that is misleading. The following sum»
ming-up of Mr. Ogilvie's latest utterances (Lecture at
(* There is an alternative scheme of extending this line to Fort Selkirk
instead of the Hootalinqua River.) 130
route to the
From "The Times."
TORONTO, Jan. 26, 1898.
I have just obtained in advance from an absolutely trustworthy source the
following information, which I believe to be of great interest, so I transmit it
at once :—
Mr. William Mackenzie, of the firm of Mackenzie, Mann, and Company of
this city, one of the greatest railway contractors in the country, last night
signed a contract with the Dominion Government which may be regarded as of
the greatest importance to Canada and will be heard of with great interest in all
parts of the world.
It appears that since the Yukon discoveries the Government have been
resolved to establish an all-Canadian route directly to the gold mines, and have
made explorations to this end. A location has now been fixed and particulars
will be made public to-morrow. The contract entered into is for the immediate
construction of 150 miles of railway which will at once revolutionize the whole
question of the approach to Klondike. An unexpectedly favourable route has
been found. The water approach will be by the Stickeen river, which affords
good navigation to Glenora, 140 miles from the mouth.
The contract is for the construction from this point of a line of railway 150
miles in length to Teslin Lake, from which there is continuous good navigation
for river steamboats to Klondike and all points in the Yukon district. The contractors have undertaken to have the line completed by next September, six
weeks before the close of the river navigation.
It is believed that they are perfectly able to carry out this engagement,
having complete organization for such work. Outfits are being shipped this
week to commence operations. The Stickeen river passes through Alasfcan
territory for a distance of 30 or 40 miles. It is one of the treaty rivers, the free
navigation of which is guaranteed for British commerce. Arrangements, however, will be made so that, if necessary, a continuation of the line from Glenora
can be made southward over entirely Canadian ground by building 150 miles of
additional railway to a Canadian ocean port. It is estimated that passengers
by this route will reach Klondike from the ocean in five or six days.
The Government has secured the completion of this great undertaking
without any cost in money to the country. The company receive a large grant
of mineral lands by way of assistance to the enterprise, the Government
reserving alternate blocks from the lands selected.
There will undoubtedly be a feeling of great satisfaction throughout Canada
at the creation of this comparatively easy and independent line of communication, and the inception of the enterprise will profoundly affect all other
arrangements for transportation and all questions touching the development of
the vast gold territory of the Yukon.
(fbom.ode coeeespondent.)
OTTAWA, Jan. 26, 1898.
The Government have made arrangements by which a well-known Canadian
firm of railway contractors will build a railway from Telegraph Creek, on the
Stickeen river, to Teslin Lake, to connect with navigation to Dawson City and
the Yukon goldfields. The total length of the railway will be about 130 miles.
The line must be completed by September next. Its construction will render
Canada wholly independent of American routes. 43
Victoria, B. C, November 5th, 1897) discloses some
ugly features upon these routes.
The St. Michael's or Up-Yukon Route :—Only 2J
months' open navigation, and treacherous sand-bars,
which are likely to limit vessels to only one trip in the
The Chilkoot Pass Eoute :—So rough and mountainous that, Mr. Ogilvie remarks, "it would probably
be necessary to suspend the road by iron girders from
the cliffs on the road to Sheep Camp, and from Sheep
Camp to the head of the climb the road is yet more
difficult/ '
Taku Eiver Route:—The dangers from the Great
Taku glacier, and obstacles to navigation caused by
enormous gravel-bars, form permanent objections to this
However, the object of these pages is not so much
to deal with the routes from the west coast as from the
point-of-view at which Europe, and more particularly
this country, must regard the development of these far
north-western territories of Canada, in which mining,
the fisheries and furs, must ever be the only possible
industries of any extent, though circumstances may
bring about a wide development of the great petroleum
areas which extend throughout the entire length of the
great Mackenzie basin, though in some favoured localities
in the South limited agriculture may be carried on and
stock grazed during the short summer.
Routes and Approaches from the East and South Hast.
The main highway into the great auriferous territory
in the far north-west, between the Yukon and Mackenzie
Eivers, will ultimately be from the east, or, to be quite
correct, from the south east. The exact route will be
determined by such mining developments as occur
throughout the North Western Territories within the
next few months, but for the reasons which follow, the
Mackenzie Eiver is certainly destined to play a chief
part in the opening-up of these sub-arctic regions.
Eesidents of Lower or South-East Canada will no
doubt favor those routes of which Edmonton—a terminus
St. Michael's
The Chilkoot
Pass Eoute.
The Taku
Eiver Eoute.
The main
object of these
Overland from
Edmonton. 44
A had feature
in the railway
Liard and
Peace Eiver
The Mackenzie
Eiver route.
on a branch of the Canadian Pacific Eailway—is the
starting point.    (See Map.)
A through-railway route to the Yukon from this
point would pass through good agricultural country for
the first few miles, but the rest of this gigantic undertaking—over 1,000 miles in length—would pass through
regions absolutely unproductive for all practical purposes,
excepting in the matter of furs, and such minerals as
may be discovered.
A feature of this question that must be kept in view
is, that railways to any goldfields in the far North-West
Territories, can only pay on the outward journey ; there
will be little or no freight on return trips, and few
passengers, so far as any appreciable addition to receipts
are concerned as compared with the cost. The length
and cost of this line, together with the competition of
cheaper routes, must relegate the consideration of its
construction to some future period when possible discoveries along its proposed route may be sufficient to
warrant reconsideration. A waggon road is another
matter and one will no doubt be made by the Government
if the Survey Party now on the route report favourably.
(See Edmonton Boutes, No. 14.    Section 21, Part II.)
There are summer routes from Edmonton to the
Yukon along both the Liard and the Peace Rivers, but it
is very [unlikely that either will ever be popular. The
dangers, length and unceasing toil—the greater portion
being up a swift stream of the former, and the same
drawbacks though with fewer perils but greater length of
the latter, will never permit these river routes to be
much favored, excepting by travellers residing in or
about the districts through which these rivers flow.
(See Sections 10 and 11 in Part IL, for description and
The route from Edmonton to the Yukon goldfields,
via the Mackenzie River, is preferable to any other from
this point because of its ease and inexpensiveness. The
great attraction of this route is, that out of its entire
length from Edmonton to Dawson City, 2,458 miles,
2,182 miles are down stream.    There are only three 45
portages between the starting point and Great Slave
Lake, and two or three short ones about 1,000 miles
further on in McDougall's Pass, which altogether
scarcely exceed a mile in length and are described
by Mr. Wm. Ogilvie (1887-88 expedition)—" The Pass
is wide and level, the valley being nearly a mile wide at
the bottom, and very flat. It is almost treeless. Lakes
in the Pass reduce the portage distance to less than half
a mile." Mr. Ogilvie passed along this portion of the
route in June with his canoes, thus showing that the
waterways in this Arctic region are free from ice almost
as early as the lakes on the Lewes River. There are
Hudson Bay Posts at certain intervals, so that during
the summer months this down-stream journey should be
quite a pleasant trip. The only up-stream portions are
on the Peel and Trout Rivers, and up the Yukon, 260
miles, to Dawson City. (See under Sections 11 and 21,,
Part IL, for distances and particulars.)
Route from Hudson's Bay to the Yukon.
The summer route from Europe to the Yukon
and the whole of the North-Western Territories, north
of about Lat. 55°, will, undoubtedly, be from Hudson's
Bay by way of the Great Slave Lake and Mackenzie
Eiver ; and the easiest and most direct course of such a
route would be via Chesterfield Inlet. The notes and
extracts in Part II. of this work, under Sections 11 and
22 dealing with the distances, and giving the descriptive
particulars and resources of the country which such a
route would tap, should be read in order to understand
its many advantages. Its chief value lies in the almost
direct course which it provides between England and
the Yukon goldfields ; but it also possesses almost equal
attractions in the vast extent of mineral country, Arctic
whale and seal industries, freshwater fisheries, and an
almost untapped fur country which it opens up to
European markets, and the enterprise of European
Capitalists. Perhaps its chief advantages are that
throughout its entire course of over 1,000 miles from
the Great Slave Lake it is navigable by river steamers ;
and four-fifths of this river route to the Yukon country
is down stream.
The Eoute of
the future. 46
Hudson's Bay.
Safety of
By reference to Section 25, Part IL, it will be seen,
on the high authority of Dr. Robert Bell, Assistant
Director of the Geological Survey of Canada, that the
greater portion of Hudson's Bay and Straits is quite
open to navigation throughout the whole of the year,
while the same authority states—11 have a record of
the principal phenomena of the seasons at Martin's
Falls on the Albany River, extending through a period
of fifty years, and from it I find that the river is open
there on an average for six months of the year. I have
also a record of dates of the opening and closing of
Hayes River at York Factory, extending over 50 years,
from which it appears to enjoy an average of fully six
months of open water. The Nelson River is open for
a longer period." There are no accounts procurable
respecting Chesterfield Inlet, but it is reasonable to
assume that this great arm of the Bay is open for a
period not very much shorter than that of the rivers
just mentioned.
In referring to the safety of navigation in Hudson's
Bay and straits, Dr. Robert Bell states that he obtained
a record from the Hudson's Bay Company which shows.
that " there have been almost every year during the
past two centuries ships of various classes and sizes
navigating the strait without loss, and it seems almost
incredible that such a number of voyages could be made,
extending over 374 years, without the loss of over one,
or, as is claimed by some writers, two small sailing
vessels ! "
The navigation of Hudson's Bay will be sufficiently
dealt with by quoting from the report of the 1884
Hudson's Bay Committee, which states—"No evidence
has been given that goes to prove that Hudson's Strait
and Bay, proper, ever freeze over, or that the ice met
with in those waters is sufficient to prevent navigation
at any time of the year; that Hudson's Bay and
Strait appear, from all evidence taken, to be singularly
free from obstruction to navigation in the shape of
shoals or reefs, and, during the period of open water,
from storms or fogs." 47
These extracts surely prove the practicability of the
Mackenzie River route so far as Chesterfield Inlet—
or any other port in Hudson's Bay—is concerned.
The chief consideration in the question of opening
up a shipping route from Europe to Hudson's Bay is
that of freight. This subject is dealt with at considerable length under Section 25, Part IL, under the
heading—" Hudson's Bay and its Territory." But the
amazing gold discoveries on the Yukon and in the
country between this great Alaskan waterway and the
Mackenzie River, and the probable early development
of other rich mineral areas in the far North Western
Territories, present additional and urgent reasons for
the opening up of this direct route from England to the
Yukon-Mackenzie country.
The next section for consideration in this Chesterfield Inlet route is that between the Inlet and the Great
Slave Lake. Mr. J. W. Tyrrell proved in his exploratory
tour of ^93 that deep navigable waters extend 250 miles
beyond the Inlet to the head of Aberdeen Lake, and
he describes himself and companions as being the first
white-men who had ever been on this lake. (See
Section 22, Part II.) Writing of his journey along the
Doobaunt River, just before entering Aberdeen Lake,
he states—% The surprising and most delightful feature
of the locality was that upon the shores there was
strewn an abundance of driftwood. At first sight its
occurrence was unaccountable, but the mystery was
readily solved, however, by finding that we had reached
the confluence of another large river flowing in from the
west. Much of the driftwood was of large size, and
judging from the slightly battered condition, one would
infer that it had come no very great distance, or, at any
rate, through very few rapids."
This account leads to but one conclusion, viz., that
a large unexplored river, free from any serious impediments to navigation, extends from near the mouth of
Doobaunt Eiver at Aberdeen Lake to some point directly
west, or nearly so, and to some unknown distance, possibly
Ee sources of
the Hudson's
Bay country.
The route after
A Waterway
between the
Inlet and Great
Slave Lake.
ip» 48
The Great
Slave Lake
Section of the
The Mackenzie
Eiver Section.
Navigation of
the Mackenzie.
to branches of the Great Slave Lake. The total distance
from Aberdeen Lake to the navigable branches of Great-
Slave Lake is somewhat about 150 miles. Branches
flowing east from the Lakes and this large river
undoubtedly cover the greater part, if not the whole, of
this distance. Under any circumstances the country
is level and easy to travel. Well-defined Indian and.
Esquimaux tracks from the Inlet to the Lakes have
been known to exist for years.
The Great Slave Lake, about 250 miles in length,
and its eastern branches are the next section of this
route. The Great Lake is well known to be navigable
for large river-steamers, and so also are Artillery
and Golden Clinton Lake, but the channels connecting
them, though well-defined on maps and apparently
extensive waterways, are lacking official records.
The Mackenzie River Section comes next in this
route. The following extracts from a report on an
exploration in the Mackenzie and Yukon Basins in 1887,
by R. G. McConnell, B.A., of the Geological Survey of
Canada, supply some most valuable information con*
cerning the navigation of the Mackenzie River, its lakes
and its tributaries :—
"The Mackenzie River and its continuation, Slave
River, are navigable from Fort Smith at the foot of the
Slave River rapids to the Arctic Ocean, a distance of
over 1,300 miles. A small steamer, built by the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Smith, in the winter of
18S6-8, now makes annual trips from that post down
Slave River and the Mackenzie as far as the mouth of
Peel River, which enters the latter at the head of its.
delta, and thence thirty miles up Peel River to Fort
Macpherson. ... It follows from these dates (see
Section 12, Part II.) that the Mackenzie, disregarding
the obstructions in low water from rapids, cannot be
considered as navigable much before the 10th of June,
nor later than the 20th October."
On reaching the delta at the mouth of the Mackenzie and passing through the left-hand channel for 49
12 miles, the Peel River is reached.    Fort Macpherson
is situated 14 miles up the Peel on the left bank.
Country tapped by a Hudson's Bay Route.
Before proceeding further with a description of this
route, a short reference might be made to the immense
area which the Mackenzie River, its lakes and tributaries,
would open up were they connected with the sea by a
direct route through Hudson's Bay.
A vast and very rich fur country between Hudson's The navigable
Bay, Athabasca Lake and the Arctic Ocean would Mackenzie,
be tapped, as well as the copper and otherwise highly
mineralised country of the so-called " Barren Lands."
The magnificent freshwater fisheries could also be
operated upon as well as those of the Arctic Ocean by
means of this great navigable waterway. Excepting
a 14-mile break of rapids, the Slave River is navigable
through to Lake Athabasca, in the surrounding country
of which there are evidences of innumerable mineral
deposits of great apparent value. The navigable
Athabasca River continues further, affording command
of a large extent of country of high prospective value,
and, excepting a break of rapids 70 miles in extent
(capable of being made navigable by improvement)
Athabasca Landing is reached, whence there is a 90-mile
road to Edmonton, the terminus of a branch of the
Canadian Pacific Railway. The magnificent Peace The Peace
River, extending from Lake Athabasca right through to
the Omenica goldfields of British Columbia, and navigable
throughout, excepting for three or four rapids which
make portaging necessary, forms a part of this great
navigable waterway system. The northern arm of
Great Slave Lake, Hay River, and other smaller streams,
provide further means of supplying this proposed main
artery of trade.
About 200 miles down the Mackenzie from Great
Slave Lake is the Liard River, which is navigable by
steamers for quite 200 miles to the mouth of the Nelson
River, which is also navigable for small steamers for at
least 100 miles further on.   Canoes can, and do, proceed
The Liard
mr 50
The Peel
tributaries of
the Mackenzie.
A report of the
highest importance upon
the Mackenzie
right on—with occasional portages—to the head waters
of the Liard, where the favourable route from Edmonton
to the Yukon Goldfields is met with.
Mr. E. G. McConnell, in his report, which I quote
on a preceding page, states :—
" Of the other tributaries of the Mackenzie, Peel
Eiver is the only one which can be considered as navigable. This is ascended annually, as stated above, by
the steamer "Wrigley" as far as Fort Macpherson,
and, if necessary, could be followed much further, but
the exact distance is not known."
But there are many short tributaries of the Mackenzie which might prove valuable arteries in connection
with the fur trade, the mining industry, and trade with
the Indians and Esquimaux. Of these the Nahanni, the
Dahadinne, the Carcagou and the Arctic Eed River are
the most important on the West so far as exploration has
gone, and the Willow, Blackwater, Great Bear (connecting
with Great Bear Lake) and the Hare Skin rivers are the
most important in the East.
The Report of the Select Committee of the Senate,
appointed to inquire into the resources of the Great
Mackenzie Basin in 1888, states in reference to the
Mackenzie River :
" There is a river navigation of about 2,750
miles, of which 1,390 miles are suitable for stern-
wheel steamers, which with their barges may carry
300 tons ; the remaining 1,360 being deep enough
for light draught sea-going steamers. There is a
total of about 6,500 miles of continuous lake, coast,
and river navigation, broken only in two places ;
that the two breaks in question are upon the Great
Slave and Athabasca Rivers, the first being overcome by a 20-mile waggon road from Fort Smith
southwards on the Great Slave River, and the latter
being a stretch of 70 miles on the Athabasca, of
questionable navigation above Fort McMurray,
down which flat boats or scows descend, but cannot
i|K 51
ascend, and which about 50 miles of waggon road
would overcome, while some improvement of the
rapids might make the whole river navigable ; that
with suitable steam crafts this river and lake navigation may be connected with Victoria and Vancouver by ivay of tlie mouth of the Mackenzie Biver,
by way of the Arctic Ocean and Behring Straits and
Sea, and it (the Mackenzie) is now connected on
the south by 90 miles of waggon road, between
Athabasca, Athabasca Landing and Edmonton, with
navigable water in the Saskatchewan."
From the Peel River the summer route generally The summer
° J   route to the
taken to the Yukon is by way of the Trout (or Poplar) J^011 fgmf
River to  McDougall's Pass,  where  lakes reduce the the Mackenzie,
portage distance to less than half-a-mile.    The Pass is
wide, treeless, very flat, and easily traversed.
An 8-mile creek, navigable by boats, leads to the
Bell River (navigable by river steamers), which takes
one to La Pierre's House, a few miles further on. From
this point to the Porcupine River—also navigable by
steamers—is about 30 miles. The junction of the
Yukon and Porcupine is 290 miles distant. (See Notes b,
Section 10, Part II.)
The mid-season route from the mouth of the Mackenzie to the Yukon is the same as that just described,
excepting that, instead of taking the McDougall's Pass
route, a portage of between 48 and 50 miles is done. This
portage is some miles longer if La Pierre's House is the
objective point, but the shorter distance is from the Peel
River, near Fort Macpherson, to the nearest point on
the navigable Bell River, from which there is unobstructed navigation for steamers along the Porcupine to
the Yukon River, or up the Porcupine River to its headwaters.
The mid-sea?on
route from the
mouth of the
Mackenzie to
the Yukon.
In 1872 a Mr. James McDougall made thorough valuable ais-
explorations of these routes—both by portage and water this route,
ways ; he discovered the Pass which bears his name—
and reported that   it   was not   more than 35   miles
e2 The through
Peel Eiver
Mr. Ogilvie's
report ; the
Peel Eiver
route to the
Stewart Eiver.
The Upper
route via the
between good steamboat navigation on either side.    He
also declared that a good road could easily be made.
Mr. McDougall made a most important discovery of
coal on the Trout River only a few navigable miles from
the junction of Peel and Mackenzie Rivers. (See Notes
B, Section 10, Part II.)
The Peel River supplies a route that will be largely
used when the object is to reach the gold-bearing reefs
at the head waters of the Stewart and Macmillan Rivers.
The Peel—described by the Senate Committee of 1888
as | a gold-bearing stream "—is a river that, so far as
official records go, enjoys the distinction of having been
explored by only one man. Mr. W. A.. K. Isbister
journeyed down this river in 1844, and his report is to
the effect that it is 300 miles in length, and has no
serious obstructions to river steamer navigation.
In his report of exploration in the Upper Yukon
country of 1888, Mr. Ogilvie furnishes evidence which
shows that the navigable Beaver branch of the Stewart
River is only separated from the west branch of the Peel
by some "low terraced sand-hills." The latest official
maps contain this important west branch of the Peel, but
it is absent from the earlier ones. (See Section 10,
Part II.)
The Upper Porcupine forms another very important
route to the Yukon goldfields from the mouth of the j
Mackenzie River.    This route, also, has been explored by
one man only—Mr. Wm. Ogilvie, 1887-88.  A summary of»
this interesting  journey is contained under Note F,j
Section 10, Part II. of this work.
After crossing to La Pierre's. House, or some other
point on the Bell River, the journey is continued to the
junction of the Porcupine and Bell Rivers. Instead of,
proceeding along the Porcupine to the Yukon River, the ;
opposite direction is taken. The Porcupine is navigable by
river steamers up to the neighbourhood of its headwaters.
There are one or two other rivers by which the Yukon
may be reached from the Porcupine headwaters in addition to the Tatonduc River route, but these are sufficiently
referred to in notes F, Section 10, Part II.    The total 53
of rivers by the
mouth route.
distance from the Bell the headwaters of the
Porcupine, following the.river windings, is about 220
In his report of exploration during 1887-88 Mr. E.
G. McOtinnell, B.A., of the Geological Survey of Canada,
• states :—
" On the west side of the Eocky Mountains,
the Bell, Rat, and Porcupine Rivers could easily be
navigated for three or four months of the year, by
small steamers, from Lapierre House down to the
junction of the latter with the Yukon. Above the
mouth of the Porcupine the Yukon, beyond a stiff
current of from four to five miles an hour, presents no
obstacle to navigation as far as Rink Rapids, a distance
of over five hundred miles, and below the mouth of the
Porcupine it is navigable to the sea. Stewart River,
the principal tributary of the Yukon on the east in
the district examined, is reported to be navigable
for a distance of nearly two hundred miles above
its mouth, but has not yet been ascended by the
steamers plying on the Yukon."
" The navigable waters of the Mackenzie are
separated from those of the Yukon in Lat. 67*20 N.
by a distance of about sixty miles only.* A cart
trail was staked out some years ago by the Hudson's
Bay Company across the interval separating these
rivers with the intention of supplying the Mackenzie
River district with goods by way of the Yukon, but
the project fell through and the road was never
The facts established by these official reports and official
the  extracts from authorities  in  Part IL, are:—that esSbiish18
unparalleled gold discoveries have been made on the Yukon Sets?11611*
Eiver; that the richest finds are made in those rivers
flowing in from the East—in the Rocky Mountain ranges;
that the further up the rivers the richer the gold ; that
the headwaters of these rivers will be the scene of great
The navigable
waters of the
Yukon and
separated by
only 60 miles.
* Mr. Jas. MacDougall made several explorations in this neighbourhood
in the seventies, and declares thati the distance between good steamboat
navigation on either side was only 35 miles. 54
An important
The Arctic
Ocean Eoute ;
mining activity; that the Peel Eiver—after leaving:
the Mackenzie—offers the best means of providing a
through-navigable waterway route to these headwaters,
and that the Mackenzie Eiver will be the shortest,
easiest, most direct, least expensive, and most popular
route from the East coast—taking an English port as
the starting point.
Route via Behring Strait and mouth of Mackenzie.
The following important statement—the more significant in view of the recent gold discoveries in the
Yukon-Mackenzie country—-was made in the summary
handed in to the Dominion Government by the Select
Committee of the Senate appointed to inquire into the
navigation and resources of the Great Mackenzie Basin
in 1888, p. 10 M
" That with suitable steam crafts this river
(the Mackenzie) and its lake navigation may be
connected with Victoria and Vancouver by way of
the mouth of the Mackenzie Eiver, the Arctic Ocean,
Behring Strait and Sea." (See Sections 8 and 9,
Part II.)
It is not for one moment proposed that the Arctic
Ocean offers a regular means of reaching the upper
Yukon goldfields that can compare or compete with
other routes, but, putting the common prejudice against
Arctic Seas aside, there is abundant proof available to
show that this route to the mouth of the Mackenzie
Eiver is quite as safe—perhaps more so in its season-
as the Yukon Eiver. Besides, it can take deep-sea
vessels, whereas the Yukon requires especially shallow
draught vessels of light tonnage for its navigation. Eiver
steamers are certainly required from the mouth of the
Mackenzie to the gold-bearing region, but only for 250
miles in one case (the Peel E. route), and 500 miles in
the other (the down Porcupine E. route), as against
about 1,800 miles by the Yukon. The distance from
Victoria—taking time into consideration—is in favour
of the Arctic Sea route. From Victoria to the mouth
of the Mackenzie—"via the Arctic Ocean—and along 55
the Peel Eiver to the region of the headwaters of the
Stewart Eiver is about 4,450 miles, whereas from
Victoria to the mouth of the Stewart Eiver—by way
of St. Michael's and the Yukon—the distance is about
4,400 miles ; a difference of fifty miles in favour of the
St. Michael's route, but ocean travelling is admittedly
more rapid than by shifting sand-bank obstructed rivers.
Besides, this ocean route gives from three to four
months open seaway as against ten weeks on the Yukon.
(See Section 25, p. 163, Part IL; "A prophetic statement by Dr. G. M. Dawson.")
In respect to the navigation of Canadian-Arctic Seas, a noteworthy
. à        extract bearing
and the development of their rich mineral and fishing upon the
jT „ , ,       navigation of
resources, the following extract from the report of the the Canadian
special Committee of the Canadian Senate of 1888,
p. 308, is important as confirming the opinion long held
by navigators, that, taking the proper season in the year,
the Arctic Coast of British North America can be navigated with ease and safety :—
"Ina memorial from Sir Eoderick Murchison
upon the same subject he speaks thus (p. 394): * In
respect to one of these courses, or that by Behring's
Straits, along the coast of North America, we know
that a single sailing vessel passed to Cambridge
within 150 miles of the mouth of the Back Eiver,
and returned home unscathed, its commander having
expressed his conviction that the passage in question
is so constantly open that ships can navigate it
without difficulty in one season.' "
An important adjunct; Arctic Sea Fisheries.
The advantage of the Arctic Ocean route to the
Yukon-Mackenzie country rests in its serviceability as a
means of combining the highly remunerative whale,
seal and walrus fisheries in Mackenzie Bay and the
Arctic coast, with the advantages it offers of reaching
the goldfields and taking machinery and supplies to the
head-waters of the Peel, Stewart and MacMillan rivers.
(See Part IL, Section 8, re navigation of the Arctic
Ocean and the Mackenzie Eiver, and Section 9 re Dr.
Whaling in
machinery and
supplies to the
headwaters of
the Peel,
Stewart, and
Eivers. 56
whalers in
A splendid
opening for
British enterprise.
. The future importance oi
Dawson's.opinion and whaling in Mackenzie Bay; and
also Section 2 re quartz reefs at the head waters of the
The whaling industry (combined with the capture
of the seal and walrus) is one of great value in Mackenzie Bay. This bay is said to be the best whaling
ground in the world, but, curiously, it is only exploited
by San Francisco whalers. They have established headquarters at Herchel Island, about 90 miles from the
mouth of the Mackenzie Eiver, as, being subjects of the
United States, they are debarred from coming within the
three mile shore limit. Even as it is they are said to be
acting contrary to International Law. Inspector Con-
stantine reports that there were 1,200 men (all United
States Americans) on this island in the 1895 season, and
the Hon. John Schultz reports that their profits are
enormous.    (See Section 9, Part II.)
Why British whalers, with the greater advantages
they could command by being British subjects, do not
establish themselves in this industry in these prolific
waters, is a question often asked by well-informed
authorities in Canada (see Section 9, Part IL), but
invariably answered with the reply that the industry
could only be conducted from Victoria or Vancouver,
from which places, however, no whaling is carried on.
This is a reason in which there is a notable want of
spirit—because of the fear of American competition, and
perception—because of the splendid opportunity that is
In view of the great mining development that is
promised in this region, there is little doubt that the
Mackenzie Bay fishing industry will shortly assume
considerable importance, as whaling vessels now going
to those fishing grounds comparatively empty will
fill up with supplies for the goldfields, and to supply
those miners who take the Mackenzie and Peel Eivers'
route to the fields. Besides, as before mentioned,
heavy machinery and supplies can be easily taken by The Archangel
of North
this deep sea route to the quartz reefs at the rivers'
Considerable scepticism is felt in respect to the
prospective value of the mouth of the Mackenzie as a
commercial seaport. Dr. Dawson, however, dispels
any doubt in this direction by proving that the circumstances of Mackenzie Bay and the White Sea are almost
parallel, and that what is being done so successfully in
Sub-Arctic Eussia should be done equally well in Sub-
Arctic America.    (See section 24, Part II.)
Other  examples are shewn in  the prosperity of comparison
many cities quite as far north as the mouth of the seaports in
Mackenzie.    Besides, northern Asia affords even more Europe and
telling comparisons, numbers of British vessels going many
degrees further north on   ordinary shipping business
and with nothing like the promising prospects held out
in this easily reached bay, into which the mighty and
far reaching Mackenzie discharges its great volume of
tepid waters.
The future of British North America is a fascinating ^®
problem to speculate upon, the only danger being that
the more one studies the indications of its enormous
resources, the more boundless become its possibilities,
until one passes into a state of bewilderment at the
apparent extravagance of the prospect. Its agricultural, lumber, and fishery resources are rich and promising indeed, but when its future mineral development
is added the vista widens out beyond all human calculation.
future.  THE
N.   W.   CANADA.
Wherever the word "evidence" is used in a
headline, it must be understood that the
matter immediately following is an extract
from the Beport of the Select Committee of
the Senate appointed to enquire into the
Besources of the Mackenzie Basin for the
Government of the Dominion of Canada,
Section X.    Untold wealth of Alluvial
Gold in the Country.
General Summary of the 1888 Senate Committee.
Of the mines of this vast region little is known of
that part east of the Mackenzie Eiver and north of the
Great Slave Lake, Of the western affluents of the
Mackenzie enough is known to show that on the headwaters of the Peace, Liard and Peel Eivers there are
from 150,000 to 200,000 square miles which may be
considered auriferous, while Canada possesses west of
the Eocky Mountains a metalliferous area, principally of
gold-bearing rocks, 1,300 miles in length with an average
breadth of from 400 to 500 miles, giving an area far
greater than that of the similar mining districts of the
neighbouring Eepublic.
The rich
resources of
this great area. 60
and Area of
the Yukon
Character of
the Country.
The Yukon or
Pelly River.
Dr. Dawson's
The Yukon Goldfields.
The following account of the Yukon Goldfields
district is embodied in a report issued from the office of
the nigh Commissioner of Canada, August, 1897. \
The Yukon district is a vast and, as yet, little known
tract of country which forms the extreme north-westerly
portion of the North-West Territories of Canada. It is
bounded to the south by the northern line of British
Columbia (lat. 60 deg.), to the west by the eastern line of
the United States Territory of Alaska, to the east by the
Eocky Mountain ranges and the 136th meridian, and to
the north by the Arctic Ocean. The district has an area
of 192,000 square miles, or about the size of France, and
of this area 150,768 square miles are included in the
watershed of the Yukon Eiver.
The region as a whole is naturally mountainous in
character, but it comprises as well a large area of merely
hilly or gently undulating country, besides many wide and
flat-bottomed valleys. It is more mountainous in the
south-east, and subsides generally and uniformly to the
north-westward, the mountains becoming more isolated
and separated by broader tracks of low land. The average
base level may be stated at a little over 2,000 feet.
The Yukon or Pelly Eiver provides the main drainage
of the region. This river passes from Canadian into
American territory at a point in its course 1,600 miles
from the sea. The 200 miles of its course in Canada
receives the waters of all the most important of its
tributaries—the Stewart, Macmillan, Upper Pelly, Lewes,
White Eiver, etc.—each with an extensive subsidiary
river system, which, spreading out like a fan towards the
north-east, east, and south-east, facilitate access into the
In 1887 an expedition was despatched by the
Canadian Government to the Yukon country, under the
personal charge of Dr. G. M. Dawson, now Director of
the Geological Survey of the Dominion, and that gentle- 61
man's exhaustive report, published among the proceedings
of   the  survey in  1888,  contains   the  most • authentic j
information at present available on the geology, topography, and general characteristics of the district.
The   immediate   necessity   for the  exploring and'
surveying work undertaken by the expedition arose from
the fact that somewhat important developments of placer
gold-mining had been attracting   a  yearly increasing,
number of miners and prospectors into a portion of the
region in question ; and the work decided on included '
also the preliminary determination of the point at which
the Yukon or Pelly Eiver crossed the 141st meridian,
which    line    constitutes   the   boundary   between   the
Canadian North-West Territories and Alaska.
So far as is known, it was as late as the year 1878 that The first Gold-;
the first gold-prospector entered the country, and from
that time onwards small parties of miners and prospectors
regularly have made their way thither. The route
generally taken is via the head of Lynn Canal by the
Chilkoot Pass and the Lewes Eiver, whose upper waters
lie within thirty miles of tide water. While gold has been
found from the outset in the bars of the Lewes Eiver and
its affluents, it was generally in unremunerative quantities
for the conditions under which mining could be conducted
in that remote and difficult region. In 1881, however,
paying placers were found along the Big Salmon Eiver.,
In 1882 the Upper Pelly Eiver was prospected, and in
1884 mining operations were successfully carried on on
that river and the Tes-lin-too, a southern tributary of the
Lewes. In 1885 mining was begun along the Stewart
Eiver, which soon attracted the greater part of the mining
population. Cassiar Bar, on the Lewes, with rich,
deposits, was discovered early in 1886 ; while in the
autumn of that year came the sensational discovery of
" course gold " on Forty-mile Creek, still further down
the main river than the Stewart. The announcement of
this fact drew off nearly the entire mining population to
that place in 1887. 62
Dr. Davrion's
Gold yields on
the Lewes and
Gold on the
Big Salmon
and Upper
Felly Rivers.
Yield on the
Stewart River.
Of the results of the gold discoveries to that date,
Dr. Dawson writes as follows in his report :—
" Taking a general view of the gold discoveries so far
as made in the Upper Yukon country, we find that,
though some small bars have been worked on the upper
part of the Lewes, and * prospects ■ have been obtained
even in the streams flowing into Bennett Lake, paying
bars have been found on this river only below the mouth of
the Tes-lin-too. The best of these are within a distance
of about 70 miles below this confluence, and the richest
so far has been Cassiar Bar. This is reported to have
yielded, in some cases, at the rate of 30 dollars a day to
the hand, and gold to the value of many thousand
dollars has been obtained from it, chiefly in 1886. In
1887 only three or four men worked here. All along the
Lewes below the Tes-lin-too many bars occur which,
according to the reports of prospectors, yield as much as
10 dollars a day ; and the same is true of the Tes-lin-too
itself, both below and above Tes-lin Lake. Bars of this
kind are, however, considered scarcely remunerative at
" Gold has also been found for a long distance up
the Big Salmon Eiver, and on the Upper Pelly as far as
it has been prospected. The Tes-lin-too, Big Salmon
Eiver, and Pelly have each already afforded some good
paying ground, but in consequence of the rush to Forty-
Mile Creek only about 13 miners remained in 1887 on the
first-named river, four on the second, and two on the
Pelly. On the Stewart River, as much as 100 dollars a
day to the hand was obtained in 1885 and 1886, and
probably over 100,000 dollars worth of gold has already
been obtained along this stream. It has been prospected
for a distance of 100 to 200 miles from its mouth
(according to varying statements), and the gold found
furthest up is said to be somewhat ' coarser ' than that
of the lower part.
" Forty-Mile Creek is reported to be a river of soma
size, but more rapid than most of those in the district. 63
It has, according to miners, been prospected for about
100 miles from its mouth, gold being found almost everywhere along it as well as in tributary gulches. The gold
varies much in character, but is quite often coarse and
nuggety, and very large amounts have been taken out in
favourable places by individual miners. Few of the
men mining here in 1887 were content with ground
yielding less than 14 dollars a day, and several had taken
out nearly 100 dollars a day for a short time. The
amount obtained from this stream in 1887 is reckoned
by some as high as 120,000 dollars, but I believe it would
be safe to put the entire output of the Upper Yukon region
for the year at a minimum of 75,000 dollarl, of which
the greatest part was derived from this stream.
" The number of miners in the whole Upper Yukon
country in 1887 may be stated at about 250 ; of these,
200 were on Forty-Mile Creek, and it was estimated that
at least 100 would winter on the creek to be ready for
work in the spring. S&M
11 Forty-Mile Creek is what the miners term ' a bedrock creek*—i. e., one in winch there is no great depth
of drift or detrital deposits below the level of the
actual stream. It is so far the only locality which has
been found to yield \ coarse gold/ but from the extremely
wide distribution of 'fine gold ' it may safely be predicted
that many more like it remain to be discovered.
" Mining can scarcely be said to have begun in the
region more than five years ago, and the extent of country
over which gold has been found in greater or less quantity
is already very great. Most of the prospecting has been
confined to the banks and bars of the larger rivers, and it
is only when their innumerable tributary streams begin
to be closely searched, that ? gulch diggings ! like those of
Dease, McDame, and other streams in the Cassiar district,
and possibly even on a par with Williams and Lightning
Creeks in Cariboo, will be found and worked. The general
result so far has been to prove that six large and long
rivers—the Lewes, Tes-lin-too, Big Salmon, Pelly, Stewart
and White—yield • fine gold * along hundreds of miles
of Mining
hitherto. ;
Dr. Dawson's
opinion of
of their lower courses. With the exception of the Lewes,
no part of the head waters of any of these have yet been
prospected or even reached by the miners, and scarcely
any of their innumerable tributaries have been examined.
The developments made up to this time are sufficient to
show that when means of access are improved, important
bar-mining will take place along all these main-rivers, and
there is every reason to anticipate that the result of the
examination in detail of the smaller streams will be the
discovery of much richer auriferous alluviums. When
these have been found and worked, quartz-mining will
doubtless follow, and the prospects for the utilisation of
this great mining field in the near future appear to me
to be very promising."
(For distances and further particulars of the streams
and resources of this territory, see Index.)
The name
I Klondyke."
The first
of Gold on the
The Klondyke River and District.
William Ogilvie, of the Department of the interior, in
his report to the Surveyor-General of Canada, dated
November 6th, 1896, says the name Klondak, Klondyke,
or Clondyke, as it is variously spelled, is "a mispronunciation of the Indian word or words Thron-dak or Duick," -
which means plenty of fish, from the fact that it is a famous
salmon stream. It is marked Tondack on old maps. It;
joins the Yukon from the east a few miles above the site
of Fort Eeliance.
Concerning the discovery of gold on this stream he
says :—" The discovery, I believe, was due to the reports
of Indians. A white man named G. W. Carmach, who
worked with me in 1887, was the first to take advantage
of the rumors and locate a claim on the first branch,
which was named by the miners Bonanza Creek.
Carmach located here late in August, but had to cut some
logs for the mill here to get a few pounds of provisions
to enable him to begin work on his claim, the fishing
at Klondak having totally failed him.     He returned with 65
a few weeks' provisions for himself, his wife and brother-
in-law (Indians), and another Indian, in the last days of
August and immediately set about working his claim. As
he was very short of appliances he could only put together
a rather defective apparatus to wash the gravel with. The
gravel itself he had to carry in a box on his back from 30
to 100 feet. Notwithstanding this the three men working Splendid
very irregularly washed out 1,200 dollars in eight days,
and Carmach asserts with reason that had he had proper
facilities it could have been done in two days, besides
having several hundred dollars more gold, which was lost
on the tailings through defective apparatus. On the same
creek two men rocked out 75 dollars in about two hours,
and it is asserted that two men in the same creek took out
4,008 dollars in two days with only two lengths of sluice
boxes. This last is doubted, but Mr. Leduc assures me
he weighed that much gold for them, but is not positive
where they got it. They were newcomers and had not
done much in the country, so the probabilities are they
got it on Bonanza creek. A branch of Bonanza, named
Eldorado, has prospected magnificently, and another
branch named Tilley Creek has prospected well ; in all
there are some four or five branches to Bonanza Creek
which have given good prospects. There are about 170
. claims staked on the main creek and the branches are
good for about as many more/aggregating say 350 claims
which will require over 1,000 men to work properly.
The Creeks of
the Klondyke
A few miles further up Bear Creek enters Klondak, ^utâes
and it has been prospected and located on.
with Bonanza it is small and will not afford more
20 or 30 claims, it is said.
Compared —^
than returns.
About 12 miles above the mouth Gold Bottom Creek
joins Klondak, and on it and a branch named Hunker
Creek after the discovery very rich ground has been
found. One man showed me 22*75 dollars he took
out in a few hours on Hunker Creek with a gold pan
prospecting his claim on the surface, taking out a panful
here and there as fancy suggested.   On Gold Bottom 66
Creek and branches there will probably be two or three
hundred claims. The Indians have reported another
creek much farther up, which they call Too Much Gold
Creek, on which the gold is so plentiful that, as the
miners say in joke, " You have to mix gravel with it to
sluice it." Up to date nothing definite has been heard
from this creek.
Scope on the
gold fields.
Indian Creek.
The Stewart
From all this we may, I think, infer that we have
here a district that will give 1,000 claims of 500 feet in ,
length each. Now, 1,000 such claims will require at
least 8,000 men to work them properly, and as wages for
working in the mines are from 8 to 10 dollars per day,
without board, we have every reason to assume that this
part of our territory will in a year or two contain 10,000
souls at least, for the news has gone out to the coast, and
an unprecedented influx is expected next spring. And this
is not all, for a large creek called Indian Creek joins the
Yukon about midway between Klondak and Stewart river,
and all along this creek good pay has been found. All
that has stood in the way of working it heretofore has
been the scarcity of provisions and the difficulty of
getting them up there even when here. Indian Creek is
quite a large stream, and it is probable it will yield 500 or
600 claims. Farther south yet lies the head of several
branches of Stewart Eiver, on which some prospecting
has been done this summer, and good indications found,
but the want of provisions prevented development.
Good quartz
on Klondyke
Good quartz has been found in place just across the
line on Davis Creek (see my map of the 141st . . . ),
but of what extent is unknown, as it is in the bed of the
creek and covered with gravel. Good quartz is also
reported on the hills around Bonanza Creek ; but of this
I will be able to speak more fully after my proposed
survey. It is pretty certain, from information I have got
from prospectors, that all, or nearly all, of the northerly
branch of White Eiver is on our side of the line, and
copper is found on it, but more abundantly on the
southerly branch of which a great deal of it is in our
wm 67
territory also ; so it is probable we have that metal too.
I have seen here several lumps of native copper brought £gpper and
by the natives, from White Eiver, but just from what part
is uncertain.   I have also seen a specimen of Silver ore
said to have been picked up in a creek flowing into
Bennett Lake, about 14 miles down it on the east side."
(For distances and further particulars, see Index).
Bishop CLUT'S Evidence.
In the Peace and Liard rivers certainly there is gold
in large quantities. It is found in the sand bars, and I
fancy that mines will be found in tho Eocky Mountains,
and that the gold is carried from that part the same as divers,
in British Columbia. ... I should imagine there
are considerable veins of gold in the Eocky Mountains.
Gold in the
rivers rising
in the Kockies
between the
Yukon and
Mackenzie    _
Extracts from the Report of Mr. WILLIAM OGILVIE,
Dominion Land Surveyor.
I have heard the amount of gold taken from the Mining on the
Stewart River.
Stewart Eiver in 1885 and 1886 estimated at various
amounts, . . . Many agree that 30 dollars (£6 5s.) per
day, per man, was common on many of the bars of the
river, and instances of as high as 100 dollars per day
having been earned were spoken of.
I cannot here enter into the reasons for it, but I
unhesitatingly make the assertion that this corner of our ?*i^£*efî?,i
G J ' from the 141st
territory from the coast strip down and from the 141st meridian
meridian eastward will be found to be a fairly rich and
very extensive mining region.
Up to date of mailing, November 22nd, (1896,) very g™g J^*J
rich prospects have been found on   the  few   claims per man per
prospected on : from one dollar to the pan of dirt up to
12 dollars are reported and no bed-rock found yet.   This
means from 1,000 to 12,000 dollars per day per man
F 2 I
rich yields.
The richest
mining area
ever found :—
official report.
Cudahy, 9th December, 1896.
Since my last the prospects on Bonanza Creek, a
tributary of the Klondyke, and tributaries are increasing
in richness and extent until now it is certain that millions
will be taken out of the district in the next few years.
On some of the claims prospected the pay dirt is of
great extent and very rich. One man told me yesterday
that he washed out a single pan of dirt on one of his
claims and found £3 worth of gold in it. Of course, this
may bo an exceptionally rich pan, but 5 to 7 dollars per
pan is the average on that claim it is reported, with 5
feet of pay dirt and the width yet undetermined, but it
is known to be 30 feet, even at that ; figure the result at
9 to 10 pans to the cubic foot and 500 feet long : nearly
4,000,000 dollars at 5 dollars per pan, one-fourth of this
would be enormous.
Cudahy, 11th January, 1897.
Some of the claims are so rich that every night a few
pans of dirt suffices to pay the hired help when there is any ;
ashighas 204 dollars has been reported to a single pan but>
this is not generally credited. Claim owners are now
very reticent about what they get, so you can hardly
credit anything you hear f but one thing is certain—we
have one of the richest mining areas ever found with a
fair prospect that we have not yet discovered its limits.
Extraots from the Report by R. G. MoOONNELL, B.A., of the
Geological Survey Department of Canada, 1888-89.
Banks of Mackenzie Delta and the Peel Eiver are:
composed of alluvial sands and clays.
y 69
The "Daily Chronicle," 5th August, 1897, states:
Of all the 800 claims staked out on Bonanza Creek
and Eldorado Creek not one has proved a blank.
Equally rich finds were made on June 6th to 10th on
Dominion Creek. Not less than 300 claims have been
staked out on Indian Creek, and the surface indications
are that those are as rich as any of the others. The
largest nugget found was picked up by B. Hudson on
Claim 6, on the Bonanza, and was worth 257 dollars.
Next in size was one found by J. Clements on Indian
Creek, worth 231 dollars. Bigger pockets have been
struck in other regions, but nowhere has so general a
find been made.
Every claim
pegged out a
prize; no
| In all, about seventy-five lucky miners have reached
St. Michael's. Some brought but a portion of their
clean-up, preferring to invest other portions in claims
they know to be rich. Among the most lucky are J. J.
Clements, of Los Angeles, who cleaned up about 175,000
dollars. The last four pans Clements took out were
worth 2,000 dollars, and one went 775 dollars. He
brought out 50,000 dollars, and invested the rest. Professor Lippy, of Seattle, brought out about 50,000 dollars,
and he has 150,000 dollars in sight, and claims his mine
is worth 500,000 dollars, or more. W. Stanley, of
Seattle, also cleaned up 112,000 dollars ; C. Berry,
110,000 dollars; H. Anderson, 55,000 dollars; F.Keller,
50,000 dollars ; T. J. Kelly, 33,000 dollars ; W. Sloan,
of Nanaimo, 85,500 dollars ; and at least thirty more
who did not talk, but stood guard over their treasure
in the state room. Then there are about twenty more
men bringing from 5,000 dollars to 20,000 dollars. All
this gold is the clean up on last winter's work. It must
come out via St. Michael's, and the bulk of the supplies
must go in that way. The two great transportation
companies pushing in supplies, are the North American
Trading and Transportation, and the Alaska Commercial
Fortunes taken
out in one
season. 70
The following appeared in the " Daily Telegraph " of
August 12th, 1897:—
foWwasnedf " ^n conversation with a representative of Eeuter's
dSr °f î h6 d    ^-§ency> Mr. Harry de Windt communicated his impres-
pan. sions regarding the goldfields at Klondyke.
" He said : * There is no doubt that extraordinary
rich finds have been made at Klondyke, although it is
not possible to vouch for the accuracy of a great many
of the accounts. Mr. Ogilvie, the Dominion Government
Surveyor in Alaska, with whom I stayed just a year ago
to-day, has since written home saying, that he had, with
his own hands, washed 560 dollars worth of gold out of
one pan. Another case for which I can vouch is that
of a fireman on board one of the Yukon Eiver steamers,
who last year was earning 8 dollars a month, and has
just returned here with 170,000 dollars worth of nuggets
and dust.' "
In the "Financial Guide" of August 9th, 1897, appeared
the following :—
Noiu-founded «< Klondike practically defies competition.   In the
country ;<reeks course of the present century there have been several
'rushes' to so-called mining camps, but the present
excitement has a solid foundation. Klondike is not a
' pocket ' district. It is gold bearing throughout, and its
water-courses, as we are told in an American despatch,
'literally reek of gold.' One can best judge of the
importance of the wonderful finds at Klondike by the
value of the precious metal won there in a few months."
" Daily Telegraph," 22nd July, 1897.
" A telegram from New York, dated July 23rd says,
that there were on that date still 4,000,000 dollars of
gold   dust  to   come down  from  St.  Michael's.   The
JtaL 71
special correspondent of the Daily Telegraph wired on
July 22nd :—
" 'The Dominion Government at  Ottawa, is using The vast rich-
7 • °  ness of the
every effort to complete the organisation of the district ogFijjy
in which the goldfields recently discovered along the corroborated.
Klondyke and other creeks are situated. This action
has been taken in view of the fact that the Government
is in possession of information which corroborates the
first accounts given of the richness of these placer
diggings.' |
" Under date July 25th, Eeuter's  special correspondent at Victoria (British Columbia) wires :—
" Never in the history of the Pacific Coast has there 259,000 square
been such excitement as is at present being manifested by Dr. Dawson
in connection with the recent gold discoveries on the rfchln^oîd.7
Klondike placers, which undoubtedly appear to be the
richest ever found.     Their actual extent is unknown,
but the total area of the auriferous region in Canada,
in which they are situated, extends to nearly a quarter
of a million square miles.    Dr. Dawson, of the Geological
Survey, classed this whole area alike, and gold-bearing
gravels have been found in the bed of every stream."
"Accounts received from the mines tell of fabulous a
others have remained behind because they have found
more gold than they could bring away.
No one knows how much gold has been taken fabulous rich-6
Miners have brought out all they could carry, and Country*116
" One man speaks of seeing in one cabin four five-
gallon cans full of gold dust. Another tells of a bank
out of which nuggets stuck like pebbles.
"Dougall McArthur, a miner, who has returned Eeports not
with a fortune, stated yesterday, that the reports of exaggerate j
fortunes being made in a day are not exaggerated.    He
declares that there is no danger of the country becoming
overcrowded, as there are mines enough for all." 72
Gofdfiewfnthe " Mr. Berry (Mr. Clarence Berry, of Fresno, Cali-
1S&& 5ver     fornia, who, together with his wife, went to Klondike
JÊ200 to the pan I 7      ° '
not uncommon three years ago), says, 'Klondike is the richest goldfield
in the world.' Some of the pay streaks are nearly all
gold. One thousand dollars to the pan is not uncommon,
and over 100 ounces have been taken out in a single pan.
It is not unusual, Mr. Barry says, to see men staggering
along with all the gold dust they can carry.
Even women        " ' Several women have recently returned from Klon-
email fortunes, dike, with gold dust valued at from 10,000 dollars to
50,000 dollars which they had dug up themselves.
The mining
districts of the
South being
S ' Thousands of gold seekers of both sexes, and all
classes, are hurrying to the Pacific coast cities in the
hope of reaching Klondike, content with any mode of
getting there.
"'The mining towns in Colorado, California, and
Montana, are being deserted by the miners ; every man
with sufficient money is starting for Klondike. The
same feverish excitement prevails in San Francisco and
other Pacific coast cities, and the remotest parts of the
country are rapidly catching the infection. Men of all
classes are throwing up their work and starting for the
land of gold. At Seattle half the police force has resigned, and the street cars have nearly ceased running,
as a result of men leaving for Klondike.' "
Gold being << According to the special correspondent of the British
the field by the Columbia Beview the shipments of gold from Klondike
this first season for   the   season   approximate   $20,000,000   equal   to
£4,000,000 sterling.    Says the journal in question :—
" The richness of the auriferous gravel deposits on the
banks of the Yukon Eiver have been known and
recognised on the Pacific seaboard for several yeais,
but every succeeding summer has brought reports of
new discoveries on the higher reaches of the river or
tributaries, and coarse gold-dust has found its way into 73
the banks, until the recent arrival of two steamers at
San Francisco with upwards of two tons of bullion from
the Klondike diggings has created an excitement in
Western America unparalelled since the Oalifornian gold
rush of '49 and the Cariboo excitement of 1858. Much
of the dust lately brought down is very coarse, and the
emptying of leather sacks on the bank counters, where
several hundredweight of gold could be seen in one
heap, has sent up a real and intense gold fever, the
effects of which are plainly discernible in London.
To quote the New York correspondent of the Daily
"'The continued excitement over the Klondike gold The New York
° papers confirm
discoveries, and a widespread demand for information the reports of
, rapid fortunes
about goldfields have resulted m the leading newspapers being made,
throughout the country issuing special supplements
to-day, giving reports from Klondike, as well as the
cost and the methods of getting there, and other useful
information. The New York papers devote great space
to interviews with lucky men from Klondike, who confirm the recent reports of rapid fortunes made in the
New York "Tribune," July 14th, 1897.
The San Francisco correspondent of the Tribune gives
some interesting particulars regarding the recent discoveries.   He writes :—
" Forty Alaska miners came in here to-day (July 14) Miners arriving
by the steamer " Excelsior," bringing over $500,000 in miSon^doiiars
gold dust from the new Klondike mines. °* gold*
" T. S. Lippy and his wife, of this city, brought down
$60,000, which represents their work, since April, 1896.
Mrs. Dippy, who is a small wiry woman, tanned black
by the sun, was the first woman to cross over the divide 74
Gold stowed
away in bags of
hide, tumblers
and fruit jars.
Bags of gold
thrown under
counters like
bags of flour.
from the new Juneau to the new camp. She did much
'hustling' in the winter, and she showed a noble pair of
moose antlers as a trophy of her skill with the rifle.
"As the United States Mint was closed for the day
when the miners arrived, they packed their sacks of
gold dust to Selby's office. There a picturesque collection
of bags was produced. Some were made of deer hide,
and held as much as $2,500.
" Several of the miners ran out of even canvas bags,
and were forced to put their gold in tumblers and fruit
jars, which they covered with writing paper. They
looked like fruit or jelly put up by country housewives.
All the bags were weighed, and then, as fast as the
weight was recorded, they were slit open with a sharp
knife and the contents poured upon the broad counter,
which has a depression in the middle. The heap of gold
dust looked like a pile of yellow shelled corn.
" At Dawson, near the camp, men come in and leave
sacks of gold dust on deposit, and these are thrown
under the counter by the storekeeper as though they
were bags of flour. The whole country is wild about
discoveries, and everyone who can get an outfit is pouring
into Klondike."
confirmation of
dollars worth
of gold
expected this
London "Standard" August —.
The following are extracts from an article which
appeared in the London Standard one day last week :—
| The recent discoveries of gold on the Klondike
Creek afford ample confirmation of the reports brought
us during the past few years of the auriferous richness
of the Yukon Valley	
"In 1895 the value of the gold obtained from the
Yukon placers was 709,000 dollars. Last year the total
was more than four times this sum; and this year it
may be anything between ten and twenty times as much.
If there is anything in the rumours which have come
ââà 75
along the last few days, other districts as rich as, or
richer than, Klondike have been located. There is
nothing inherently improbable in this ; on the contrary,
nothing could be more probable in the circumstances.
Other districts
richer than the
Klondike in
the North West
Territory of
"Dally Telegraph," duly 21st, 1897.
" There is every reason to believe that the Klondike S^111"^
J California and
Gold Field will rival those of California and Australia.      Australia.
"Mr. C. H. Mackintosh, Lieutenant-Governor of SKSoSSex-
the Canadian North-West Provinces, admits the truth treme richness.
of the reports regarding the extreme richness of the
"Financial News," London, 26th July, 1897.
" Among the people who have just returned from
the new Klondyke gold mines are men who had been for
more than ten years facing the dangers and hardships of
the frozen North in the hope of making a rich find, and
signally, failed. Now they come back with fortunes
stowed in their gripsacks and stories of untold millions
to be picked up in the country of which so Ht tie is
wealth at last.
"Fine gold dust in small quantities was found at Proof of heavy
the mouth of the Porcupine Eiver, a stream that joins waters of the
the Yukon about 100 miles west of the boundary.
to be
The gravel is frozen solid the year round, and has Purpose of
thawed out in some way before the gold can be boilers.6 s
" Through the ice the miners burned holes with fire,
and then blasted out the pay dirt on the beDches of
bed rock." 76
Rich prospect
for Trading
The world's
richest Fields..
Where a
will operate.
An Official
declares the
to be
" The Alaska Mining Becord, published in Juneau,
contains letters stating that the stories told are not
exaggerated. ' One hundred dollars to the pan is very
common. One can hardly believe it, but it is true,
nevertheless. A very hard country to live in on account
of the mosquitoes and poor grub, 'but healthy and a
show to make a ten strike.' There is nothing a man
could eat or wear that he cannot get a good price for.
First-class rubber boots are worth from an ounce to
25 dollars per pair. The price of flour has been raised
from 4 dollars to 6 dollars and was selling at 50 dollars
when we arrived.' Another letter says :—' It will pay
to bring anything here which can be carried in.' "
"Westminster Gazette," 21st July, 1897.
" The latest advices state that discoveries of a sen*
sational character have been of almost daily occurrence
in the Klondike district, and it seems now beyond doubt
that one of the richest gold-fields hitherto known exists
within Canadian territory on the Yukon."
INSPECTOR CONSTANTINE, January 23rd, 1897.
" Placer prospects continue more and more encouraging. It is beyond doubt that three pans on
different claims on Eldorado Creek turned out 204, 212,
and 216 dollars; but it must be borne in mind that
there were only three such pans, though there were
many running from 10 to 50 dollars."
" There is an immense reach of country beyond
which has not yet been prospected. ... Of all the
200 claims staked out on the Bonanza and Eldorado
Creeks not one has proven a blank."
INSPECTOR STRICKLAND, in the Toronto "Globe,"
August 3rd, 1897:-
He believes the placer goldfields of the country inexhaustible, as there are hundreds of streams known to
be goldbearing which have not yet been prospected owing
to scarcity of men and difficulty of getting food. . . .
He had, himself, actually seen one ordinary mining pan
yield 595 dollars worth of gold. 77
After gold is discovered, the miners cut down a SSifoa of
quantity of timber, and then they burn a hole, or rather go2eïgarth
two holes, about 6 feet long by 4 feet wide, putting in m order to
two fires in each hole during the day.   Each of these
fires will probably burn out about 8 inches of dirt.
The Marvellous richness of Klondyke.
From the " Bullionist," 18th October, 1897.
The news from Klondike is of a mingled character,
but nothing could be more emphatic than statements
contained in the New York papers within the last few
days as to the enormous quantities of gold obtainable in
the neighbourhood. In a dispatch received by the
Journal of that city from Mr. Joaquin Miller, the well-
known American poet, who writes from El Dorado
Gulch, Klondike, he says that "he has been fairly
dazzled with gold." He describes in detail sixteen rich
clamas, several yielding over 80,000 dollars per foot. One
owned by Captain Ellis, of California, yields over 1,000
dollars per pan, or 10,000 dollars every 24 hours. That
gentleman showed Mr. Miller three bags, each containing
50 lb. of gold dust, also numerous oyster and tomato
cans and old boxes filled with gold dust, and invited
Mr. Miller and others who were present to help
themselves. The latter remarked : " Wherever we go
we find men with heaps of gold." On Sunday the
New York Herald published a communication from Sitka,
in the adjoining American territory of Alaska, announcing
that marvellous gold discoveries had been made in Cook
Inlet in the same region. The newly discovered gold-
field is said to be easily reached, and to have a mild
climate and a fertile soil.
A poet
" dazzled "
at Klondyke.
Visitors invited
to help themselves to
" marvellous,;
London "Standard's11 Special Correspondent, 26th August, 1897.
It is reported from Klondyke that miners who Gold heaped
.,.-,,-,, ... „ ,   up like coal or
possess buckets full of gold are living on two spoonsful potatoes.
of beans and a bit of bacon daily. A steamer has started
to return to the East with several tons of gold of the
value of over three million dollars, heaped on deck, under 78
Official report
of 70,000,000
dollars of gold
The greatest
gold find in the
world's history
tarpaulin, like so much coal or potatoes. M'Kay, a
returning miner, says there is more gold than any man
has yet dreamed of. A Correspondent, quoting the
statements of this man, says the miners* tales make
one's heart jump and the pulse tingle.
From the Special Correspondent of "The Standard" of London,
31st August, 1897.
The steamer " Portland " having failed to meet at
St. Michael's the Yukon Eiver steamer with its tons of
gold worth several millions of dollars, brought to Seattle
only 13 miners with 075,000 dollars of gold.    ,    .    .   ♦
Mr. Ogilvie the Dominion Land Surveyor, whose
capacity or integrity ....   says, in November he
informed   the   Authorities   of    the   Dominion   that
50,000,000 of gold was in sight.    This quantity he now
increases to 70,000.000.
Reuter's Agency, Seattle, August 30th.
The Steamer Portland arrived here to-day. . . .
She brought gold to the value of about 500,000 dollars
. . , . Old timers, who realize the state of affairs,
predict death and distress during the winter. Those who
are returning now, however, admit that the strike of
gold was, and is, one of the greatest in the world's
history.   They also predict further gold finds in future
accounts of the
.   .   Gold
New discovery
of gold near
Junction of
Yukon and .
Klondyke in
From "Morning Post's" correspondent.
New York, August 29th, 1897.
" The steamer " Portland " arrived yesterday at
Port Angeles with 100,000 dollars in gold, and a party of
early pioneers returning home from the Klondyke gold-
fields. The passengers are full of glowing descriptions of
the mineral wealth of the country, and speak of gold galore
in all directions. They say nothing of the terrors and privations described by later adventurers in the same region.
They speak of a splendid gold discovery in the MonneC
Creek, 800 miles from the mouth of the Yukon River,
and outside the \ boundary of British America. The
wealth there is said to exceed that in Klondyke. When
asked to reconcile the smallness of the quantity of gold
brought in his ship with the glowing statements of the 79
passengers, the Captain.of the "Portland" explained g^f^»000»000
that he was compelled to leave St. Michael's before the ggnayke
r Official
arrival of the treasure boat from the Yukon.   Mr. Ogilvie estimate,
is quoted as saying that the 600 claims already staked
in the Klondyke region will yield 70,000,000 dollars in
gold to their owners."
"Standard" (London) 27th August, 1897.
Beuteb's^—Victobia (B.C.), August 26th.
According to an apparently authentic report from 6,000,000 dollars
Dawson City, gold to the value of six million dollars is awaiting snip
.... . ment,
there awaiting shipment m June.
" Daily Chronicle," 4th September, 1897.
A report received at the Department of the Interior
to-day (Washington, 3rd September), from the Governor
of Alaska, states that two-and-a-half (2|) tons of gold
dust have been shipped this season from Klondike.
New discoveries of gold are constantly being made.
Mr. Thomas Deasy, Chief Officer of the Fire Department of Victoria, British Columbia, writing to Commander
Wells, E.N., Chief Officer of the Metropolitan Fire
Brigade, on August 27th, 1897, states :
"Situate as the writer is at Victoria, the nearest The greatest
«hipping port to the mines, he has an opportunity to earth?
truthfully depict everything connected with the greatest
goldfields on earth. From Cassiar to Alaska, covering
thousands of miles of Canadian territory, gold has been
found. Scarcity of provisions and long distance from
.civilisation retarded the miner. The frozen North had
-terrors which only the most hardy of mankind could
endure. Snow and ice, precipices and gorges, dangerous
rapids on the rivers, impenetrable woods on land, every
mile meant privation. At last a whisper was circulated
:in the nearest camps that untold wealth could be found
further up river. Places where miners made good pay
were deserted. Towns and villages added hundreds to
-the rush. Eventually the news reached cities, and
thousands are on the way to the Mecca of the North,
^At the present writing two steamships are on the way if
Mines will be
opened np on
the Mackenzie.
out with tons of gold. The great Yukon country is no
place for the 'tenderfoot.' Strong men, with means-
enough to outfit for a year or two, will be successful.
The country will produce more wealth each succeeding
year. It is practically undeveloped. Hundreds of
thousands will scatter over the numerous creeks and
rivers, eventually opening up mines on the Peace, Pelly,
and Mackenzie. From this city many left in the first mad
rush, and many will return to winter. Those remaining
took into consideration the difficulties to be surmounted,
and preferred to await until next spring. If 10,000 men
should delve all the coming winter, only a small expanse
of territory will be opened up.
New Gold discoveries of great richness.
The first copy of the International, published at the
new town of Warder, on Lake Tagish, in June this year
(1897)*, states :—
Two prospectors, have come in from the middle fork
of the Salmon Eiver, a section that has never been explored, bringing a quantity of gold taken out there in a
few week's work. The amount of their cleanings was
close to 1,000 dois. An interesting feature of the
matter is that this gold is washed from the decomposed
surface of a mountain which they declare to be all ore.
The mountain is porphyry. The gold is found all
through it. They do not claim the rock is high grade,,
but they assert that it is all good ore. A. H. Pettengill,.
ex-chief deputy county auditor, who now owns and
operates mining interests on "Upper Kettle river in Stevens
Country returned to Colville recently from a trip across-
Colville reservation, and if his statements are true, the
portion of the Colville reserve lying along the boundary
line between Stevens and Oakanogan Counties will rival
even the palmiest days of Cripple Creek. A Mr. Allison
bonded the claim from the original owners for 10,000 dois.
In a very short time he secured 30 sacks of ore. No
one is allowed to visit the works of the mine, which are
a little more than the mere uncovering of the vein»- 81
How wide the pay-streak is, is yet a matter of the most
random conjecture, but no one will doubt that it is
wide enough, forout of less than 50 lbs. of the ore from the
ledge, 800 dollars in pure, yellow gold was pestled out in a
common mortar.
A Quartz Reef on the White Pass.
The correspondent of the Pall Mall Gazette writing
from Vancouver, on September 9th (1897), states that news
had just reached Vancouver of the discovery of a ledge
of quartz 20 feet wide, which assayed from 86 to 73 dois,
per ton.
It was discovered by a man named Wade, who, on
a trip from Lake Bennett, at a point contiguous to the
White Pass, picked up four pieces of quartz rich in gold.
He then uncovered the ledge above mentioned with a
wooden spade and took some pieces to the Treadwell
Mine for assay.
A Stupendous Output of Gold predicted for 1898.
The Daily Mail correspondent states in the issue of
October 11th, 1897—" Judge Malony, of Juneau, Alaska,
who is returning with a party from Klondyke, says that
not one-fifth of the gold now in sight has yet come out
of Klonkyke. He is afraid to offer predictions of a
fabulous yield, lest he might be charged with exaggeration.
Mr. Galvin, of the same party, who sold one claim on
Bonanza Creek for 100,000 dollars, predicted that 250
tons of gold, or 130,000,000 dollars would be shipped
from Klondyke next year. His companion placed the
amount at 300 tons."
"Westminster Gazette," 10th November, 1897.
The son of Mr, Lyman Gage, the Secretary of the Préviens
Treasury, has just arrived at Butte, California, from the
Yukon gold district. He confirms previous accounts of
the richness of the Klondyke Valley, and asserts that
the first steamer that gets away in the spring will bring
15,000,000 dollars worth of gold from the Klondyke.
great richness
confirmed. 82
Interview with Mr. HARRY de WINDT, in "Strand Magazine,"
October, 1897.
The big boom (on the Yukon) commenced in
September, 1896, when one George Cormack found gold
in large quantities. Then came the inevitable rush. In
the following Spring, when water was available, gold
was washed out in pounds' weight. Four pans went as
high as 200 dollars. The pan, about which one hears so
much, is an ordinary sheet-iron thing of 18 inches
circumference and 4 or 5 inches deep. Some men made
money at the rate of 17 dollars per minute, and fortunes
of 100,000 dollars were made in less than two months,
although the miners had only just commenced to work
their claims.
The Great "Rush" of 1898.
Mr. H, DE WINDT in the Strand of October, 1897.
The spring of 1898 will see the great rush, but
there's plenty of room. 100,000 miners might go prospecting in the Yukon Valley, and be lost to one another.
My impression is that there are streams richer even than
the Klondike—the Pelly, the Lewes, the Porcupine, the
Big Salmon, the Tanana, the White, the Hootalinqua,
and the Stewart Eivers, for example, especially the
last-named.    All are navigable tributaries of the Yukon.
Beuter's Telegram,
Victoria (B. C),
October 11th, 1897.
Miners are coming out overland  from Klondike,
with large amounts in gold and drafts.
They report a shortage of provisions, but declare
that the richness of the goldfields is not exaggerated.
" Daily Mail," 12th October, 1897.
Telegram from its B. C. Correspondent.
One year ago, Alexander Macdonald, a Yukon
prospector, was penniless ; to-day he is believed to be
the richest man in Klondyke, and unable to tell whether
he is worth 5,000,000 or 20,000,000 dollars until the
clean-up next spring. A year ago he could not pay cash
for his food.
Villi! 83
Klondyke's Marvels, by a Yukon Pioneer.
"Daily Chronicle," London, 26th October, 1897.
Mr. A. E. Sola, a young Englishman who has made
his fortune at Klondike, is at present on a visit to this
country, writes a Chronicle contributor, and it was my
good fortune to have a chat with him yesterday at the
Hotel Cecil, where he is staying.
Mr. Sola is now managing director of the British
North American Trading and Exploration Company of
New York, having transferred to it for a good round sum
his claims in Klondike, and thus having passed beyond
the miner's stage, is in a position to speak freely touching
Klondike, its hardships and its resources. Mr. Sola can
speak with authority both as to the hardships and
resources of Klondike. He spent from three to four
years out in that terrible region ; though he has amassed
a great fortune, he still shudders to recall the sufferings
he underwent during his four years' search for gold.
" What is the truth about Klondike, Mr. Sola," I
began.    "Is there gold there or not? "
" Gold.     Why there is, in my opinion, so  much {j^ia.; .^
gold there that gold may yet be demonetised owing to Sel^vic5^u
the  prodigious yield which the   Klondike district will &*e'
give.    Why, the supply has as yet scarcely been tapped.
There has been up to the present a slight trickle of gold,
but the main stream of precious metal has yet to flow.
I say ' yet,' you observe.    The gold standard will not be
with its back to the wall yet awhile, for the reason that
the luck of winning gold at Klondike is surrounded with
such awful hardships and such perils.    But when the
difficulties of access to the region have been overcome,
when the transport question has been solved, and the
present comparatively rude methods of getting the gold
have given place to more scientific methods, there will be
a rush of gold from Alaska which will astound the world. There wm be »■
« rash to
I was there from three to four vears, and perhaps I ought Klondyke that
J x x j       will astound
to know something.    .    .    .    To go there without £400 the world.
or £500 is to court disaster, disappointment, and possible
death. 84
In winter the
Klondyke is
reached by
travelling over
the frozen
lakes and
work searching
for gold on the
A Miner's Life on the Klondyke.
" Say, now, a man arrives at Dawson City with a
year's supplies," Mr. Sola went on. " He will naturally
wait until the cold weather freezes the river, and he can
take his provisions on a sledge with dogs, if he can buy
the dogs. He locates a claim at last. He has to build a
log cabin, by no means easy work in winter time. He
then builds a big fire, which is left to burn on the bank,
the snow having first been cleared away from the
ground. The fire burns all night, and the next morning
the miner starts to dig the thawed earth. Then he must
put in another fire and again dig, keeping this up until he
strikes bed rock, twenty feet down, and perhaps he finds
no gold there in paying quantity. He must build another
fire, and start another hole somewhere else. He will be
disgusted after several of these holes are made, and will
have to clear out and start another claim. Now that may
go on time after time, unsuccessful always until the man's
heart is broken and his patience exhausted. Now that
is what happens in the great majority of cases. A pretty
prospect, isn't it ? "
A new field to
attention with
A  New Field  in Alaska.
St. James' Gazette, October 18th, 1897.
The New York " Herald " publishes a despatch from
Sitka describing the wonderful gold discoveries at Cook
Inlet, Alaska, in United States Territory. The newly
discovered region is easily reached, and has a mild climate
and fertile soil. A party of miners from the new gold-
fields have, it is stated, reached Sitka with over 200,000
dollars in gold dust and nuggets. It is generally believed
in New York that this district will divide attention with
Klondike next year.
An Interview with an Alaskan Pioneer.
" Pall Mall Gazette," October 28th, 1897.
Mr. F. G. Hinde Bowker (whom the Hon. H. C.
sample of Snb-  Mackintosh,
Arctic America !
September,  in reply to Lord  Dunerin s  compliments,
at   a   banquet   given him in London in The report of a
Arctic night
facetiously introduced as an example of the effects of life
in the North West territories of Canada on the human
constitution) was recently interviewed by a correspondent
of the Pall Mall Gazette, He stated that he went to
Alaska with Lieut. Swatka on an expedition to Copper
Hiver and had been there ever since—over nine years—
until he returned to England.
" A month or so ago, and am going out again as soon
a.s I can get away.
"I never suffered from want of fresh meat all the Plenty of meat
time I was out there.    There are any quantity of Moose
and Cariboo in the interior.
" The climate, is of course, severe to the new comer.
The winter is a bit tedious but the yarns of the perpetual
Arctic night are the merest bunkum. Even at its worst
there is always light from 9 o'clock in the morning to
3 o'clock in the afternoon, and in the summer months it
hardly ever gets dark."
It was not easy to picture to oneself that the tall
indolent figure in immaculate evening dress, who interspersed his conversation with critical comments on the
•quality of his Kiimmel, was the man who, for the last ten
years, had roughed it at the back of the beyond. He seemed,
as he lolled in a comfortable armchair in front of the fire, to
be recounting, with languid impartiality, the experiences of
another man in whom he was mildly interested, to be
telling, without a tinge of boastfulness or vain-glory, a
story of very matter-of-fact achievements—a typical
pioneer of the Empire at the end of the nineteenth
" Does it pay, all this?" he continued, in answer to Does it pay?
a question I had slipped in. "There can be no doubt
about that. The second year I was out there I washed
out 2,000 dollars worth of gold. And now ? Well, that
is my own business, and no one's else's, isn't it ? But
last year, in Dawson City, I met two partners who had
made 150,000 dollars as the result of two months' work.
Many of the fellows out there made anything between
100,000 dollars and 50,000  dollars during   the  year.
The effect of
tea years in the
far North West. i
Trade with
the Natives.
Prospects on
the Stewart
Dawson City, when I left last spring, had about 8,000
inhabitants, and most of them were doing well. No ; all
things considered, when I left, the prices of provisions
were not exorbitant. Two American transport companies were catering for Dawson City, and, on the whole,
traded on fair lines. The normal price of a sack of flour
was about 6 dollars, though in times of scarcity I have
known it go as high as 50 dollars. Beans which, after
flour, was a staple food, were sold for 15 cents a pound ;
a pound of bacon cost 50 cents ; a pound of coffee 25
cents ; a pound of tea one dollar, and so on in proportion
to the goods. The yarns of the startling prices you were
just referring to are either apocryphal, or are the result
of exceptional circumstances. Trade with the natives, for
example, deals in fancy values. I, myself, have sold a
sack of flour for 60 dollars. You see, a native comes
along with a leg of moose. He offers it for sale. I ask
him how much he wants for it. He says 60 dollars.
What does he want to buy ? A sack of flour. Well, I
happen to have a sack of flour to dispose of. What is
the price of it ? Sixty dollars ! Very good ; he will take
that sack at my price, and I get my leg of moose. You
see its nothing but barter on the hard pan, but the figures
are picturesque. This winter there probably will be some
famine prices, and a good deal of real hardship.
Will newcomers have
a chance ? Spring ?
And will the new comers  have a chance this
"Certainly. Why not? There is plenty of room
in the country, and there is gold in every creek, I believe.
The Stewart Eiver, for example, has not been touched,
and I should not be surprised if it did pan out richer than
the Klondike. What I should advise young fellows, who
are not afraid of roughing it, to do is to form an expedition of some ten or a dozen strong. They should make
a headquarter's camp in some unexploited district, and
then every man ought to go off on his own account and
prospect, with the camp to fall back on. You can cover
a lot of ground by that method. Every man should have
a capital of at least £200, and provisions for two years. 87
A big boom
next Spring.,
Then, even if he does not strike it rich, he cannot come
to much harm. But it is no use going out there without
some funds, and without proper equipment. Oh, yes,
there will be a big boom in Klondike next spring. And,
as one result of it, some fair rubbish will be shot on the
market over here by the small companies. You see,
I know the sort of claims some of the promoters have
bought. I could tell you a story about a certain
syndicate. However, I wont. In fact, I could tell you
several stories "
Interview with a Klondyke Miner.
"Star," 1st November, 1897.
Mr. Fred Price, of Wimbledon, who lived at Seattle
for ten years, and then went to the Yukon goldmining in
1894, stated recently to a Star reporter:—"I'll tell you
how rich the diggings are. Imagine a stretch of ground
80 feet wide from Wimbledon to Waterloo. Well, that
is the Bonanza Creek. It yields from 50 to 1,000 50 to î.ooo dois,
dollars a yard. And remember that is merely one pay yard,
streak on the Klondyke."
" What do you think of the Klondyke promotions ?"
" I do not think any syndicate has got hold of manv Outlook for
J . . syndicates.
first-class claims. You may depend upon it that if a
man has a good one he won't be in a hurry to part with
it." Mr. Price returns to the Klondyke next March to
look after his claim.
Ontario Mining.
"Times," 12th October, 1897.
In the opinion of some mining experts the Western
Ontario goldfields are as promising as any recently
exploited. Mr. Blue, Director of the Ontario Bureau
of Mines, who was sent by the Provincial Government
to the newly-discovered fields along the Michipicotèn
Biver, reports to the Government a new vein of extraordinary richness struck near Wawa Lake, assaying 600
dollars to the ton, and states that these results seem
likely to be maintained. 88
"Times" (London), October 13th, 1897 (Reuter's Cable).
gofdfieids°i!ot Miners are coming out overland from Klondike with
exaggerated. large amounts in gold and drafts. They report a shortage
of provisions, but declare that the richness of the gold-
fields is not exaggerated.
"The richest man in the world."
"Canadian Gazette," October 7th, 1897.
Mr. Joaquin Miller, in a recent letter from Dawson
City, speaks of Alex. Macdonald as " The John Mackay
of the Klondike," and adds, concerning him : " They say
Macdonald is a very conservative man in his calculations.
He made his millions by locating claims, having nothing
at all to begin with but a rich claim, not a dollar to buy
with. I hear he is probably the richest man in the
world." Mr. Macdonald referred to is a Canadian, a
native of Ashdale, Antigonish county, Nova Scotia.
The only
Mr. Ogilvie
admits the
richness of the
gold deposits.
60,000,000 dois,
worth out of
two creeks
Mr. Wm. Ogilvie on the Yukon Goldfields.
The "Manchester Guardian," 21st October, 1897, from its Correspondent, Montreal, October 9, states :—
Mr. William Ogilvie, of the Dominion Land Survey,
has returned to the Pacific Coast from the Klondike, where
he has spent the last two years as the representative of
the Dominion Government. Mr. Ogilvie first went into
the Yukon country many years ago to delimit the frontier
of Alaska, and he has been there, with occasional
furloughs, ever since. His official reports give the only
trustworthy information published as to the Klondike
goldfields, and his return to civilisation has therefore been
eagerly looked for. While protesting against the exaggerated reports published in the newspapers as to the
fortunes made in the new goldfields, Mr. Ogilvie admits
that the deposits are of extraordinary richness. In an
interview he has stated that he believes that one hundred
claims on Bonanza Creek and forty on El Dorado will
yield about 60,000,000 dollars before they are exhausted.
In addition to this there is a vast unexplored region from 89
which returns almost as great may be looked for, and
Mr. Ogilvie estimates that while the greater portion of
the work will be done within the next ten years, there is
every indication that placer work will be continued for at
least twenty years, and this without any attention being
paid to the quartz mining which, it is certain, will follow
the hydraulic operations. Talking of the reports of
wonderful amounts of gold taken out in a sing'e pan, Mr.
Ogilvie gave some of his own experiences. Mr. Ogilvie
went into one of the richest claims and asked to be
allowed to wash out a panful of gold. The pay streak
then was very rich, but standing at the bottom of the
shaft, looking at it by the light of a candle, all that
could be seen of the pay streak was a yellowish-looking
dirt, with here and there the sparkle of a little gold.
Mr. Ogilvie took out a big panful and started to wash it
out, while several miners stood about guessing as to
the result. Five hundred dollars was the top guess of
the miners, but when the gold was washed, dried, and
weighed it came to a little over 590 dollars. Speaking of
the quartz to be found in the Yukon, Mr. Ogilvie stated
that he had made a number of tests roughly for several
men. One man brought in a sample from a quartz
ledge which he had discovered. Mr. Ogilvie weighed
out several samples, crushed them, washed out the gold,
a.nd found that the ore made 1,000 dollars to the ton
even by that crude method. Other samples he tried
made 100 dollars more. If the ore had been properly
erushed and quicksilver used to amalgamate, the results
would presumably have been much higher.
amounts of
gold out of
single pans.
Quartz on
the Yukon
yielding 1,000
dois, worth of
gold to the ton.
Value of Yukon Gold.
" Engineering and Mining Journal, 9th October, 1897*
According to the officers of the Selby Smelting
Company, gold nuggets from the Yukon are worth from
17 dollars to 18 dollars per oz., and gold dust from 16
dollars to 17 dollars per oz. The Yukon gold contains a
large proportion of silver and some iron, the latter giving
it a fine rich colour. 90
Section 2. Quartz Reefs in the Mountains and at the Headwaters of
the Rivers.
picked up.
The quartz
from which all
this gold has
come will yet
be discovered.
quartz found
at numerous
places in this
Extracts from the Report of Mr. WILLIAM OGILVIE, 1896.
Pieces of gold-bearing quartz had frequently been
picked up along the river in the shallow drift, but none
had been found in place, nor did it appear to me that
much search had been made for it (no quartz crushers
being on the field miners had no inducement to look for
quartz reefs).
I think it may, with confidence, be asserted that
rich finds will yet be made of both coarse gold and gold
bearing quartz. It is not likely in the nature of things
that such a vast extent of country should have all its-
fine gold deposited as sediment, brought from a distance
in past ages of the world's development. If this is not
the case, the matrix from which all the gold on these
streams has come must still exist, in part at least, and
will no doubt be discovered, and thus enrich this otherwise gloomy and desolate region.
From the indications I have mentioned it will be
seen that this corner of the North-West is not going to
be the least important part of it, more especially when
we consider the fact that gold-bearing quartz has ben.
found in it at numerous places, and much will no doubt
be worked.
Good quartz
found on the
and silver also
Good quartz has been found in places just across,
the line on Davis Creek. . . . Good quartz is also
reported on the hills around Bonanza Creek. ... I
have seen several lumps of copper brought by the
natives from White Eiver. ... I have also seen à
specimen of silver ore said to have been picked up in &
Creek flowing into Lake Bennett. 91
Cudahy, 22nd January, 1897.
A quartz lode showing fine gold in paying quantities Quartz fonna.
has been located on one of the creeks, but I cannot yet
send particulars.    I am confident from the nature of the
gold found in the creeks that many more of them—and
rich too—will be found.
Cudahy, 23rd January, 1897.
I have just heard from a reliable source that the
quartz mentioned above is rich, as tested, over 100 dollars
(over £20) to the ton, The lode appears to run from 3
to 8 feet in thickness.
"Financial News," 13th August, 1897:—
Chicago, August 11th.—A gigantic Chicago Corporation, with a capital of £5,000,000, has been organised to get at the gold quartz mines in Eastern
Alaska. John Cudahy, the packer, is at the head of the
Company. New York and London syndicates are, it is
alleged, trying to get the property, but without success.
Quartz reef
for Alaska.
Extract from Inspector Constantino's Report, January 20th, 1896.
" The country is full of quartz ledges, more or less  Quartz
valuable, and it only requires a short way of getting in prospects
from the south, with the assurance of a certainty of
supplies,  in   order   to   develop   them.    ...   In  a
country where a man has to pole up a rapid river for
some hundreds of miles in summer, then pack his food,
clothing, camping and working tools on his back, or in
winter either haul himself or with a dog, consideration
as to where he can get his food and clothing is of vital
importance to him, and he is governed  accordingly.
This accounts for the number of men working on the Prospects
Forty-Mile and creeks emptving into it.   Even here transportation
1 i -it » "        * Companies.
food has to be packed on men s backs in the summer at a
charge of Is. 6d. per pound, and in winter by dogs at
5d. per pound.    This is for about 8& miles only.    ,    .   . m
The Peel River
route will
reach the
Means required
for getting
on the field.
See Peel Eiver
The work done so far has shown up a large yield of
gold. . . . The true value of the mineral wealth of
this part of the country will not be known for many
years, as new discoveries are being made each season.
. . . Gold has also been found on Indian Creek,
Squaw Creek, and other small streams flowing into
Yukon from the Eastward."
The best paying streams are those running into the
Yukon from the East.
Extract from Inspector Constantino's Report, November 20th, 1896.
" Many old miners state that this Creek (the
Klondyke) is fully as rich as any found in California in
the early days. New creeks are being found daily, all
prospecting well. . . . Without doubt before long
rich quartz will be found, but not worked until some
means of transporting the necessary heavy machinery is
provided and supplies can be got in at reasonable cost."
£20 per ton
quartz reefs.
On January 23rd/ 1897 :—
" A quartz lode showing free gold has been located
on one of the creeks. The quartz I understand from a
reliable source, is rich, as tested over 100 dollars to the
ton. The lode appears to run from 3 to 8 feet in
thickness, and lies about 19 miles from the Yukon
Eiver. Coal is found on the upper part of Klondike, so
that the faculties for working are good and convenient.
"Standard" 31st August, 1897.
QuatiZàndes *   *   #   ^"e (^r* Og^6) a*so tested the quartz and
inexhaustible    found it yielded at the rate of 1,000 dollars per ton.    .    ♦
1.000 dollars to J ' ?
the ton. The quartz lodes are practically inexhaustible.
"Daily Chronicle"  Correspondent's interview  with   Dr. GEO. M.
DAWSON, C.M.G., F.G.S., Ottawa, August 16th, 1897.
The mountains " The entire range of mountains which extend more
to the Arctic , °
or less continuously from  the extreme end of South
America   to   the Arctic regions is  rioh  in  minerals.
minerals. 93
Take . . . , for example .... until the
recent Klondike discoveries appear to throw previous
placer mining into the shade.    .    .    .
.   .   .    .   Where such   large deposits of heavy Bich quartz in
placer gold have been found there must have been at the rivers rise,
some time large quantities of gold in quartz at no very
great distance, and these quartz veins still exist.
Financial Bulletin, August 21st, 1897,
Another phase of the possibilities of the Klondike There must
¥ . . . be contiguous
that has been overlooked is the fact that where there is quartz ledges,
so much placer gold in the beds of streams there must be
contiguous quartz ledges. When the placer gold becomes
scarce, ledges will be searched for and found, and then a
second era of prosperity will have come, which will be
more lasting than that which is now in progress.—The
Boslander, July 21th, 1897.
Section 3*   Source of the Klondyke
Placer  Gold.
"Chambers1 Journal," September ith, 1897,
There is no reason to suppose that even the Klondyke
is the very richest of the rivers which flow down from
the Eockies and carry with them the drift from the
auriferous rocks. Between the left bank of the Yukon
and this mountain range is ja vast region absolutely
untrodden by man. It contains, in the upper reaches of
the Stewart and Macmillan Eivers, hundreds of creeks
quite as favourable for the reception of floating particles
of gold as the Klondyke. And even this river remains
unexplored beyond the place which the Indians know as
Too-much-Gold Creek. Dr. Dawson estimates that the
auriferous alluvium in and around the Yukon watershed
Gold on the
upper reaches
of the Stewart
and Macmillan
Eivers. The placers
have their
origin in the
Quartz reefs
extending to
the Bocky
The origin of
gold in the
Bookies where
the Stewart,
Macmillan and
rivers rise.
is spread over an area of a round quarter of a million
square miles. This estimate takes no account of the
possibilities of lode-mining in the hills where the quartz
veins exist. The placers of the Klondyke appear, as we
have hinted, to have their origin in the Eockies ;
but no scientific investigation has yet been made with the
idea of locating the veins, and of ascertaining their
approximate extent. But a United States Geological
Survey party last year found in a range of small
mountains situated between the Yukon and the Tanana
and crossing the Alaskan boundary in a north-easterly
direction not far from Forty-Mile Creek, evidences of
quartz gold which persisted for over 500 miles and gave
promise of the presence of the metal ' in well-nigh unlimited ' quantities. This range joins the Eocky Mountains
a little north of the Arctic Circle.
(See also Section 2.)
Quartz Reefs in the Rockies towards the Mackenzie
The " Investors' Review," October, 1897.
The United States Geological Survey has discovered
auriferous rocks of "well-nigh unlimited capacity-" in a
range of low hills running between the Yukon and the
Tanana to the north-east, and crossing from American into
British territory near Forty-Mile Creek. But the veins
from which the fine gold of the Klondyke creeks has
been washed by the action of running water must be
located in tJw Rocky Mountains which trend to the northwest between the Yukon and the Mackenzie, and in
which the Klondyke, Stewart, Macmillan, Pelly and
other rivers take their rise.
Quartz Reefs on Stewart River and Headwaters.
"Globe," 9th August, 1897.
Writing from San Francisco, a correspondent of the
New York Tribune says :— . . . The latest rumour
from Alaska is of  wonderfully   rich   quartz in   large 95
quantities on the Stewart Eiver . . . the ledge a
large one . . . rock assays 300 dois. ... This,
if true, means much for the Klondike district.
The Stewart Eiver runs into the Yukon not far ^^^lad-
above Dawson, and it is reasonable to suppose that the caters of the
' ...      rivers.
placer gold now being found below may have its origin
in the mountains at the head of Stewart Eiver and
neighbouring streams.
Formation of the Yukon Goldfields.
The following recapitulation of a long Article upon
the Alaskan Goldfields follows an Article in the London
Mining Journal, of October 2nd, 1897, by Eussell L.
Dunn, M.E., from the Mining and Scientific Press.
1. The placers are derived from the direct erosion Derivation of
of gold-bearing lodes in place by frost and flowing water. p acer
2. The placers are the beds of the first few cutting Type of the
channels that the living streams made in eroding the flat °np a°e
valleys they now flow in.    These old beds, lying side by
side, aggregate a width several times the living river, but
at the same time have several times less width than the
valleys. The old beds preserve an approximately direct
course through the linear extent of the valleys, and have
the same grade as the valleys. The old beds are not
exposed at the surface, but are covered with from 8 to
20 feet of silt, so that there is no surface indication of
their locus beneath the silt. (This is the type of placer ;
there are, of course, modifications of it likely to be
3.   The richness of the Klondyke placer discovery Eichness of
is likely to be equalled   by many discoveries yet to be piacerske
made, and is possible of being exceeded in richness by exceeded by
some of them.
discoveries. 96
The sources
of the Gold
at the upstream end of
the placers.
Placer Gold
not the result
of glacier
Character of
the country ;
the placer
ground frozen
to the bedrock.
4. The lodes from which the gold of the placers
has come, are, for the greater number, at or about the
up-stream end of the placers. The lesser number of
them may be, however, considerably farther down stream,
and some even exist wholly within the placers. These
lodes have not been eroded very deeply ; and so closely
are they connected with the placers, that richness in the
latter furnishes a presumption of richness in the former.
5. Certain popular opinions, and some so-called expert
ones as well, are absolutely to be rejected as erroneous.
The gold was not broken out of the rock and distributed
by glaciers. If it were in Alaska, one would naturally
search for gold in moraines and not in flat valleys, far
away from them. Gold does not | ! flow ' I now, and never
did ; otherwise it would be in the living rivers as much
as in others. Every valley and flat in the auriferous
region does not contain placers. All the bedrock underlying a valley in which a placer has been found is not a
"placer" ; it is not possible to find gold everywhere in
such valleys as the Klondyke, for example. The entire
length of a placer is not of possible equal richness, nor
is the locus of the portion of greater richness an uncertain
or indeterminate fact.
6. To the preceding add that the surface of the
country, valley and mountain is covered with a deep
strong growth of moss ; that the silt and auriferous sand
of the valleys beneath the moss is perpetually frozen to
the bedrock; that from these physical conditions the
methods of prospecting for placers and lodes employed
elsewhere are impossible of application here; and one
has clearly in view the special and, in part, unique mining
conditions of the Yukon Goldfields.
(See also Section 2.)
"Westminster Gazette," 24th August, 1897.
Eich gold An interesting item appears to-day in the Morning
Headwater of Post's New York letter to the effect that the nuggets
SlKockf1^11 brought to Seattle from the North-West Goldfields by
Mountains. the gfewy Qn Saturaay are of such different formation 97
from nuggets which have previously arrived from
Klondyke that experts believe they probably did not
come from the placer mines with which the world is
now so familiar. These experts have for some time
believed in the existence of ledges of rich gold quartz at
the head waters of the Klondyke Eiver, and the nature
of the samples in question confirms them in their
Section 4.   Other Minerals.
General Summary from the Committee.
Other mineral productions in this (the N. W. Territories) area are silver, copper, iron, graphite, ochre,
brick and pottery clay, mica, gypsum, lime and sandstone, sand for glass and moulding, and asphaltum,
while the petroleum area is so extensive as to justify
the belief that eventually it will supply the larger part
of this (the American) continent and be shipped to
Salt and sulphur deposits are less extensive, but the salt, coal,
former is found in crystals equal in purity to the best iron ot great
Eock salt, and in highly saline springs, while the latter vahie?ercial
is found in the form of pyrites, and the fact that these
petroleum and salt deposits occur mainly near the line
of division between deep water navigation  and  that
fitted for lighter craft, gives them a possible great commercial value.
Evidence of the Rev. E. PETITOT.
The Gorges or Eamparts of the Porcupine Eiver T^e great
° x *• mineral  de-
offer a vast and magnificent field to the geologist and posits of the
° o        o Porcupine
the mineralogist. River. 98
The Neptunian and Plutonian elements have united
there to form rocks and soils of an extremely varied
nature. . . . Goal, anthracite, gneiss, red ochre,
trap, porphry, marble, feldspar—pure and rose-veined,
all the varieties of granite, gypsum, sulphur, talc, blue
marl, and a quantity of other mineral substances show
themselves in profusion in this canyon. Moreover, the
rocks, by their singular and capricious forms, as well as
by their striking, and one might say, improbable colours,
present to the brush of the landscape artist scenery of a
rare and striking character.
Evidence of DONALD MclYOR.
poai, iron, «fee, Iron could be found throughout the whole country,
the Mackenzie Coal in great abundance on banks of the Mackenzie.
White clay on the river  most   valuable for pottery.
Quantities of h'me and sandstone.   Of course, petroleum
is well known to be in large quantity.
resources far
richer than
" Daily Chronicle," July 29th 1897.
" Yet the resources of the country are far richer
than is generally supposed ; it abounds in every direction
in gold, silver, lead, copper and coal, and quite apart
from the recent discoveries in the grim district around
the Yukon Eiver, the immediate future .... is
one full of the brightest promise."
Large deposits
of sulphur at
the mouth of
the Mackenzie.
Evidence of M. McLEOD, Esq., Q.C., Ex-Judge.
Sulphur seems to permeate the whole of the region
largely, because approaching the fires near the mouth
of the Mackenzie (in the river) travellers speak of
sulphurous exhalations.
Other minerals
in abundance,
copper, salt,
gypsum, and
precious stones
Evidence of BISHOP GLUT.
There is copper (in the Mackenzie Basin and N. W.
Territory), and one river bears the name of Coppermine
Eiver. It is found there in great pieces. I have seen
little crosses made of it by the savages themselves. . .
The sulphur abounds in several places.   I have seen it on 99
the Clearwater Eiver and on the West bank of Great Slave
Lake. It is there in such quantities that the odour is
annoying to those who pass by. Near Fort Smith there
is a salt mine, which is probably the most beautiful and
the most abundant in the universe. There is a veritable
mountain of salt.   By digging a little in the earth, from
six inches to a foot, rock salt can be found	
You have only to shovel, and you can gather a fine salt,
pure and clean.
On the borders of the Peace Eiver, stones are found
which are sufficiently precious to make rings of them,
I have seen Gypsum along the Mackenzie, a little below
Fort Norman.
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
The Devonian rocks throughout the Mackenzie
Valley are nearly everywhere more or less petroliferous,
and over large areas afford promising indications of
the presence of oil in workable quantities ....
Near Fort Good Hope several tar springs exist, and it
is from these that the Hudson's Bay Company now
obtain their principal supply of pitch .... Still
farther down, in the vicinity of Old Fort Good Hope, the
river is bordered for several miles by evenly bedded
-dark shales of Devonian age which are completely
saturated with oil (Fort Good Hope is 274 miles from
mouth of the Mackenzie Eiver).
The oil fields of Pennsylvania and Baker already
(1888) show signs of exhaustion, and as they decline
the oil fields of Northern Canada will have a corresponding rise in value.
Mineral Resources of the N. VV. Territories.
Evidence of Professor BELL before the 1888 Committee.
Gold has been found at Eepulse Bay and near
^Chesterfield Inlet, Hudson's Bay; also at Burntwood
Jjake, near Frog Portage.
Petroleum and
H  2 fi
Nuggets of pure silver have been found on the
Upper Peace.
Native copper on the Coppermine Eiver, and copper
ore on the West Coast of Hudson's Bay.
Clay iron-stone on the Athabasca Eiver, above the
Clearwater Eiver ; and magnetite at Black Bay, on
Athabasca Lake.
Sulphur is abundant in the form of pyrites on the
West Coast of Hudson's Bay.
Salt, in springs on the Clearwater and the Athabasca,
and copiously on the Salt Eiver on the West side of
Slave Eiver.
Petroleum and asphaltum on the Athabasca Eiver,
Great Slave Lake, Mackenzie, &c.
Gypsum at Peace Point, Peace Eiver, Salt Springs,,
Salt Eiver.
Lignite, along the Athabasca Eiver, Mackenzie
Eiver, near Great Bear Lake Eiver, along Peel Eiver
and on the coast of the Arctic sea on both sides of the
Plumbago found near Fond du Lac, Athabasca
Mr. George Dawson stated to 1888 Committee :—
The pitch of Athabasca Eiver (and also of the Lake and
of the Mackenzie Eiver) may probably be of considerable
value in the future, but it is most important in giving
reason to believe that extensive deposits of petroleum
exist in the country in which it occurs. Mr. Hoffman
reports on an examination of this material (1881-82) :—
He suggests its use for asphalting roadways, &c, and for
the purpose of distillation and for the production of
lubricating and illuminating oils.
Professor Bell, in his evidence to the 1888 Committee of the Senate, stated—"As to economic minerals,,
magnetic iron, apparently of fine quality, judging from
specimens I obtained at Fort Chippewyan, is found near
the entrance of Black Bay, on the north side of Lake. 101
Athabasca. Graphite has been found in loose pieces,
near Fond du Lac Post, on the same side. Mr. Cochrane
found the Huronian foundation, which is always apt to
be metalliferous, well developed in Black Bay, and again
between Fond du Lac and the eastern extremity of
Lake Athabasca.
6 The lake is deep and navigable for steamers of a
large class."
Evidenoe from the diary of ANDERSON, the Explorer,
Senate Committee, 1888.
Eed earth, sulphur, coal oil, salt, white earth,
limestone, ironstone, and sandstone, are found all along
the Mackenzie; and the Athabasca. Mr. James Anderson,
son of the Explorer, declares that he has seen all these
minerals, himself, in the localities mentioned.
Snlphnr, coal,
oil, salt, etc.
Evidence of G. M. DAWSON, Director of the Geological Survey of
Canada, to the 1888 Senate Committee.
Eeferring to the Coppermine Eiver  particularly, Jast^ppn^)
there is every reason to believe there is a repetition, means of
. . ... -     , *       reaching them.
along that river and m its vicinity, of those rocks,
which contain copper, on Lake Superior, and which
have proved so rich there. If there were any way of
getting the copper out from that country, as there
will, no doubt, eventually be, it could be examined and
prospected and worked at once. At the present time it
seems to be beyond the reach of the prospector. The
Hudson Bay Co. sent Hearne up there in the latter part
of the last century to discover where the copper found
in the hands of the natives came from, but he could do
nothing but report that he found copper there. The sea
to the north was ice-bound, and he did not see his way
to utilising it, so it has remained ever since. With
respect to the barren grounds, I know nothing personally.
I think we really know very little about them yet. It
would appear that the barren grounds have been generally
characterised on the result of a very few expeditions
which have not gone over them at all extensively. Pitch and
Evidence of the Hon. Wm. CHRISTIE to the 1888 Senate Committee.
The deposit of pitch on the Athabasca Eiver is very
deep. It is in springs in the sides of the banks of the
river. The bank at that point is not very high. A few
pine trees grow at the top of the bank, and there are
one or two springs there. They boil up there in the
summer. You can put a long pole down 10 or 12 feet
long, and you cannot find the bottom. The pitch is
black and very adhesive. It is like English pitch, but
it has no smell of tar. They use it at Fort McMurray
to cover some of the houses, and it looks like an
asphalt pavement.
I have never seen specimens of the crude oil that
comes from the wells, but the general opinion is that
this petroleum, or coal oil, would be found there. In
fact there is a report that there are some springs of it
near Edmonton. The Indians report that it exists in
that country, but being superstitious they would not
show where it would be found.
A hill of iron
on Lake Athabasca.
Immense cop.
per territory
near Chester-
field Inlet.
Likely gold-
bearing quartz
near the Inlet,
Discoveries of Gold, Iron and Copper ; Chesterfield
Inlet and Lake Athabasca.
Mr. J. Burr Tyrrell, in the Geological Survey
Eeports of 1895, mentions a hill of highly haematitic
quartzite and iron ore of 125 feet in height on the shore
of Lake Athabasca, and in the Sessional Papers for the
same year he reports that for 225 miles before reaching
the neighbourhood of Chesterfield Inlet and along the
streams leading into it, formations are met with similar
to those which are so rich in copper ore on Lake
Superior, but owing to the necessity for rapid travel
during the journey on which he visited this unknown
country he could give them no more than hasty examination. He (Mr. Tyrrell) considers these formations a
continuation of the sandstone and traps on the Coppermine Eiver which have long been known to contain
large quantities of pure copper. Along the Doobaunt
Eiver, and on the North side of Doobaunt Lake, out- 103
crops of white Huronian quartzite were seen. (It is the
Huronian formation that Professor Bell describes as
| always apt to be metalliferous.")
was on this iourney that Mr. Tyrrell made the An important
~,      .     „  , - -r   ,   . discovery of
gold on Ches- '
terfield Inlet.
discovery of gold on Chesterfield Inlet
Petroleum fields of immense value.
From the 1888 Senate Committee's General Summary.
The evidence submitted to your Committee points The greatest
to the existence in the Athabasca and Mackenzie valleys in the world.
of the most extensive petroleum field in America, if not in
the world. The uses of petroleum, and consequently the
demand for it by all nations are increasing at such a
rapid ratio, that it is probable this great petroleum field
will assume an enormous value in the near future, and
will rank among the chief assets comprised in the Crown
Domain of the Dominion.
Ironstone and Copper, West of Chesterfield Inlet.
Mr. Warburton Pike, in the account (1890) of his
travels in the Barren Lands of North Canada, refers
(p. 185) several times to its huge extent of ironstone
country, extending North East from the Great Fish
Eiver, about lat. 65Q. He also mentions coming upon
Esquimaux encampments on this river and finding stone
kettles and other utensils with copper let into them,
shewing that the natives found this metal and knew how by thernatives?
to work it. K
Section S* Coal for visiting Steamships, Manufactures and Mining
Coal on the
General Summary from the Committee."
The extensive coal and lignite deposits of the lower
Mackenzie, and elsewhere, will be found to be of great
commercial value when the question of reducing its iron
ores and the transportation of the products of this vast
region have to be solved by steam sea-going or lighter
river craft.
Professor MACOUN'S Evidence.
Question :—Suppose a steamer could start from
Victoria, pass through Behring Straits and the Arctic Sea
to the mouth of the Mackenzie, and ascend the river to
the Great Slave Lake, would that vessel have to take
coal enough for the return trip, or could she depend
upon the coal to be found in the Mackenzie country ?
Answer :—There is no doubt at all that she could
depend upon the coal of the Mackenzie, because all
explorers speak of it. . . There is no doubt at all
that there is excellent coal on the lower Mackenzie.
Plenty wood
and asphaltom
as fuel for
steamers on
'Arctic Coast.
Evidence of J. B. HURLBERT, M.D., LLD.
Sir John Eichardson, in passing along the Arctic
Coast wherever there were Eivers, found timber about
the mouths of them in such quantities that, he said, if a
steamer should go into the Arctic Ocean it would find
wood enough to supply its daily fuel and asphaltum, or
something of the kind, which is found West of the
Mackenzie Eiver, that it would find enough there to
supply the daily wants of the steamer. 105
Extracts from the Report of Mr. WILLIAM OGILVIE, 1896.
It is now certain that coal extends along the valley Large seams
of the Yukon.   ♦   .   .   There is a seam on it (the branch covered,
stream Chandindu)  6 feet thick.     .     •     .     On the
Cornell Claim on Cliff Creek the seam is 5 feet 4 inches
In the course of a year I believe coal will supersede Coaiwiiisuper-
.,„„,,.,        .,,       ,. ,       -, « « sede wood for
wood for fuel which will reheve the demand as far as fuel in the
towns and villages are concerned ; but mining interests
will require a lot of fuel where coal cannot be taken.
Evidence of MALCOLM McLEOD, Q.C., Ex-Judge.
Question of the Committee:—You say that for a
distance of 350 miles coal is indicated by abundant
" shows " on the Peace Eiver in its upper reaches and
extends to the Arctic Ocean. Then you pass on to the
lignite which you say is still more extensively developed.
You give the result of Sir John Bichardson's
observations and enquiries on the subject in this way—
" At the junction of the Mackenzie and Bear Lake Eiver
the formation is best exposed ; it there consists of a
series of beds, the thickest of which exceed three yards,
separated by layers The coal when
extracted from the bed is massive and most generally
shows the woody structure distinctly."
You mentioned that all along the Mackenzie—for
1,800 miles—there are indications of this lignite and real
Has anything occurred since the publication of
this pamphlet to alter your opinion ?
Answer—Nothing. On the contrary, I have had
information to add to it. Of late, I find from the reference of Simpson to pitch coal on the shore of the Arctic
Sea, between the mouth of the Mackenzie Eiver and
Point Barrow, that the extent of the coal desposit is
greater than I supposed.
Three yards
seam of coal at
the junction of
Mackenzie and i
Bear Lake
mouth of
Goal and lignite
deposits along
the river and
on the Arctic
Coast at the
mouth of the
river. 106
Coal near the Mouth of the Mackenzie.
(See paragraph under part B, Section 10, referring to
Ogilvie's discovery of a large seam of excellent tested Coal
on Trout Biver.)
A Forerunner of Great Coal Discoveries.
"Toronto Monetary Times,"
10th September, 1897.
Prof. John Macoun, of the Geological Survey (of
Canada), has returned from his summer's work «on the
Prairies of the North-West Territories. He states, that
in Mid-August, Mr. Stafford, of the Gait Coal Company,
discovered a 9-foot seam of excellent quality Coal in.
Alberta, six miles east of the mountains.
Climate of
Alaska bright
and bracing.
All the coal
found, out-
eropped on the
river banks.
Coal  on  the  Yukon.
Letter from Mr. James Hardy, in the "Sheffield Daily Telegraph"
August 11th, 1897,
Sir,—I should like to say a little about these gold-
fields, which I think would be of interest to the readera
of your paper. As I have spent two summers and a winter
up there prospecting, in the employ of Dr. Dawson,.
I think I ought to knew something of camp life in that
barren territory. The climate is bright and bracing, not
damp and foggy, as Mr. Mackey says. You can work out
from March until October. In the winter we opened
several seams of coal, as I was a miner. They took my
advice, and it found us fire and warmth in cold weather.
The coal we got was lignite. We found some bituminous-
coal some hundreds of miles from there, but did not test
it. All the coal we found outcropped on the river banks.
In some places the coal was stratified; others un-
stratified. I think the gold at Klondike is an outcrop of
some general bed. If it is so they will want miners of a
better stamp when they have reef to get, instead of gravel.
I would not advise any one to go from here until the
spring ; it would be madness to attempt it.    It will be a 107
grand place for men interested in coal, as it will be
wanted in winter worse than gold. Young men going
from here ought to get together in fours, and sixes, and so
on, and not to be parted at any price. I never saw the
mercury below 58 zero nor above 1*17 Fahr,
Section €5.
Hydraulic and Placer"
Splendid returns on the
Stewart from
Extracts from the Report of Mr. WILLIAM OGILVIE, 1896.
The only mining done on the Stewart Eiver was on Hydraulic
the bars in the river ; the bench and bank bars were all necessary,
timbered and frozen, so that to work them would entail
a resort to hydraulic mining, for which there was no
machinery in the country.
During the fall of 1886 three or four miners combined and got the owners of the "New Backet" steamboat to allow the use of her engines to work pumps for fng™?anPump"
sluicing with. The boat was hauled up on a bar, her
engines detached from the paddle wheels and made to
drive a set of pumps manufactured on the ground which
supplied water for a set of sluicing boxes. With this
crude machinery, in less than a month the miners cleared
1,000 dollars each, and paid an equal amount to the
owners of the boat as their share.
There are many bank and bench bars along the river a rich field lot
which would pay well if sluiced, but there is no con- Eiachniery.
venient or economical way of getting water on to them,
and there is no pumping machinery as yet in the country.
Gold in the Stewart River.
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
Extensive gravel benches of a more or less auriferous character border the Stewart River in many
places, and promise remunerative returns if worked on a
large scale (hydraulic machinery required). Special
methods called
Depth to
The various
A large
quantity of
paying gravel
thrown aside.
Placer Mining in the Klondike Country.
Written for the "Engineering and Mining Journal" by its Special
Correspondent, October 9th, 1897.
Special conditions call for special methods to meet
them, and this is certainly true of placer mining in the
Yukon gold belt, and more especially so in the Klondike
district. With the exception of some placers in Siberia,
nowhere else have men undertaken to seek for gold
above the line of constantly frozen ground. The work
is too arduous and forbidding, except for the short
summer months when the heat is almost unbearable and
the mosquitoes worse. The ground below is frozen solid
down to bedrock, almost as hard and even more difficult
to excavate. The frozen earth and gravel can be blasted
only with great difficulty, and the only method available
has been to thaw the ground by fire, as is done in the
Siberian mines.
On El Dorado Creek, which is the richest and best
known of the tributaries of Bonanza Creek, the branch
of the Klondike on which the first strike was made, the
bedrock on which the rich pay-streak lies is found at a
depth varying from 9 feet at the mouth to 20 feet and even
28 or 30 feet higher up. The top layer, from 1 to 5 feet
thick, is of muck composed of decaying vegetable matter
and soil which in places is covered by long and thickly
matted moss. The summer heat melts the surface
where exposed to a depth of a few inches, making a very
disagreeable footing. Under the muck come the several
strata of gravel and sand shown in the illustration,
which is a typicarsection across the creek. The uppermost stratum of gravel varies in thickness in places, but
is quite uniform as to the amount of gold carried to the
cubic foot ; while those below are quite uniform on all
the claims along the creek in thickness as well as in
amount of gold. Under different conditions or in any
other diggings but the Yukon the upper layer of gravel
would be carefully worked, and most likely will be in |
the future even there ; but so far the Klondykers have
wasted but little time on it, only taking out so much as 109 110
was necessary to reach the richer strata below, and in
most cases not even washing out the gold from what they
did handle.
How the shafts In sinking the shafts all the loose top stuff that can
are sunk. ° r
be cut and scraped away is first removed, and then a
good pile of wood cut from the adjoining hills is made
and set on fire. By the time this has burnt out the
ground below it is thawed to a depth of several inches.
Pick and shovel are then used to remove this over a
space of from 8 to 12 feet square, and the shaft may be
said to have been started. Alternate firing and digging in
time carry it down through the muck and the thick
upper layer of gravel to within some 7 or 8 feet of the
When the shaft becomes too deep to toss the dirt
out with a shovel, a windlass is rigged, and it is hoisted
out by a rope and bucket, the latter generally made of a
half barrel, with a rope handle passing through three
holes near the top. When the poorer upper gravel
has been passed the material, as far as loosened by the
fire, is taken from the sides as well as at the bottom of
the shaft, and the dump for sluicing is begun. This is
made with an eye to the most convenient and economical
way of utilizing the supply of water which is to come
when the snow on the hills thaws out in the spring.
The work is then carried on down to bedrock, next
above which, with a depth of about 18 inches, lies the
rich pay-streak. From this and the cracks and rifts
in the shale rock underneath come most of the
nuggets. This stuff is laid by itself on the dump and
given special care in washing, as it abounds in dust and
flaxseed gold as well as nuggets. Many men have been
satisfied with one season's work on this rich deposit.
On all the deeper claims, after reaching bedrock only
the pay-streak and the two strata above it are followed by
drifting.   The method is the same as in the vertical shaft, y
wood being piled at the end of the drift and burned to
thaw out the ground.   While more men can find room to
Where the
nuggets come
from Ill
work the progress made is comparatively slow, as for ^l^n^the*
lack of draught the fire burns slowly and the smoke frozen gravel,
takes a longer time to clear out of the way, so as to allow
the men to get at the work of digging and hoisting out.
In thus going down to bedrock and then drifting on only
the richest strata, the readiest and largest returns are
secured for the time and labour expended.
This was the first object with the poorer Klondikers,
to take the richest, make their pile and get out of the
country, leaving the other stuff to be worked by those stuff thrown
who came after them, as it all will be when improved poorer Kion^
conditions as to labour, supplies and proper machinery De washed over
So far it has not been found necessary to leave agam'
pillars or put in supports for the roof of the drift. So
firmly is the material frozen that it is as hard and strong
as the bedrock below.
From rim-rock to rim-rock the El Dorado Creek width of
bottom of gold-
bottom varies from 80 to 500 feet m width, and, as far as bearing creeks.
ascertained, the deposits are. quite uniform over the
whole with a length of about eight miles.    The amount
of gold yet to be handled on this creek alone must be
very large.
A large number of the nuggets taken out of this Quartz in the
, S  . nuggets show
creek have had quartz imbedded m the metal, showing the nearness of
,...,. - . quartz reefs.
their original home to be not far distant, but as yet no
definite location has been made of any quartz ledges.
As a matter of fact, few have turned their attention in
that direction; the* heavy covering of thick, matted
moss that lies on the hills hides the rocks from sight,
and makes prospecting extremely difficult. The more
certain returns from the creek bottoms have so far been
the more attractive to the miners.
Although much has been written in regard to the
erosion of these valleys,  and  the deposit of the gold
by the   action of   glaciers,  an inspection  of   a large
quantity of nuggets from the several branches of the Gold ^gp^^
Klondike seem to  show   that they have never been fS}1^ q{Jartz
subjected   to   the   squeezing   and   grinding   forces in action of water, 112
evidence on the terminal moraines to be found along any
glaciers. They rather show proof of gradual and gentle
loosening from the original rock and of the after action
of water, and that only to a limited degree.
First steps of a
miner with the
Next step—the
" rocker " or
" cradle."
of the
Prospecting with "Rocker" and Pan.
When a miner " prospects | he washes a few panfuls
of gravel or sand, and according to the number of specks
of gold he sees in his pan after the dirt has been washed
out he estimates the richness of it. The "rocker,"
which the miner uses in placer mining, is a box about three
feet long and two feet wide, made in two parts, the top
part being shallow, with a heavy sheet-iron bottom which
is punchedfull of quarter-inch holes. The other part of .the
box is fitted with an inclined shelf about midway in its
depth, which is six or eight inches lower at its lower
end than at its upper. Over this is placed a piece of
heavy woollen blanket. The whole is then mounted on
rockers and set in a convenient place near a good supply
of water. The miner puts the gravel and sand he has
collected into the shallow box on the top, and he rocks
it gently while he ladles in water. The finer matter
with the gold falls through the holes on to the blanket,-
which checks its progress and holds the fine particles of
gold. The sand passes over it to the bottom of the box.
Across the bottom of the box are fixed thin slats, beiiind
which some mercury is placed to catch particles of gold
which may have escaped the blanket. Of course if there
are any nuggets they are retained in the upper box. By
sluicing, however, about three times as much dirt can be
washed as by the rocker, and consequently sluicing is
always the process employed when a good fall of water
can be obtained. In Alaska many miners spend the
winter in thawing the ground and collecting the dirt,
which they heap in a pile till summer comes and water
can be obtained. 113
Section 7.    Furs, Ivory, &c.
General Summary from the Committee.
The chief présent commercial product of the country The great for
is its furs, which, as thé region in question is the last woSS™ °f the
great   fur  preserve of  the world,  are of   very great
present and prospective value,  all   the  finer furs of
commerce being there found, and thë salés in London
yearly amounting to several millions of dollars.
Evidence of the Rev. E. PETITOT.
On the sea coast   and   the   right   bank (of   the Caves con-
Mackenzie Eiver), thé Esquimaux have told me that uzed%onesSand
there are caves containing fossilized  bones  of   large Masîodon.6
antediluvian animals, particularly of the mastodon, of
which they have shown me pieces of tusks""of the finest
Evidence of DONALD MclYOR.
Animals in Mackenzie Basin are :—red-deer, rein- Animals in
deer, cabre, musk ox (robes very valuable), moose, elk, Basin.
wild sheep and goats, lynx, Arctic fox, black fox (skins
worth from £6 to £8 each), silver fox (skins nearly as
valuable),  cross fox, wolverine, otter, beaver, martin,
mink, ermine, trout, pike, salmon, in fact, nearly every Fish,
kind most numerous.
Furs of the N.W. Territories; 1888 Committee's Report.
The Committee have found a great deal of difficulty
in getting information regarding the quantity of furs
exported from the N. W. Territories. The following is
incomplete, but is all the Committee could obtain.
Quantity of furs offered for sale in London at the
Annual Auction Sale by the Hudson Bay Co., and
C. M. Lampson & Co., in the year 1887.
Otter   ...
Sea Otter
Fisher ...
Eox, Silver
Pox, Cross
Sales in
London of
some of the
furs exported
from the N. W.
Territories. 1
Fox, Bed
Fox, White
Fox, Blue
Fox, Kitt
Lynx   .
Mink   „
Extra Blaok Musquash
Bear (all kinds)
Musk Ox       	
Babbit (American     ...
Hair Seal (dry)
Sable   ...       	
Fox, Grey
,..      85,022
...    632,794
...      98,342
...    376,223
...    104,279
... 2,485,368
...      13,944
...      15,942
...    114,824
...      13,478
...      31,597
Fur and Food
Animals in the
Far North.
Evidence of Mr. JAMES ANDERSON and his father, the explorer
(1888 Committee).
The furs of the Mackenzie Biver are those of the
beaver, marten, silver fox, lynx, otter, cross fox, blue fox,
red fox, musquash (muskrat), mink, bears, wolves, and
wolverines. The food animals amongst these are the
beaver and bear. Towards the Arctic Ocean are found the
musk ox, and the reindeer, and all the fur-bearing animals
are found along the coast.
The food animals on the Mackenzie Biver are the
moose, rabbit, wood partridge, white partridge geese of
all kinds, cranes, waveys, and ducks of all kinds*
Large and Exceptionally Pine Specimens of Ivory found.
'.'Pall Mall Gazette," 9th October, 1897 (from the Special
As confirming what was said in a previous letter,
Mr. Wilkinson, of Nanaimo, B. C, who returned from 115
the Klondike some time ago with 40,000 dollars, the
result of but three months' labour, says that large and
exceptionally fine specimens of ivory were found last
season solidly embedded in the ice gravel. Tusks of
mastodons, weighing as much as 150 lbs., were found in
an excellent state of preservation. While working his
claim, Wilkinson found a leg bone of a mastodon covered
with flesh. He remarks that there are indications on
every hand to show that Alaska was once a tropical
country, and rank tropical vegetation is seen preserved
in ice.
But it is   nuggets, and not mastodons, that the
miners want.
An Alaskan Plain Strewn with Ivory Tusks,
The Sheffield "Daily Telegraph," August 21st, 1897.
Klondyke seems to be the home of ivory as well as Klondyke the
of gold, according to the Pall Mall Gazette. "It was
quite the result of accident," it says, "that what may
be called the last home of the mammoths—for we can
hardly credit the Indian tales of live specimens—became
known to a white man. The Bedskins of Kwaquihuilette,
a village on the Yukon Biver, have long known of the
spot, but of the value of the ivory they have been totally
ignorant. They are silent men, those Bedskins, except
when the liquor is in them ; and it required long residence
among them before a miner, bytname of George Hughes,
heard of the treasure-trove and its whereabouts. Illness
kept this man a prisoner at Kwaquihuilette a year or
two ago. As he recovered he began to learn many of
the Indian ways, and partially mastered the language
of the particular tribe he was with. His attention was
attracted to the ivory ornaments the natives wore ; and
he noticed that even their rude dining articles were made
of the same material. He induced the Indians to show
him the place whence came this ivory. It took several
days hard sleighing to reach the spot.   But the work
home of ivory
as well as gold,
says the Pall
Mall Gazette.
i 2 116
A plain   .   ,   .
were tasks
white and
gleaming with
was worth the reward. The miner saw what no white
man had ever before witnessed. There, on this plain,
frozen to the ground, were hundreds and hundreds of
skeletons of gigantic beasts, and scattered everywhere
were tusks white and gleaming with frost. This was
undoubtedly a graveyard of mammoths, and the miner's
fancy pictured it also as a battlefield, for in some instances
the tusks of one animal were found buried in the skeleton
of another. 8
Section S« Steam Navigation from
Vancouver via Behring Straits ta
Mackenzie Bay and through ta
Mackenzie River.
from Behring
Straits to
Month of the
open for three
months every
General Summary of the 1888 Senate Committee.
A reference to the valuable evidence obtained by
your Committee will show that navigation from Behring
Straits to the mouth of the Mackenzie Biver, and
probably as far East as Wollaston Land, may be had for
three months in each year, the soundings given on the
Admiralty Chart of that portion of the Arctic Sea
revealing an average depth of about 20 fathoms. The
western branch of the estuary of the Mackenzie is said
to be the outlet which has the deepest waters.   .
That with suitable steam crafts this river (the^
Mackenzie) and lake navigation may be connected with
Victoria and Vancouver by way of the mouth of the
Mackenzie, the Arctic Ocean and Behring Straits and
Sea. (It is now connected on the south by 90 miles of
waggon road between Athabasca Landing and Edmonton, with navigable water in the Saskatchewan Biver.) 117
Evidence of W. C. BOM PAS, D.D., Bishop of Athabasca.
Begarding the object of placing steam on the Mackenzie 2EcheMi? th°
,   .    .   .it becomes a question how far it is consistent *>y steahm
with the national honor and the glory of Her Majesty and Arctic ocean,
the British Empire to allow this magnificent stream to
be navigated by only a few barges, when in the neigbour-
ing territory of the United States most inconsiderable
streams are traversed by steamers.
The Mackenzie is navigable for steamers for about
1,300 miles from its mouth, and the channels at its
mouth have been correctly laid down on the Admiralty
It is said that Mr. Gordon Bennett of New York has Mr. Gordon
Bennett ex-
sent his vessel to explore the Mouth of the Mackenzie, pioring the
x month of the
and its seems a pity that British vessels should be wholly Mackenzie,
absent from that region.
Evidence of J. B. HURLBERT, M.D., LLD.
The American whalers made voyages every year to The Arctic
the Arctic Ocean off Mackenzie Biver a quarter of a nonewthing.
century  ago.    Dr. Eichardson inferred there was an
open sea from the whales in great numbers being in the
sea, as they must come constantly to the surface to
Captain Collinson was 50 miles off the Mackenzie
There is plenty of open water at the mouth of the open water in
_r    .        .   _..        ,„ .,     .     ,, Mackenzie Bay
Mackenzie Biver for five months in the year. for five months
in the year.
Evidence of DONALD MclVOR.
The average length of open water (in the Mackenzie Mackenzie
Biver) is from second week in May to first or second
week in October.
Excellent harbours (mouth of Mackenzie) and think From three to
whaling or sealing vessels would have at least three fishing at the
to four months' fishing without being impeded by ice. 118
Though the
Arctic coast
line has been
explored the
territory inland
has never been
General Summary from the Committee.
Arctic explorers had indeed traversed its (the N.W.
Territory) coast line and descended two of the rivers,,
which, east of the Mackenzie, flow into the Arctic Sea,
but the object sought by them was one which had no
relation to that of the present enquiry, and it is only
incidentally that their records are now valuable. The
knowledge of missionaries and the officers of the Hudson's
Bay Company is chiefly to the water courses and the
great lakes, while scientific exploration has not as yet
extended north of Great Slave Lake.
Open water to
Mackenzie Bay
for 3 months
every summer.
By the Hon. John Schultz, Lieut. Governor
of Manitoba, upon Whaling in Mackenzie
Bay, and the Passage from Behring
Straits to the Mouth of the Mackenzie
Winnipeg, 3rd August, 1894.
There is open water from Point Barrow to Cape
Bathurst for quite three months in the summer. . . .
The Eskimo at the mouth of the river (Mackenzie) killed
over 50 of ,the white whale last summer ; in fact the
catch of whales last year by the whalers seems to have
been phenomenal. Two of the vessels captured over 50
each (an average whale is worth £1,000 in oil and bone),
which yielded an average of 1,800 lbs. of whale bone per
head (quantity of oil not mentioned), which would mean
an immense profit to someone. I understand that only
the bone is taken, so that the oil is nearly all wasted.
American Seven vessels wintered at Herchel Island (in Mac-
already visiting kenzie Bay), and more are expected this year.    I am
Bay,enzie        afraid that a great deal of liquor finds its way amongst
the poor Eskimo.     I  do not know that English or
Canadian whalers would treat the Eskimo any better 119
than the Americans do, but it does seem a shame that
so many hundreds of thousands of dollars should be
pocketed by the Americans every year and not a cent.
by the Canadian or British.
The only Navigable Channel :   a safe Harbour.
Other evidence from a High Authority.
Mr.     states that many mouths from the
Mackenzie Biver meet the Arctic Ocean coast line in
the 40 miles across from land to land, the delta being
composed of so many cross channels as to produce
almost numberless low lying islands» All these
channels save the one sounded by .... and
himself are shallow and tortuous and the one in which
he says they never found less than two-and-a-half
fathoms throughout is close to the east side of the
delta, and its navigability has been kept a secret by
. . . . and himself in pursuance of a laudable
design to prevent the entrance of their boats or the ships
in question, more especially as within the mouth of this
branch of the delta is to be found a secure harbour. . .
Several attempts have been made by boats from the
wintering ships to ascend the river, but as all their efforts
were confined to the West side of the delta they met with no
success, and, indeed, since Sir Alex. Mackenzie's time, and
the boat expeditions of Sir John Franklin and Dease and
Simpson, there seems to have been a gradual filling up of
these Western channel.
From the Hon. J. SCHULTZ, Winnipeg, 4th January, 1895.
Now that cordial relations have been established in Herchei island,
.   ,       .     .    , ., .   _      _   in Mackenzie
some measure, at least, between our northern inland Bay, the
natives and the Eskimo, Herchei Island may be reached present
from the head of the estuary of the Mackenzie, where reached'from7
Peel Biver joins it, in safety, and with comparatively     e   ee river
little difficulty if proper voyageurs be chosen and the
start is made at a proper season   .    .    .   the only
communication   (between   Mackenzie   Bay   and   the
Biver), as you are aware, is by the annual trips of the
Hudson's Bay Company's small Mackenzie Biver steamer
" Wrigley."
Only one deep
through the
delta of the
and that one a
A secure
harbour within
the secret
channel. 120
Section ©• Whaling and Sealing off
the Mouth of Mackenzie River;
Splendid prospects.
Whaling at the
mouth of the
Value of the
Evidence of GEO, M. DAWSON, M.D., LL.D., Geological Survey of
The idea I ventured to suggest was that whaling
stations be established east of the region usually reached
by whalers (near mouth of Mackenzie Biver), which
would enable whaling and sealing to be carried on in a
way that it could not be by vessels going and returning
the same season, and remaining to catch whales and
seals in those northern waters.
To show the extent and value of the whaling industry
in Behring Sea, and in the Arctic ocean to the north—
entered through Behring Straits, which has always been
considered an open route by everybody—I may give
the following figures:—In 1880, there were 36 sailing
craft, and 4 steamers.   They produced—
35,000 lbs. of whalebone, valued at 850,000 dollars.
15,000 „   of ivory, „ 9,000       „
21,000 barrels of oil, „ 280,000       „
=   an average of £5,700 per vessel, per year.
The Arctic
Ocean quite
open in
Seals, whales,
f oses and reindeer in large
Evidence of J. B. HURLBERT, M.D., LLD,
In 1837 Thomas Simpson, on his return from a
voyage from the Mackenzie through the Arctic Ocean to
Pt. Barrow, stated :—" The sea was clear and navigable
by ships during the summer months. Beindeer, Arctic
foxes, and seals were numerous. Many whales and
seals were seen everywhere. The natives met with were
well provided with whalebone and sealskins. They were
well clothed in seal and reindeer skins."
seal, &c.
Evidence of DONALD MclYOR.
Whale, seal, walrus are to be found in large numbers
in and about Mackenzie Bay. 121
Great tracts of valuable timbers along the Mackenzie
-chiefly pine, spruce, tamarac, poplar and birch»
General Summary of the 1888 Committee.
 The following (fish) have been found Fisù.
on the Northern . . . . coast within the scope of
the present enquiry, viz. :—Salmon. The capeling is
found on the coast of the Arctic Ocean .... thus
implying the presence of cod upon banks near by, and
the rock cod has been frequently taken. The Greenland,
or harp seal and the grey square flipper seal ....
are all found with the walrus and porpoise off the mouths
and in the estuary of the Mackenzie Biver.
The seas adjoining the great territory which your whaies^seais,
Oommittee has had under investigation are frequented large numbers
by whales of different species, walruses, narwhals, and coast of
a variety of seals.   All these animals are valuable for
their oil, but the large species of whales have heretofore
been most sought for.    Only a few years ago these
animals had a much more extensive range than at the
present time.     Owing to improvements in navigation
and methods of capture, they have, of late years, fallen
an easier prey to their pursuers and have taken shelter
in the less frequented seas of the northern coast of
Extracts from letters from Dr. REEVES, Bishop Mackenzie River
District, to the Hon. JOHN SCHULTZ. *?5
Winnipeg, 18th Sept., 1895.
Mr. Hodgson is here (Selkirk) on furlough to pass Mr. Hodgson's
this winter with his aged parents from whom he had KS of
been separated for many years, having spent twenty-one ^e7Macken2ie
years in the Mackenzie Biver District, and was latterly
and for some years in charge of Fort Macpherson, Peel
Biver. 122
w^te?fverips In immediate reference to the subject of my letter
Mackenzie Ba °* *^e «^ u^-> ^e says *kat *our whaling ships wintered
last winter at Herchei Island harbour, seven ships the
winter before, four ships on the previous winter, and
four ships before that again, bearing out the accuracy of
information supplied to me and by me transmitted to
you for the past several years.
Their principal reason for availing themselves of
this most important Arctic Harbour is, as I before stated,
because of its nearness to their principal whaling
ground, whence they can proceed to their lucrative
business a long time before these grounds can be reached
from Behring Straits (in time to catch the opening of
the season) and from the fact that the spring rush of
water down the Mackenzie Biver clears a large area
near its various mouths long after the shore ice is firm
far to the East and West.
They do not, therefore, go there specially to trade
with the Eskimo, but this being their only profitable
occupation in Winter and very early Spring, they get
large numbers of common and valuable fox skins and
supply the Eskimo with goods in trade, even up to the
vicinity and at the Peel Biver Fort (MacPherson), take
beaver and other furs from the legitimate traders of that
Valuable Ivory Deposits.
From the Hon. J. SCHULTZ, Winnepeg, 4th January, 1895.
Since then (date of last letter) at least one
of the ships, which, in the winter of 1893-94 wintered
at Herchei Island had reached San Francisco and
although I have no more definite account of the
value of the cargo sold by her owners at that
point than the west coast newspapers give, it would
seem that the trade in which she was engaged has been
enormously lucrative, and should the vague Eskimo
reports of prehistoric ice and mud-embedded deposit»
of ivory similar to such on the Siberian coast, and that,
I believe, of Alaska also, have any foundation other than
Great stores of mere rumour, these profits might be, in the future, very
importance of
Mackenzie Bay
as a whaling
Mackenzie Bay
clear of ice
long before the
seas along
the coast are
The     whalers
visiting    Mackenzie Bay
trade goods
with Eskimo
and hunters in
exchange for
Besults from
whaling in
Bay enormously lucrative. 123
much enhanced indeed, and add to the regret that
foreign vessels should have so complete a monopoly
over a Canadian trade apparently so profitable, which is
carried on indeed in violation of several statutory enactments and departmental regulations. (See reports of
ivory confirmed in accompanying evidence.)
Whaling, <fco., Statistics (Hon. J. SCHULTZ).
1887 — Total  catch  by   San  Francisco  whalers Bien returns
amounted to 2,000,000 dollars. expeditions.
1888—San Francisco fleet operating in the Behring
Sea and Arctic Ocean :—25 vessels, including tenders,
landed products to the value of 627,345 dollars ; average
value of each vessel, 25,094 dollars. Eight of these
were steamers—of a tonnage ranging from 250 to 860
tons for each vessel—average value landed from these
steamers was 45,820 dollars (£9,441). Nearly the whole
of the whaling at the mouth of the Mackenzie is done by
the steamers. Six of these vessels also landed 90 fox,
48 lynx, 2 bear, and 10 other skins, 6,000 lbs. walrus
hides, and 1,310 lbs. walrus ivory.
1889—Twenty-three vessels, including tender, landed
products to the value of 358,935 dollars ;  average value
to each vessel, 15,606 dollars there
were seven steamers, average value of products landed,
31,173 dollars.
Each whale is worth 5,000 dollars, when both oil Enormous
value of each
and bone are utilized. whale.
.    .    .   Our North coast whale fisheries are ex- The only
whalers in the
tremely valuable in the eyes of the Americans, for no Arctic are the
.. Americans.
others operate there   .    •   .
The fishing season of the Arctic is usually from pateofopen-
° J in g of whalmg
about the first of May to the first of October   .... season.
The vessels cruise South of Behring Strait until the
ice breaks up sufficiently for them \ to force their way
through the Strait into the Arctic Ocean. This is
generally about the first to the middle of June. The
whalers enter the Arctic about the first of the month. 124
Whales eon.
centrate in
When the whales enter the Arctic they follow up
the American shore into the North East as fast as the
ice breaks up. They go, nobody knows where, but it
is surmised into the great basin at the mouth of the
Mackenzie Biver.
Report of Inspector C. CONSTANTINE, Commandant of Yukon
District, 20th November, 1896.
The territory about the mouth of the Mackenzie
Biver and Herschel Island is one that the attention of
Government is called to.   Twelve whalers, steam
directed to the
territory at
the mouth of      the
the Mackenzie
Biver. and sailing, wintered there last winter,
Men deserting
Mackenzie Bay
whalers for the
Short journey
and easy travelling from
Mackenzie Bay
to the Yukon
Many men desert from the whalers each season
and having heard of the rich placer mines of the Yukon,
make their way there These men come across
country (from Mackenzie Bay) to Bampart House, on
the Porcupine Biver, a distance of ten days' travel over
a rolling country, and, for this territory, fairly easy
travelling, thence down the Porcupine Biver to Fort
Yukon, and from there up the river (the Yukon).
One of these men by some means got word to the
vessels, giving an account of the country here (Klondike),
which induced a number more to leave, and many
wished to, but were unable for various reasons. In
some instances, where men had succeeded in getting
away for some distance, they were overtaken by the
ship's officers, and stripped of all they had, hoping they
would then return.
Sîandta Herschel Island is in the Yukon (Police Administra-
Mackenzie Bay tiion) district. . • • • . Pearl Cove is the harbour on the
south side • • • • • about 80 miles from west mouth of
the Mackenzie.   The easterly mouth of the river is the
main one, about 130 miles from the island. 125
The ice at the island breaks up about the end of gfa£|^rschel
May ..... and begins to form about 1st of September Mackenzie Bay
each year.
Whaling profits and particulars.
'The Morning Mercury/' New Bedford, Mass.,
14th October, 1897.
It was in 1848 that the  first whaleship passed *52ttJ*
through Behring Straits, and since that time the Arctic JJJ.JJJ^J
Ocean has been the principal field for the hunters of oil |^in&
and bone.
The first steam vessel to engage in the whaling ^£!^haleir
business was the "Mary and Helen," built by Captain a great catch/
Wm. Lewes in 1880. During her first voyage this
vessel captured a cargo of oil and bone valued at 100,000
dollars. She was sold to the United States Government
and re-named the | Bogers," and sent in search of the
ill-fated exploring steamer | Jeanette."
Presumably the most remarkable whaling voyage The most
ever made in the old days, so far as profit is concerned, whaling voyage-
_ made m the
was  that  of  the "Envoy," which sailed from New old days,
Bedford in 1848.  She returned to Providence in 1847 from
a whaling voyage and was there condemned and sold to
Wm. O. Brownell of New Bedford to be broken up.
Mr. Brownell, however, concluded to fit her for another
voyage,   and   did   so, sending her to sea  under the
command of Captain W. T. Walker.   Such was the
condition of the vessel that the underwriters declined to
insure her.   The net profit of the voyage was 188,450
dollars.   The "Envoy1" was fitted at an expense of |
about 8,000 dollars. 126
Whaling in the Arctic Ocean via Mackenzie River.
Evidence of the Hon. Wm. CHRISTIE, late Inspecting Chief Factor of
the Hudson Bay Co., to 1888 Committee.
foeeof^efor7 *^s *° wnetner whaling or sealing craft if built at
several months the headwaters of the Mackenzie Biver could descend
to coast early enough, and ascend the river late enough
to permit of some months' fishing near the mouth of the
river, I would say, yes. I do not think there would be
any difficulty in building craft at the head of the
Mackenzie to descend to the mouth of the river,
remain there for some time, and return the same
year, because, etc. . . .
Section lO. Navigability, &c, of the
Country's Seas, Rivers, and
General Summary from the 1888 Committee.
Great extent In referring again to the navigation of this region*
of nnhroken . _        G , _ .    & ,
navigation. all the evidence has agreed to the great extent of un-*
broken. navigation (from the mouth of the Mackenzie
The steamer " Wrigley," of the Hudson's Bay
Company, distributes stores (to the Company's Various
fur collecting posts) down to the mouth of the Mackenzie, just above the estuary, where the river is said to
be six miles wide, and up the Peel Biver, which joins
the Mackenzie near that point to Fort Macpherson, on
that gold-bearing stream.
The Peel River
a gold-hearing
stream. 127
Evidence of Hon. WILLIAM CHRISTIE, ex-member of the  N.YT
Council, late Inspecting Chief Factor of the Hudson Bay Co.
" The Hudson Bay Co. have now a steamer on the g^&able01
Mackenzie Biver, which last year (1887) ran from Fort Waters.
Simpson to the sea, and down the Peel Biver."   The
distances on the Mackenzie Biver and Lakes to the
100 miles (say) down Slave Biver from Fort Smith
where there are impassable rapids, to Gt. Slave
250 miles  across  Gt.   Slave   Lake  to   Head   of
Mackenzie,   that   is,   Big   Island   or   Fort
203 miles from Head of Mackenzie, i.e., Fort Providence, to Fort Simpson.
271    „       „   Fort Simpson to Fort Norman,
434   „       „   Fort Norman to Port Separation,
129   „       „   Port Separation to the sea.
1,387 miles, total distance navigable for light draught
steamers from Fort Smith on Slave Biver
to Mouth of Mackenzie.
Evidence of Right Rev. ISIDORE CLUT, Bishop of Arendale,
The Mackenzie is the finest river in the world for Navigable
its length, its depth, and its size in summer.    Steamers Mackenzie e
leaving Fort Smith cross the Great Slave Lake, and can
descend as far as the Arctic Ocean.
They can also ascend the Peel Biver.
Evidence of GEO. W. DAWSON, LLD.
It is a little difficult to separate the basin of the
Mackenzie from the waters of the Yukon when you get
west of the mountains, because these rivers interlock
with each other in all directions. . . , In passing
through the country last summer I formed the opinion
that a large portion of that country would be eventually
The Mackenzie
and Yukon
rivers interlocked by
The Yukon*
country will be
settled. 128
navigable by
Evidence of WILLIAM J. McLEAN, Chief Trader of the Hudson Bay Co*
I cannot speak of depth of water at the mouth of
Mackenzie Biver, but believe that sea-going steamers
would ascend its whole length.
Evidence of DONALD MclVOR.
wooded thanks The Mackenzie is extensively wooded on the banks,
harbours.        has excellent harbours, and would be navigable for ûvô
months the in year by steamers of ordinary size.
The Porcupine
Biver    navigable.
«Financial Times," July 80th, 1897.
" By the treaty of Washington of 1871, the Yukon,
the Porcupine (flowing into it from the east) and the
Stikine were internationalised for navigation purposes
at the suggestion of Sir Donald Smith, the present
Canadian High Commissioner."
Distance between Mackenzie and Yukon Rivers.
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
A cart-trail i The navigable waters of the Mackenzie are sepa-
Snkon and the rated from those on the Yukon in lat. 67Q 20 N. by a
distance of about 60 miles only. A cart trail was staked
out some years ago by the Hudson's Bay Company across
the interval separating these rivers, with the intention
of supplying the Mackenzie Biver district with goods by
way of the Yukon Biver ; but the project fell through,
and the road was never built.
The Mackenzie
Biver 11 feet in
Important unexplored Tribu-
tones of the
The Mackenzie River and Tributaries*
WM. OGILVIE, 1887-88.
Capt. Bell, of the steamer " Wrigley," stated that
the shallowest water found by him in any part pf the
Mackenzie was 11 feet.
From all the evidence I (Ogilvie) could gather
vessels drawing from 8 to 1Û feet of water would find no
difficulty in navigation as far as Great Slave Lake,   A 129;
short distance above the Bamparts (near Fort Good
Hope) a river flows into the Mackenzie from the west.
It appeared to be 200 yards wide at its mouth. All I
could learn about it at the Fort was that it came from
far up in the mountains.
6J miles above Sans Sault Bapids and 328 miles
from Fort Macpherson, on the Mackenzie, Carcagou
Biver comes in from the west. It is a large river, being
not less than 400 yards wide at its mouth.
An Indian with me (Ogilvie) stated that this stream ^mI|htm:ove
was very large and very long, the Indians having advantageous
ascended it for great distances through the mountains.
It appeared to run parallel to the Mackenzie for some
distance, then, turning sharply to the west, to enter the
mountains. This river seems to be the largest tributary
of the Mackenzie below the Liard.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
The Mackenzie drains an area of 677,400 square
See Section 11 for distances.
The Porcupine, Rat and Bell Rivers.
Extracts from the Report of Mr. WILLIAM OGILVIE, 1887-88.
Writing of the excellence of his two Peterborough
Canoes, Mr. Ogilvie writes :—
In the Spring of 1888, they (the Canoes) descended Journey from
the latter river (the Porcupine) .... to the mouth tothemouthof
of Bell's Biver, and up it to McDougall's Pass.   They enzie
were then carried over the Pass to Poplar Biver, and
were used in going down the latter to the Peel Biver,
and thence up Mackenzie Biver, 1,400 miles.
R. G. MoCONNELL, 1887.
The Bat Biver for some miles from the Peel Biver Bat River,
winds through a flat alluvial plain then enters a lake 130
The Bell Biver.
region as the current is uniform and easy.   After this
the mountains are reached.
The Head- The Porcupine Biver rises only 30 miles from the
waters of the      __ ., x .  ,        .     _  ,
Porcupine        Yukon, describes a great curve and joins the Yukon 150
miles from the miles   further   down.    At   its most  easterly point   it
approaches within 30 miles  of   the Mackenzie   (and
naturally much nearer the Peel Biver).    Its length is
500 miles.
The Bell Biver is through alluvial and quartzite
country. Its upper part has not been explored. At the
Fort (La Pierre's House) it is a small, sluggish stream,
of 40 to 50 yards wide ; banks low, and alluvial with
wooded banks. Its length from La Pierre's House to
the Porcupine is about 30 miles, with no rapids and
navigable throughout.
The Indians take seven days to do the heavy portage-
boats, &c, from Fort Macpherson to La Pierre's House—
exactly 50 miles. (This is the cross-country, portage.
By way of the McDonald Pass the journey can be done
almost the whole way by the waters of the Bat and Bell
Bivers and a lake in the Pass).
Evidence of the Hon. WM. CHRISTIE, late Inspecting Chief Factor
of the Hudson  Bay Co.
For the trade on the Yukon we (the Hudson Bay
Co.) used to take the goods down the Mackenzie and
across the mountains to the Porcupine, thence down the
Yukon. It is only a short distance across from the
waters of the Mackenzie Biver. Peel's Biver (Fort
Macpherson) is the lowest post on the Mackenzie (near
the mouth).
See Section 11 for distances.
From the
mouth of the
Biver to the
Short route
across from
the mouth of
the Mackenzie
to the Porcupine.
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
Arctic Begion The Bat  and Porcupine (which includes the Bell)
gaD?eSfrom3 to Bivers could easily be navigated for three or four month»
year.nthS eaCh   of the year by  small  steamers  from La Pierre House
down to the junction of the Porcupine and Yukon Eivers. 131
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
This river—the Porcupine—rises within 30 miles of T&e Porcupine
r rises only 30
the Pelly-Yukon Biver,   Lat.    65° 30' N.,  and after *$**£om the
describing a huge curve of about 500 miles joins the
Yukon about 150 miles further  down from the point
nearest its head waters.
From the Bell Biver to the Yukon short ripples are
met with . ' . . but no rapids or other obstructions
which would prevent the navigation of the stream by
small steamers.
The distance, by river, from La Pierre's House to
Fort Yukon, where the Porcupine joins the Yukon, is
290 miles.
See Section 11 for distances.
Bell and Rat Rivers, and McDougal's Pass.
WM. OGILVIE, 1887-88.
About five miles above La Pierre's House, in an a country  £g|
l abounding with-
air line, but much more than that by the river, the Bat game.
Biver joins from the East (this river flows into the Peel)
....   the country around abounds with game.
There are two routes—one for winter, and the
other for summer travel—between La Pierre's House
on the Bell Biver, and Fort Macpherson on the
Peel. The distance between is said to be nearly
80 miles, and is done in three days. AU the trading
outfit for La Pierre's and Bampart House (on the Lower
Porcupine) has to be brought this way in the winter
months on dog sleighs, and the furs and meat received
for it has to be taken to Fort Macpherson in the same
way. From there the furs are sent out by the Mackenzie
Biver, Shallow draught steamers drawing not more
than 2 feet 8 inches can navigate any place in the Bell
jand Porcupine Bivers.
An old route
still used from
the mouth of
the Macker>?ie
to the Yukon.
E 2 m
A large seam
of good coal.
Game in
A good roadway possible.
By the Summer Boute via McDougall's Pass the
Bell Biver is navigable 21 miles (Ogilvie did this journey
by water as early as 8th June).
A shallow creek about 8 miles in length takes one to
the Pass, which is four miles across. Lakes on the top,
when open, reduce this portage distance to less than
half a mile. A creek, 3J miles long, on the other side
takes one to Trout Biver—thence to the Peel.
The Pass is wide and level, the valley being nearly
a mile wide at the bottom and very flat. It is almost
The distance from Bell Biver to Trout Biver by this
route is about 14J miles.
The summit of the Pass is only 1,200 feet above sea
level and not more than 200 feet above the level of Bell
There are several veins of asbestos at the foot of the
slope on the south side of the Trout Biver about four
miles from the Pass.
10i miles down the river I saw (quoting Ogilvie),
what seemed to be a 3-feet seam of coal in the face of
the cliff on the river edge. It extended a quarter of a
mile along the whole length of the cliff. Mr. MeDougall *
told me that he had found the same seam, and had taken
some of the coal to Fort Simpson, where it was tried
and found to be a fair quality of coal.
Mountain goats, big horn sheep, cariboo, and mooser
abound in the hills around the Pass.
From the Pass to slack water in the level ground
at the foot of the hills, is a distance of 24 miles by the
Trout Biver. A roadway with a gradient of 55 feet to
the mile might be made, reducing this distance to 20
miles.   Such a road was projected by Mr. MeDougall.
Trout Biver is called—locally—Poplar Biver from
the foot of the hills to Peel Biver. 133
Fort McPherson is on the right bank of Peel Biver,
some 14 miles above the point where it divides and joins
the Mackenzie delta. The river at the fort is about half
a mile wide. The growth of timber (in the district), is,
for the latitude, very large and thick, many spruce from
12 to 15 inches diameter occurring along the Peel Biver,
and along the Mackenzie for some miles up.
(See Section 11 for distances).
Plenty of large
thick timber
near the mouth
of the Mackenzie.
The Peel River.
(See Section 11 for distances.)
Extracts from the Report by R. 6. McCONNELL, B.A., 1887.
The Peel Biver winds through a low alluvial country
for thirty miles from Fort MacPherson then enters the
mountains and is 300 miles long.
R.G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
Of the other tributaries of the Mackenzie, Peel Biver Avery
, _ ... , . _     , „ • -        l     important
is the only one that can be considered navigable.   This navigable
is ascended annually by the steamer Wrigley as far as the Mackenzie.
Fort Macpherson a distance of about 30 miles, and if
necessary could be followed much farther, but the exact
distance is not known.
W. A. K. ISSUER'S Journey down the Peel River, 184*.
Isbiter, an employé of the Hudson's Bay Company   Tne onl?
. t iT^i.i V  exploration of
made a boat îournev down the Peel m the vear 1844. the Peel Biver
on record,
from Fort Macpherson.    Some distance up the river he
abandoned his boats owing to the difficulty experienced
in making way against the swift stream with his small
party and large cumbersome boats.   He took to canoes
which further up he also abandoned owing to the in»
creasing swiftness of the current.     He mentions no
serious impediments to steamer navigation of this river
and gives its approximate length at 300 miles, Area drained
by the Yukon.
The Yukon.
(See Section 11 for distances.)
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
The Yukon drains an area of 330,917 square miles*
of which 15,768 miles are in Canadian and 180,144 square
miles in United States territory.
Navigability of
the Yukon.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
The Yukon is navigable for small steamers from its
mouth to Miles Canon, thence, after an interruption of
about three miles, to the head of Bennett Lake and to an
additional distance by the waters extending south eastward
from Tagish Lake.
A trip up the  Yukon.
"Pall Mall Gazette," 13th August, 1897.
A pleasant trip The trip to the gold-fields by the Yukon Biver route
In the summer ,
time. is pleasant for tourists during the summer months.   They
leave Seattle (or some other Pacific Coast Port), on a well
appointed ocean steamer, which proceeds up Puget
;. Ifpund, passes Port Townsend and Victoria, and gets out
through the Straits of San Juan del Fuca, to the Pacific.
From then on the voyage is an interrupted run of 2,000
miles to Dutch Harbour, the first stop. Dutch Harbour
is a coaling station and a supply point for naval vessels
and the Behring Sea fleets of sealers and whalers. After
a short stop there the vessel proceeds on its way north
through Behring Sea, past the Seal Island of St. George
and St. Paul, and up through Norton Sound to Fort Get
There, on St. Michael's Island, where is located the
transfer and supply station for the Yukon Biver. Here
the traveller finds a good many native Esquimos. Here
passengers and freight are transferred to large and
commodious river steamers, which proceed down the
coast sixty miles to the north mouth of the Yukon, a
river larger than the Mississippi, that can be navigated 135
with large steamers 2,300 miles without a break, and
which abounds in fish, the salmon being noted far and
wide for their fine flavour and large size.
As one proceeds up the river one sees innumerable
Indian villages and small settlements inhabited by
traders, missionaries, and Indians, all of interest to the
traveller. The first two or three hundred miles is through
a low, flat country, after which the mountainous country
is reached, and the constant change of magnificent scenery
is beyond description. At old Fort Yukon, which is
inside of the Arctic circle, during the months of June and
July the sun is above the horizon without a break, and
all along the river during these months one can read a
paper at any time during the day or night without a lamp.
It is continuous daylight during this time.
After leaving here the next point of interest is
Circle City, the metropolis of the Yukon country. Here
is a large frontier town, the houses all built of logs, and
while they have no pretensions to beauty they are warm
and comfortable. Circle city has a population of nearly
2,000 people, and some of the best placer mines in the
country are located near this place. From here the
traveller proceeds up the river 240 miles farther, and
finds Fort Cudahy at the mouth of jforty-Mile Creek.
This is a thriving town, similar to Circle City, but not so
large. It is the supply point for the mines in the forty-
mile district. Prosperous for the last four years, it has
turned out a great quantity of gold, this being the first
important district where coarse gold was discovered. A
little farther on is Dawson City and 65 miles over the
hills are the Klondike placer mines.
Navigable by
large steamers
2,300 miles
without a
change of
Circle City
and Fort
Dawson City
and the placer
The Klondike River.
(See Notes No, 1 for particulars of this Biver.)
Thé Globe of July 28th states that the Klondike Biver is 300 miles Length of the
inlength/ If so—even 200 miles—its head waters must extend Klondlke    ver
to the navigable waters of the Peel Biver, which joins the
Mackenzie at its mouth.   Thus, these rich quartz reefs can
be reached by river steamers from Mackenzie Bay,  Mr, de Windt
gives 150 miles as the length of the Klondyke,—£. J. D. 136
journey from
the Yukon to
the mouth of
the Mackenzie
across country
and down the
The Peel Eiver
near the headwaters of the
The country
wooded and
not rocky.
The Tatonduc, Porcupine and Peel Rivers.
WM. OGILVIE, 1887-88.
About 14 miles above the mouth (junction of
Tatonduc and Yukon Eivers) the forks are reached.
One branch comes from the S.E. and the other (down
which Ogilvie travelled) from the S.E. The Indians
state that the latter rises in a plateau three days, Indian
travelling, away (about 40 miles), and in the same
plateau a stream rises which flows to the north*
probably into one of the head streams of the Peel Eiver.
The Boundary Line between Alaska' and the N. W.
Territories crosses the Tatonduc a short distance below
the Forks   ,   ,    .   .
Leaving the river (about 40 miles from its mouth)
and continuing about a mile up the valley of a small
stream coming from the east, we reached the top of a
low ridge which forms the watershed between the waters
of the Tatonduc and those of the stream which the
Indians assured me flows into the Peel.
I had much difficulty in understanding this, as I
could hardly believe that the watershed was so near the
Yukon, and it was not until they had drawn many maps
of the district and after much argument that I gave
credit to their statements. I then proposed to go down
this stream to the Peel and to reach the Mackenzie
in that way, but they professed to be horrified and
frightened   .    .    .   caused me to decide not to try it.
It seemed improbable that this river ran as the
Indians said, but I afterwards procured other evidence
which proves that it does. The river has been named
" Ogilvie Eiver " by Mr. J. Johnson, Geographer to the
Department of the Interior. From evidence which I
obtained from Mr. McDougal of the Hudson's Bay Co.
and others, I ascertained that this "Ogilvie Eiver"
joined the Peel about 60 miles above Fort Macpherson
but that it was impassable in many places.
There are mountains close to the headwaters of the
Tatonduc Eiver, but beyond the country is undulating,
not rocky, and more or less wooded. 137
From the Tatonduc to the Porcupine by the track I
followed is 16£ miles. Of this distance 13 miles is
drained by the river flowing into the Peel. Distributed
over this 13 miles are 10 small creeks which unite 8 or
10 miles down the valley. I did not go down to the
junction but could, from some places, see the stream
formed by the union, and although so near its head it
appeared to be as large as the Tatonduc is about midway
of its course.
This plateau, except for the ravines in which the Fiat country
c 5 and much
creeks run, is tolerably flat.    It slopes to the east down grass.
the river, and is, as far as can be seen, undulating and
wooded.     Lat. 65° 25'.     Where
there is much fine short grass.
the woods are open
Where I met the Porcupine it is a large creek
flowing northward The valley can be seen
for about six miles up when it turns to the west and
goes out of sight.    The stream flows in a bed of fine The Upper
° Porcupine   a
gravel and the volume of water was large for the time fine volume of
of year (March).    About half-a-mile below this, it enters lakes,
a lake three or four miles long and upwards of a mile
wide.   Two other lakes follow this one at short intervals.
These three lakes I called the Upper, Middle and Lower
Na-hone Lakes.   Below these the river (the Porcupine)
is twice the size that it is above.   It flows in a valley
about a mile wide, well-timbered on the bottom, much
of the timber being of fair size, on some of the flats are
found many trees over a foot in diameter, long, clean-
trunked, and well suited for making lumber.
About five miles below the lower lake a large
branch comes in from the west. Perhaps this should
be called the river as it is much larger than the branch
I came down, both in width and volume of water. It
comes from the S.W., and has quite a large valley which
can be seen from the junction of the two streams for a
distance of eight or ten miles.
A large river
from the West
flowing into
the Porcupine. ffllï
Timber and
large ana
strong in the
upper waters
country of the
Deer, beaver,
otter, rabbits
and game in
The Indians had told me of a large creek down
Porcupine Eiver heading near another creek which flows
into the Lewes (Yukon). They used to go up the latter
cross over to the Porcupine and go down it to fish.
From their description and the distance they said it was
below the lakes, I first thought this creek to be the one
referred to, but afterwards I saw another branch of the
Porcupine further down which is probably the one they
spoke of.
A short distance down the Porcupine, six miles below
the Lower Lake the Lat. is 65° 43' and Long. 139° 48'
West of Greenwich. The mean height of the barometer
here during May (I camped here until the ice broke) was
27.60 inches, indicating an elevation of about 2,0C0 feet
above sea level. Notwithstanding the high elevation
and latitude, the timber and shrubbery in the bottom of
the valley grew as large and strong as on the Upper
Lewes Eiver in 5 degrees lower latitude.
Surrounding my camp was a timber-covered flat
about 2 square miles in area, on which grew many nice
trees, upwards of a foot in diameter. Nearly all of
these were spruce, but there were also some clumps of
cottonwood, the trees on which nearly averaged as large
as is the same species along the Athabasca and Peace
Eivers. Willows are abundant along the streams, and
grow as large as they generally do in other parts of the
territory—4 to 5 inches thick. A few white birch were
Owing to the isolation of this district, animal life is
abundant. Beaver, otter, marten, rabbits, and numberless cariboo .... Tracks of fox and lynx were
also seen. Ptarmigan were numerous, and many pretty
birds.    Moose are very numerous.
The ice cleared sufficiently for boat navigation on
May 28th, the date I started down the Porcupine.
About 22 miles below the Lower Lake, and 17 miles
from the other large branch from the S.W. we came to 139
pother flowing in from the west. This is, I believe, ^heohl|man
the creek by which the Indians used to come in ySkontothe61
from   the   Lewes.     Here   are   manv   old   racks   for Upper Porcu-
| pme.
drying fish, from which I call this creek the u Fishing
Branch     of  the Porcupine    ....    There are no
dangerous rapids on this (the Porcupine) river, but it is
all swift, running over a bed of lime gravel   ....
steamers drawing 2 J  feet  could navigate this  stream
even in summer.   Sights were taken from  point  to
point, and distances estimated.   From the Lower Lake
to Bell Eiver, following all the windings of the river, is
a distance of about 216 miles.
(See Section 11 for distances).
So do other
The Stewart River.
WM. OGILVIE, 1887.
Alexander McDonald,  who  has   been   mentioned a. McDonald
i» ,   -i   a iijii -n n . thinks well of
before, reported to me that the gold on the upper river the headwaters
(of the Stewart) was somewhat coarser than that on the Biver.
lower (near the mouth).    ....   He seemed satisfied
with the result of his season's prospecting and intended
spending the next season there.
Many of the miners who had spent 1886 on the
Stewart Eiver and 1887 on the Forty Mile Eiver seemed
to think the former the better all round mining field, as
there were no such failures there as on the Forty Mile, and
they declared their intention to make their way back to
the Stewart.
Between Klondike Eiver and Stewart Eiver, a large
creek called Indian Creek, flows into the Yukon and rich
prospects have been found on it, and no doubt it is in
the gold-bearing country between the Klondike and
Stewart Eivers, which is considered by all the old miners
the best and most extensive gold country ever found.
Scores of them would prospect it but for the fact that
they cannot get provisions up there, and it is too far to
boat them up from here (Cudahy) in small boats. The
new find will necessitate an upward step on the Yukon
and help the Stewart Eiver Eegion.
Evidence of
rich gold finds
towards the
upper waters
of the Stewart
which this
proposes to
approach from
the Peel Biver. 140
Further South (from the Klondike) yet lies the heads
of several branches of the Stewart Eiver on which some
prospecting has been done this summer (1896) and good
indications found, but the want of provisions prevented
ScLfthaïthe      IIij is said that ^e Stewart Eiver, which drains an
Klondike immense area into the Yukon, has been discovered to be
much richer than Klondike."
Good  gold
found on the
h«ad waters of
the Stewart
river   tributaries.
The Stewart
Kiver placers
surpass those
of the Klondike
From the London "Standard's" Special Correspondent,
26th August, 1897.
New Yoke.
A telegram from Ottawa explains why Canada has
neglected the Edmonton route to Klondyke mentioned in
the letter published in The Standard of the 17th instant,
from a Correspondent who subscribes himself " Sixteen
years in Canada." Canada is quietly sending out explorers
thither, being informed that the placers on the Stewart
Eiver surpass those of Klondyke. But it desires to postpone any immigration at present, until the administration
has been perfected, and the journey rendered safe.
The Stewart
Eiver rich in
Mr. DE WINDT, in the "Daily Telegraph," 12th August, 1897.
" The Stewart Eiver, some eighty miles away, is also
extremely rich in auriferous quartz, and is likely before
long to come into prominence as a gold-bearing region.' "
W. OGILVIE, 1888.
The naviga- While at the mouth (of the Stewart Eiver) I was
Stewart Kiver,  fortunate enough to meet a miner who had spent the
nMs^fitabmd whole of the summer of 1887 on the river and its
oTtheVeeî11086 branches, prospecting and exploring.   He is a native of
Blvex- New Brunswick, Alexander McDonald by name, and
has spent some years mining in other places, but was
very   reticent   about what   he   had   made  or  found.
McDonald, speaking of his journey to the head waters
of the Beaver Eiver, states that he went to the head of
this branch of the Stewart Eiver, and found terraced 141
gravel hills to the west and north : he crossed them to
the north, and found a river flowing northward. On this
he embarked on a raft, and floated down it for a day or
two, thinking it would turn to the west and join the
Stewart, but finding it still continuing north, and acquiring too much volume to be any of the branches he had L
seen while passing up the Stewart, he returned to the point
of departure.    .    ,    .    .
It is probable that the river flowing northwards on The Peel Eiver
i.iii t -i i 1P   and the
which he made a journey and returned, was a branch of Stewart nearly
the Peel Eiver.    .    .    .    Judging from all I could learn navigable,
it is probable that a light draught steamboat could navigate nearly all the Stewart Eiver and its Tributaries.
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
Stewart Eiver, the principal tributary of the Yukon,
#   «    .    .   is reported to be navigable for a distance of *
nearly 200 miles above its mouth, but has not yet been
ascended by the steamers plying on the Yukon.
MacMillan River.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
The MacMillan and Stewart Eivers are navigable for The Stewart
, | and MacMillan?
steamers for a considerable, though unknown, distance. Bivers naviga-
ble for a con-
I (G. M. Dawson) met a couple of miners (Messrs. Monroe siderabie but
and Langtry) who had ascended the MacMillan for several distance,
days in a boat.   They reported the distance of a large:
area of low land with good soil, and had met with no
impediments to navigation as far as they had gone.
The Porcupine Mackenzie Route.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
One result of this journey (Campbell, 1850) was to Mr0Ikthe-
show that the route from Fort Selkirk, by wav of the the Yukon a-
_ ._. iTt/ri • preferable
Porcupine Eiver to the Mackenzie, was preferable to route-
that originally discovered. 142
Fine gold has been found at the mouth of the Porcupine, indicating the presence of gold-bearing bars or reefs
on its upper reaches.
(See Section 11 for distances.)
The Pelly
navigable and
The Pelly Rivlrv
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
From the site of old Fort Selkirk the Pelly might be
navigated by small steamers to within 60 miles of the
site of old Fort Pelly Banks.
Along the Upper Pelly there are large masses of
quartz, quartz gravel and placer bars, no doubt gold
(See Section 11 " Distances of Chief Bivers, etc")
The Lewes River.
G.  M.  DAWSON, 1887.
The great »pne Lewes is the chief branch, if not a continua-
waterway from
fee South; gold  tion, 0f the Yukon which it joins at Fort Selkirk.    It is
bearing tribu- ' .J
taries the chief waterway by which miners enter the Yukon
district from the South. It is referred to, in this respect,
under section 10—¥ Distances of Chief Eivers, &c."
Gold is found in small quantities along almost its entire
course, though chiefly on its tributaries. Dawson states
(1887 Eeport), that " quartz vein-stuff is much less
important as a constituent of the river-gravels (of this
river) than it is on the Upper Pelly, Upper Liard and
other streams to the eastward.
(See Section 11 for distances.)
The upper
Liard too
broken for
The Liard, Francis and Dease Rivers; also Dease and
Francis Lakes.
Evidence of G. M. DAWSON, LL.D., Director of the ;Geological Survey
pf Canada to 1888 Committee of the Senate.
From its mouth at Fort Simpson (Mackenzie Eiver)
the Liard is probably navigable for steamers, in a
southerly direction, for about 200 miles, or the mouth o! 143
the Nelson or East branch. The river above this place
to the mouth of the Dease is generally very swift and
dangerous, with numerous narrow canons.
The Devil's Portage is four miles long, over a mountain 1,000 feet high. This part of the river is navigable
for boats only with great difficulty, and had always been
accounted the most dangerous in the region. The
south-west branch of the Liard, known as the Black
Turnagain, or Mud Eiver, is reported to have a moderate
current, and may prove of use as a means of communication.
The Devil's
the Dease, and The upper
Liard and
The Liard, above the mouth of
the Francis Eiver, its main tributary, were ascended by FrancisRiveri,
me in boats last summer.    There is one bad canon just
above the mouth of the Dease and two in the Francis
Eiver, and these streams could only be navigated for
short lengths.
The Dease Eiver is about 140 miles in length. SJjfSla
There are several rapids, and it is scarcely navigable by Dease Lake*~
steamers under the most favorable circumstances. It is
already navigated by large flat-bottomed boats. At its
head is Dease Lake, 26 miles in length, on which there
is a small steamer. Francis Lake, at the head of the
above-mentioned river of same name, has two arms
running northwards, and has a total navigable length of
54 miles.
(See Section 11 for distances,)
The Liard River.
(See Section 11 for distances.)
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
The liard is navigable from   Fort Simpson—its Hen Gate—the
mouth in the Mackenzie Eiver to Fort Liard and thence the Liard,
on up the West branch as far as Hell Gate.   Above Hell
Gate its navigation, owing to the numerous rapids and
canons, is exceedingly difficult and dangerous even with
small boats.   The Nelson or East branch of the Liard
reported to be navigable by small steamers for 100 miles
or so above its mouth. &SÊ The Liard
route full of
The Hudson
Bay Company's
old route to the
Dangers of the Liard Route.
Mr. Warburton Pike in his work, " The Barren
Grounds of Northern Canada" (published 1892), says
he would have preferred the Liard route from Fort
Simpson to the Pacific Coast, but—I the Liard itself is
so full of terrors even for the hardy voyageurs of the
North | that he could not induce guides and boatmen
to accompany him.
Formerly the Hudson's Bay Co. had an establishment
at Fort Halkett on the West Branch of the Liard, but
the difficulties of conveying supplies, and the frequent
occurrence of starvation made it a hard post to maintain ;
finally a boat's crew were drowned by a capsize in one
of the worst rapids, and the fort was abandoned.
R. G. McGONNELL, 1888-89.
From its (Liard) junction with the Dease Eiver to its
mouth this river is 470 miles long .... The
Hudson's Bay Company used this river for years as a
trading route to the Yukon, but the difficulties of navigation caused the Company to look for an easier route
to the fur fields on the West of the Eockies, and they
changed to a route from the Pacific via the Stickine and
Dease Eivers. The Liard Eiver is navigable for shallow
draught steamers from its mouth to Hell Gate, but from
there to Devil's Portage it has to be portaged. The rest
of the way to Dease Eiver is very rough in places, and
consequently scarcely navigable by steam craft.
This river has about 240 miles of navigable waters.
(See Section N.—" Old Stickine Boute")
From the Liard to the Pelly.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
From the confluence of the Dease and Liard (the
latter at this point is 840 feet in width and 6 feet deep),,
to Frances Eiver the distance is 45 miles. 145
From this confluence to the lower end of Frances A?5ldlgu? I
of the Hudson
Lake the distance is 135 miles.    Frances Lake is about Bay company.
33 miles in length.    Finlayson Eiver, entering the West
arm of Frances Lake is 22 miles long, navigable for boats,
and Finlayson Lake—where Finlayson Eiver rises—is
9| miles in length.   From this lake to the Pelly Eiver
is only a distance of 15 miles.
Gold on the Liard and Francis Rivers.
With regard to gold on the Liard I may state that important
remunerative bars have been worked on its upper waters deposits will
and a long way down towards  the Mackenzie.    The Liard: country
whole appearance of this country leads to the belief that veins.  u*
important mineral deposits will be found in it, besides p0rt.
those placer mines.   There are large quantities of quartz
ledges along the rivers; in many places on the Liard
Eiver, half the river gravel is composed of quartz and
the whole country is full of quartz veins, some of which
are likely to yield valuable minerals.
Gold has been found on many Tributaries of the
Liard and Francis Eivers.
Francis Lake.
This lake is at the headwaters of the Liard and
Dawson reports that in general appearance the rocks of
Francis Lake very closely resemble those from which the
rich placer gold deposits of Dease Lake (Cassiar) are
derived . . . Where Finlayson Eiver enters Francis
Lake and along the shores of the lake there is a notable
abundance of quartz containing gold.
Road from Francis Lake to Pelly Banks.
Evidenceof Mr. JAMES ANDERSON, quoting the diary of his father
the explorer, before the 1888 Committee.
A portage (bad), 20 miles to the head of the
Cordellais Cascades, Finlayson's Branch, thence possible
to navigate a canoe about 40 miles to Beaver Forks,
thence 18 miles to Finlayson's Lake ; river insignificant,
much barred with trees, but it is possible to get a
middle-sized canoe up light ; thence across Finlayson's
quartz ab 'ut
Francis Lake
The Upper
Liard Biver. 146
Lake, 22 miles, a short portage to another small lake,
3 miles long, whence the waters run westward, thence
a small (Beaver) creek which passes through some small
lakes out of the direct course, thence a portage 40 miles
through thick woods, with the exception of two small
lakes and a short piece of river falling into the Pelly, in
all perhaps 7 miles, to the Pelly Eiver.
Dease River.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
This river has a total length, following all its sinuosities from Dease Lake to the Liard Eiver, of 180 miles.
It is possible that the river might be navigated by small
stern-wheel steamers of good power.
(See also Section K.)
Extent of
waters on the
The Peace River.
(See also Section 20.—" Population of the future")
The Upper Peace Eiver is navigable for steamers
drawing 3 or 4 feet, and with a little improvement at
two points a draught of 5 or 6 feet could be utilized.
The Upper Peace Eiver affords a navigable stretch of
557 miles, which, with 222 miles on Lower Peace Eiver,
gives a total of navigation of 779 miles only, broken at
one point by a rapid 18 miles in length.
Coal on the Peace River.
Coal from the Malcolm McLeod, Q.C., ex-Judge, gave evidence to
the Arctic        the 1888 Committee that coal was to be found for 350
miles along the upper reaches of the Peace Eiver and
extends to the Arctic Ocean.
Distances and description of the Peace River.
G. M. DAWSON'S Evidence before the Committee of the Senate, 1888.
Distances on The   following   is   a   summary   of   Mr.   Ogilvie's
f^omFort^61 Departmental Eeport of 1884 upon the Peace Eiver from
chippewyan.     Athabasca Lake to Dunvegan.   Distances :— 147
Fort Chippewyan on Athabasca Lake to Peace
Point         86J
Fort Chippewyan on Athabasca Lake to head of
Little Eapids       100J
Fort Chippewyan on Athabasca Lake to Falls...     234
Fort Chippewyan on Athabasca Lake to Battle
Eiver       430
Fort Chippewyan on Athabasca Lake to Smoky
Eiver               541
Fort Chippewyan on Athabasca Lake to Dun-
vegan       604
The Little Eapids are 3J miles long, with a drop of
8 feet.
On the Falls there is a perpendicular drop of 9J ft., Particulars
x     * % * concerning the
but there is a sloping descent on one side used by boats, navigation of
xr     ° ^ Peace River.
One-and-a-half miles above the Falls there is a rapid
500 yards long, with a total fall for the distance of 8 ft.
The York boat and scows pass up and down through
all these, and Ogilvie states that, with the exception of
Little Eapids, the Falls and rapids near them, and two
shoal places—one near the mouth of Smoky Eiver and
one between Smoky Eiver and Dunvegan—the river is
navigable at low water for boats drawing from 5 to 6 ft.
Above Dunvegan it appears that there are no
serious impediments to steamer navigation to the Eocky
Mountain Portage, a distance of about 135 miles.
Thus, provided means are adopted for overcoming
the possible impediment of 3J miles at Little Eapids
and 1£ mile at the Falls and rapids, the Peace Eiver
might afford a length of steamer navigation of about
740 miles.
At the Eocky Mountain portage is an impassable
canon with a portage of 12 miles. This constitutes the
head of steamer navigation, as from this place to west
side of Eocky Mountains (about 83 miles) there are
several bad rapids.
L 2 148
The Peace is formed by the confluence of the Finlay
and Parsnip Eivers west of the mountains. These are
streams of about 500 feet wide. From the confluence
the Parsnip might, possibly, be navigated by a small
steamer for 50 or more miles southward. Little i&
known of the Finlay, but much bad water is reported.
The Smoky Eiver, from Lat. 55° to its mouth,,
flows in a valley 400 to 600 feet deep, half a mile wide
in the bottom and two to three miles from rim to rim.
The banks are open and grassy on southern exposures..
The current is swift, and there are many small rapids, sa
that it can scarcely be considered navigable for steamers
of any kind, though it is possible that a steamer of light
draught might ascend some distance at high water.
Agriculture on the Peace River.
In his evidence before the 1888 Committee the Hon-
Wm. Christie, late Chief Inspecting Factor of the
Hudson Bay Company, stated that the Peace Eiver
country was not liable to drought, and that it is as fine
a country as he ever saw. The vegetation is luxuriant,
and that for pasture there is no better country in the
world than the Peace Eiver Valley. The soil is as
cultivable as that of Manitoba. Wheat crops can be
relied on.   Very little affected by frosts.
Old Stikine Route*
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
Total distance From mouth of Stikine Eiver to Telegraph Creek,,
to Fort Selkirk thence to Dease Lake, along Dease Eiver, the Upper
Liard and Pelly Eivers, to the confluence of the Lewes>
and Pelly (Fort Selkirk), 944 miles.
The Stikine is navigable by stern wheel steamers of
strong engine power, drawing not more than 4 feet, for
a distance of 188 miles to Telegraph Creek, 12 mileSr
beyond Glenora.
The extent of
steam navigation on the
Stikine Biver. 149
The " Great Canon " which extends for miles breaks
the navigation beyond. A government pack-trail, 62 £
miles in length, connects Telegraph Creek with the head
of Lake Dease.
The Dease Eiver, the Upper Liard and Frances
Eivers—above the mouth of the Dease—can scarcely be
considered navigable for steamers, though passable for.
large boats, with occasional portages.
The difficulties of the Lower Liard are such as to The lower
. _     . . Liard unsuit-
render it an undesirable  route,  even   for  boats,  and aoieasaroute.
scarcely suitable as
Mackenzie and B.C.
an avenue of trade between the
Stikine to the
Following the river-valleys, by a route practicable a railway from.
° J   ->     J r mouth of the
for a railway, from Eothsay Point at the Mouth of the
Stikine to the mouth of the Dease, the distance is 830
miles ; thence to Fort Simpson is a further distance of
890 miles—total from the Pacific to the navigable waters
of the Mackenzie about 720 miles.
A serious impediment occurs in the navigation of ^acie to
this (the Stikine) river at the Little Canon (53 miles Jh*Jioatian on
shove the great bend) when the river is at its highest stikine.
stage in June or July, in   consequence of the great
velocity of the current in this narrow and rocky, through
-gorge   .    .   .   Under ordinary circumstances the ascent
of the river to Telegraph Creek, with a suitable steamer,
occupies about three days, and it is generally necessary
to carry a line ashore at a few places.    At low tide the
mouth of the river has not more than two feet of water.
While snow accumulates on the river flats of the Deep snow on
the lower
Stikine to a depth of from 8 to 10 feet, at Telegraph stikine.
Oeek and Tahl-tan Eiver it seldom exceeds 18 inches,
and at the latter places horses and mules have been
wintering-out for a number of years. Wheat, oats,
barley and potatoes can be grown and ripen well on this
river, and all ordinary vegetables can be produced. A good road
route from
Creek to Dease
Dease Lake is the centre of the Cassiar districts.
and the construction of a waggon road from Telegraph
Creek (62J miles) would not be very difficult or expensive.
By its construction it should be easy to lay down goods
at Dease Lake at very reasonable rates. One good bridge
over the Tooya Eiver and 8 or 10 miles of corduroy laid
down would be required. The length of Dease Lake is
24J miles.    Average width less than a mile.
This route (Stikine to Dease Lake) is an exceedingly
direct one, and, taken in conjunction with the valleys of
the Dease and Liard Eivers, it affords almost an air-line
from the Pacific coast to the Great Mackenzie Eiver.
The distance is 720 miles.
A railway decided upon
from the
Stikine to the
Yukon waterway.
The   New   Stikine   Route.
(See Section 11 for distances.)
"Times," 13th September, 1897.
" Times" Coeeespondent—Ottawa, September 12th, 1897.
Pending the final determination of the boundary
between Alaska and the Yukon district, the Dominion
Government has decided to develop the existing all-
Canadian route to the new goldfields by way of the
Stikeen Eiver. Arrangements are being made with the
Canadian Pacific Eailway by whieh the company will
proceed at the earliest possible period with the construction of a standard-gauge railway from Glenora, on the
Stikeen Eiver, to the head of the navigable waters of
the Yukon. Competent engineers have been ordered to
proceed to the locality and make a survey of the country
and report on the feasibility of constructing a railway
connecting the waters of the Stikeen with those of
Teslin Lake and the Yukon. Upon receipt of their
report the construction will be begun. The length of the
line will be about 150 miles. The company will run a
line of first-class steamers between Vancouver and
It is believed that the magnitude of the trade of the7
Yukon district demands such a service.    Altered con- 151
ditions in transport and facilities for reaching the Klondike
goldfields by an all-British route will secure to the coast
cities of British Columbia a large share of the trade of
this northern country.
"EVENING STANDARD," October 7th, 1897, from its special
Another route which is growing in favour, owing to
the difficulties of the mountain Passes this Pall is the
Sticheen Eiver route, also known as the " All Canadian/
because it is confined to Canadian territory. It has the
additional recommendation of being approved by
Dr. Dawson, Director of the Geological Survey, who
travelled by way of Teslin Lake ten years ago, and
advocated the building of a road in this direction. The
head of navigation is still called Telegraph Creek, and
this route is dignified on the map with the name of
a Government Trail." Whether it exists anywhere but
on the maps may be doubted, and the Government, of
course, have accepted no responsibility beyond having
the country explored. Still, people who have travelled
by different routes claim that this is the best. An old
prospector reports that the trail from Telegraph Creek
to Teslin Lakes cannot be more than 115 or 120
miles long, and he describes the country as comparatively
easy of travel. The trail is fairly level, and though some
parts are swampy, there is plenty of timber to make
corduroy, i.e., to make a solid road over the bog by
putting down brushwood and laying logs across it, a
safe if not a very comfortable mode of travelling. Dr.
Dawson says of this route :—" The river is navigable
for the ordinary flat bottom boats from Salt Water to
Telegraph Creek, a distance of 150 miles, from Telegraph
Greek to Teslin Lake is about another 150 miles through
what is believed to be a flat and not very difficult country,
but very little is known about it. Mr. St. Cyr, a surveyor
on the staff of the Department of the Interior, is making
a survey of the country at the present time. He is
expected to come out this Autumn, and when he does
the practicability of the route will probably be settled.
People claim
the Sticheen as
the best route.
Swampy in
parts....   a
road possible
but a railway
difficult. r
A stretch of
navigation on
the Stikeen.
Notice of   -
for an Act to
a Railway
The Stikine
orHcially to
be feasible.
From Teslin Lake there is no difficulty whatever, there
being navigation for stern-wheel steamers right down to
the mouth of the Yukon. If this route proves practicable
it will greatly facilitate ingress and egress to and from
the Yukon country."
There is a very general opinion as to the value of
this route, and, besides the Government Surveyor, the
chief engineer of the Kootenay division of the Canadian
Pacific Eailway is investigating the locality with a view
to the construction of a railway. . . . The Stikeen
route involves a stretch of uncertain river navigation from
Wrangell to Telegraph Creek, while the Taku Inlet has
the advantage of a deep water terminus open all the
year round.
The Stikine Route Railway.
The  "Financial Post,"  October 11th.
Messrs. Phillips, Wootton, and Barnard, of Vancouver,
give notice that application will be made to the Legislative Assembly next session for an Act to incorporate
a company with power to construct and operate a railway
from the head of Stikeen Eiver, via Teslin Lake to the
north border of British Columbia. Also in a southerly
direction to some point on the west coast at the head of
Portland Canal. The construction and completion of
these lines of railway would give ready access to the
Yukon headwaters. Several fairly rich specimens of ore .
have been brought down here lately by miners from
mineral ledges on the Stikeen Eiver. We shall probably
hear of good discoveries in those parts soon.
"Times," London, October 18th, 1897, through "ReuterV*
Ottawa, October 17th.
The Government Surveyors who have just traversed
the route of the proposed railway to pass solely through
British territory into the Yukon country, via the Stickeen
Hiver, report that the project of a boundary railway from
Glenora on the Stickeen to Lake Tchu, from which point 153
there is uninterrupted navigation to Klondike, is quite
feasible. The distance is about 185 miles. The Canadian
Pacific Eailway Company this week sent two additional
engineering staffs into the district. The work of construction will be begun next spring.
gold country.
Gold on the Stikine.
Placer gold mining has been carried on intermittently -j*| ^ountrv
on the bars of this river since 1861, and a " rush "
-took place in the following year. This was followed by
exploration further into the country and the opening
up of the Dease Lake District and the Cassiar country
in 1873. In 1874 the output of gold was valued at
1,000,000 dollars.
The Tes-Iin=too (Hootalinqua) Riven
(See Section 11 for distances.)
G. M.  DAWSON, 1887.
The Tes-lin-too is navigable for stern-wheel steamers The new chief
ior 150 miles or more from its mouth as far as Lake thesrouth.
Teslin, while the Takh-heena may probably be ascended
by steamers of the same class for some distance. This
river (the Tes-lin-too) is no doubt destined to be the
chief waterway from the South to the Lower Lewes on
to the Yukon country. Payable gold-bearing bars are
found along its banks and tributaries where a number of
.miners are now working.
The Big Salmon River.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
Big Salmon river may probably be ascended by
-steamers of the same class as the Tes-lin-too for some
-distance. Dawson reports this river as being much
more important than any other of the tributaries, joining
the Lewes further down, being 347 feet wide with a
-depth of 5 feet, and might be navigated by stern-wheel
-shallow draught steamers for many miles.    It runs into
An important
river. 154
An old Indian
route from the
The White
preferred to
the  Chilkoot
Pass hy
" Island Lake," 190 miles from its junction with the
Lewes. Though there is plenty of fine gold along this
river there are no good payable bars.
The Tahl=Tan River
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
About twelve miles above Telegraph Creek, and on
the trail to Dease Lake, the Tahl-tan Eiver enters the
Stikine. It rises about 30 miles to the north, and
occupies a portion of an important valley which, still
further to the north westward, carries the upper branches
of the Taku Eiver, and the furthest sources of the Lewes
Eiver. The Indians travel along this valley, and it
appears worthy of attention as a route from the navigable waters of the Stikine to the Yukon basin.
The Chilkoot (Taiya) Pass.
G. M.  DAWSON, 1887.
The Chilkoot Pass is such that it would scarcely
be possible to construct a useful trail across for pack
animals, but the White Pass appears to offer a better
opportunity for making a trail or road.
A Railway Line from Chilkoot Inlet to Fort Selkirk.
"Financial News," October 2ist, 1897.
According to news from San Francisco, a party of
12 engineers and surveyors has left that city for Seattle,
where it will be reinforced by eight assistants and 50
others who will sail for Chilkoot Inlet in a steamer
especially chartered for the trip. At Seattle 200 horses,
150 cattle, feed for six months, and 200 tons of general
stores will be purchased for the party during the long
drive from Klukwark, at the head of Chilkoot Inlet, to
Port Selkirk, the head of steam navigation on the Yukon,
a distance of 300 miles, over a trail unfrequented
during the winter.
The expedition is to determine whether a railway
can be built over this 300 mile trail. The engineers will
also try to locate a new pass, believed to exist north of 155
the Chilkoot. The organisers of the expedition are from
Boston, San Francisco, and Puget Sound, and have formed
a company with a capital of 200,000 dollars to meet
necessary preliminary expenses. The members of the
party expect to arrive in January at Fort Selkirk, where
permanent headquarters for railway construction will be
located. All the members of the party have been
engaged for two years.
(See Section 11 for distances, and Sections 18 and 27
for further particulars.)
The Chilkat Pass.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
From the West Branch of Lynn Canal, a distance
of about 50 miles to the lake at the head of the Tahk-
heena river, then down the river to Lake Labarge.    The
voyage down this river is said to be easier than by the
main river, the rapids being less serious.
(See Section 11 for distances, and Sections 18 and 27
for further particulars.)
The Takh-
heena River
easy to navigate.
The White Pass.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
This Pass leaves the coast at the mouth of Shkagway The route of
Eiver, four miles south of the Head of Taiya Inlet, and Columbia De-
runs parallel to Chilkoot Pass at  no  great  distance Association
from it.
The distance from the coast to the summit is about
17 miles.
Ogilvie describes this route (1896) as commencing
at Taiya Inlet, about 2 miles south of its north end ; it
follows up the valley of the Shkagway Eiver to its source,
and thence down the valley of another river which
Dr. Dawson says empties into Taku Arm of Tagish
Lake. Capt. Moore (mistakingly—it is believed) describes
this stream as emptying into Windy Arm, which lies
between Tagish and Bennett Lakes.
The route passes across the lakes and down the
Lewes Eiver. 156
This, the Chilkoot Pass, is
said to be impassable for
A route that
may possibly
be found the
best from the
First five miles is through level bottom—land thickly
The next nine miles is in a canon-like valley, where
heavy work would be encountered in constructing a trail.
The remaining distance of three miles to the summit is
comparatively easy.
The altitude of the summit is estimated at 2,600 feet.
Beyond the summit a wide valley is entered, and the
descent to the first little lake is said to be not more than
100 feet.
(See Section 11 for distances, and Sections 18 and 27
for further particulars.)
The   Taiya   Pass   Route.
(Ohilkoot is the name by which the Pass on this route is
commonly known.)
W. OGILVIE, 1896.
This route is from Lynn Canal, Taiya Inlet and
Taiya river over Taiya Pass to Lake Lindeman. The
distance from the head of Taiya Inlet to the summit of
the Pass is 15 miles and the whole length of the Pass
to Lake Lindeman is 23 miles. Between Lake Lindeman
and Lake Bennett there is only about three-quarters of a
mile of river which is not more than 50 or 60 yards wide
and about two to three feet deep and is so swift and
rough that navigation is out of the question.
(See Section 11 for distances, and Sections 18 and 27
for further particulars.)
Taku Route to Lake Teslin-too.
W. OGILVIE, 1896.
Indians reported journeying down the Teslin-too
Eiver to Teslin-too Lake, and by way of a stream which
entered the lake from the East they reached Taku Eiver,
and thence to salt-water on the Taku Inlet. The
journey from the head of Canoe Navigation, on the
Teslin-too to salt-water, on Taku Inlet, took the Indians
four days if they had loads to carry, but only two days
if their baggage was light. 157
Many years ago, in 1867 I think, a man named
Monroe prospected up the Taku, and learned from the
Indians something of a large lake not far from that
river. He crossed over and found it, and spent some
time in prospecting, and then crossed to the sea.
I (Ogilvie, Cudahy, June 10th, 1895) am thoroughly
convinced that a road from the coast to some point on
the head waters of the river (Yukon), preferably by the
Taku, if at all practicable, would convert all our part
(the Upper Yukon) of the river into a hive of industry.
A Significant Incident.
W. OGILVIE,  1896.
Great anxiety is felt here (Dawson City) about a An incident
J v JJ favorable to
mail route and regular mail.    Last winter three mails the Taku Kiver
,      route.
left the coast, one by the Taku route, one by the White
Pass, and one via Taiya ; the first two got here in good
time, the last (ours, by the way) did not, nor is it likely
to arrive for some time—may be never.    The man in
charge was badly frozen on the summit, and had to turn
back An Indian brought the mail in by the
Taku Eiver and took the Slocan branch of it [to Athn
Lake.   From what I learned of this route while up
there, it may be found to be an easier way than by
Teslin Lake, but it has the disadvantage of landing on
the head of the Lewes Eiver instead of the Hootalinqua
or Teslin, and so takes in the Canon and White Horse
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
Little is yet known of the Taku Eiver, but the £he Taku
J ' Biver route is
Indians ascend it in canoes to a point at a distance of ut*le known as
about 80 miles from the head of the Taku Inlet, and
Indian trails lead S.E. from this vicinity to the Tahl-tan,
Eastward to Teslin Lake, and N.E. to the lakes at the
head of the Lewes.
"Evening Standard," October 7th, 1897.
From its Special Correspondent.
The Yukon Trading and Transportation Company, The Taku
. • i-n        ■ tC      '   •      -I-.    i • route chosen
which obtained a Charter from the Dominion Parliament for a railway.
last Session, including the power to provide railway r
communication, has also done some surveying and fixed
on a route. Two routes are available from the coast to
Teslin Lake—one by the Sticheen Eiver and Telegraph
Creek, and the other further north from the Taku Inlet.
The former involves a stretch of somewhat uncertain
river navigation, from Wrangell to Telegraph Creek,
while the latter has the advantage of a deep-water
terminus open the year round. The Taku line has
accordingly been selected, with a maximum grade of
aXect route? onty *nree Per c^n*- It' is comparatively a direct route,
being but one hundred and sixty-two miles from Salt
Water to lake Teslin. It follows the Taku Eiver to the
junction of Katuna Eiver, thence up that river to Silver
Salmon Eiver, and finally overland to the shores of
Teslin. It is the intention of the Company to proceed
as soon as possible with the work of construction. A
trail will be built over the proposed route, and a sawmill will be built on Teslin Lake, where the Company
has a considerable area of fairly good timber.
Taku and Windy Arms.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
Points at which The   momntains   rapidly   decrease   in height   and
routes from the c     .J , °
South meet the abruptness after the summit of White Pass is passed,
and the valley bifurcates, one branch leading to the
head of Windy Arm of Tagish Lake, the other to Taku
Arm of the same lake.
Large Rivers Flowing into Hudson's Bay.
Prof. R. BELL, M.D., LLD., of the Geological Survey of Canada.
Evidence before the Senate Committee of 1888.
important The largest navigable river is the Attawapishkat.
theisr. west 1   It enters James* Bay about 65 miles north of Fort Albany,
ma™beropenea and is continuously navigable from the sea at high water
*on'srBay. u "   as far as it will afford width for steamers, which would
be, perhaps, 250 to 300 miles.   I came down the whole
length   of   the river without once   taking  my   canoe
out of the water.   Within 100 miles or so of its source 159
there is a large lake. We named it after Lord Lans-
downe. It measures 13 miles in length, and over 10 ki
width. Just below it is another lake nearly as large,
called Attawapishkat Lake. Its general course is eastward, but it makes some large bends.
The Albany is next in point of length of navigable
water. It is navigable for river steamers for about 250
miles at high water.
The Doobaunt (Telzoa Eiver of Tyrrell, 1893),
flowing into Chesterfield Inlet is probably the next in
point of size. Length not given. The inlet runs in
about 250 miles from the sea. Lake Aberdeen and
other large lakes extend the deep navigable waters of the
Inlet quite 250 miles further almost due west. A large
river flowing in from the west probably extends the
navigable waterway right on to Great Slave Lake. The
great whaling ground of Hudson's Bay is opposite this
The Moose Eiver and its branch the Missanabie
would be navigable for about 120 miles from the sea at
high water.
The Kapishcow and Equan Eivers, also on the west
coast of James* Bay, are navigable for a considerable
distance by steamers, as also are the Hayes, Steel and
HiH Eivers ; these three are all parts of one river, navig
able 140 miles altogether from the £ea.
The Great Nelson Eiver is only navigable for about
50 miles from its mouth ; again for 150 miles (with only
one break) in the central part of its course, and also for
about 40 miles from the outlet of Lake Winnipeg.
(The Churchill Eiver has a considerable length, but
little of it is fit for steamer navigation.)
(For further particulars of routes afforded by any of these
rivers, see Sections 21, 22 and 26.) 160
Section 11.   Distances of Chief River,
Sea, Lake, and Overland Routes.
(For further particulars of these routes, see Sections 8, 10,.
18, 21, 22, 26 and 27.)
Routes from Liverpool to the Yukon Goldfields.
Chestebfield Inlet Eoute.
Liverpool to Chesterfield Inlet
Length of Chesterfield Inlet (navigable)
Inlet to Great Slave Lake (over half of river
navigation) ...
Across Great Slave Lake (navigable)	
Great Slave Lake to McPherson Fort
Fort McPherson via Peel Eiver to the region of
headwaters of Stewart Eiver (navigable)
Canadian Pacific, via Lynn Canal Eoute.
(This route includes dangerous rapids and
mountain passes.)
Liverpool to Vancouver, via Canadian Pacific
Eailway      ...        ...        ...        	
Vancouver to Klondike Eiver, via Lynn Canal
Canadian Pacific, via St. Michael's Eoute.
(This route is fairly comfortable, but very
long and through American territory.)
Liverpool to Vancouver, via Canadian Pacific
Eailway ...        	
Vancouver to Klondike Eiver, via St. Michael's
and the Yukon      	
10,063 161
W. Ogilvie's Distances, 1896*
St. Michael's Eoute.
San Francisco to Dutch Harbour
Seattle or Victoria to Dutch Harbour    .
Dutch Harbour to St. Michael   ...
St. Michael to Cudahy (up the Yukon) .
Victoria to Cudahy   .
Eoute via Stikine Eiver.
Victoria to Wrangell (sea) 	
Wrangell to Telegraph Creek (via Stikine Eiver)
Telegraph Creek to Teslin Lake.    (Overland) ...
Teslin Lake to Cudahy    	
Eoute via Taiya (Chilkoot) Pass.
Victoria to Taiya  1,000
Taiya to Cudahy  650
Total  1,650
Government Map Measurements.
Eoute via Behring Straits and Mouth of Mackenzie
Eiver, to the Peel, Porcupine and Yukon Eivers.
Victoria to Mouth of Yukon
Thence to Mackenzie Bay
Mackenzie Bay to Fort Macpherson
M 162
Fort Macpherson to Dawson City.
Fort to La Pierre's House 	
(In summer this route can be done by water
with less than one mile of portage through
McDougall's Pass).
La Pierre's House to junction of Porcupine and
Yukon Eivers (navigable by steamers)
From this junction to Dawson City       	
La Pierre's House to Dawson City,
via Upper Porcupine Eiver.
La Pierre's House to Junction of Bell and Porcupine Eivers^||Navigable by steamers)        ...
Junction to Head Waters of the Porcupine Eiver...
(Navigable by steamers).
Near Head of Porcupine to the Tatonduc Eiver...
Down the Tatonduc Eiver to Junction with Yukon
Eiver.    (Navigable by steamers)
From Mouth of Tatonduc to Dawson City
(Along the navigable Yukon.)
Fort Macpherson to Headwaters of the Peed
Eiver 300
(No impediments to navigation.)
The distances, land and water, separating the Headwaters of the Peel from those of the MacMillan, Stewart
and Klondike Eivers, are unknown, the country being
quite undiscovered, but occasional travellers' reports and
the lengths of the different rivers indicate that the Peel
Eiver runs very close to the last mentioned rivers, and
is probably connected with them by intervening lakes
and navigable streams.
(See reports on the MacMillan, Stewart and Klondike
Bivers, Section 10.) 163
Q. M. DAWSON, 1887.
Fort Selkirk to Lynn Canal ...       	
„ ,, Chilkoot Pass 	
„ ,, Hotalinqu Eiver      	
„ ,, Pelly Banks	
„ „ Head of Pelly Lake (above
"Pelly Banks")	
377 miles.
224    5
294    „
213    I
276    „
The Upper Pelly.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
Pelly Banks to Hoole Canon
Hoole Canon to Eoss Eiver	
Eoss Eiver to Glenlyon Eiver
Glenlyon Eiver to MacMillan Eiver*
River   Straight
Windings. Line.
..     50 31
MacMillan to Lewes Eiver (Fort Selkirk) ...    74       46
320     218*
* See under heading, " MacMillan Eiver."   Section H.
From Fort Selkirk (mouth of the Lewes Eiver) to
the MacMillan Eiver the Pelly is navigable for large
sized stern wheel steamers, and right on to Hoole Canon
for small stern wheel steamers.
The Eoss Eiver is navigable for steamers at its
mouth, but its upper part is quite unknown.
Hoole Canon is quite impassable for a steamer of
any kind, and 18 miles further on at the mouth of Hoole
Eiver it might prove difficult.
Further on the Pelly is navigable for small steamers
right on to Pelly Banks, and possibly as far as the lakes.
Dawson's Distances from Fort Selkirk to Taiya Inlet.
...     55
...     53
Fort Selkirk to Eink or Five Finger Eapid
Eink Eapid to Little Salmon Eiver 	
(Coal beds found 5* miles above Eink Eapid.)
Little Salmon to Big Salmon Eiver 	
(Numerous lignite-coal beds below Big Salmon
Eiver. ' Depth of B. S. Eiver 5 feet ; width at
mouth, 347 feet.)
M  2 164
Big Salmon to Tes-lin-too Eiver   ...       ...       ...     31
(Tes-lin-too Eiver. Width, 575 feet at mouth;
depth, 18 feet. From the mouth of this river to
the lake is about 100 miles. Teslin Lake is 100
miles in length. From near head of lake to
Taku Eiver is about 60 miles, a good trail.
Indians travel up continuation of T. Eiver
from lake about 100 miles, and cross up
West Fork to tributaries of the Upper Liard,
and down that river to the Dease.)
Tes-lin-too Eiver to Lake Labarge       27*
Lake Labarge, length ...               31
(This lake is reported to be so stormy as to
detain miners in camp for several days.)
Lake Labarge to Tahk-heena Eiver        11*
(Length of T. Eiver 50 miles, easy navigation.
Depth, 10 feet j width at mouth, 237 feet.)
Mouth of Tahkheena Eiver to White Horse Eapids     13
White Horse Eapids to Miles Canon               2J
(Usual to portage these Eapids ; too dangerous to
Miles Canon to Lake Marsh       ...                2&
Lake Marsh         20
Eiver from Marsh Lake to Tagish Lake  5
Tagish Lake       16*6
Lake Nares       2*7
Bennett Lake             25*8
Stream from Lake Bennett to Lake Lindeman f
(Not navigable for heavily laden boats.)
Lake Lindeman     ...        ...        	
Lake Lindeman to Tide Water of Taiya Inlet
* This distance is over the Chilkoot or Taiya Pass.   From
Lake Lindeman to summit of Pass is 8£ miles.
The elevation of the Pass is 3,502 feet.
The traverse of the Chilkoot portage is itself a formidable
obstacle. 165
Distances from Head of Chilkoot Inlet to the Boundary
Line on the Yukon River between N. W. Territories
and Alaska.
(W. OGILVIE, 1887-88.)
flame's Mission (Head of Inlet) to entrance of
Taiya Inlet	
To Head of Taiya Inlet	
„ Head of Canoe navigation, Taiya
„ Forks of Taiya Eiver
„ Summit of Taiya Pass
„ Landing at Lake Lyndeman
,, Foot of Lake Lyndeman
„ Head of Lake Bennett
,, Boundary line between B. C. and N. W.
(Lat. 60°)     	
,, Foot of Lake Bennett
„ Foot of Cariboo Crossing (Lake
► Nares of
„ Foot of Tagish Lake
„ Head of Marsh Lake
. •♦•
,, Foot of Marsh Lake
,, Head of Canon       .,„        ...
,, Foot of Canon          	
j, Head of White Horse Eapids
„ Foot of White Horse Eapids
1, Tahk-heena Eiver    	
.,, Head of Lake Labarge
j, Foot of Lake Labarge
n Tes-lin-too Eiver (Newberry of
„ Big Salmon Eiver.of Miners (D'
A-bbadie of
Schwatka)   ...       	
fi Little Salmon Eiver of Miners
}  (Daly
\ of
„ Five   Finger   Eapids   (Eink   '.
„ Pelly Eiver	
„ White Eiver ...       ...
„ Stewart Eiver
j, Sixty Mile Creek     	
„ Dawson City (Klondike)
*597-00 166
To Fort Eeliance 	
„ Forty-mile Eiver     	
„ Boundary Line between N.W. Territories
and Alaska	
* These are not Ogilvie's Measurements.
Distances from Fort Macpherson to Fort Chipewan.
(WM. OGILVIE, 1887-88.)
Mackenzie Eiver, Proper
Eed Eiver	
A large river entering fr
Loon Eiver
Hare Indian Eiver
Fort Good Hope ...
Beaver Eiver
Sans Sault Eapids
Mountain Eiver
Carcagou Eiver  *..
Great Bear Eiver
Fort Norman      ...
Gravel Eiver
Eiver Le Vieux Grand Lac
Fort Wrigley
Eiver between two Mountains
Willow Lake Eiver
Ne-hauner Eiver
Fort Simpson     ...
Head of Tine
Yellow Knife Eiver
Little Lake
Fort Providence ...
Great Slave Lake
Hay Eiver
Buffalo Eiver
Buffalo Creek
Fort Eesolution ...
om the East (name
1,083-0 167
Fort Smith
Head of Eapids
Peace River
Fort Chipewan
Evidence of Prof. ROBERT BELL, M.D., LL.D, <fcc, before the Select
Committee of the Senate of Canada, 1888.
The possible avenues of communication with the
Mackenzie Basin are :—
From one of the eastern bays of Great Bear Lake
to the nearest point on the Coppermine Eiver
the distance is ...        ...       ...     40
From Chesterfield Inlet to the head of the Great
Slave Lake is   ...                 ...    320
A large unknown river mentioned by Tyrrell,
1893, running into Aberdeen Lake at the
head of this Inlet, along with the lakes,
would lessen this overland distance considerably, if not cover it the whole way by a
navigable waterway.
The harbor at Churchill to the head of the Athabasca Lake is ...        440
Prince Albert on the Saskatchewan to Fort
McMurray, the junction of Clearwater and
Athabasca—that point being chosen because
there is then between that and the sea       ...    300
Fort Pitt to Fort McMurray the distance is       ...    300
Edmonton to Fort McMurray       225
Banff to Peace Eiver Landing       250
The Head of Little Slave Lake to Peace Eiver
Landing       63
Head of Navigation on Stikine Eiver to Fort
Liard, the head of Navigation on the Liard
Eiver    ...         370
Hazelton, presumably the head of navigation on
the Skeena Eiver, to the big bend of the Peace
Eiver in the Eocky Mountains      150 168
The first part
of the route
from Edmonton to the
Yukon Gold-
fields via the
Eiver to its
Distances to points on Peace River from Fort Chippewyan
on Athabasca Lake.
(See part M, Section 10.)
Distances on the Liard, Dease and Francis Rivers.
(See part K, Section 10.)
Athabasca Landing to Great Slave Lake.
GEO. DAWSON and W. OGILVIE, 1888 Committee.
(The distance from Edmonton, a terminus of the
Canadian Pacific Eailway, to Athabasca Landing is 90
miles—already covered by a good wagon road).
The Athabasca Eiver is navigable by steamers from
the Landing to the First Eapids—distance 120 miles.
These rapids can be navigated by steamers drawing
two feet.   A deeper channel could easily be constructed.
The second rapid is 23 miles further on, and is more
easily navigable, and by vessels of deeper draught.
The Grand Eapids are 23 miles further on, or
166 from the Landing, and are about two miles long.
These rapids are not navigable.
Eapids de Eoches are 194 miles below the Landing.
The passage is rough and stony, and is impassable for
canoes. Large boats in passing have to be lowered by
ropes from the banks.
Between Eapids de Eoches and the last rapid, 251
miles from Athabasca Landing, Ogilvie states that it is
almost one long rapid. Fort McMurray is near this
last rapid.
From the last rapid, to Lake Athabasca, is a distance
of about 170 miles. In the evidence of Wm. Jas.
McLean, Chief Trader of the Hudson Bay Co., to the
1888 Committee, he stated that the Slave Eiver is
navigable from Lake Athabasca to the Eapids near Fort
Smith, 80 miles (the rapids break the river for about
14 miles) and from Fort Smith to Great Slave Lake, a
distance of about 150 miles. Total distance 246 miles,
including rapids. la Cross
Lengths of some of the Chief Lakes.
Lesser Slave Lake, 90 miles in length.
Lake Athabasca, 192 ,,
Isle à la Cross Lake is 36       ,,
Clear Lake and Buffalo Lake with Isle
Lake give a navigable length of 74 miles.
Lac la Biche is 24 miles in length.
Crée Lake, 4$
Green Lake, 18
Eeindeer Lake, 165
Great Slave Lake, 300
Great Bear Lake is 190 (width 110).
Wollaston or Hatchett Lake is 70 (same in width).
Francis Lake, navigable length
Dease Lake ,, ,, ...
Finlayson Lake      ,, ,,
Lake Lansdowne (on Attawapishkat Eiver)
Lake Attawapishkat   ...
Lake Aberdeen (at the head of Chesterfield Inlet), navigable length
(For the lengths of Lakes on the Lewes Biver route to the
Yukon see Section 11.)
54 miles.
Route from Athabasca Landing to the Peace River.
Evidence of Wm, CHRISTIE to 1888 Committee.
From the mouth of Little  Slave Eiver on the
Athabasca   Eiver   to   Lesser   Slave   Lake
(navigable) 100
Length of Lesser Slave Lake (navigable)      90
Portage from Lesser Slave Lake to the Peace
Eiver                   80
Section X2«    Ice on Rivers and Lakes.
Ice on Mackenzie and Tributaries*
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
The ice is clear in the Liard Eiver about May 1st,
at its mouth in the Mackenzie Eiver about Hay 20th, in 170
Great Slave Lake towards the end of June, about which
time the whole of the Mackenzie Eiver is open.
Ice begins to form again towards the end of October,
and about the middle of November, the streams are
frozen over.
This gives about four months clear navigation. Ice
breaks (sufficient for navigation by stout vessels) at Fort
Norman 18p May, Fort Good Hope^21st, near Fort
Simpson 1st of June.
Mr. Ogilvie states (1887) that ice closes in at Fort
Norman about 1st week in November, and at Fort
Simpson it closes in about 3rd week in November.
The ice leaves the river at Fort Macpherson about
June 1st. jjjgjjp:
Mr. James Mackenzie states that his father—the
explorer—always left Fort Simpson and proceeded down
the Mackenzie in May.    (Committee report, 1888).
Ice on Great Slave Lake.
R. G. McCONNELL, 1888-89.
Ice forms in this lake between 20th and end of
October, and is fast by the middle of November. The
ice breaks about 1st July, and sometimes as early as
10th June. The channel between Owl Island and the
North shore of the lake is said never to freeze ; and
Back's experience proved this to be the case during two
WM. OGILVIE, 1887-88.
As a rule ice clears sufficiently for navigation on
Great Slave Lake in the last days*in June;
On Lake Athabasca the ice goes a little earlier than
on Great Slave Lake.
Ice on the Stikine.
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
The Stikine is generally open for navigation about
the last week in April, and closes about the middle of
November. §P§$ê 8£ù$\ 171
Ice on Dease Lake.
Ice clears on Dease Lake about first week in June
and opens about 1st December.
Ice on the Liard*
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
At the junction of the Dease and Liard, the latter is
free from ice, as à rule, from the first week in May to
about the first week in November.
Ice on the Peace*
Prof. MACOUN, 1883 Committee. \   ■•
Ice first found on the river first week in November,
but the river does not close until about a month later.
The tributaries close earlier.
The river is open to navigation about the middle of
April. Captain Butler found it quite open on April 22nd,
Ice on the Lewes*
G. M. DAWSON, 1887.
The ice on the rivers opens early in May. Loose
ice begins to run on the rivers late in September, and
freezes about two weeks later. The lakes on the Lewes
are not open until early in June.
Ice on the Yukon*
Mr. W* Sloan, a B. C. merchant and successful
Klondike miner, states in the Financial Times of 16th
September, 1897, that in 1896 the ice finally froze on
the Yukon about October 20th, and the river opened on
15th May this year (1897).
H. de Windt, 1897.—The Yukon, was blocked with
ice in 1896 as early as September 28th.
The Canadian Observatory Authorities state that
in 1896 the Yukon Eiver froze up on October 28th,
and broke up on May 17th, 1897. 172
"Mining World," London, 21st August, 1897.
Lieutenant Wilkerson, a member of the United
States' engineering corps which has been in Alaska for
the past three years . . . states, in answer to the
question as to how long during the year the Yukon is
open for navigation :—" During the months of July and
August only. During the remaining months of the year
the ice is from 15 to 30 feet thick. During July and
August the ice breaks up, and the river is a mass of
floating chunks of ice. Those two months of the year
are entirely too short to enable the transportation
companies to carry up supplies for any large number of
people.   .   .    .    ."
Ice on Lake Bennett.
Mr. W. Sloan also states that last year (1896) Lake
Bennett was not free for navigation until May 28th.
Ice on the Churchill River.
The Hon. W. Christie, late Chief Inspecting Factor
to the Hudson's Bay Company, states in his evidence
before the 1888 Committee, that on the Eiver Churchill
the ice breaks up about June 28th.
(See Section 11 for distances.)
Section 13. Restrictions to large
Foreign Joint-Stock Companies
on the British Yukon.
Cudahy, 11th January, 1897.
Fabulous rich- Men cannot be got to work for love or money, and
help' getting development (on the Klondike) is consequently slow ;
boor. 173
one-and-a-half dollars per hour is the wage paid the few
men who have to work on hire and work as many hours
as they like.
The Yukon mining regulations, issued by the Canadian Government
00 1 Mining
Government in May this year, state that each miner can regulations,
only—on personal application—take up a section 100 ft.
by 500 ft. (Placer mining) ; that the Government will
reserve every alternate allotment and will charge 10 per
cent, royalty on all gold yields up to 500 dollars per
week, and 20 per cent, where the yield exceeds
this amount.
In the face of these restrictions there will be but poor
encouragement and little opportunity for heavy
capitalised English Companies to take up valuable
claims on any of the Yukon fields and pay good
dividends after all expenses in high wages (at present
6s. per hour), stores, machinery, and from 6d. to
Is, per lb. transport charges have been met.
have to face.
The Pamphlet issued by the British Development Association,
Limited, 1897, states :—
" The claim must be actually worked by the owner.
That is to say, no individual or company can take up
claims in the name3 of nominees ; and this is very right
and proper in the interests of genuine miners.   .   .    .
" Some companies formed with the object of taking
up claims on the Klondike, have recently come before
the public for subscription. It is by no means clear
how any of these companies can take up more than one
claim, and the Government Authorities have expressed
the strongest intention of preventing any evasion of the
Mining Laws. Each miner has to pay any an annual
Government License of 15 dollars.
Licenses will
only be granted
on personal
Claims must
be worked by
It is a question
how largely
companies can
take up more
claims than the
number of their
on the field. m
Section 14*    Climate,
Pro. BELL, M.D., LL.D., Geological Survey, Canada.
feozenthini      &ave evidence showing that the soil in the Northern
on the surface. Territory thawed out in Summer, and instanced experiments made at York Factory.
General Summary of the 1888 Committee.
The climate of That the prevailing Southt West Summer winds of
the headwaters ..... ,
of Porcupine the country in question bring the warmth and moisture
which render possible the far Northern cereal growth,
and sensibly affect the climate of the region under consideration as far North as the Arctic Circle and as far
East as the Eastern rim of the Mackenzie Basin.
The climate
healthy and
Climate in
Mackenzie Bay
Extract from Leaflet issued by the Canadian Pacific Railway Co.
The climate is healthy, the winters long and very
cold, but so devoid of humidity that their intensity is
not so keenly felt as would be imagined from the
readings of the thermometer, and with a plentiful
supply of suitable clothing can be made agreeable.
The summers are short and pleasant with very few
Inspector CONSTANTIN E'S Report.
The cold is said not to be more intense (in Mackenzie Bay) than here (at Klondike).
Daylight in the N.W. Territories (Actual Sunlight).
W. OGILVIE, 1887-88.
Fort Macpherson, At Ottawa,
h. m.
h. m.
Lat. 67e
, May 1st, 17 30
45° 26'
, 14 08
June 1st, 24 00
15 16
„ 21st, 24 00
15 30
July 1st, 24 00
15 24
Aug. 1st, 19 24
14 32
„ 81st, 14 44
13 08 175
JVIean Temperature at Fort Franklin, Great Bear Lake,
Lat. 650 12'.
OGILVIE, 1887-88.
During May, 85° -2 Fah.
„     June, 51° -4   „
„     July, 52° -0   „
„     Aug., 50° -6   „
On two occasions the thermometer went to 78° in
the shade and ten times to 70°.
When I (Ogilvie) arrived at Fort Macpherson on
20th June the new buds on the trees were just perceptible,
and on the evening of the 22nd the trees were almost
fully in leaf.
The mean minimum temperature for month of July
was 45° -4 F.
5mall Snowfall on the Mackenzie.
The Hon. Wm. Christie stated in his evidence before
the 1888 Committee that the snowfall on the Mackenzie
is not so deep. He stated that he found the snowfall
much greater in Ontario—as he approached Ottawa—
than on the Mackenzie at Fort Simpson,
The Open Sea at the Mouth of the Mackenzie.
Prof. McCOUN'S Evidence, 1888 Committee.
Question—Do you mention that (the drift of Mac»
kenzie Eiver waters  to  the eastward in the Arctic The sea route
r\ \ *z j/L  j. ja. j.»       j? to the mouth of
Ocean) as evidence that there is open navigation from the Mackenzie
the mouth of the Mackenzie to Behring* s Strait ? BeîSngStrait
Answer—I believe there is, and the reason is very
simple. We can get the records from Point Barrow,
where the Americans have an observatory for three
years. The full reports from that observatory are
published. The reason I think there is no obstruction,
and that we have a clear coast, is that the drift is to the
eastward.    .   .   •   , 176
Proofs of a
long period of
open sea in the
Arctic Ocean
north of the
Basin Territory.
I am prepared to prove that the mild climate of the
north-west is not an occasional or accidental thing, but
that it is permanent, and that the drift of warm air from
both sides of the continent seems to come up the
Mackenzie Eiver. The isothermal lines show that.
The rivers in which Sir John Eichardson found the
timber coming down, were near the mouth of the
Mackenzie Eiver, so that I am quite sure mentally that
the rush of heated air keeps the Arctic Sea open. We
have hot air passing from the American desert to the
mouth of the Mackenzie. The American desert is the
source of the blizzards in Dakota—the source of the
good climate we have in the north-west territories, and
the bad climate they have in the States.
The mildness
of the N. W.
climate due to
the movement
of the Magnetio
Pole westward,
Important Changes in the Climate.
Evidence of Mr. JAMES ANDERSON.   Quoting from the Diaries of his
Father, the Explorer, before the 1888 Committee.
Question :—Have not some voyageurs found out
that when they get North of the Magnetic Pole the cold
is not more intense ?
Answer:—I do not know that, but from these
Diaries I find out that right up near the Arctic Ocean in
that new country that was explored there, a great deal
of it was as mild as at Fort Simpson in 1862.
Question :—The cold is not stationary. It has been
discovered that it has been gradually moving to the
Westward (towards Alaska and Northern Siberia) ?
Answer :—Yes ; that is the case.
Question :—We (the Committee) all know that the
East Coast of Greenland, within the memory of man,
was fertile, and at one time the Queen of Norway used
to get her supply of butter made there, though the
climate has, since that time, become so cold that butter
making has been abandoned. Would that not show that
if the Magnetic Pole does move westward the climate
changes westward with it ? 177
Answer :—There is no doubt that the climate is
changing, and we have evidenee of it in the prairies of
the North West,   It is getting milder all the time.
Section X5,   Indians and Esquimaux.
The Indian population is sparse, and the Indians, The Indians
i       •       t      t •     i ••• ii       are peaceable
never having lived m large communities are peaceable, and likely to
and their general character and habits as   given by ment,
witnesses justify a hope that the development of the
country, as in the case of the Indians of British Columbia
may be aided by them.   ,   «   ,   ,
Extract from the Report by R. Q. McCONNELL, B.A.
Friendly Eskimo and Indians (Loncheux) in the
neighbourhood of the mouth of the Mackenzie Eiver.
Employment of Indians : their numbers.
The Indians of the Lower Mackenzie are   more Numbers of
industrious than those of the Upper Eegion, and might Esqnmianx in
be utilized with great advantage   to   themselves   and thefarN-w-
economy to the employer in opening up the coal and
petroleum fields of the Territory.
In his evidence to the 1888 Senate Committee, Bishop
Clut stated that there were 20,000 Indians (not including
Esquimaux), in the Mackenzie Basin ; about 14,000 of
these were Chipewyan Indians,
The Esquimaux might number 1,000 but he could
not say, nor, he believed, could anyone else. 178
Trading with the Indians.
Barter the
system of trade
with the
ïndians in the
N.W. Territories.
Mr. Caspar Whitney in his book On Snow-shoes to
the Barren Grounds, published 1896 (p. 162) referring to
the matter of trading with the Indians of the far northwest of Canada, states :—1 There is, of course, no money
in the country, a * made beaver skin * being the standard
of value by which all trade is conducted—as, for
example, a marten is worth from two to three beaver
skins, and a bear-pelt about twenty beaver skins. A
* made beaver \ is a full grown dressed beaver skin, and
its value on rough calculation is equal to about fifty cents,
though it fluctuates through the country.
The business (P. 11.)   " Except that goods are now much cheaper
of the Hudson v
Bay Company and furs much dearer, the fur-trading business of the
much the same °
N^w^Terri- Hudson's Bay Company is conducted at its inland posts
days oflrmce6 on much the same lines that prevailed when the company
was first established."
Section 16*
Fish (freshwater) and
Evidence of J. B. HURLBERT, M.D., L.L.D.
Fowl plentiful
in Mackenzie
The Arctic explorers found fowl so plentiful there
that they say you could not throw a stone without
hitting a goose or duck 179
Evidence of DONALD MclVOR.
White and grey wavey, crane, swan, geese and Birds.
ducks in great numbers.   Feathers in great quantities
turned out of this district every year by the Hudson Bay
Company.    .
General Summary of the 1838 Committee.
Of the fresh water fishes of the  region Back's ÉÉâÉlS
° farther North
4t Grayling " are excellent species not prevalent else- the greater the
where, seems to be found everywhere in its rivers and even
west of the Eocky Mountains, but the staple product of
its lakes and large rivers seems to be white fish of great
weight, and trout often reaching 40 lbs. in weight, and
evidence goes to show that the farther north the greater
the yield of fish till the quantity becomes enormous.
From the Hon. d. SCHULTZ.
«   •   |   I   .   we have   possessed  north  of   the The quantity
isotherm mentioned perhaps the greatest extent of fresh freshwater
water food fish    ....   of any country in the surpassed in
world   ....   the vast space between the isotherm
mentioned and our Canadian Arctic littoral is unsur- .
passed, not only by the quantity but the quality of its
fresh water food fishes, and it will not be to you who
have doubtless made the matter a study, a surprise, to
find that the quantity increases as we _ approach the
Arctic Coast.
Canadian Pacific Railway Company's Leaflet, 1897.
The Yukon basin is an incomparable game country,
an important factor to the miners in a land were provisions naturally command high prices. The upper
portion abounds in moose, cariboo, bear and small
game, and the rivers and smaller streams are alive with
salmon, whitefish, trout and other species. The lower
^country is the breeding ground of innumerable geese,
ducks, swans and other fowl.
A great game
Game, Pish
and Fowl in
n 2 Waterfowl
plentiful beyond conception.
Evidence of Mr. FRANK OLIVER, Editor of the " Edmonton Gazette,"
to Select Committee of 1888.
Waterfowl are plentiful beyond conception in the
northern lakes of the Mackenzie Lake and on the Arctic
coast in the Summer season, and furnish abundance of
food to the Indians while they remain,
Fish abound in all the lakes of running water, and
the fisheries of Lake Athabasca, Lake Slave, and Great
Bear Lake are at least as valuable as those of the
St. Lawrence Chain, while thousands of smaller lakes,
especially east of the Mackenzie, are stocked with fish
as well. The available fish supply alone is more than
sufficient to supply ten times the present population
of the Mackenzie region.
Section 17#   Corn, Vegetables and
(See also Section 25.)
Corn and vegetables grown
within the
Arctic Circle
Evidence "of Bishop CLUT.
Wheat, barley, and potatoes, grow well at Fort
Simpson, Lat. 62J. Captain Smith, of steamer
" Wrigley," states that he saw barley, wheat, and
potatoes, growing as far north as Fort Good Hope,
on the Mackenzie, north of the Arctic Circle»
Evidence of d. B. HURLBERT, M.D., LL.D.
Excellent The entire area (of the Mackenzie valley) is fit for
pasturage on N J '
the Mackenzie, pasturage, as the native grasses grow over the whole
country, even to the shores of the Hudson Bay and
Arctic Ocean and down the Mackenzie to the sea. 181
Dr. DAWSON, 16th August, 1897.
i   i   •   The Hudson's Bay Company many years p^atoe*ndown
ago occupied several forts or trading stations in the ontheYuion
5> r ° . and near the
Yukon   country and   ascertained  by experiment that month of the
barley could actually be grown at Fort Yukon within the
Arctic Circle and some distance north of the Klondike.
(Barley and potatoes are also grown at Fort Good Hope
on the Mackenzie).
Professor Bell states in his evidence before the 1888 Growth of
Committee that wheat ripens well at Norway House barley beyond
and around Little Playgreen Lake.   Barley ripens at
Oxford House, as far north as Fort Providence, .    .    .
and I have seen excellent wheat ripen at Lake la Biche,
where it is said to be a sure crop every year.
In the country I traversed between the North
Saskatchewan and Lake la Biche the grasses were the
most luxuriant T ever saw, being often six feet high.
Sir J. Eichardson places the northern limit of the
profitable cultivation of wheat in the Mackenzie Valley
at Fort Liard on the Liard Biver (lat. 60° 5') while
from trustworthy information obtained by Prof. Macoun
it appears that even at Fort Simpson, on the Mackenzie
Biver in Lat. 61° 51' wheat succeeds four times out of
five, and barley always ripens from the 12th to the 20th
of August.
In the region of the Peace Biver Valley there are
about 15,140,000 acres of cultivable land, capable of
producing over 300,000,000 bushels of wheat. r
The favourite
route so far.
Not possible
for heavy
traffic and impassable for
No anchorage
at Dyea.   .   .
the Skagway
the favorite
landing place.
A precipice to
be ascended by
ropes on this
Section 18*   Difficulties of Routes
from the South.
(See also Section 27.)
From the Special Correspondent of the " Pall Mall Gazette,"
7th October, 1897.
The favourite route so far has been by the Chilcoot
Pass, from Dyea Inlet, on the arm of the Pacific, known
as the Lynn Canal. Nine miles from the head of canoe
navigation, and 15 miles from salt water, this Pass reaches
a height of 3,600 feet ; the grade of the last six miles
is nearly 550 feet per mile, along a very rough and rocky
road, which is subject to heavy storms from the winds
blowing up from the sea. On the other side the descent
is not so abrupt, though it is steep. Although this Pass
has been the most used up to the present, it cannot be
made into a waggon road for bearing traffic, and is
almost impassable for horses. The miners carry their
outfit and supplies in packs on their backs. At Dyea,
it may be remarked, there is no harbour or anchorage.
Vessels cannot come near the shore, and are exposed to
the violent winds that blow up the inlet. In case of
storms they have to take refuge on the Skagway Eiver,
three miles south, which is, therefore, gaining in favour
as a landing place.
At Skagway there is a wharf and deep water, where
cargo may be discharged at any stage of the tides. From
this point the way lies by the White Pass, which is
thought easier than the Chilcoot, and is 2,600 feet high,
as against 3,600. For six miles along the river flats
there is a waggon road, and then there is a well marked
trail to the summit, ascending by the canyon of the
western fork of the Skagway Biver. Three miles of it
is through a box canyon, with a precipice at the upper
end, which must be ascended with the aid of ropes. The
grade at the latter part of the ascent to the top of the
Pass varies from 150 to 300 feet to the mile. From the
summit the promoters of this route claim that there is 183
a good road, but this is hardly borne out by the experiences of prospectors. Perhaps the most convincing
evidence of the dangers of this route is that given by the
experience of Assistant Commissioner M'Hree, of the
Dominion Mounted Police, who was ordered to lead a
detachment over the Pass to the Klondyke, to assist in
preserving order.
A private letter from one of the Mounted Police now Four miles in ,
en route to the Yukon says, that it took nine days to pacK horses
make four miles, that the boat building, party were all day the pass
more or less sick and very thin, and had sent back for Tfte^repairs.
more medicine, as their stock had run out.   They were
wet all the time, and it rained steadily.    74 pack horses
were killed the first day the Pass opened after repairs.
At Bennett Lake the Chilcoot and Skagway routes
unite, but the pioneer is still over 500 miles from the
Klondyke, most of which, however, can be done by canoe
or boat. The adventurer has to carry his craft with him
in sections, or hew down trees and build it when he
reaches the lakes, which means a delay of several days,
. as suitable timber is not easy to obtain. A small stream
connects Lakes Bennett and Tagish, and the voyagers
are carried by a strong current down to the head of the
latter very quickly. From Lake Tagish they drift down
to another small lake, named Lake Marsh, a long shallow
body of water. After this the real difficulties of the
journey by water begin.
White Horse Eapids may, however, be avoided by
portage—i. e,, by carrying the boat overland till the fall
is passed—but this is naturally a long and toilsome
business, as the rapids are three-quarters of a mile long,
Lake La Barge, which is 35 miles long and 10 wide, is
traversed without difficulty, and is connected by Thirty-
mile Eiver with the Hootalinqua, a tributary of the
Lewes, which at its junction with the Pelly Eiver forma
the Yukon. Thirty-mile Eiver is very rapid, and has
sunken boulders that make it dangerous if caution is not The Hoota-
exercised.   The Hootalinqua, too, at times, runs a mill-, jj Muf-race!06*
Trees to be
hewn down and
boats built.
boulders make
the river
dangerous. 184.
Skill and
wanted in running rapids.
 multitude of
. Islands and
narrow channels f nil of
Dalton's trail
the only
Winter route.
race, and in one day voyagers have drifted to within four
miles of Five Finger Eapids, a distance of 125 miles.
Five Finger Eapids are said to be more dangerous than
Miles Eapids described above, but they may be run by
a practised hand. In running rapids everything depends
upon skill and experience. Those without these gifts
had better take to the more laborious method of portaging.
After Five Finger Eapids are passed, the voyage offers
no particular difficulty. The Yukon is one of the greatest
rivers on the American continent. In many places it is
more than five miles in width, and in others narrower,
but deep, and flowing with a strong current. " You
cannot by any means go to sleep, and let your boat
drift," says the voyager whose experiences were last
There are a multitude of islands, sometimes four or
five abreast of each other, and as many channels, some
of which are very deep and clear of drift, while others
are shallow or narrow and full of drift. Such channels
must be avoided. After leaving the lakes, the current
renders it easy to make a daily run of over 100 miles
until Dawson City is reached.
It is, however, a question whether either the Chilcoot
or White Pass will be open in the Winter. A Zubron
pioneer, with considerable experience in passing to and
fro, says, " The only possible Winter route is by Dalton's
Trail (Chilkat Pass), entailing an expense for a year's
supplies of at least a 1,000 dollars." A great many pack
horses are required for this trail, which probably accounts
for its not being used instead of the Chilcoot and White
routes. It is said to be' free from heavy ascents and
easy to traverse, but only a few have attempted it, so
that it cannot be said to have borne the test of experience. The Lynn Canal is left by the Chilkat Inlet, a
long and narrow arm of the sea. At the head of the
inlet there is a small but good harbour, with shelter from
the strong winds prevailing in this mountainous region,
an exceptional advantage on this part of the Pacific
Coast.   A mile north of the harbour the tidal flats of the4 185
«Chilcat Eiver are encountered, and 20 miles up the
Indian village of Klukwau is reached, where the Klaheela
Eiver enters from the west. The Chilkat and Klaheela
:are navigable for canoes, and a pack trail follows the
Klaheela to its source. Thence almost directly north to
l?ort Selkirk, where the Pelly and Lewis rivers unite to
iorm the Yukon ; or if it is desired to take advantage of
water transportation at an earlier stage, the Lewes Eiver
may be struck at Five Finger Eapids mentioned above.
Dalton, after whom the trail is named, gives the time
required as "nine days light, twelve to fourteen with a
load ;" but prospectors who have used it more recently
say three weeks. There is an Indian trail from the
Chilkat Pass, traversing the same country a little further
east, but of this little is known.
Mr. STUART D. MULKIN'S Evidence.
The Pelly Eiver is navigable from Houle Eapids l^xf^nziQ
25 miles from Pelly Banks Post  to its junction (under ^J^ggS
the name of the Yukon), with the Porcupine Eiver, ^f^JL
1,000 miles without a break ; while on the other hand
ihe Lewes Eiver, down which the miners from the West
Ooast must travel, is broken by numerous rapids and
three lakes, out of which the ice does not move until
" Westminster Gazette," July 27th, 1897.
" The canoe journey up the Stickine (the overland Dangers and
route from the South) is no child's play* The incessant the sticSne
rains keep the river booming, and make the numerous
rapids that it boasts terribly dangerous. In spite of the
skill of the Indian boatmen many an adventurer has
been drowned in its chilly flood. When the rapids are
quite impracticable there is nothing for it but to make à
portage. Everything must be unloaded and packed with
infinite toil over the slippery trail." 186
The unsuit-
ableness of the
"Daily Telegraph," July 29th, 1897.
" Under the most favourable conditions, and supposing that steamboats, canoes, and food supplies were
all ready and available, the journey would take from five
to eight weeks, and the traveller would reach the gold-
diggings just as winter was closing in and mining was,
to a great extent, stopped."
(See also Section 27.)
Section 19.    Canadian   sub-Arctic
Travelling in Winter.
Beindeer feed
on twigs and
mosses but
food must be
caught or
carried for dogs
Why not
Beindeer for
America in the
Far North as
in Northern
Europe and
From the "Westminster Gazette," 27-8-97.
Will the Canadians be content to still struggle on
with dogs and men harnessed as draught animals to the
sledges on which supplies must be distributed in that
barren and desolate region, or will they be wise in time
and make use of the animal which nature has adapted
to the zone of frost and snow exactly as she has adapted
the camel to the torrid wastes of burning sand ? The
tame reindeer has long been the ship of the desert for
the fjelds of Northern Norway, and the tundras of
Siberia. He should become that of the Arctic wastes of
North America. There should be no real difficulty
about it. The wild cariboo of North America is none
other than the reindeer of the Eur-Asiatic Continent.
The countless herds ot cariboo on which the Indians of
the Hudson Bay Territory chiefly rely for a subsistence,
afford proof positive that the country contains abundant
supplies of the reindeer's natural food. What remains
is to introduce the tame variety of the species, whether
from Lapland or Siberia, and to make use of it for food
and for transport, exactly as is done and has been
done from time immemorial by the Lapps and by the 187
What dogs
Samoyedes.   The great objection to men and dogs as
draught animals is not that they do not pull well.   The
difiiculty is that neither men nor dogs can live on moss
and twigs.   Their food must be hauled for them,  or
rather they must haul it for themselves.   An average
dog requires a pound of meat biscuit or of pemmican a
day, and an average man fully two pounds weight of
equally concentrated food.    In a few weeks either the
one or the other is bound to consume all that he has
been able to bring with him from the starting-point.
But the reindeer is all right if only he can find lichen ]^taS^aû0Gg
and browse.   His native home is in the great lone land,
where men and dogs alike must starve if they cannot
carry with them or kill enough to keep them alive.
That bold explorer Mr. Frederick Jackson was so struck
by the advantages of the reindeer employed by the
Samoyedes when he wintered in the Yalmal peninsular,
that he has taken them with him to Franz-Josef Land.
"Daily News," 30th August, 1897:—
There is a new field also, it seems, for the reindeer. 1.000 Reindeer
already in
A writer in the New York Nation states the interesting Alaska.
fact that five hundred have been imported from Siberia solved.
into the Lower Yukon region, and with them a number
of Lapland families to care for them.     Already the
number has been doubled in the natural manner, and an
experiment is being made of using them for transportation in the mining country.    Should these be successful
the future of the dog in these regions will, it is to be
feared, be more or less behind him.   Unlike the dog the
reindeer needs no food carried for him.   After an eighty
mile drive he can be turned loose to forage for himself
upon the abundant reindeer moss which covers all the
Alaskan fields. 1 When it is necessary to kill him, he
furnishes better meat than the dog and more of it, and
every portion of him is of value.    " The reindeer express More fleet than
up the Yukon will be," says the same authority, " almost morereSfe13
as fleet and more sure than the steam-cars could be
during the inclemency of an Alaskan winter.** I
Dog-Trains for the Yukon.
| Pall Mall Gazette," October 9th, 1897.
From its Special Correspondent at Vancouver, 25th September, 1897.
With the dog-trains the Canadian Government hopes
to keep communication open all the Winter between
Dyea and Dawson. The dogs, as we see them here, are
no ordinary animals. They have -been bred and trained
for the especial purpose of hauling supplies through a
rough country. They weigh on an average 80 lbs., and
Dogs can draw have long hair.   They are harnessed to a toboggan sleigh
about 125 lbs ° J g ,
each 60 miles   m single file, usually four to a sleigh.    One such team
a day over ° J g
rough country, will draw a load of 500 lbs. over the roughest country;
and, if conditions are at all favorable, will make 60 miles
a day.
" Evening Standard," 17th October, 1897.
From Special Coeeespondent, Montreal, October
6th, 1897.
The Hon. Clifford Sifton, Canadian Minister of the
Interior, has reached the Pacific Coast on his way to the
Yukon country. He is accompanied by . . . and
Major Walsh commanding a detachment of 20 of the
N.W. Mounted Police. These, with Indian runners and
sledge-drivers with 120 dogs will make the journey from
Lake Tagish to Dawson City (600 miles) along the
frozen lakes and rivers of the route.
Prices and Particulars of Dogs.
| Newcastle Weekly Leader," 4th September, 1897.
Dogs are so much used for transporting supplies to
miners that in Washington and Oregon they have
actually become more valuable than horses.    .    .    .
High prices for At Juneau their value is double what it is at Tacoma,
and on the Yukon a good dog brings from £25 to £40.
Dog4eams Up to May, when the ice breaks up, dog-teams slide
elide over r J -in it
frozen lakes     over the smooth surface of the frozen lakes with sur-
loads with       prising rapidity considering the loads they carry*
surprising *
rapidity. 189
Their food consists principally of fish caught in the
Yukon by the natives. An ordinary dog will eat daily
two pounds of dried salmon, which equals seven pounds
of fresh fish.
At Forty-Mile last winter (1896) dried salmon sold
at fron lOd. to 2s. per pound, and bacon, that was only
fit for dogs to eat, sold for Is. 7d. per pound.
A good dog weighs between 80 and 90 pounds.
In some of the larger Yukon camps dogs' boarding-
houses house and feed dogs at from 25s. to £3 per
month according to the season and price of fish.
Buckskin mocassins, after the pattern of a child's ^t^aiS?4
stocking, are often provided to keep the animal's feet for dogs,
from being worn raw by the ice and snow.
Pack-saddles for dogs, so arranged that dogs can
carry from 10 to 20 pounds each as well as draw a sled,
are coining into use.
Dogs will be needed on the Yukon in large numbers
for years to come.
Dog's boarding
River Travel in Winter.
In the Strand Magazine for October, 1897, Mr. Harry
de Windt supplies a photograph of a team of dogs drawing a sleigh along the ice of a frozen river, which
appears very level, with a few inches of snow upon it.
He represents this method as the means by which the
rivers are traversed in Alaska in Winter.
Reindeer Transport.
"Canadian Gazette," October 7th, 1897.
Secretary Bliss is, says a Washington item, taking Eeindeer for
a great deal of interest in different propositions to extend Eiver.
aid to the miners in the Yukon regions who are apt to
suffer this winter from lack of food.     He directed the
Commissioner of Education, on September 21st, to send
instructions to the Teller Eeindeer Station to have all w
along frozen
rivers 60 and
70 degrees
below zero.
the reindeer, which are trained to draw sledges, sent to
St. Michael. Here they will be kept during the winter,
and if occasion should arise they can be utilised to transport provisions to the Klondike. Beindeer will draw
300 pounds of food, and travel from 50 to 100 miles
a day.
River Travelling on the Yukon.
"Tablet," October 9th, 1897.
The following extract is taken from a long interview,
in the Baltimore Sun, with the celebrated Father Barnum,
who, for some years, has been engaged in missionary
work in North-West Alaska.
" He was at St. Michael getting his winter supplies
when I arrived, and spoke as cheerfully of 60 and 70
degrees below zero, and travelling by a dog-sledge over
icy rivers from one district to another, as a man who
contemplated some pleasant scene."
Traversing the Mr. Casper Whitney, in his work On Snow-shoes to
the n.w. the Barren Grounds (p. 803), states that—" Waterways
Territories. VJr n . J
are the highways m the country for canoes in summer
and for snow-shoes and sledges in winter."
Section 20. Population of the Future.
Dr. DAWSON, 16th August, 1897.
The whole A considerable population will become resident in
territory wiU f  * .
soon be largely  the Yukon district, and railways will be provided to
populated. .        , * _
connect it with the Canadian system. *     .    It
Baiiways from required onlv the discovery of these rich far northern
the South-Bast      ?,,. . _    ,   \   - ,, f ûù^\liZ       hi i
goldfields to induce the miners to investigate the whole
territory, and this will now follow very rapidly. 191
Briefly stated, I should say that the placer mining
now fairly begun on the Klondike is likely to continue
for a number of years, the maximum output being
attained next year or the year after. Meanwhile the
whole country will be filled with prospectors. ....
The very general distribution of fine gold along the rivers
of the whole district, with the geological structure of
the country so far as this is known, go to show that
other rich placer mining districts will undoubtedly be
'discovered. Each of these will have a similar history,
but in the meantime quartz will be discovered.
The whole
country wiU be
filled   with
Prospectors. .
.   .  settlement
will become
through discovery of
quartz reefs.
" Financial Guide," 9th August, 1897.
" In a few years time, in all human probability, the The country
xi    x - • i •«   f     x * j   now ice and
eountry that is now ice and snow will be transformed snow wm be
by the magic influence of gold. There is no reason to transformed,
doubt—nay, it is almost an absolute certainty—that the
history of the past in California, in Australia, and in
South Africa, will be the history of the future in British
Columbia. One difference is sure to be noted, which is
that the Yukon district may be expected to prove far
richer than any goldfield in California, or Australia, or
South Africa."
New York Correspondent of the "Daily Mail" states:—
"Mr. John W. Mackay, the  Bonanza   King,   and ghe Bonanza
president of the Commercial Cable Company, savs :— prophesies the
* *      J        J rapid opening
41 am sure the Klondike goldfields are enormously rich, up of the
Capital will fly there and open up the country, and
enable vast fortunes to be made.' "
Evidence of the Hon. WM. CHRISTIE to 1888 Senate Committee.
Question :—I suppose the Peace Biver country is a Agriculture on
considerable size—in fact there is enough land there to Eiver.
make a new Province ?
Answer:—Yes, I sometimes hear the opinion expressed that our country may ere long become over
populated, but there is not the slightest danger of that. 3M
You need not be afraid how many immigrants come into-
the country to settle. You may bring in all the immigrants Europe can send you. There is room for all in
the Saskatchewan and Peace Biver country. There is a
A vast estent vast extent of splendid country from Prince Albert on
country. the whole north side of the Saskatchewan, going away
up until near Fort Pitt, keeping^ little tq^be north.
Then when you come to the route of Green Lake, there
is two days' journey through a magnificent country,
beautifully timbered, well watered, and supplied with
abundance of fish. As I travelled through it, I remarked
to one of my men, "what a splendid country to settle
The " Rusn*' of '98 to alter the face of the Country.
Mr. de WINDT in the "Strand" of October, 1897.
As to the great Klondike " rush " next spring (1898),
there is no doubt it will alter the face of the entire
region, the climate notwithstanding. Bailways and
steamships and telegraphs will soon be established.
Fortunes will be made and the unlucky forced to the
wall. Sensational reports may be expected daily, for
the place is a real Tom Tiddler's ground, honey-combed
by rivers and creeks with sands of gold. There is plenty
of room for all between Klondike and the Cassiar.
New Comers must go far Afield.
From the "Daily Chronicle" Special Correspondent.
Daily Chronicle, 11th October, 1897.
The only way now to share the riches of the Klondike
district is to buy an interest in one of the existing claims
and for this much capital is needed. Prices are enormous,
running from £40 to £100 cash per lineal foot. No man
with less than £5,000 to £10,000 can hope to buy
himself into a good property, and much larger sums
are needed to acquire a substantial share. During the
past year prospecting has been vigorously carried onr 193
but no new strikes of any importance have been made,
though there have been numerous stampedes, and
many claims have been staked out to Hunker, Henderson
and Dominion Creeks.
The only chance for the thousands of new comers who
are now pouring into the country is either to work at the
mines for wages or to prospect in new and unexplored
Section 21*    Present and Prospective
Routes to the Gold Fields.
(See also Sections 10 and 11.^
St. Michael's Eoute.
From Norton Sound at the entrance to Behring
Strait, up the Yukon Eiver.
(See Section 11 for distances).
The Chilkoot Pass Eoute .
(identical with the Taiya) See Sections 10 (parts
m     n -d-d E, S, T and V), 18,
The Chilkat Pass Eoute  L   & 2? for descrip;tion;
The Taiya Pass Eoute       I    and Section 11 for
m     ttt        t}      -D      «    /    distances.
The White Pass Eoute
Behking Strait to Mouth op Mackenzie Eiver.
This route is only possible during little more than
three months in the Summer, while the sea is
free from ice. It is, at present, only used by
whalers from San Francisco.
(See Section 11 for distances, and Sections 5, 8,
9, 14, 24 and 25 for description, and other particulars bearing on this route.) I
7.   The Mackenzie Eiver Eoute.
From IIÉ^1 Chronicle" Special Correspondent:—
LoNiiô&f^iLY O^p^ts^^lBth Sept., 1897.
One of the Trails via Edmonton. This is the route
taken by the Hf^faon Bay Company's men. It follows
the Peace Eiver eventujallyr^to the Mackenzie and
thence there/Is a carry of about 70 miles to the waters
of   the Porcupine î|iyer The route is
down the Porcupine to its junction with the^ukon.
But this is 300 miles below Dawson, with a stiff current
against one. The intention is to turn to the southward,
and by a trail to be cut of not more than 125 miles, to
strike the headwaters of the Klondike.
A route via the
month of the
Route broken
by Rapids and
a 90 mile road
Edmonton Route, via the Mackenzie River.
"Evening Standard" October 7th, 1897.
From its Special Correspondent.
Still another route, which is claimed to be easier,
though it is a long way round, is from the Canadian
Pacific Eailroad station at Edmonton, in the North-
West Territories, by way of the Mackenzie Eiver and
Fort Macpherson. Bishop Clut, of Mackenzie Eiver,
strongly recommends it. " It may take longer," he
says, " but the difficulties the prospectors will have to
overcome will be certainly very much less than in going
through the Passes from Dyea on the Pacific coast."
The MeDougall Pass, by which the mountains are
crossed, is only twelve hundred feet high, and almost
the whole of the rest of the distance can be done by
canoe. The half-breeds of St. Albert have formed an
association of competent guides, and several prospectors
have taken this route, in view of the high prices charged
for transportation of supplies over the passes from Dyea
inlet. From Edmonton the adventurers travel ninety
miles by waggon-road to Athabasca Landing, then by
canoe down the Athabasca Eiver to Grand Eapids, one
hundred and forty-five miles. Several small rapids
which are encountered in succession are easily portaged,
and Fort McMurray,  on Athabasca Lake, is reached 195
to Klondyke—
2,lô8 miles.
without difficulty.   Item there they pioeeed down the
Great Slave Eiver to Smith's Landing, where there is a
portage of fourteen miles by ox-cart to Fort Smith.
The south-west shore of Great Slave Lake is skirted
for some one hundiil and twenty miles, which will
bring the party to the Mackenzie Eiver, and on Sown to
Fort Macpherson.    The distance from Fort Smith to
Fort Macpherson is one thousand two hundred IfiÉT
eighty miles, all down stream.   From Fort Macpherson Several po«-
the adventurers proceed down the Peel Eiver, fifteen
miles to Eat Eiver, where a succession^©! portages will
be made with the aid of Indian guides.    The PorcupSIf
Eiver is then descended to  the Yukon Eiver,  three
hundred   miles   from   Fort   Macpherson.    They then
ascend the Yukon   two   hundred   and sixty miles to Distance from
Dawson City ;  the distance traversed from Edmonton paomc^aYiwky
is two thousand four hundredMld fifty-eight miles, two
thousand one hundred and eighty-two of which is down
stream.   The Government are surveying this route, but
there seems no doubt of its practicability.   It has been
frequently used by hunters and traders, and Mr. Ogilvie,
of the   Dominion   Survey, who  knows   more  of the
Klondyke than any other man, travelled by it some
years ago.
(See Section 11 for distances, and Sections 10, 12,
14, 19 and 22 for description and other particulars. See also Eoute No. 14 further on.)
Note.—It is more than likely that %ne of the
large rivers running into the Mackenzie from
the West, notably the Peace, Liard and, particularly, the Cacajou, will be utilised as
waterways into the goldbearing regions of the
Far North West in the near future.
8. The Peace Eiver Eoute,
(See Section 11 for  distances, and Section 10,
part M, for particulars).
•9. The Liard Eiver Eoute.
(See Section 11 for distances on the Pelly after
leaving the Liard Eiver, and Section 10, part K,
o 2 196
for description and distances on the   Liard,
France^ Lake and Overland to the Pelly).
10. The Stikine Eiver Eoute via Teslin Lake.
*i4$& Section 11 for distances after leaving Teslin
Lake, and Section 10, part N. for distances on
Lower Stikine, and descriptive particulars.)
11. The Taku Eiver Eoute via Teslin Lake.
(See Section 11 for distances from Teslin Lake,
and Section 10, part W, for distances from Inlet
to Lake, and other particulars.)
12. Bound's Overland Eoute.
Across Chilkat Passjto the Lewes Eiver at Five
Finger Eapids. It is to the east of Dalton's
trail, and abquj; 180 miles from Pass to Eapids.
This trail is, also, said to extend to Link Eapids,
on the Yukon. It is reported to be an easy
route for horses in the Summer season.
13. Dalton's Overland Eoute,
From Chilkat Pass to the mouth of the Norden-
skiold Eiver on the Lewes ; distance about 170
miles. Though this distance is taken from the
Pass, Dalton's actual trail begins at Chilkat.
Inlet, passes to the west of Chilkat Pass, and
while occasionally touching the river at the
point above-mentioned, it passes at no great
distance from the Lewes right on to Fort
Selkirk. Dalton will not permit anyone to
accompany him on this route.
14. The Edmonton Eoutes.
There are at least three routes proposed from
Edmonton to which place there is a branch of
the Canadian Pacific Eailway.    They are—
(a) The route mentioned in  this   Section, 1st
paragraph under the heading—% Mackenzie
Eiver Eoute," Eoute 7.
(b) A proposed Branch of the Canadian Pacifie
Eailway from Edmonton to the Athabasca iHi
Lee  by   Athabasca Lake  and
Slave Eiver to the Great Slave Lake.
(There are 14 miles of broken water on the
Slave Eiver, and 70 miles on the Athabasca.
Mr. McConnell and Bishop Glut 1888
Eeport). From these Lakes the Mackenzie
Eiver and its Tributaries oner means
referred to elsewhere, under sections 10,11,
12, 19 and 22, of getting^across the mountains into the Upper Yukon Country. (See
part headed—" The most likely Boute from
Edmonton to the Yukon")
Of all the routes from the Mackenzie,
those from near its mouth down the Peel or
Porcupine Eivers appear to be the easiest,
best known, and least expensive, for about
three or four months in the year.
(c) The third route from Edmonton may be
termed rather " a large order for a
railway at this stage of the development
of the Far North West, but it has the
merit of being an easy though long route
The following evidence by Stuart D. Mulkins, Esq.,
to the Select Committee of the Senate of the
Dominion in 1888, describes this route, and
supplies distances :—
Fort Saskatchewan, 27th February, 1888.
Having seen by the public prints that you intend
during the present session of Parliament to call
for a Committee of the Senate to take evidence
and obtain information with regard to the
extreme North West, and the best mode of
obtaining access thereto, I take the liberty of
sending you some information collected from
persons who have travelled through the Eocky
Mountain region, and also a suggestion as to a
cheap and serviceable route. The recent discoveries of gold on the headwaters of the Yukon 198
^/JRffër have added importance to that country,
^liiflt if CanSSa intends to enjoy the benefit to be
derived from thempan easy route must be
devised which will enable the miners to enter
with sufficient supplies to enable them to work
during at least two seasons, and such route
must commence and run through our territory.
A waggon road starting from here or Edmonton
to the Head of Pelly Eiver, the main branch
of the Yukon, would fill the bill and bring
under 800 miles in length, of whid^|80 miles
is already completed, and 200 miles may be
classed as light prairie, and the balance (360)
light timber—that is, openings and^hlufts.
This route would run to the Athabasca Landing
(90 miles of road built), thentSê to Lesser Slave
t Xake post (160 miles), thence to Peace Eiver
(90 miles of road built), thence to Fort Halkett,
on the Liard Eiver (200 miles), thence to the
head of Pelly Eiver (200 miles). The distance
sounds long, but from the information I have
obtained it seems that in no part of the whole
distance is the timber heavy, muskegs are few
and short, and all agree that the road is quite
The advantages of such a route are obvious.
When it crossed the Peace Eiver and Liard
Eiver it would give command of those rivers,
and in fact the whole of the Mackenzie Eiver
basin, without having to pass the dangerous
rapids on the Athabasca Eiver, and the long
traverse across the Great Slave Lake.
It would also be the cheapest route to the miner
going to the Yukon or the Cassier mines ; in
fact, valuable mines exist on the Liard that
have been worked more or less ever since 1873.
The miner going to the Yukon would be able
to reach the mining ground a month earlier
than he possibly could by the Pacific Coast
route. 199
Other routes from Edmonton are referred to by the
Hon. C. H. Mackintosh, Lieut.-Governor of the N.W.
Territories, when interviewed by a correspondent of the
Pall Mall Gazette.   He stated—
"Pall Mai! Gazette," Sept. 16,1897.
"The other route (after mentioning that of the
Stikine), also through British Territory, and for most of
its length a waièrway, stariÉNfrom Edmonton. Thence
you strike N.W. until you come to-Dunvegan on the
Peace Eiver, which will carry you into the Mackenzie.
Effeefmg, at times, a portage at Fort Macpherson, you
will find yourself in the Porcupine Eiver, which will take
you into the Yukon, close to Fort Yuten.       ;if -
" As an alternative, you can fojtçrw Mr. Moberly's
route from Edmonton. You first make Tète Jeune
Cache, where you light on the No!rJIi Western waters
stretches. After negotiating Giscome Portage, the
Parsnip Eiver helps you on a bit, when Lake Francis
becomes your objective. Then you get on to the Pelly
Eiver, a tributary of the Yukon. The distance is,
approximately, 1,590 miles, a shorter route, but one
which seems to involve a good deal of cross-country
work. Still, the Hudson Bay Co.'s people have travelled
up and down these lines for a good many years. So you
see it is quite possible to reach the Klondike without
either a journey of 5,000 miles via St. Michael, or a
troublesome bit of work over the Chilkoot Pass."
All "Canadian Routes.
"Canadian Gazette," October 7th, 1897.
Mr. John A. Grose, of the Dominion Burglary Guarantee Company, leaves Montreal about December 1st for
Klondike, travelling overland from Edmonton. He will
not, however, follow the Mackenzie Eiver. He will do
his travelling by sledge, and will use either dogs or overiana.arse 7
ponies. The route followed will be : from Edmonton to ^teh'a^oniy0
Peace Eiver Crossing, 260 miles ; down the Peace Eiver to SSid break.
if 200
A party going
via Mackenzie,
all down
Nelson Forks, 240 miles; from Nelson Forks to the Liard
Eiver, 120 miles ; along the Liard to the Dease Eiver,
160 miles ; from the Dease Eiver to the Pelly Eiver, 170
miles ; down the Pelly to the junction with the Lewes,
220 miles, and from there to the Klondike, 200 miles,
making a total distance of 1,370 miles. This route is
considerably shorter than by way of the Mackenzie Eiver.
Another Canadian party, of Hamilton, of which Mr.
A. H. H. Heming, artist, is at the head, leaves Hamilton
early in April. The trip will be, from Edmonton, 2,459
miles to the goldfields, of which 2,182 miles are down
stream. It will take just two months from the time of
starting to reach the goldfields, and this will leave the
members of the expedition two months, or, at the least,
a month and a-half to prepare themselves for the hardships of the winter. The cost will, it is claimed, be just
about half of the ordinary expense. The number is
limited to 100.
The most likely Route from Edmonton to the Yukon.
Mr. Eoger Pocock contributes the following to
ïiloyds' Weekly of 14th November, 1897:—A party of
Mounted Police, under Inspector Moodie, has been sent
with horses to examine an overland route, still largely
unexplored, from Edmonton to the Pelly Eiver, which
enters the Yukon 172 miles above Dawson City. By the
courtesy of the Mounted Police Department I am able to
reproduce here the hitherto unpublished information
collected for Inspector Moodie from all sources available.
Should his report be favourable the Canadian Government
will open the route for travel :—
Edmonton to Old Fort Assiniboine (abandoned),
on Athabasca Eiver by old cart trail. Cross
Athabasca Eiver       75
Fort Assiniboine to West end Lesser Slave Lake
by old Hudson's Bay Company's trail ; when
last heard of in very bad condition and often
very swampy         ...        ...    135 I
Lesser Slave Lake to Peace Eiver at the mouth of
Smoky; cart road.    Cross Peace Eiver
By fairly good trail, in part already passable for
carts, to Fort St. John, up the Peace Eiver
Fort St. John on Peace Eiver in a N.W. direction.
No trail practicable for loaded animals. From
Mr. Ogilvie's report classified—for difficulty
of road construction—as medium, to mouth
of Nelson Eiver on the Liard 	
Cross Nelson Eiver, say 10 miles above mouth ;
Nelson Eiver up Liard, crossing Toad Eiver
easy (to advanced basis of supplies per water
route)             ...        	
Cross Liard Eiver and follow the bank of Grand
Canyon (over 1,000 feet climb) difficult
Grand Canyon, following north bank of Liard,
crossing Deer, Smith, Coal, and Macpherson
Eivers, 100 miles medium, 30 miles easy to
mouth of Dease Eiver, which flows in from
the Cassiar mining country to the S. W.
Dease Eiver northward up east bank of Liard, and
the Francis tributary to latitude 60° 30' N.
Thence northward, medium	
Thence northward to lower end of Frances Lake,
one of the higher sources of the Liard,
crossing one river, easy
Cross Frances Eiver at lower end of Frances Lake
and up west side of lake, and strike Finlayson
Eiver above its Canyon. Medium 20 miles,
difficult 5 miles. Crossing the divide between
the Yukon and Mackenzie Eiver systems   ...
Along Finlayson Eiver and Lake, &c, to Pelly
Eiver, following on bank, say 30 miles easy,
12 miles medium
Cross Pelly Eiver and follow down on bank to
Hoole Canyon easy
Hoole Canyon is the highest point to which Pelly
Eiver might be navigated by steamers of light
draught and good power at favourable stages
of water, to site of Fort Selkirk, where there
30 r
is a trading post, and where the confluence
of Pelly and Lewes Eivers forms the YuKcga*
270 miles following bends of river. Following
the bank ôii Pelly by trail striMrife across to
Machâlfen^yahey from the detq$(r, striking
that rf^èr 20 miles above its mouth, Eoss and
Macmillan Eivers must be crossed. A few
miles here and there would be difficult. Other
long stretches easy—classed medium ..•   175
I?ô§i Selkirk down the Yukon to Dawson City ,.•   172
Edmonton to Dawson        ... 1,414
As a means of reaching the Klondike this long, overland trail of 1,067 miles from the plains iftiot so good
as the short portage of 150 miles from the Stickeen to
Lake Teslin, with its equally short run by boat down the
Yukon ; but as a way for sending in cattle Inspector
Moodie's route will probably afford better feed than the
Dalton. Dawson City is not, however, the main objective
for most travellers. The objective is gold, and that is not
to be found in an overcrowded camp like the Klondike.
(See also under Boute 7.)
15.   The Chubchill Eoute pbom Hudson's Bay.
This route is by a railway which The Charté^f )
Hudson's Bay and Pacific Eailway Co. proposes
to build from Churchill Harbor.   It is proposed
to divide the line into three sections :—
a. From Port Churchill to Sea Falls, 350 miles,
where it would be joined by the line at
present under construction from Winnipeg.
b. Section two, from Sea Falls to Prince Albert,
about 300 miles.
o. From Prince Albert viaBattleford to Edmonton
about 350 miles ; this would connect with
the Canadian Pacific Company's line.
The value of this line, so far as the Yukon gold-
fields are concerned, lies in its connection at
Edmonton with the routes to the Yukon Valley
and Mackenzie Eiver proposed from that place. 1
In the event of a route being constructed from
Edmonton to the Yukon, this Churchill lino
^wjOjQm prove an easy and very d^e^cj^nieans of
Reaching the Far North $è&t from England.
The distance from Liverpool to Qhurchill Harbor
is only 2,926 miles, whereas from Liverg^^ to
^Rew York it is 3,040 miles, and to M^sjreal
2,990.   But it is also necessarVlbo note that
(Mù     from Winnipeg to Liverpoolyia Mqjpreal it is
^;"     570 more   by   land   than   by^/this   proposed
Churchill route.
16.   The Old Hudson Bay  Eoute  feom York
Factory at the JÏouth op the Nelson, Hudson Bay,
to the^^acke3s|zls elver.
Evident of the Hon. Wm. CHRISTIE, jafc Inspecting Ghief Factor
7?!™ Hudson Bay Co., to the 1888 Committee.
P#applies   were   shipped   from   England   to   York An da route
•^    , tt   -,        -r^ mi pi via Hudson's
Factory, on Hudson Bay.   The route from there was up Bay.
Hayes and Hill Eivers, aud through the lakes up to
Norway House, at the north end of Lake Winnipeg,
on Jack Eiver.   Then through Lake Winnipeg, up the
Saskatchewan, past the Grand Eapid, on to Portage La
Loche^i to the head of Navigation.
U.S. American v. British Territory routes to the Yukon
" Manchester Courier," August 4th, 1897.
It (the establishment of routes through American Present Pacific
Territories to the Yukon goldfields) seems to establish a back-door   '
back-door entrance for the special convenience of our our American
American cousins.     There   is   certainly   scope in the C(rasms•
district for the energies of both Britisher and Yankee,
and there is no desire on the part of this country to
" play a Yukon for a Behring."   All the same, the backdoor arrangement must be regarded as unsatisfactory in
view of the possibility of making a front-door which would The route via
Hudson's Bay,
the Great
Slave Lake and
The Klondike
gold deposits
traced to the
between the
Yukon and
the Mackenzie.
be at least 2,000 miles nearer England than the circuitous
route by way of Vancouver Island and Juneau. This
possibility has been indicated in a memorial from the
people of Winnipeg, drawing attention to the advantages
for direct water communication with Klondyke which
are offered by the great chain of lakes and rivers
extending all the way from Manitoba to the mouth of the
Mackenzie Eiver, which, although it falls into the Arctic
Ocean, is within comparatively easy hail of the more
easterly districts into which the gold discoveries are
rapidly being extended. Lake Athabasca, Slave Eiver,
Great Slave Lake, and the Mackenzie Eiver are
navigable during at least four months of the year, and in
order to reach the chain from England it would not be
necessary to proceed to Winnipeg in the first instance.
Thirteen years ago the commander of the naval expedition, which was despatched by the British Government
to ascertain the feasibility of establishing regular steamship communication between this country and the western
shores of Hudson's Bay, reported that the straits are
perfectly free of ice, every year, from the beginning of
June to the end of October. He also called attention to
the suggestive fact that the distance between England
and Fort Churchill, on this coast, is actually less than the
distance between Liverpool and New York. There
seems to be every probability that the whole of the 1,300
miles' length of the Eocky Mountain range, which extends
northwards through British America, will prove to be
quite as rich in minerals as the United States portion.
It has been tapped at both ends with dazzling results.
The quartz reefs to which the Klondyke deposits are
being traced prove to be even richer than the mines of
British Columbia. Before the great intermediate portion
of the range can be explored, advantage will certainly
have to be taken of the means of water carriage offered
by the great chain of rivers and lakes which is such a
conspicuous feature in the map of the North-West
Territories.. The country traversed by it has a much
milder climate than that of Alaska, and is abundantly
fertile in parts.   Wheat is said to grow well in the valley 2C5
of the Mackenzie Eiver, even as far north as the neighbourhood of the Arctic Circle, and many other crops can
be brought to maturity during the brief but hot summer
of that little-known region. Thus one of the chief
difficulties experienced at Klondyke would be solved by
the opening of a British front-door to that region, at the
same time that the development of the whole of the
North-West Territories would receive the stimulus that
is alone needed to bring its immense natural resources
within the range of British enterprise, and thus open up
new markets for British trade.
17.   The  Chestebfield  Inlet  and   Mackenzie
Eivee   Eoute.—This   proposed   route   is   the   most
attractive to- English commercial interests.
[See Section 22, next page.)
Another Route fr