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REPORT Pursuant to the requirement of sub-section (2) of section 10 of the "Public Inquiries Act," of… British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1901

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Pursuant to the requirement of sub-section (2) of section 10 of the "Public Inquiries
Act," of the Special Commissioner appointed under the " Porcupine District Commission Act, 1900."
By Command.
Provincial Secretary.
Provincial Secretary's  Office,
16th March, 1901.
To His Honour the Honourable Sir Henri Gustave Joly de Lotbiniere, Lieutenant-Governor of
British Columbia :
Sir,—On the twenty-third day of August, A.D. 1900, a Commission issued to me under
the provisions of the "Porcupine District Commission Act, 1900," and the "Public Inquiries
Act," and pursuant to the requirements of the latter statute I have the honour to report as
I arrived at Skagway, Alaska (on my way out from holding the Assizes at Atlin, B. C),
on the eighth day of September last, and next day entered upon the duties of the Commission.
Owing to the regular steamer, the "Alert," having broken her shaft, we were unable to leave
Skagway, on Dyea Inlet, for Haines Mission, on Chilkoot Inlet, Lynn Canal, till 10:30 o'clock
on Tuesday morning, the eleventh of September, which we did in a small five-ton gasoline
launch, the " .Mabel," chartered for that purpose. There were with me Mr. J. D. Graham, of
Atlin, Government Agent and Gold Commissioner; Mr. Louis J. Seymour, secretary; Mr.
Robert Patrick, clerk; and Provincial Police Constable William Vickers. The Provincial
Mineralogist, Mr. W. F. Robertson, then returning from Atlin, took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Porcupine District in his official capacity, and joined our party at Skagway,
as did also Mr. Robert Cassidy.
With our camp equipage, supplies and baggage, we made a top-heavy load for the little
steamer, but fortunately the high winds for which the Lynn Canal is notorious were not
blowing that day, and we arrived at Haines Mission, seventeen miles from Skagway, at one
The village of Haines Mission, Alaska, is pleasantly situated on a protected bay named
Portage Cove, immediately surrounded by gently sloping land. There are a Presbyterian
Mission (established in 1881), two or three trading stores, a comfortable hotel (the Northern),
and other buildings, and a modern Chilkoot village, called Deshu—("Half-way")—of about
eighty huts. It had been our intention to walk across the peninsula from Haines Mission to
the Chilkat Cannery, and thence cross the Inlet to Pyramid Harbour, where Mr. Jack Dalton
has a ranch, and take our baggage by pack-horse over the Dalton Trail to Porcupine City, but
meeting Mr. Dalton at Haines we learned that he could only supply saddle horses, having
lately sold most of his pack-animals. It was consequently decided to give the baggage to
Indians to take up the Chilkat River in canoes to Long Bridge on the west bank of the river,
whence it could be taken to Porcupine City by Dalton's wagon.
At Haines we found Corporal Todd, of the North-West Mounted Police, and four men,
en route to Dalton Post (Pleasant Camp). They had been waiting two or three days to get
up the river in canoes, but were prevented by the wind blowing down stream. 1056 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1901
We started from Haines at about three o'clock and walked across the neck of land behind
the village over a mile to Chilkat Inlet, which is here a great shallow expanse, largely
exposed by the tide, and partly marshy. At its upper end are McClellan Flats, through which
the swift and muddy Chilkat River, here two miles wide, flows in many channels. Following
up the east shore of the Inlet for about a mile and a half, we reached, this side of Ranche
Point, the Chilkat village of Yendestaka,* at the head of tide-water, and a little above that
point were overtaken by Dalton in a large canoe in which we embarked and poled up against
the swift current for about two and a half miles, till we reached Murphy's Flat on the other
side of the stream, and some six miles above Pyramid Harbour, where the Dalton Trail begins.
Murphy's Flat is a stopping place on the trail, owned by Dalton. Here we stayed the night.
Dalton had got saddle horses for our party, but the N. W. M. P. were left behind at Haines,
there not being .enough horses. We started next morning, Wednesday, 12th, at 9:35, and
arrived at Long Bridge at 3:45, about fifteen miles from the Flat. The day was fine and the
trail surprisingly easy, considering the country. Its highest point was 1,300 feet. Long
Bridge is also a stopping place on the trail, in the midst of a cotton-wood "bush," about a third
of a mile in a direct line from the Chilkat River, and nearly opposite the Chilkat village of
Kat-kwaltu, on the east bank. Next morning, the 13th, at 9:10, we left Long Bridge, reached
the Little Salmon River at 9:45, crossed at 10:40, by a truss bridge, a deep stream, the outlet
of Chilkat Lake, and shortly afterwards the Big Salmon (Tisku, or Tsirku) River, and then at
10:50 reached what was known as " Walkerville "—now only the fire-swept remains of two or
three log houses. Shortly before twelve we reached Camp Sunshine, on the south bank of the
Klehinif River, and saw one of the iron provisional boundary posts, planted sideways to the
river. On it is written on one side, " P.B. Canada 1899," and on the other "P. B. U.S.
1899." Half the post is painted red—on the Canadian side, and the other half blue—United
States side. , At this place are two or three log and canvas houses, and one or two miners were
at work. Crossing the boundary line we entered the bed of the river, all of which, by the
terms of the Canada-Alaska Boundary Agreement of October 20th, 1899 (the Modus Vivendi),
is provisionally placed within our jurisdiction.
Following up the wide bed of the river and crossing the winding and ever-shifting main
channel five times, and making innumerable crossings of branch streams, we reached at 1:35
the mining village of Porcupine " City," situate in Alaskan territory, on the south (right)
bank of the river, just above the junction with Porcupine Creek.
Though public notice had been given that the Commission would sit on Saturday, the 15th,
the date had to be postponed owing to the non-arrival of the camp equipage, baggage, records,
etc. It was expected that they would have been brought up to Porcupine City on the night
of the day on which we arrived, but owing to strong contrary winds blowing down the Chilkat
River the Indians were unable to get their canoes up the stream to Long Bridge, and it was
not till Sunday afternoon, the 16th, that the baggage arrived, and also the Mounted Police.
The tents (two) were put up as soon as possible at Commissioner's Camp,J on the bed of the
Klehini River, in Canadian territory, just across the provisional boundary line, about three-
quarters of a mile from Porcupine City.
The Commission was formally opened at 5 p.m. on Monday, the 17th; the secretary
reading the following documents:—
(1.) Canada-Alaskan Boundary Agreement of October 20, 1899.    (Modus Vivendi.)
(2.) Porcupine District Commission Act, 1900.
(3.) Commission.
Which being done, I made this statement:—
" Seeing that the three documents which have just been read set out the scope and object
" of this Commission, it is only necessary that I should add a few words for the
" further guidance of those concerned. It is suggested that all those who have staked
" claims  within  the  territory  which has, by the  Modus Vivendi,  been temporarily
*In the spelling of these Indian names in territory provisionally within the jurisdiction of the United
States, I have followed that adopted by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Pacific Coast Pilot, Alaska,
Part I.    Washington, 1883, pp. 194-200.
tThis is the proper spelling of the word, as settled by the Board of Geographical Nomenclature.
jSite marked by large blazed cotton-wood.    [See the File-Book accompanying this report.] " placed under the jurisdiction of Canada, should apply without delay to have their
" titles to such claims confirmed by this Commission and also recorded under the British
" Columbia mining laws, in order to prevent the possibility of such titles being ques-
" tioned hereafter, and to preserve to the fullest extent all the rights and privileges
" which the holders of valid locations are entitled to under the laws of the United
" States. In said cases the locators are, in the first instance, referred to the British
" Columbia Government Agent, who is prepared to receive applications, and will, later,
" and as soon as may be, bring them before the Commission.
" In the case of any dispute between locators under the laws of either nation which it is
" desired should be adjudicated upon and finally determined by the Commission,
" application should be promptly made by way of petition; and would-be petitioners
" are referred to the secretary for further information and guidance.
" I hereby declare the Commission opened for the transaction of business, and call upon
" those who have anything to bring before it to come forward and they shall be heard."
Copies of this statement were posted on the camp notice board, and at Dalton's trading
store in Porcupine City, the central point for that neighbourhood.
I should here state that Captain Rant, the Deputy Mining Recorder at Dalton Post
(Pleasant Camp), some six miles further up the river on the north (left) bank, joined us at
Porcupine and remained in attendance during the sitting of the Commission.
The Act under which the Commission issued recites that " on account of the uncertainty
as to the boundary line between Canada and the United States of America, disputes have arisen
and are likely to arise as to the location, ownership and size of quartz and placer mining
claims in the Porcupine District," etc. On inquiring into the matter I found that, so far as
could be ascertained, 164 mining locations had been made, and seven water rights taken
up under the United States laws in that part of the disputed territory provisionally placed
under the jurisdiction of Canada by the Modus Vivendi (October 20, 1899), a clause whereof
provides that " the citizens or subjects of either power found by this arrangement within the
temporary jurisdiction of the other, shall suffer no diminution of the rights and privileges
which they now enjoy."
Of the said locations 92 (84 placer and 8 lode) were made before the date of the Modus
Vivendi; and 72 (71 placer and 1 lode) afterwards; and 3 water rights were taken up before,
and' 4 afterwards.
Considerable publicity was designedly given in Alaskan and other newspapers to the
movements of the Commission (as may be seen by reference to the extracts in the accompanying File Book), in order that all concerned could come before it if they felt so disposed, and
on the arrival of the Commission at Porcupine many inquiries were made by the miners and
prospectors there as to its scope and objects, and the intention expressed* of availing themselves of its privileges. Shortly after my arrival, I received an intimation that representatives
of the claim-owners wished to interview me in order to discuss matters which would come
before the Commission, but I replied that it would be better to discuss all matters publicly
after the Commission began its sittings. I was also asked to state if the claims which were
staked in British Columbia under United States laws after the Modus Vivendi would be confirmed by the Commission; but I answered that it would not be proper to give any indication of what course would be followed in such case, and consideration of the matter would
be reserved till the question formally came before the Commission for adjudication.
After the Commission opened, for some days no one appeared to make application;
accordingly on the 20th I caused notices to be posted at the camp, along the trails, and in
Porcupine City, at Dalton's and elsewhere, that the Commission would be closed on Wednesday,
the 26th of September, at 5 p.m., therefore applications should be made without further loss
of time. On that day two applications were made and partially considered, and directions
given for the proper proceedings to be taken, but the parties concerned not following up the
matter no final decision was arrived at.
No further applications being made and a large number of the population of Porcupine
City having " stampeded " down the river to a new strike which had been made on tributaries
*Similar expressions were heard by me at Skagway 1058 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1901
of the Chilkat River (Bear, Clear and Buff Creeks), in Canadian territory, about 20 miles
above the Chilkat village of Klukwan, I considered it an useless expense to further prolong the
sittings of the Commission, so declared it closed on Wednesday, the 26th, pursuant to said
It is desirable to give the main reasons—as reported to me—why the claim-owners did
not appear before the Commission, except as stated.
The provisions of the Modus Vivendi appear to have been distasteful to a number of the
residents of Porcupine District, as well as others,  and  the Presidential  election coming on,
considerable political   attention  was given   to   the   matter.    In  July,  1900, a petition was
addressed to the President of the United States by certain residents of Porcupine, protesting
against the provisional boundary, and at the request of the petitioners the Seattle Chamber of
Commerce took up the matter and memorialized the Executive,  through the Honourable the
Secretary of State, in support of the petition.    The Secretary of State replied by letter of
August 3, 1900, to the said petition, the concluding paragraph of his reply* being as follows:
"     *    *    *    The rights of the United States in the matter of the treaty boundary are
" absolutely intact, and their assertion in due time will be earnest and thorough.    In
" the meantime, this Government foregoes no part of its rights and power to protect
" its citizens in the Porcupine Creek region, whether  they  be  temporarily  within
" American or British jurisdiction,  in  the full enjoyment of all rights and privileges
" which they had before the Modus was concluded, and to see that their freedom of
" access and exit, with their goods, is not unreasonably impeded."
In order to understand the situation it should be borne in mind that the claims located
under United States laws and local rules and regulations generally  contained  20.66 acres in
area, while under B. C. laws similar claims (placer) are only 100 feet in length, an area which
is as inadequate for such mining purposes as that of the United States claims is extravagant.
The owners of many locations staked, after the Modus Vivendi, under U. S. laws, in territory
then within Canadian jurisdiction, wished to avoid  bringing the question of the validity of
their titles before the Commission, and aided by other interested persons, who were animated
by motives no more praiseworthy, they succeeded in inducing other locators whose locations
were duly made before the Modus Vivendi, and  who  were  at  first desirous of having them
confirmed by the Commission, to join with them in " boycotting " it.    I am credibly informed
that the argument which had most weight in bringing about this arrangement was that if the
U. S. locators resorted to the Commission  they   would  thereby  prejudice their titles in case
they should later be brought before United States courts, when the provisional boundary line
should be moved back, and the district once more placed under United States jurisdiction, an
event  which  was  represented as  about  to take place in the near future, presumably shortly
after the elections.    Other arguments were advanced, mainly founded on the paragraph above
quoted from the reply of the Secretary of State, placing a construction thereupon which I have
no doubt was never contemplated by the Minister.    But, however that may be, it is unnecessary to further consider them, for whatever were the reasons which influenced  the miners of
Porcupine, the result has been seen.
I may say that even before I left Porcupine it was made known to me that some of the
claim-owners already doubted the wisdom of the course they had been led to adopt.
It should be stated that the matter of expense did not deter the miners, because all international questions under the Modus Vivendi were referred to me by the Government Agent,
and there were no fees in such matters.
I need only add that it seems regrettable that the owners of United States locations did
not avail themselves of the opportunity, so handsomely accorded them by our Government, of
having their claims confirmed by the Commission and recorded under the laws of this Province,
because, from the information I gained as to the manner of making United States locations
prevailing in the Porcupine District, it was specially desirable that the claim-owners should
have seized the opportunity of forestalling possible htigation and preserving the peace of the
district, particularly in view of the fact that they had before them the object lesson of one
murder already committed in Porcupine, arising out of a dispute over a mining claim, t
*Copies of all these documents, which will repay perusal, will be found in the Pile-Book.
tAnother shooting of a rival claim-owner has since been reported, though this time, happily, without a
fatal termination. 1 Ed. 7 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1059
On Thursday morning, 27th, at 10 a.m., I left Commissioner's Camp, and, accompanied
by Mr. Seymour, went down the Klehini River in a canoe skilfully managed by a Stick
Indian, and reached by about 1 o'clock, after several stops, the junction of the Chilkat, where
there is an iron post in the bank marking the boundary. Some twenty-five minutes later we
arrived, four miles lower down, at Klukwan, the principal and ancient village of the Chilkats,
formerly notorious, even so far back as Vancouver's time, as being the most powerful and
intelligent branch of the great Tlingit family. There are about seventy houses in Klukwan,
and it contains much of interest to the ethnologist and the antiquary. Here we had to stop
over night owing to a strong wind up the river. We started at 7:30 next morning, and at
8:05 reached Kat-Kwaltu, a small Chilkat village of some seven or eight houses, where I
stopped half an hour; passed Murphy's Flat at 11:10, and reached Portage Point (sometimes
locally called Jones Point), on Chikat Inlet, at 12:40, and then walked about 1|- miles to
Haines Mission. The distance from Klukwan to Haines Mission, as the crow flies, is about
20 miles, but I am informed that by the twisting and winding channel the distance is nearly
30 miles. All the way down the Chilkat we met many canoes filled with prospectors and
others going up the stream, the prospectors being attracted by the report of the " strikes " on
the creeks above Klukwan. The steamer "Alert" being late, we did not arrive at Skagway
till very early next morning, the 29th, and left for Victoria that same evening at 9:30 by the
" City of Seattle," arriving on the 3rd of October.
Seeing that a railway is spoken of from Pyramid Harbour, and that a considerable number of prospectors and others are likely to go into the Porcupine and Chilkat country this
coming summer, I think it desirable to give in an Appendix to this report some observations
on the district which may be of use to those intending to visit it, and of interest to others.
There will be found in the accompanying File-Book a collection of public and other documents  and records, Alaskan mining laws, maps, photographs, extracts from newspapers, etc.,
etc., containing a large amount of varied information relating to the district.
Submitting, respectfully, the foregoing,
I have the honour to be, sir,
Your obedient servant,
Special Commissioner.
Victoria, December 31st, 1900.
Observations on the Porcupine and Chilkat Districts.
To reach Porcupine City during the summer the shortest route is to go to Pyramid
Harbour on Chilkat Inlet, where Mr. Jack Dalton generally has saddle and pack animals at
his ranch, and ride from there, where the Dalton trail begins, along the trail to Porcupine
City—a distance of about 40 miles. Murphy's Flat is a stopping-place on the trail, on the
west bank of the Chilkat River, about six miles above Pyramid Harbour. During very high
water it is difficult to go by trail from Pyramid Harbour to Murphy's Flat, so it would then
be necessary to go up to the Flat by canoe, and there take horses. The next stopping-place on
the Dalton Trail is Long Bridge, distant about 15 miles from Murphy's.
I take the following description of the trail from my notes:—
Wednesday, 12th September, 9:35. A warm, sunny day. Left Murphy's and for a time
wound along the river (Chilkat) flats, and in about an hour—after crossing channels of the
Kicking Horse (Katsekahin) River, and later the Takhin River, about a mile and a half from
its mouth—struck in towards the foot-hills, and proceeded over a very fair trail with easy
ascents and descents till shortly after 11, when we commenced to ascend the side of a ridge,
and did some pretty steep climbing, and finally stopped for lunch at 1:20, having made about 1060 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1901
11 miles. For the first few miles we went through heavy timber, cotton-wood, spruce, hemlock, alder and birch, and mountain-ash and vine-maple in the higher places; an abundance of
huckleberries, high-bush cranberries, raspberries, and other small fruits, and also devil's club,
ferns, and other vegetation very similar to that which generally occurs in Vancouver Island.
Some of the cotton-woods attain a great size, six feet in diameter, and spruce nearly as large.
When 970 feet above the sea I saw the first pine; this was on a high rocky bluff, commanding
a splendid view up and down the Chilkat River. When climbing up the steep ridges we had
grand views of the snow-clad peaks of the Chilkat Range, supposed to form the back of Muir
Glacier. At 2:20 we were 1,300 feet above the sea, and this is the highest part of the trail
this side of the N. W. M. P. post at Pleasant Camp (Dalton Post). At 3:15 we passed
Chilkat Lake on our left, draining into the Salmon River (Tisku) at its northern end, and
shortly after the gradual descent became steeper, till, at 3:45, we reached the rough stopping-
house at Long Bridge. The Long Bridge, so-called, is simply a piece of corduroy raised on
timbers over a stream—then dry—at the foot of the hill. The stopping-house is about a
third of a mile in a direct line from the river in the midst of a cotton-wood bush. The landing-place, where the canoes bring up the freight for Dalton's four-horse waggon from Porcupine
City, is about half a mile away across the stony river-bottom, which here must be at least two
miles wide. Across the river from and a little below the landing-place, is the Chilkat village
of Kat-kwaltu, containing about seven or eight houses.
The peaks of the mountains on both sides of the valley run from about 4,000 to about
6,000 feet, speaking generally.
Thursday, 13th September. Another fine, warm day. Left Long Bridge at 9:10. At
9:45 reached Little Salmon River and skirted its banks, coming to a long piece of corduroy,
and at 10:40 crossed, upon a truss bridge, a big stream, the outlet of Chilkat Lake, then
shortly afterwards a stony flat, through which runs the Big Salmon (Tisku) River; then some
more hilly country, with a good trail and fine trees, reaching " Walkerville" at 10:50, now
only the fire-charred remains of two or three log cabins, recently burnt; then a shady part of
the trail through good-sized timber and high ground, looking finally over a beautiful valley to
the right; then a sharp descent to Camp Sunshine, reached shortly before 12, where we first
reached the provisional boundary line along the south or right bank of the Klehini River, and
crossed the line into the bed of the river, which is Canadian territory. From here to Porcupine City is a distance of about six miles. The trail now simply followed the most convenient
course up the wide, stony bed of the Klehini, through which the main stream meanders in the
most confusing way, constantly shifting its channel; in places the bed must be three-quarters
of a mile wide, if not more, and is, along the margins, largely dotted with cotton-wood and alder
"islands." Before reaching Porcupine we crossed the main channel of the stream five times,
and innumerable smaller streams. At this time of the year when the water is low there is
no danger if caution be observed, because the water at the fords does not generally rise above
a horse's belly; but it requires some local knowledge before suitable places can be selected, as
the rapid current constantly cuts out new channels; during high water the crossings are
dangerous. The water, coming from the glaciers, is very cold and of a grayish colour, due to
suspended particles of mud which form a thick and greasy sediment after the water is allowed
to stand for some hours; the water of the Chilkat is of the same nature. We proceeded up
the river for the most part at a walk, the round water-worn stones giving insecure footing for
the horses and rendering rapid progress inadvisable. We came opposite Boulder Creek at 1
o'clock, then passed the Porcupine saw-mill on our left, then Porcupine Creek, and turned into
the heavy timber on the south bank of the river, reaching Porcupine "City" at 1:35.  .
Speaking of the trail as a whole it was surprisingly good and easy at that time of the
year.    In wet weather it would be otherwise in the low places, but not impassable.
Instead of riding to Long Bridge from Pyramid Harbour to Murphy's Flat, canoes can
be taken from Chilkat Inlet to that point; and this is the method adopted by the Chilkat
Indians going up to Klukwan, their ancient and principal village on the east side of the river
above Long Bridge. But this route is somewhat uncertain, depending on the weather, because
if the wind is blowing down the river it is very difficult to make headway, even by poling or
tracking, against the swift current, and the Indians generally wait for a good breeze up the
river. The distance to Klukwan from Haines' Mission in a straight line is about 20 miles,
but the course of the stream winds and twists so much that the actual travelling distance is
probably nearer 30 miles.    The Stick (Tinneh) Indians—those coming from the interior above 1 Ed. 7 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1061
the passes, as distinguished from the coast Indians, the Chilkats (and their sub-division, the
Chilkoots)—take their canoes up the Klehini to Porcupine City and beyond; there is consequently no difficulty in getting out of the District, because Indians can nearly always be got
to take one down, and the rivers are so swift that Porcupine City is often left in the morning
and Haines' Mission reached the same afternoon, if there is no head wind. No one, however,
should attempt going down the river who is not an expert canoe-man and familiar with the
To Klukwan there is also a trail from Haines' along the east shore of the inlet and bank
of the river. I went up this trail to a little distance above the Chilkat village of Yendestaka
(about 20 houses), which occupies a fine site on the east shore of the inlet, two and a half
miles above Haines'; but I did not go further as I there crossed with my party in a large
canoe to Murphy's Flat, so I know nothing personally about this east trail, but am informed
that it is not an easy one.
Those best qualified in this District to form an opinion think that there should be no
difficulty in running a light-draught, stern-wheel steamer up the Chilkat River to some point
above Klukwan for several months in the year; if this be done it would make the country
exceptionally easy of access and a relatively large amount of business could be done.
Dalton Trail.
Some additional information about this route may be of use. It was begun by Dalton
some few years ago, and a large amount of work has been done on it from time to time,
particularly in 1898, but the trail did not become a toll-road till the spring of 1899, when, by
licence of the United States Government, tolls were authorised on March 9th and April 10th,
to be levied as follows:—
Cattle, horses, mules, burros each, $ 2  50
Goats, sheep, swine      u 50
Single horse,  with sledge or waggon, unloaded  2 50
Two horses,             n                     u               n         5 00
Four      u                 „                     m               „         10 00
Dog team, two dogs  1  50
(25 cents each additional dog.)
Merchandise of all kinds per pound, 01|-
Foot passengers with pack of more than 25 pounds  1  00
o                            ii               25 pounds or less  25
Natives of Alaska with pack of 25 pounds or less ...     free.
(See File-Book for further particulars.)
No tolls, of course, can be collected under this licence in Canadian territory.
The trail as now used runs from Pyramid Harbour to Fort Selkirk, on the Yukon River,
a distance of about 246 miles. It is claimed that Dalton has expended upwards of $30,000
on the trail and waggon road, and he has certainly shown great enterprise in opening up the
country.    His toll licence from the Government costs him $200 a year.
Cattle are driven over the trail to Fort Selkirk ; it takes between three and four weeks
to get in, and it is claimed there is good feed all the way.
I have described the trail up to Porcupine City, and from there to Dalton Post* (sometimes called Pleasant Camp), the headquarters in that district of the N. W. M. P., there is a
waggon road along the north side of the Klehini River, some six miles further up. To get to
this waggon road, which is a very good one, the river has to be forded twice. There is also a
fairly good trail, shorter than the waggon road, from Porcupine City to Dalton Post, which
was cut by the B. C. Government in 1899 along the south side of the river, which is crossed
near the Post by some largo trees, and a bridge just at the Post. I walked from the Post to
Porcupine over this trail, and it took me two hours and three minutes. There is a good deal
of fine timber along this trail, particularly about two miles west of Porcupine, this side of
Glacier Creek, where some noble hemlocks and spruces may be seen.
* On some maps this is still called Dalton's Cache, but it is now known as Dalton Post as distinguished
from Dalton House, further up the trail. The log building known as Dalton's Cache is partly used as the
Mining Recorder's Office at Dalton Post. 1062 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1901
Dalton Post is commandingly situated on a high bank overlooking the river, 800 feet
above sea level, 260 feet higher than Porcupine City. From the Post there is a splendid view
of the surrounding country, the most distinctive features being the lofty, cone-shaped mountain,
White Peak, 8,400 feet high, and, flowing down therefrom, a great, dark glacier, covered with
earth and stones ("drift"), properly described, I understand, as a medial morraine, which seemingly blocks the valley. I rode up to this glacier from the Post in about three-quarters of an
hour, and examined it so far as possible. It is most interesting, but space forbids an extended
description.    From underneath it flows a torrent, running into the Klehini.
The waggon road ends at Dalton Post, which is a N. W. M. P. reserve. Customs duties
are collected here, and Captain Rant, the Deputy Mining Recorder, was recently stationed
here in the locally-historic building known as Dalton's Cache. Surgeon Fraser is in command
of the detachment, consisting of a corporal, nine constables, and one special constable, and there
is also another special constable (an Indian) at Dalton House, further up the trail in Yukon
Territory. The post consists of the commandant's house, barracks, stables, and some two or
three other buildings. When I was there the live stock consisted of four horses, a mule, and
two cows. Last year ten horses had to be killed and fed to the sleigh dogs, owing to the great
expense of keeping the animals, amounting to $4 a day per head. A certain number of horses
are absolutely necessary' in order to keep up the patrols, and the mail is brought up twice a
month from Haines' Mission. It is twelve miles along the trail from here, Dalton Post, to
Rainy Hollow (where a number of claims are located), and from there, keeping Mount Glave
1^6,000 feet) on the right, to Glacier (height of land) 23 miles, and from Glacier to Bear Camp
14 miles, and from Bear Camp to Dalton House (Yukon Territory) 22 miles—in all, 71 miles
from Dalton Post. At each of the intermediate stages is a winter cabin for the use of patrols
and travellers generally.
Shortly after leaving Dalton Post the trail begins to rise rapidly over the range forming
the summit between the north fork of the Klehini and Boulder Creek. About two miles
beyond Dalton Post the trail reaches a height of 1,400 feet, and then, in the distance of only
about a mile in direct line, it rises precipitously by a series of curves and zig-zags to 2,800
feet. As I did not go further than Dalton Post, my information regarding the trail beyond
that point is gleaned from Surgeon Fraser, Mr Chester F. Lee, M.E.,* and Mr. Woods, head
packer on the Dalton Trail. In 1897, Mr. J. J. McArthur, D.L.S., made a reconnaisance
survey of this route for the Dominion Government, and the following extract from his report
relating to the trail beyond Dalton House is contained in the Klondike Guide (Mr. Ogilvie's)
for 1898, at p. 120:—
" From Rainy Hollow to Glacier Camp *        *        * would be the most difficult
part of the route in winter, as there is no wood, and the snow would be much deeper than
further north. There is very little swamp land between Pyramid Harbour and Dalton's, and
animals never get mired. The Indian village Weskutaheen is a mile and a half west of the
post (now called Dalton House). They are Sticks and a very docile people. On the trail, fifteen
miles north of Dalton's, is Klukshu Lake, about three miles in length, which is connected by
a creek about a mile and a half long with Lake Dezadeash. This is a large body of water,
and the trail follows it for twenty-five miles. It could be used for winter travel; in fact,
between salt water and Five Fingers, one hundred miles of a winter trail would be on ice.
From Dalton's to Hutshi village (three houses and a graveyard), a distance of about seventy
miles, the trail is hard except in one or two places, and at a very slight expense could be made
into a first-class bridle path ; as it is, a saddlehorse can make forty miles a day. Fish abound
in the Klukshu, Dezadeash, and Hutshi Lakes, and the Alsek is one of the greatest salmon
streams I have met with. From Hutshi to Five Fingers the trail is hard, and it is the best
portion of the route. From Dalton's, north, there is an abundance of dry wood, and hay
marshes are numerous. The trail from Hutshi to Selkirk, broken by Dalton and me this
summer, crosses several high, moss-covered ranges, and could never be made a quick trail. On
this trip, when about sixty miles south from Selkirk, we crossed the Tahte River, which is a
good-sized stream flowing west through a broad valley, which depression continues to the east
as far as Nordenskiold. I am not certain whether it is a branch of the White River. I
regret that, owing to my caches having been lifted by mistake, it was impossible for me to
explore it to the west, as it may furnish an easy railway or waggon route to the mouth of
White River, or some point below Selkirk."
* Mr. Lee has prepared an excellent map of Rainy Hollow Camp and surrounding district.    (See File
Book for a copy. 1 Ed. 7 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1063
Porcupine "City."
This is a village, 540 feet above sea level, in latitude 59° 29', longitude 126° 14', approximately 40 miles from Pyramid Harbour, very pleasantly situated, in Alaskan territory, on the
right or south bank of the Klehini River, just above its junction with Porcupine Creek. The
townsite is on a bench, beneath lofty hills, covered with spruce, cottonwoods, willows, and
other trees, and, as surveyed, extends up to the boundary line on two sides, south and west.
The village consists of Dalton's trading store, Lindsay's Hotel (which is, all things considered,
exceedingly well kept), four saloons, and a number of other buildings, chiefly log houses and
cabins. There are about 250 miners in the neighbourhood, and some of them have their wives
arid families with them. Mr. Clark, of the Burkhard House, has a nice garden to the west of
the village, where cabbages, lettuces and turnips were growing, and there seems to bo no
reason why nearly all the ordinary garden stuff should not be raised by means of early and
deep cultivation. The village seems to be thriving, and some new buildings were being erected,
but of course its future depends upon the adjacent mines.
In 1899, on September 23rd, the first snow fell at Porcupine, four or five inches, but
melted away in two or three days. In October, snow falls oft and on, but winter does not
commence until about the beginning of November; really cold weather is not expected till
Christmas. The thermometer occasionally drops to about 20 or 25° below zero, but there are
no prolonged very cold spells, and thaws set in at intervals. The snowfall is great, six to
eight feet, and sometimes more, on the level, and cold winds blow along the river bottom,
though its banks are generally protected by the timber. During December, January and
February, the sun is largely shut out from Porcupine by the range rising at the back of it.
There is generally' much rain during the end of August and September.
At Dalton Post the snowfall is still greater than at Porcupine, reaching 10 to 12 feet on
the level; but the climate is not continuously severe, and I was informed by Surgeon Fraser
that the lowest temperature he had recorded so far was 23° below zero. It is said that
almost all garden stuff can be grown at the Post, and I saw sweet peas, pansies and cornflowers growing in the garden, though the sweet peas were protected from night frosts.
During my visit to Porcupine the weather was better than usual at that time of year, but,
nevertheless, the rain was frequently very heavy and the wind high, and I got the full benefit
of it where my tent was pitched in the bod of the river, in B. C. territory. A table of temperature and thermometer readings will be found in the File-Book, with some observations on
the weather. There was practically no frost after sunrise. Before the rain came, during the
sunny days, the sand-flies at the camp were an annoyance, but they disappeared as it got
Numbers of robins and other migratory birds still lingered at Porcupine when I left;
" foolhens " wore common along the trails, and large ravens were very numerous, especially on
the river bottom. On my way down the Klehini River, near the junction with the Chilkat
and for some distance below Klukwan, I remarked great numbers of eagles (dark bodyT, white
head and tail) which were not only to be seen sailing about the hill-tops, but would remain
sitting on the trees quite close to the water's edge, undisturbed by the canoe. I understand
their presence in such numbers is due to the vast quantities of dog salmon, unfit for human
food, which were then making their way up the rivers and lying rotting on the banks; but
some silver salmon and other good fish were also to be had then. When we first reached
Porcupine the leaves had taken on their autumnal tints, but were still on the trees and shrubs,
but by the time we left they had almost all fallen, except from the alders, which were still
quite green.    The season, as a whole, is stated to have been rather exceptional.
In the File-Book will be found eleven photographs of Porcupine City, Commissioner's
Camp, boundary posts, and Klehini and Chilkat Rivers, etc. In the Klondyke Official Guide,
above referred to, a number of excellent views are given, as follows :—Band of 120 cattle on
the Dalton Trail (frontispiece); Pyramid Harbour and Chilkat Inlet (p. 13); Haines' Mission
and Chilkat and Chilkoot Inlets (p. 20); Klehini River Flats (pp. 21, 23); Dalton Trail (pp.
28-9, 37). 1064 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1901
Mining Operations.
In view of the fact that this District was visited by the Provincial Mineralogist, Mr.
Robertson, and by the Gold Commissioner, I prefer to say nothing on this point, but would
refer to their report thereon, as well as that of the Deputy Mining Recorder of the District.
When I was at Klukwan, Surgeon Fraser was proceeding with a party of the N. W. M. P. up
the Chilkat River to establish a branch of the customs house at the boundary line, four miles
above Klukwan; and Gold Commissioner Graham followed him in a day or two and established a branch of the Mining Recorder's office there, Captain Rant subsequently moving
down from Dalton Post to take charge of it. These steps were rendered necessary by the
recent discoveries on tributaries (Bear, Clear and Buff Creeks) of the Chilkat River, about 20
miles or so above Klukwan.
In addition to the information already given on this subject, reference should be made by
those interested in the navigation of these rivers, and otherwise, to the Pacific Coast, Alaska,
Pilot, 1883, pp. 198-99, for a valuable technical account of the survey of the Chilkat River
and its tributaries made by the United States Naval Exploring Expedition of 1880. The
principal land-marks are also therein given, but I should add two others very well known :
(1) the post and notice board marking the place where Klendygoosh, head chief of the Chil-
kats, was drowned on the 15th of April, 1895, on the left (easterly) bank of the river, some
three miles above Yendestaka; and (2) the grave-house of Shouck and his father, both celebrated "sha-mans" ("doctors"), prominently situated on a rocky bluff a little above Yendestaka.
Native Races.
The Chilkat tribe, already alluded to, regards the region up to the summits of the passes
as its exclusive and hereditary territory. The three villages already mentioned are their old
established places of residence, though they have other modern and temporary habitations at
the canneries and elsewhere. The upper village is Klukwan ("the old town"); the middle
village, Kat-kwaltu ("the place of gulls"); and the lower one, Yendestaka* ("the village on
the east bank of the river"). According to the Alaska " Pilot," supra, p. 98, Klukwan
contained, in 1880, 65 houses and 560 inhabitants; Kat-kwaltu, 11 houses and 125 inhabitants; and Yendestaka, 16 houses and 171 inhabitants. The Chilkoots, really of the same
tribe as the Chilkats, have their old village some seven miles from Haines and about one mile
up the Chilkoot River, which is the outlet of Chilkoot Lake and empties into the head of
Chilkoot Inlet. This village, according to the same authority, contained, in 1880, eight
houses and 127 inhabitants, and there is also mention of a small settlement of three houses
called Tanani, between Haines and Chilkoot. According to the U. S. census of 1890, the
whole Chilkat tribe only numbered 811 persons, though in 1869 there were 2,000; particulars
of the census of 1900 are not yet to hand. For further particulars regarding the Chilkats,
consult the authorities quoted under "History and Exploration." In addition, it may be
mentioned that Lieut. G. T. Emmons, the well known authority on the ethnology of Alaska,
informs me that he has in preparation a monograph on the " Tlingits," which will embody the
result of his eighteen years' experience in Alaska with the natives of that race.
It is stated in Appleton's Guide, infra, that " Ensign Hanus's report of his peace mission
of 1880 (to these Tlingits) is a valuable ethnological contribution, and is printed in the (U. S.)
census report of 1890."
As regards the Stick (Tinneh) Indians, from the interior, who now come down to trade
at the coast without active molestation from the Chilkats, particularly since the advent of the
N. W. M. Police, reference should be had to the following publications :—
Notes on the Tinneh or Chepewyan Indians of British and Russian America, by George
Gibbs, Smithsonian Institution, 1866.
Report of the U. S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington, 1869, pp. 575-6.
Report on Alaska; Wm. G. Morris, Washington, 1887 ; p. 97.
Dawson's Report on the Yukon, infra, pp. 178, 192, and 204b.
*In the Alaska "Pilot," supra, p. 198, it is stated that the name, though spelt as above, is properly
Gan-te-gas-tak-heh.    In my opinion, the spelling 'Ndestockeh best represents the sound. 1 Ed. 7 Report of Commissioner on Porcupine District. 1065
History and Exploration.
The following publications relate particularly to this region, and should be consulted on
these points :—
Vancouver, Capt. Geo., Voyages, etc., 6 vols., 8vo., London, 1801. Vide vol. 5, at pp.
Dawson, Dr. George M.: Report on the Yukon District in 1887. Contains, pp. 174b et
seq., an instructive critical examination of the various authorities and reported journeys
through the Chilkat and Chilkoot Passes, special praise being given, at pp. 178b, 180b, to the
exploratory work of Dr. Arthur Krause in May and June, 1882, on behalf of the Bremen
Geographical Society. The work of Dr. Arthur Krause, author of " Die Tlinkit Indianer,"
infra, and his brother, Dr. Aurel Krause, in 1881 and 1882, is referred to by Mrs. Willard,
infra, pp. 135, 190, 193.
Willard, Mrs. Eugene S.: Life in Alaska; Philadelphia, 1884. Contains an account of
the establishment of Haines' Mission in 1881, and notes on the neighbouring Indians, etc.
Wood, Lieut. C. E. S.: Among the Tlingits in Alaska; Century Magazine, July, 1882.
Glave, E. J. : Pioneer Pack Horses in Alaska; Century Magazine, September and
October, 1892. This contains a valuable account of the country in 1891 from Chilkat to the
Alsek River to Dry Bay.
Everette, Dr., U. S. A.: Statement in San Francisco "Chronicle" of August 30th, 1885,
on his visit to Chilkat and voyage down the Yukon River. Route similar to Schwatka's.
Referred to in H. H. Bancroft's Alaska, 1886, at pp. 735-6.
Schwatka, Lieut. Frederick: Along Alaska's Great River in 1883; New York, 1885.
Scidmore, Mrs. E. R.: Alaska and the Sitkan Archipelago; Boston, 1885. Chap. viii.
is on " The Chilkat Country."
Appleton's Guide Book to Alaska: New York, 1896, at pp. 92 to 97. "The Chilkat
Country and the Passes of the Yukon."
Pacific Coast Pilot, Alaska, Part 1, Washington, 1883 : Pages 194-200 relate to the
Lynn Canal and contain much valuable information about the Chilkat country7. At pp. 197-8
is a description of the Chilkat River well worth perusing.    See Dawson's comments.
Krause, Arthur: "Die Tlinkit Indianer," Jena, 1885, above mentioned, and also charts
and maps mentioned by Dawson and Pacific Coast Pilot, supra.
VICTORIA, b. c.:
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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