Alaska State Library - Historical Collections

ASL-MS0107-Diary06-1903

 

James A. Wickersham diary, May 16th, 1903 to Sept. 17, 1903.

 

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Mt. McKinley Diary 

 

Wick[er]sham                    

[May 16?], 1903 to Sep. 17th , 1903 

 

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[inside front cover]     

 

            Diary 

            of 

James Wickersham 

 

            From 

     May 16th 1903. 

            -to- 

     Sept. 17, 1903. 

 

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[sketch of dog and tree]

[drawing caption:] 

Dog tied to pole so that he cannot 

gnaw loose – pole tied to a tree. 

 

1. Dee-na-li Athapascan tradition 

2. Tre-la-ya Cooks Inlet Indian name 

3. Bolshoyia Russian name “High”. 

4. McKinley Patriotic.   

 

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May 16th 1903. 

A beautiful sunny day - Am already 

[to] go to Chena today at 1 oclock on the 

[Is]abella, where we will embark on the 

[“]Tanana Chief" on our journey to Mt 

McKinley. 

     We loaded "Mark" and "Hannah", our 

pack mules, on the "Isabella" at Fairbanks 

at noon, and at one oclock we boarded 

that craft with 115 other persons going on an 

excursion to Chena - to see us off on our 

trip and - evidently - to show the people of the 

town that as steamboat could 

navigate the Chena river.  We had music 

aboard & singing.  Received a note from 

Mr. Hendricks just as we were embarki[ng] 

[say]ing that he would leave Chena 

with his  boat at once - so we will 

[m?]ake close connection. 

 

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- made a quick and flying trip down

to Chena and found the "Tanana Chief" with 

steam up waiting for us.  Excursionists 

seemed to enjoy the town - we procured our 

supplies - plenty of flour, bacon, beans, 

box dried apples, do, dried prunes, 300 ft 

of ½ in rope - non alpen stocks, muck= 

lucks.  100 lb rolled oats for the mules &c. 

After the Fairbanks excursion left, we 

loaded - the mules and supplies into 

a small barge ahead of the Chief & 

after a good dinner with Mrs. Currier 

- Mr Hendricks, Stevens, George & I, -our 

boat left Chena at 9.30 p.m. for 

down river.  Did not pay for my outfit, 

but agreed to do so from Rampart on 

my return, - about $100. due to Hen- 

=dricks & Belt.  He said, in answer to my 

question, that he would charge nothing for 

putting us up the Kantishna river - 

that he desired to do that much to assist 

in our efforts to reach the summit of the 

highest mountain in North America. 

Cleary also gave us such supplies as he had 

at Fairbanks & brought us all down 

on the “Isabella” in the same spirit. 

Robertson & Scott loaned us the mules 

cheap, on the same grounds.  Altogeth[er] 

[there?] seems to have arisen in the 

 

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Fairbanks - Chena community a spirit 

of enthusiasm to aid Americans to 

climb the mountain and save us the 

mortification experienced when Prince 

Luigi climbed St. Elias.  Went to bed, - in 

a small bunk, with rabbit skin blanket - 

early, for I was tired. 

-17th    Sunday- 

Passed the Nee-na-na or Cantwell 

river intake early this morning, and over 

took the "Jennie M", a small steamer 

belonging to Belt & Hendricks fleet, also 

going down to Weare for supplies for them. 

During the late winter they moved a large 

amount of supplies across the Yukon to 

the east bank of the Tanana, and now that 

the latter is open they will supply the mines 

from that source until the Yukon opens. 

Ducks, & particularly geese along the 

 

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Tanana sand bars by thousands.  Valley 

low and wide.  Ice yet piled high on the 

banks, only went out of channel 3 days ago. 

River runs nearly west - sometimes a little 

north, beautiful day - Geese, ducks, snipe. 

     My party, consists of:       

Charley Webb, whom I have known at 

Eagle City and on the Tanana for two years -  

a splendid good packer, hunter, boatman 

and guide.  John M McLeod, a native 

of Liard river country - who has lived on the 

Mackenzie and Yukon, all his life - 26 

years old.  Johnnie was guide for Prof- 

Stone where he gathered natural history 

specimens along the Mackenzie to the Arctic 

and with Prof. Hanbury on his journey into 

the same country.  Morton I. Stevens 

an all round athlete, shot and boatman 

George A. Jeffry, a good photographer 

 

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and my stenographer and secretary. 

All four of these men are young, strong 

and sound in heart and lungs.  With 

them and the ropes, alpen stocks, picks 

&c. &c. and the assistant of the Tanana 

Chief we ought to reach the mountain & 

return in time. 

      Reached the mouth of the Kantishna - 

river at noon, and were greatly surprised 

and correspondingly disappointed at finding 

it running full of heavy ice, barring the 

"Tanana Chief" from ascending it.  As we 

waited the ice grew heavier, and Mr. Hendricks 

was almost ready to put us ashore - but 

finally agreed to wait until evening to see 

whether any change will come in the 

flow.  Just as we came to the mouth 

of the stream Webb discovered a 

boat in a drift, and while we lay 

tied to the bank just below the 

 

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Kantishna he and Johnnie went 

across in a row boat and pulled it out. 

To our great delight it proved to be a 

finely built double ender, 16 ft. long 

clinker built, but filled with dirt.  We 

brought it over to the "Chief", turned it up 

sideways, washed it clean, calked a crack, 

ran new rosin in the seams & now 

have a handsome new boat, able to 

carry all of our outfit except the mules. 

If the "Cheif" fails us we are now sure to 

get up the Kantishna by cordelling. 

     6 o'clock - The ice is nearly all 

run out, and our scare seems to be over 

- we will go on up the Kantishna as we orig 

=inally intended, - if something else 

don't happen - but in any event we are 

now able to help ourselves - from 

this point or at any higher point where 

the "Chief" leaves us. 

 

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Mr. Hendricks has been assisting 

me in preparing a map of the Tanana 

from Chena to Baker creek.  Owing 

to the swift current and heavy flow from 

the Kantishna into the Tanana we had 

much delay and trouble in getting into 

the mouth of the {tributary} stream, but at 

9:30 when I went to bed we were up some 

two miles to the first of a low range of 

sandhills which marks the western 

line of the Kantishna.  The stream is 

larger in appearances at this point. 

            -18th- 

The boat ran all night, and I was awaken 

once or twice by noises and found us going 

Woke at 6 oclock - we were in a lake 

- like part of the river - 660 ft wide 

and making good time.  For miles 

we have remained in these lakes 

with narrow - rapid connections. 

 

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The general course of the river is 

south. 

Courses of Kantishna 

at its junction with 

the Tanana. 

River runs general course 

south. 

[sketch of river and mountain]

[caption:]  TANANA RIV. 

Sand Ridge 100 ft. high 

 

The Kantishna is as large as the Patomac 

- the Wabash - the Illinois - the Sacra 

=mento.  Its valley is yet a part of that 

of the Tanana - wide, timbered and 

fertile.  It is a splendid virgin country 

- the Tanana Chief is the first boat 

to stem its waters: 3 p.m.  For nearly 24 

hours now we have been traveling up this 

wide, deep and navigable river.  It is 

a beautiful day - warm, sunny and 

springlike.  The birds sing, geese, ducks 

and other birds fly, the sunlight da[?] 

 

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the approaching mountain range shows 

in the clouds far across the evergreen 

forests filling the wide valleys - It is 

a temperate zone landscape - such 

as De Soto might have seen (except the 

snow covered mountains) when crossing tow 

=ard the Mississippi.  It bears no 

possible resemblance to an Arctic 

region.  We are just now passing a 

yellow sandy cut {cut sand} bank on the right 

shore (going up) with a peculiar cut 

mound at its lower end.  A few minutes 

ago we were all surprised to see a boat 

coming down the river with a single 

occupant.  Coming alongside we found 

his name to be Butte Aiken and he told 

us he had been in the wilderness for 

eleven months without seeing a white 

man.  He had his furs in the boat 

 

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and was going to the lower country. 

He said we were 15 miles below an Indian 

camp, - that it as about 40 miles  

to the forks of the Kantishna & Toclat. 

     Reached the Indian village on the 

right bank (going up) of the Kantishna late 

this evening.  Boat out of wood –we all 

went ashore & cut & carried aboard 

enough to last back to Baker Creek. 

{Kudan.} 

Abram & Simon, two young Indians, 

who speak English came aboard &  

made us maps of trails &c. to McKinley. 

Abram says “Mountain sheep fall of that 

mountain – guess white man no stick em.” 

 I asked him “Abram, your name – what name 

mountain” – he answered promptly “McKeenly”. 

- “No” I said “what is Indian name” & 

he said “Dēē-na-thy” (a as in father).  

We pulled up to the Indian village 

 

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and unloaded our supplies - built a 

cache in trees & put our eatables up out  

of reach of the malamute dogs - built put 

up our tent and got ready for the night. 

After unloading us the "Tanana Chief” 

backed out, went flying down stream 

and we are now upon our own resources. 

About 50 Athapascans at this camp. 

            -19th- 

We did not get to bed last night until 

nearly midnight, so I did not wake the camp 

until 8 oclock.  After a long preliminary 

"talk" we induced Abram{Kudan} to go with the mules 

and George & Stevens as guide to Moose Creek 

- 20 miles up the Kantishna above the forks 

with Toclat.  We took photographs of the 

Indian camp, of individuals and women 

cleaning moose skins, and at noon 

departed.  George & Stevens, guided by 

Abram, started off through the woods.

 

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while Webb, Johnnie McLeod and I loaded 

our boat and left for via. the river bank. 

[sketch of river]

Alternately we poled, or cordelled, and 

crossed to bars with the oars.  The following 

diagram will explain how we took advan 

=tage of the currents and 

bars.  The lines, thus - - - represent 

the main current of the 

river, while the round dots, thus . . . represent 

the direction taken up stream by our 

boat.   We cordelled, or pulled the 

            boat upstream & the 

diagram explains how we rounded the bars & as 

soon as we could strike the current would 

cross the current to the opposite bar, thus 

always being able to walk and pull the 

boat with the 1/2 in rope around the bars- 

 

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The difference between the current side 

of the river and the opposite bar side is 

shown by this diagram. 

                        The current and 

rapid water, of course, is on the deep 

side on the outer rim of the bends, thus 

giving us the short cut on the bars. 

We were accompanied up the river by two 

Indians who were going hunting moose. 

They had lunch with us.  "Chē-ah" was 

the name of the eldest - his name means 

"to eat" in the Tinneh, and he did not fail 

to live up to the highest tradition of gastro 

=nomic nomenclature.  About 5.30 it 

began to rain heavily and we went ashore & 

made camp in a fine grove of spruce on 

a high dry bank - tent up & filled with 

aromatic spruce boughs - dinner & a 

fine evening.  fine camp. 

 

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Good supper - an hour afterward 

old Na-chē-rē-ah "Sunset" - 

came into camp & we gave him supper. 

He correctly and carefully gives me the names 

of the rivers - "Hun-teth-na", instead 

of Kantishna, and "Too-tlat", instead 

of Toclat.  I supposed that the final 

"na" on the names of the Tanana rivers 

mant "river" - but the old man says 

that it does not - but only means 

- "take it."  "Too-tlat" means = 

"Too" -water & the whole "Head waters" 

            -20th- 

Left our fine camp of last night 

at 9 and have made a long run - 

in a general southerly direction. 

Passed what we took for the 

mouth of the "Too-tlat" two miles 

or more back.  We have made abou 

 

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15 miles and hope to reach Moose 

Creek tomorrow night.  The river is 

now within well defined bluffs at 

two miles distance on either side - though 

here at our camp tonight we cannot 

see the east bluff as we think the 

Too-tlat valley extends the distance. 

Mountains begin to look close, though 

we are yet in a perfectly level country 

- the bluffs bring only terraces. 

Fine camp tonight on west bank on 

a high dry spot, open to east & south. 

River very high & rising which makes 

cordelling bad & poling ditto. 

Webb & Johnnie are fine river men 

and understand boats & other uses. 

Webb is a Tacoma boy & went to 

school to Nan at the Central School 

- also to Mrs Rice & Miss Unthauk. 

 

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            -21- 

Made only about 10 or 12 mi 

today - this afternoon it rained 

hard and is still pouring tonight 

We are wet - bedraggled and hungry. 

Good camp on north bank facing 

river and south.  Frightful bends 

in river which still maintains a 

general southerly course.  No 

bluffs near river yet - but foothills 

just above us.  Have killed no 

game yet, though every point of 

a bar has a pair of geese, and 

ducks are abundant.  Moose 

sign everywhere -there are 

hundreds of them along the river 

River very high and rising rapidly. 

            22nd 

Two trappers came into our camp this 

morning before we got up - they are in 

a boat and going down river.  They have 

 

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been on the Kuskokwim and the big lake 

at the head of this river.  They tell us we are 

on the right road & 15 miles from the Indian 

camp.  They have been out of civilization 

for nearly a year – names,  Frank Peterson 

& Charley Lundun - They make me 

a map of the river from here to a big lake 

out of which the river springs, - it is 

yet 240 miles - by the river- to the Lake 

We got some baking powder & soda 

from them, none having been put in our 

outfit.  A mile above our camp of the 

night we passed a high cut bank of sand 

- on the right hand going up - at a bend. 

Rain fell two inches last night, but too 

high yet to line the boat along the banks 

except in short stretches.  While at 

our lunch I discovered Stevens 

small flag - a mile above & across 

the river - on a tree at the point of a bar 

 

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Arrived at the Indian  camp & found 

George, Stevens & Abram, their guide, on the left 

bank of the river – the mules still on the 

other side.  This is the ideal Indian Camp. 

[sketch of river]

[captions:] slough               Indian Camp   

KANTISHNAR RIVER    Hill. 

 

It faces the waters of a slough – and far 

away – 25 to 50 miles is a range of magnificent 

snow capped mountains – the western most being 

“Dee-na-thy” – the High.  To the left are 

other peaks – reaching the clouds, and snow 

covered – higher than Shasta – Hood or 

Ranier.  Beautiful cones – capping 

the grandest mountain chain in the 

world.  In the foreground is another chain 

- lower, yet serrated and beautiful – 

over which we reach the vast abysses 

and gorges of McKinley.  It is the 

most beautiful mountain view I have 

ever seen – and – over shadows 

 

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all the beauties of the Rockies & Cascades. 

The Indian camp, itself, is full of beauty 

- as a barbaric and rapidly passing phase 

of American life.  On a gentle slope toward 

the water - tents, meat racks - canoes - frames 

for new canoes - fish nets, drying and tanned 

bear - moose, caribou, rabbit, martin &c 

hides, - all the life and color a Sioux 

or Comanche camp-  It is the most 

spirited Athapascan camp to be seen 

in the north – in a splendid game and 

fish country - and on a river visited only 

by the few hardy & daring spirits that have 

camped along its shore over winter for 

its fine trapping.  An old woman scraping 

a moose hide - another wringing the water 

out of wet and soaked hide - playing 

children, visiting squaws - the 

passing canoe -  the herd of resting 

Malamute dogs - the bright sky & the 

reflection of the distant peaks in 

 

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the still waters - beautiful scene - to 

be found in such primitive barbarity no 

where else in our territories today. 

     Will remain here tomorrow & swim  

the mules across - then go due south to the 

ridge on the north east slope of McKinley 

& attempt to ascend from that flank.  The 

great mountain lies about fifty or sixty 

miles, a little west of south of this place. 

This camp is called "Tuch-taw-gā-na” 

The black hills farthest to the north & to our 

left is called by them "Chid-zey-ah" 

= Chid -zi-ah".  Moose Creek is 

called "Chid-zi-ah-na". 

            -23rd- 

Wrote letter last night & sent back by 

Abram to Debbie at Rampart.  Also a 

note to Hendricks.  Paid Abram $15.00 

& he goes back today. 

 

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The first disappointment today: - 

Johnnie McLeod has cold feet and is  

going to desert us - he has been intensely 

scared out by the Indian stories about 

the inaccessibility of the mountain.  Will 

remain here in the Indian camp 

today - Crossed "Mark" and 

"Hannah" by swimming them across 

the Kantishna river 1/4 mile. They 

will go due south tomorrow along 

the bluff on east of river while we 

go up the stream by boat.  An 

Indian guide will go with horses. 

While after mules we climed high spruce 

trees on bluff top, -splendid view of all 

the upper Kantishna valley - 50 miles or 

more wide - covered with spruce and birch. 

[captions:]  Tolcat    McKinley 

Chid-zi-ya range.     Kantishna 

 

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[sketch of river and mountains] 

[captions:] 

White peaks     Mt. McKinley 

Mt. Chid-zi-ah. Tolcat 

Chid-zi-ah Range.  (Chit-siah) 

Chit-siah means “heart”. 

Kantishna Riv   Camp May 23rd 

 

Mt. Chid-zi-ah is exactly 

{5 degrees east of} south of us 

today, and McKinley is 10 degrees west 

of south.  The river for some distance runs 

west then turns south west – its 

general course is now south west 

and it is said by Peterson & Lundur 

{and the Indians} 

to rise in Lake Menchebιna, 50 

mi. west of Mt. McKinley. 

            -24th-   Sunday 

Webb, McLeod & I left the Indian 

camp with the boat while Jeffery & 

Stevens went with the mules south 

 

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along the birch [co]vered bluffs – We 

are to meet at the next Indian camp 

at “60 Mile” – or Moose Creek. 

They have an Indian as a guide. 

We worked hard & made good time but 

the river is bad – though falling & we 

are camped in the wilderness tonight 

on the south bank of the river. 

[map captions:]  Low range  

of hills 

Camp May 23.    Bluffs 

Camp May 24. 

[sketch of river] 

            Map of River at our 

     camps of May 23 & 24. 

Johnnie McLeod has finally agreed 

to go and watch the mules – but will 

not attempt to climb the mountain 

 

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            -25th     Hun-tahl-nō 

            Monday 

We have reached the Indian camp 

on a big slough into which a stream 

flows – from east.  Indians call 

the place “Anō-toch′-ti-lon”. 

[captions:] River           River  slough 

Anō-toch′-ti-lon.  May 25. 

Hun-tath

Climbed the birch clad hill back of Indian 

village and had a splendid panoramic 

view of the Chet-siah (Chid-zi-ah) range 

& the upper valley of the Kantishna.  The 

maps are wrong in bringing the 

head waters of the Kuskokwim on the 

north base of McKinley  -that river 

rises north and west of this – which 

completely drains McKinley waters. 

Met George & Stevens here all right. 

 

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The Indians more correctly pronounce 

the name of the beautiful mountain just 

south east of us 20 miles - "Chet-siah" 

and say it means "heart."  They say also 

that the white mans rendering of Kantish 

=na is wrong, it is - "Hun-tahl-nō." 

The lake, also, is called "Mu {Mun-}chub′-inna". 

="mun" - Lake - or Lake Chub′inna. 

This is a fine village - mostly from Tanana 

and Chief Henry is their leader - They are 

making some fine boats - and clearing and 

tanning moose hides as fine as calf skin 

leather. 

            -26th- 

            Tuesday 

Remained in camp all day - raining. 

During afternoon went to top of big bluff 

just down the river when I could see 

far down and to its source - it runs 

in a general South of South west course 

 

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[sketch of rivers]

[captions:]  Chit-siah Mt McKinley 

To-tlat  Hun-tehl-no 

Kantishna  Tanana Riv 

 

General view of course of 

the Kantishna - or Him-tehl-nō. 

While upon hill with Webb I located 

an eagles nest - saw the old whitehead 

sitting on tree top - and old mother bird 

sitting on the nest.  Whole country  

round about - to the mountains - covered 

with spruce, birch, cottonwood, alder, 

willow.  We have concluded to leave the 

boat here and pack the mules & take 

a south course on the birch hills directly 

toward the mountain. 

 

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Clear -27th-  Sunshine 

            Wednesday 

We left Anō-toch′-ti-lon rather late 

this morning, intending to go up the creek 

that empties into the slough - lake, a mile or 

so & pack from there after cacheing 

the boat.  There were two creeks, however 

and we went up one & the horses the other, 

and now at 3 p.m. Webb & McLead 

are out trying to find the other boys and 

the mules. We also met with a serious 

"axe-cident" - Webb dropped our largest 

and best axe into the creek where it is 6 

ft. or more deep, and so discolored with 

vegetation that we cannot - so far - 

find it.  He and McLeod have both dived 

for it repeatedly - but will try-try again. 

The creek we are on runs through very 

low ground - and is sluggish and filled 

with driftwood & sweepers - or hangers 

 

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trees.  It looks - with its low banks, rank 

vegetation and high forest of spruce 

trees, more like a Louisiana bayou than 

an Alaskan bayou - north of Mt. McKinley. 

     Last night just at sundown - while the 

sky was clear and the horizon open to examination 

I went on the mounds  bluff back of the Indian camp 

with Moses, uneducated Indian and old 

John who is thoroughly familiar with the 

Mt. McKinley and Kantishna river country, 

and he pointed out the location and courses 

of the Kantishna and the Kuskokwim 

rivers.  Our present maps of the Kusko 

=kwim are widely wrong.  Kantishna 

and To-tlat rivers drain McKinly and 

the Kuskokwim rises farther to the north 

& west in the Bull Moose Mountains 

which they clearly pointed out 

to me.  The Kantishna also makes 

 

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a big bend to the west and north before 

it reaches Lake Munchub'ina. 

[sketch of rivers and mountains]

[captions:]  To-tlat. Chit.Siah range 

valley.   High ridge mts   Lake 

Min Chubina 

May 26      Bull Moose Mts. 

Kuskokwim River 

Bull Moose Mts. should 

be just W.N.W. from our 

camp of May 26. 

 

This is as good a map as I can now draw 

of the final ending, course & drainage 

area of Kantishna - also the location of 

the Bull Moose branch of the Kuskokwim 

The Indians go up the "Cross-chacket" to 

reach the latter river. 

(Bull Moose range - nearly North & South) 

 

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Clear   28th   Sunshine 

            Thursday 

Late last night Webb & Stevens took boat 

back to junction of creeks with Slough a 

quarter of a mile south of Ano-toch-ti-lon 

and cached it and a sack of flour, where 

we will pick them up on our return -  

In changing from boat to pack animals 

we had to rearrange packs, &c and it was 

noon before we were on the march today. 

Our course has been a little east of south. 

- in the direction of Chit-siah, or "heart 

mountain".  We crossed about two miles of 

bad "niggerhead" swamp reach the 

rolling birch covered hills - between two 

large lakes - wading the stream up to our 

waists to cross - and thence south along 

the hills.  About 3 oclock we found 

ourselves on a beautiful {round} birch hill. 

 

<page break> 

 

sloping to a beautiful lake - just 

across its peaceful surface Dē-nathy 

- Mt. McKinley loomed up like a great 

white cloud on the horizon - throw Mts. 

Baker, Tacoma, St. Helens and Adams 

together for mass - then pile Hood on the 

summit for height and you have a fair 

idea of McKinley.  Its stupendous 

gorges - perpendicular walls and 

towering mass with "Liberty Cap" 

on its mighty summit made the most 

imposing scene I ever witnessed. 

We cleared some trees and with the lake 

and more distant hills as a foreground 

we made two exposures with each 

of our cameras.  No better view 

will ever be had of this immense 

mountain, for we viewed saw it 

 

<page break> 

 

across the level country and if 

our pictures are as good as the clear 

sky and correct light would warrant 

we are indeed to be congratulated. 

     To the {west} right of Mt. McKinley, and 

joined to it by a tremendous ridge of 

stone - covered with eternal snow and 

ice is a beautiful peak, which from 

its lesser height which renders it 

feminine in appearance with McKinley 

This splendid peak we named 

Mt. Deborah in honor of my 

good wife, whose pure clean mind 

and heart are as fairly typified by the 

white snow as ever resting upon its 

16,000 feet in altitude.  We crossed 

the outtel of the lake, and made our 

camp on its shores for the night 

Oh the birds - robins and other singing birds 

the woods is filled & boat with songs 

[overwritten vertically:] 

We soon discovered 

this to be Mt. Foraker 

a fact which I really 

regretted since I so 

wished to fix my wifes 

name to the beautiful 

Peak. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear Sunshine

            -29th- 

            Friday 

Dirty, delighted & dog-tired. 

We have crossed four  three forks of 

Beaver Creek today - all running 

west, while we have been going 

due south toward Mr. McKinley. 

[captions:] Kantishna Riv. Chitsiah 

Beaver Creek 

May 26  May 27  May 28   May 29 

We encamp tonight on the south bank 

of the fourth  third fork of Beaver Creek, just 

west of Heart Mountain, or Chit siah. 

Cloudy      -30th-   Rainy 

            Saturday 

We got a late start owing to having 

to get the mules across the creek 

- we did not bring them over last 

night.  Passed a group of 

 

<page break> 

 

small lakes, set in birch and 

spruce covered hills, which we called 

“Alma Lakes in honor of Mr. M 

I. Stevens sister.  They lie just 

a little north of due west of Mt. 

Chitsiah.  We are camped in the 

forest, tonight, on a hill, from which 

we can see other lakes & swamps 

yet to the south.  We are crossing a 

wide level and beautiful country, 

- it must be 50 or 75 miles from 

the Chitsiah hills westward to the 

Bull Moose mountains.  This 

immense area is covered with a 

light forest of spruce, birch and 

willow – it is dotted with lakes 

and intersected with running 

streams – Beaver creek 

drains a wide valley & comes 

down from Chitsiah - 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    -31st-    Sunshine 

            Sunday 

We are just below the west 

slope of Mt. Chitsiah tonight 

Would have reached the mountain 

except that the road has been so bad 

the mules gave out.  At noon we 

camped by a beautiful lake out of 

which a small stream trickled 

over a newly built beaver dam and 

then washed away westward toward 

the Kantishna.  Along the shore we 

saw many pickerel – 3lbers - 16 in 

long - and shot a dozen.  Would 

shoot just above the fish - stun it 

& throw it out while stunned.  What 

would Izaak Walton say to that? 

Well, he never hunted pickerel with 

a 30-40 so he dont count. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 1st            Sunshine 

            Monday. 

Left our camp at 10 oclock and at 1 p.m. 

we were on the high flank of Chitsiah - at 

its western flank.  Stevens had located 

two big bull cariboo {with Dodges field glasses} 

before we reached the 

summit - across on the next meadow - and  

Webb and McLeod went after them while 

the rest of us made camp - the highest point 

of spruces just below.  Watched the boys with 

the glasses - they killed both bulls - so we 

made permanent camp to dry the meat 

to use on Mt McKinley.  This afternoon 

McLeod & I erected the staging of poles 

to dry the meat on while the other boys went 

after the cariboo with the mules. 

[captions:]        Drying jerked 

                        Cariboo. 

 

<page break> 

 

From our camp we have a magnificent 

view far to the north and west.  As far 

as we can see it is a plane covered with 

birch, alder, spruce and cottonwood - 

many small lakes are set in this 

green covering & glisten in the sun- 

the "Hun-tehl-no" hills, around 

which the Kantishna circles are now 

fully outlined, beyond lie the Bull Moose 

mountains - to the south, a common 

source for the Kantishna and Kuskokwim 

waters it is level, and without a high= 

land.  Far to the north - a little to the east 

lie the Tanana hills - the Tolavana bluff 

& the domes near Fairbanks.  The valley 

opposite us is very wide - 75 miles or 

more - to the Bull Moose range. 

We will climb Chit-siah tomorrow. 

 

<page break> 

 

Variable June 2nd 

     Tuesday 

On top of Chitsiah 5 oclock p.m. 

[sketch of rivers and mountains]

[captions:]  Mt. McKinley    Great flat 

Mt. Chitsiah   Lake Minch. 

Bull Moose Mts.  Totlat.  Kantishna River 

 

             Lake Munchibena is 

            a little south of due 

            west from Chitsiah 

            & 50 miles away. 

We could plainly see it from the 

summit.  The Tō-tlat was in 

plain view from its mouth to the  

mountains. 

 

<page break> 

 

[sketch of rivers and mountains]

[captions:] Mt Deborah.   Mt. McKinley 

Chitsiah Creek   Beaver Creek   Mt. Chitsiah 

Lake Minshubbina   Totlat   Kantishna 

Correct Map    Bull Moose Mts. 

 

We left camp about noon - Stephens George & 

I and by 5 oclock we had reached the summit of 

Chitsiah.  On the road over - just as we had 

reached a small summit or hogback on the north 

side of Chitsiah Creek, we saw two bull moose 

in the little valley below us.  They trotted off 

very slowly & we had good view of them at 150 

yards distance and while they climbed the 

 

<page break> 

 

opposite bluff.  Stevens wanted to  

shoot, but I persuaded him not to do so. 

Mt. Chitsiah is the most prominent feature 

in the Kantishna and To-tlat river landscapes. 

It is the most sou  northerly mountain of the rugged 

range which extends due south between the two 

rivers to McKinley.  No other peak for 15 or 

20 miles around is so high - its name - Chitsiah 

means "Heart" in the Indian tongue - and {as} it is 

exactly the shape of the point of the heart and 

being both very appropriate and euphonious 

we have adopted it as the permanent name. 

It is about 3500 or 4000 feet high - is very 

steep - but approachable along these sharp 

divides, and up a steep rocky incline. 

We approached its summit by the southerly 

and best incline.  The view from this 

[sketch of mountian peak]

peak is superb.  For seventy five miles 

you can see the entire country to the north 

and west - even to the extreme south west 

 

<page break> 

 

and almost to the eastward.  It is 

a grand view of a wide level table land 

dotted with innumerable small lakes - 

you see the To-tlat at your feet, from its 

mountain gorges in the south west to where 

it joins the Kantishna - due north from 

the mountain.  The To-tlat valley is probably 

10 miles wide - on the east side of the river- 

on the west side it lies close to the mountains. 

Its bed is yet filled with ice, through which 

the river has cut many channels - it is a 

typical Arctic river - and differs greatly 

from the Kantishna, which is a wide & timber 

covered country.  The Kantishna rises in a 

wide low country to the west & south west 

- the Kuskokwim evidently rises in the same 

low country & flows west.  We built a 

stone cairn on Mt. Chitsiah, flung the 

stars & stripes to the breeze - made such 

rough maps as we needed & came down 

 

<page break> 

 

In going to the mountain we waded Chitsiah 

creek easily, but the snows had melted so bad 

all day that at night the creek was raging 

We finally crossed locked together by our 

hands[?].  Picture of mountains & cairn 

Cloudy.                June 3rd 

            Wednesday. 

We liked the appearance of Chitsiah Creek 

as a mineral creek & George & Stevens & Webb 

went back today with gold pan & got two 

colors & ruby sand - We will stay 

over another day & prospect it & stake.

Cloudy.  June 4. - Thursday. 

Wandered over mountains, prospected Chit- 

siah Creek - found good colors & staked 

upstream claims as follows:       Down Stream

[sketch of mining claims]  

[l. to r.]

D.S.W.     4 above        

G.A.J.     3 above          

C. Webb     2 above  

M.I. Stevens     1 above 

J.W.     Dis. 

J. McL     1 B.  

G.A.J.     2 B.  

Dave McVay     3 B.  

J.E. Briggs     4 B 

D.P.W.     5 B 

N.V.H.     6 B  

 

<page break> 

 

Discovery claim lies on Chitsiah at the  

mouth of the Two Bull Moose Gulch. 

No 4 Above for Debbie, Discovery for my 

=self & No 5 Below for Darrell. 

Variable.     June 5th    Friday 

Left camp at noon without pack train 

for our final run to the base of McKinley. 

A mile or so this side of camp I saw a 

fine bull moose & shot at him but luck 

=ily missed - we have all meat we want 

He was a magnificent animal.  I am 

now on a mountain top overlooking the 

splendid valleys to the west - hundreds of lakes 

& thousands of square miles of country. 

Just across on the next ridge - in 

plain sight is a band of cariboo mothers 

& babies.  They are on the south hill side & 

the colors are playing like young lambs. 

They are beautiful graceful creatures. 

 

<page break> 

 

Made a good run of 12 miles or more and 

are camped tonight a beautiful mountain 

stream which we have called 10 Cariboo 

Creek, because we saw that number today 

at its head. 

[sketch of creeks]

[captions:] Chitsiah Creek          

Camp June 1-5    Bull Moose Creek 

Camp June 6.   10 Cariboo Creek 

2 Bear Creek 

Camp, June 7. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 6th- Saturday 

A great bear fight!!  Saw two big 

black bear on divide.  Stevens & George 

went down to photo & rest of us opened 

fire on big male.  Wounded him & he 

came down hill close to boys who were 

just ready to take his picture when 

another shot started him.  He rolled 

head over heels down long snow 

incline with Stevens & Jeffry in full 

cry after him & the rest of us shooting 

from high bluff – In spite of all 

our shots & his evident wounds – for 

the snow was red with blood where he 

went down, he escaped in a rocky 

canyon.  The female ran away & I saw 

her a mile off across two divides – going 

in long gallop.  Also saw two 

cariboo – who came around us in the 

 

<page break> 

 

same way an antelope does - We did  

not shoot at them.  Camped tonight 

on high mountain meadow - in the 

cold east wind - with "Denally" & Mt. 

Deborah glowing in the late sunset, 

surrounded by snowbanks. 

Clear.   June 7th                Sunday 

A beautiful clear Sunday morning. 

McKinley is without a cloud - the maj 

esty of Joves mighty seat confronts us -  

the mules have runaway - think of "Mark" 

"Hannah" failing to support  {abandoning} a McKinley 

proposition   {expedition.}  After a hard days journey in 

the snow on the mountain tops we came 

S. W. down into the valley - narrow & rock walled 

- of a mountain torrent where we are tonight 

Nearness to McKinley evidently makes more 

snow.  All tired & worn out. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.  June 8th  Monday 

Yesterday was a clear day & while on the 

highest summits we had a fine view of the 

summit of "Dee-nally".  We got into this 

camp late and had our supper at midnight 

so, being all worn out, we remain in camp 

today.  Marks shoulder   back is also 

saddle sore & he needs attention.  We 

are bathing in the splendid mountain 

stream - in ice water - surrounded by 

snow banks - mending shoes - resting 

Clear    June 9th     Tuesday- 

This has proved a satisfactory day - 

we not only made a good run with our 

train but reached a point where we are 

located with reference to McKinley. 

We went due south - a little west -  

along the low range  bases of the 

 

<page break> 

 

range and tonight we are camped 

at  {on} the north bank of the most beautiful 

stream we have yet seen, - We have det 

=ermined to call it McLeod Creek, on 

account of the fact that it does things 

early & late – even before breakfast 

[captions:]  Camp 9th    McLeod Creek. 

Camp 8th          Camp 6th 

 

<page break> 

 

We are now only one days march – light 

to the north – a little west of McKinley. 

Today we will move camp up to the far= 

=thest wood & then go to the small summits 

to view out the route. 

[sketch of camp locations]

[ captions:]       Deborah 

McKinley         McKinly Creek 

Camp 9th 

 

This map roughly shows our position – as 

we now understand it – with a small 

range between us & the base of McKinly 

and the flat of McKinly Creek beyond. 

More cariboo today – but killed none – will 

hunt from our next camp as we will 

need more jerked meat for the mountain 

All things moving smoothly now since 

I am right in coming around. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear   June 10th                Wednesday 

An uneventful day – but good travel= 

=ing & we are at the base of the small range 

over which we go tomorrow.  Musquitoes 

very bad now. 

[sketch of creek]

[caption:]   McLeod Creek 

 

Encamped tonight on the most 

southerly fork of McLeod Creek. 

Variable.   June 11th                  Thursday 

Left our camp at 9:00 and traveled to the very 

summit of the range between the Kantishna 

& Denalli.  We expected to have to come 

back to McLeod creek & make our 

permanent camp for lack of wood on 

the south side of this range, but upon 

inspection from the summit we found 

 

<page break> 

 

to our great surprise that spruce grows on 

the banks of the streams under the very shadow 

of McKinley - & within a half dozen miles of 

when we must begin our ascent.  Descended 

from the mountain upon a stream coming 

from the north & flowing west out of a 

gorge, into the Kantishna flats south of 

McLeod creek - it is a beautiful stream 

- almost a river - rapid, deep and clear 

I will call it Webb Creek.  From 

our point of view on the summit we saw 

a large lake lying in a valley just north 

of McKinley.  I named it "Alma Lake" 

in honor of Mr. Stevens sister, the one 

we so named on the Kantishna valley being 

unimportant, and utterly lost in the 

multitude of lakes & swamps seen by us 

from the mountains in its neighborhood. 

alma lake f drains into Webb river. 

 

<page break> 

 

From the summit we also chose a site for 

our camp on McKinleys flank.  Came 

down the summit & had lunch - George & Stevens 

went over the next mountain to photo the lake - 

came onto four cariboo.  Shot 14 times but 

got nothing. {They saw 4 cariboo.} 

With pack train crossed 

Webb creek & camped at outlet of

Alma Lake - it is a beauty - about 

three miles long - surrounded by low 

rolling mountains, while just south - 10 

miles rises the perpendicular walls of 

the mighty McKinley range.  It is Spokane 

with a back ground of Switzerland 

magnified 100 times.  Got some photos  

- one panoramic of McKinley range - 

 

<page break> 

 

[sketch of mountain peaks]

[captions:] McKinly     Deborah 

Mt. Chitsiah 

 

Map showing the location of Alma Lake. 

Webb Crek & McKinly creek & the 

divide between the To-tlat & Webb 

watersheds. 

Cloudy.                        June 12th    Friday. 

Remained in camp all day resting.  Webb 

& MLeod went hunting - but got nothing 

but ptarmigan - 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    June 13th          Saturday. 

Our trip today as over rolling foot 

hills and a splendid plain from Lake 

Alma directly towards McKinley.  A 

more beautiful game country does not 

exist than this fine large mountain 

locked mountain meadow region 

Every stream is bordered with a growth 

of fine straight spruce: innumerable 

small clear lakes dot the rolling 

meadowland, the grass is green & 

furnishes abundant food for our 

mules, over all the clear bright sun 

pours his genial rays and it is a 

reproduction in part at least of the 

great American desert a century 

ago.  An old Indian lodge on 

a hill with a drying frame for jerking 

cariboo proves that it was once 

 

<page break> 

 

the hunting grounds of the Kantishna's 

while numbers of great antlers, now 

white with age, show when the graceful 

yet hardy cariboo have been killed.  We 

saw a band but got none them.  In the 

early afternoon we reached the edge of 

a steep - almost perpendicular gravel 

bluff - a glacial valley lay before us - 

nearly a mile wide - perfectly level from 

bluff to bluff and devoid of vegetation. 

Across its drifting bed of sand and 

gravel, ground under mighty glaciers 

& thrown out by glacial force of water, 

ran several rapid, turbid glacial 

currents, gray and muddy with glacial 

debris.  We camped on the high bluff 

facing the granduer of McKinley and 

its snow white flanks.  I arrived at 

camp last, having been off on the hills 

 

<page break> 

 

to the left hunting - but my first 

glance over the valley showed me a band 

of cariboo a quarter mile away sunning 

themselves on a sandbar.  Webb, McLeod 

& I went after them and succeeded in 

getting a fine fat one.  We then crossed 

this present, active and new glacial 

valley, wading the torrents {of McKinley Creek} 

with the water 

to our waists and went into camp on 

a bar at the mouth of that branch of 

McKinley creek which comes down from 

the north snows of the mountain - just 

above our heads.  Killed some ducks 

today also and found some ptarmigan 

eggs.  Will reach our farthest and 

permanent camp tomorrow.  We 

are now taking near views of the great white 

mountain - with our camp flanked by 

large forests of spruce saw timber. 

One fine view at exactly midnight. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 14th          Sunday 

Left our camp late, as usual, and 

had much trouble to get across the 

first glacial stream to our right, but 

finally got the pack train across and 

all of us waded its roaring waters 

hand in hand.  Crossed the divide 

to the main branch of McKinley creek 

coming down from the north slope of the 

mountain and there camped for lunch. 

A young buck cariboo, evidently attracted 

by our mules came down from the opposite 

hills and out on the glacial bar in front 

of our camp where the boys killed him. 

Passed on up the creek to a point where 

it breaks through the great northern 

moraine - terminal - and there made 

our camp in a fine bunch of spruce. 

 

<page break> 

 

We made several exposures for photograph 

coming toward the mountain - due north 

from its summit.  Later one of the moon 

resting on a white mountain top.  These 

wide glacial floors - valleys - will afford 

us an easy exit from this spot to the Kan 

-tishna - we will follow down the bars 

until we strike the Kantishna, thus escap 

=ing swamps, mountains and brush. 

Had our supper at 12 oclock and went 

to bed at one at which time the great white 

dome before us was gilded with the rose 

of the rising sun - less than two hours 

of twilight and perfectly light all night. 

Musquitoes are bad.  Great bear trail 

between camp and river.  Mountain 

looks better for climbing as we near it 

but it is yet very steep and very high. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 15.                Monday 

Moved our tent out to the creek bank on 

account of the musquito pest.  Webb & 

McLeod went back with the mules for 

the cariboo we killed last night.  This is 

a hunters paradise, for we saw a big 

buck cariboo on the side hill within half 

a mile of camp before they left & he remained 

there all day.  During the afternoon I saw 

two glacier grizzlys (bears) on what seemed 

from camp to be a moraine about a mile 

& a half away.  We waited until Webb & 

McLeod returned, with the guns & then went 

grizzly bear hunting.  They had shot a fox & 

captured a young one which they named 

"McKinley" & brought into camp.  Stevens 

Webb, George & I went over to find traces 

of the bear.  When we had neared the 

supposed moraine I discovered it 

 

<page break> 

 

to be a glacier - a stupendous mass of ice 

covered with iron ore - rock & dirt from the 

mountain {snow} slides which furnished it life. 

It appears to be new - there are evidences that 

older ones have existed, while this is evidently 

very active & vigorous.  McKinley creek pours 

from the mouth of a great ice cavern at its 

front.  The top - which I reached first 

in fact I first began the ascent, is cov 

=ered with millions of tons of debris 

and rock - granite &c.  The men of my 

party instisted on naming the glacier the 

"Wickersham Glacier" - but we'll see. 

It seems to come down from two great 

canyons - one on the east wall of the moun 

-tain the other on the north & west.  Will try 

& map it tomorrow.  It is about 300  

feet or more high, and several 

miles in length. 

 

<page break> 

 

Variable  June 16th   Tuesday 

Went to top of 6000 foot peak just 

north of McKinly, but do not see a road to 

the summit - it is one vast snowslide 

into the glacier which skirts it. 

[sketch of mountain and glacier]

[captions:] McKinly.  Lower glacier. 

 

It is about 5 miles from the extreme north 

end of the glacier to the mountain where 

it is  comes from the west. 

[sketch of mountian and glacier]

[captions:] Glacier    East     McKinly 

     West 

McK. Creek    North 

 

<page break> 

 

The present glacier comes down from 

the west close along the base of McKinly 

to a point opposite its east base - then 

turns at right angles to the north. 

It seems new & active, but an older 

glacier once existed here - much larger 

than the present.   It extended down 

the valley from camp, two miles beyond 

the present one.  The bluffs clearly 

show its height & the remaining debris 

its spread.

[sketch of mountain and glacier]           

[captions:] Mt McK     old     new 

 

We will go up to the angle in the glacier 

day after tomorrow & then up the 

ice stream - if we can.  It looks 

bad on account of snowslides 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 17      Wednesday 

Hells to pay & no pitch hot! 

Webb got mad at Stevens this morn 

=ing, packed up and left us.  Though 

I begged him not to go.  After going a 

mile or two and cooling off he saw 

how bad it would look for him 

to come in without us, so he put his 

pack down & came back and asked 

me for a statement which I gave 

him in this form: 

            "Mt McKinley, June 17 1903 

To whom it may concern: 

            Very much to my regret Mr. Charles 

Webb has this voluntarily left my party 

to go home 

            Respectfully, 

            James Wickersham 

 

<page break> 

 

I then begged him to take flour &c 

but he declined - he remained in camp 

awhile & I then approached him to take the 

mules, & with McLeod go down on a raft & 

thus make it appear that he returning 

for me - this mollified him & this evening 

he has finally agreed to remain with me. 

Have had a bad time with both he & McLeod 

who has been a dozen times on the point of des 

=ertion on account of his fear 1st  of grizzly 

bear - & 2nd of the mules.  He is a Mackenzie 

river lad & the mules are as dangerous in 

his eyes as grizzlies & then the boys have 

told him such yarns about mules that he

is really afraid to stay at camp with them. 

George & Stevens went to photograph the 

mouth of the cavern in the glacier where 

issues McKinley creek.  We move in the 

morning. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    June 18th          Thursday 

A glorious summer day - without a 

cloud.  We loaded one mule with 

wood and one with our packs and all 

set out for the upper end of the glacier. 

Passed into upper valley and along 

the top of the old lateral moraine 

on east side, to the very base of Mr. 

McKinley.  Fun with a wolverine - 

Stevens had the field glasses & kept 

calling my attention to the bear!  "Don't 

you see his big flat head? - Just under 

that big iron rock."  I saw the wolverine 

plainly, but no bear and after a time 

took a shot but missed.  Stevens was 

greatly excited, until they hunted the 

wolverine out & he saw how small 

he was - then he understood the joke 

Saw two cariboo - took a long shot 

 

<page break> 

 

and missed but saw them join four others 

& called Stevens & George.  We gave them the 

guns & they killed two bucks much to their 

delight.  They killed the cariboo at the very 

head of the valley - under Mt McKinley - & 

just where we intended to camp - we made 

our camp between them on a sloping hill 

side.  The chances for reaching the 

summit seem now better than ever - We 

are at least 4000 feet high in the camp 

& the glacier continues to rise as it rounds 

the mountain & it now seems as if we can 

reach the high ridge we want.  Will start 

on the upward climb tomorrow evening 

so as to avoid the snowslides.  Waded 

muddy glacial streams to get here, 

& have just had a fine supper of 

cariboo & flap jacks - changed my 

socks & feel better.  No tent tonight 

 

<page break> 

 

[caption:]   Lower valley – Glacier 

 

The glacier which now fills the valley is 

much smaller than the one which once 

existed.  Lateral moraine masses exist 

the full length of the valley much higher than 

the top of the present glacier - the moraine 

are formed largely of what looks like iron rock 

enough to run the Chicago Ironworks for 

centuries.  Glacier brings it down & can be 

harnessed to carry it to the flats!!! 

Sun will shine on the mountain nearly 

all night.  

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 19th          Friday 

We were startled our of our beds last 

night by {Yahko, the giant} great snow slides.  Immense 

masses of snow and ice high on the mountain 

side broke loose with the report of a cannon.  With 

{rapidly} accelerating speed they shot down the ice encrusted 

slope, gathering momentum every second - 

striking fire- electric - gathering other masses - 

striking juting point, rock, sand, snow & ice, 

& finally strike the glacier with the roar of 

a hundred great guns, cover the medial 

moraine & throw a great sheet far up on 

the opposite mountain wall.  One feels his 

insignificance in the presence of such a stupend 

ous catastrophe which he cannot control nor 

from which he could possibly escape if within 

its path.  It sent a shiver of fear down 

every back & warned us to keep clear of 

the avalanches path - & we will. 

 

<page break> 

 

Sent Johnnie back to the other camp with 

the mules late this evening & we are now 

loading our packs for the climb.  It is getting 

cloudy – Two creeks coming down from 

the left side – head of Iron Valley flow a 

long ways in divide between two old lateral 

moraines.  Plenty of grub for our trip 

Clear    June 20th            Saturday 

We left our camp last night at 10 oclock 

- Stevens, Webb Jeffery &  I, went southwest 

up the glacier about 5 miles, and climbed off 

at an iron mountain upon a side glacier 

which reach a high spur on the west slope 

of the mountain.  Many side glaciers high 

in small gorges, waterfalls, blue streams in 

clear {blue} ice.  Crossed many bad crevasses with 

life lines out all the time.  Wide field of soft 

snow hard traveling in consequence – sun 

rose on us at 1:30 and shone on mountain 

 

<page break> 

 

top constantly.  We reached the high rocks 

above his field at 7 in the morning, having 

traveled 9 hours without rest – packs 35 lbs. 

We are in a bad place – ahead of us is a 

very sharp ridge, covered with snow & so steep 

that it seems impossible to me.  From our 

loft height – about 10000 feet – one realizes what 

an enormous glacier this great McKinly glacier is 

It reaches a narrow pass just above where 

we left it, and above that spreads out into 

an enormous glacial field reaching around 

to the south side of the mountain – it travels 

more than one half around the mountain. 

It is now half a past 2 and a thunderstorm 

threatens us from the Kantishna flats – it would 

make climbing an impossibility – as it would 

increase the volume and number of the avalanches 

- these are by the hundred & hardly a moment 

goes by without the thundrous noise of one 

tearing its way down the mountain side. 

 

<page break> 

 

[sketch of glacier, showing camp locations]

[map captions:] 

Camp 18th       Camp 19th 

Narrows                       Camp 20th 

badly broken blue ice 

Glacier 20 or 25 

miles long – Its[?] 

5 miles wide. 

not end 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    June 21st                       Sunday 

hazy 

The days are so hot and the temperature 

so productive of avalanches that we have 

had to do all our work at night when the 

heat is less liable to produce slides of 

snow and glacial ice.  We left one high 

point on the mountain last night at 9. 

pm. but I was then convinced that no 

possibility existed of our overcoming the 

apparent obstacles to our higher climb 

- we were climbing on a spur as sharp as 

a house roof, rapidly rising to where it was 

nearly perpendicular – solid glare ice, 

and above it rose thousands of feet of 

glacial ice undermined and even falling 

bay reason of the hot weather & constant 

sliding out of the softer snow.  I 

had watched this constant loss of support 

all day and it was so apparent to 

 

<page break> 

 

me that further effort was futile that I 

declined to go farther – to the evident relief 

of Stevens who agreed with me that no 

man could reach the summit in the 

present condition of the mountains.  It 

is ice encrusted from summit to base – 

- in most places glaciers exist in every 

small niche, and they are so undermin 

=ed now by the constant warm west winds 

of two or three days past – that hundreds 

of slides are coming down in every 

direction – every moment the swish 

of a snow avalanche, or the thunder 

of a glacial ice slide is heard.  Even 

the smallest would be fatal to our 

whole party in the position we occupied – 

they were then in motion ahead, and 

I ordered a retreat to our camp. 

 

<page break> 

 

I offered to remain in camp & let any 

or all of the others make an effort, if 

they desired, but each personally declined 

to take any further risk.  In the condition 

of the mountain an attempt in another 

quarter would be equally as dangerous 

so we abandoned the whole effort to 

reach the summit.  We returned to our 

former camp – from which we started 

Friday night & will go back to the 

lower camp today.  Will continue to 

examine the streams & glaciers for 

geographical information. 

     Had a sleep – from 5 am. until 

noon & went back to lower camp 

at lower end of old moraine.  Passed 

band of cariboo & took photographs 

at close range owing to their curiosity 

(describe action) 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 22nd          Monday. 

Hazy. 

     Left camp with all hands & mules 

loaded for home, down the wide bars 

of  McKinley River. 

[sketch of rivers]

[captions:] Jeffery Creek   Stevens Creek   

 McKinley River           Spruce forest 

 

Glacial valley is a splendid study. 

It is filling with rock & sand and encro 

aching upon hill and forest.  Wide rocky 

valley, - often high in middle – bars 

rock – sand and gravel.  Very fine 

timber grows between McKinley river 

& the forks.  Am about tired out 

 

<page break> 

 

Variable.          June 23.              Tuesday 

About 5 miles below the junction of 

McKinly & Jeffery the combined waters 

break through a long gorge at the 

south end of the Chitsiah hills - the 

general trend of the stream being 

west & then northwest.  Saw a big 

eagle & Eagle nest on a rocky crag & 

named the gorge "Eagle Gorge" 

From Mt McKinly to junction = 15 mi 

"      Junction to Eagle Gorge -     5   " 

Camped on a bar in lower gorge - amid 

clouds of damed musquitoes - 

Traveled 20 miles yesterday and 

expect to get timber for a raft 

today.  Plenty of timber all way down 

but water too swift & stream 

too rocky   Will be out of Gorge today 

 

<page break> 

 

Saw fine Eagles nest just after 

we left camp – George & Stevens 

climbed up to it & found two young 

eagles & an egg.  A mile farther on 

a big moose cow & calf came out 

on the bar near us and in spite of 

my protests McLeod shot the cow. 

It was a brutal waste of a big fine 

animal by a man who ought to value 

them – for he lives on them from year to year 

It will be wasted – and was a wanton 

exhibition of his brutal savage nature. 

     Went on down the “Gorge” two or three 

miles & camped determined to build a raft 

& go down the river from this point that way. 

We are at the lower end of the Gorge & can 

see the wide sand bars on the flats. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear.   June 24th          Wednesday 

Rained last night & the mesquitoes 

were simply hell!!  They nearly drove 

us crazy & we will be glad to get our 

raft done.  Have got out all the logs 

today & will get away tomorrow. 

Nothing today but hard work - and 

musquitoes! 

Clear    June 25th          Thursday. 

Finished our work today on raft and 

later this evening started - I was not 

willing to trust myself & things on the 

raft & went with George & the mules - & 

let Webb, Stevens & Johnnie take 

the raft down - they were wrecked at 

the first point of rocks - and lost Webb 

gun - all of our dishes - bed clothes &c 

The two axes - auger & Johnnies gun 

 

<page break> 

 

had been tied on & were saved.  John 

& Stevens jumped & swam while Webb 

went on under the ledge & down through 

the rapids with the raft.  We are now 

camped a mile below – below the 

rapids & hills, too, I hope – and have 

the raft tied to the bank.  Every pin 

is broken & she is held together only 

by the ropes.  None of my things are 

lost except overall waist.  Stevens 

arrogance has rcd. somewhat of a 

setback – but is so supreme that 

nothing can quite dampen it.  George 

has entirely abandoned all idea of loyal 

ty to me and has become his most sycophantic 

waiter &c.  It is all owing to a “bull con” 

story idea that Stevens has suggested to George 

that in a year they start on a journey 

 

<page break> 

 

around the world {on bicycles} 

 for a newspaper at a 

big salary, and that during the circum 

-perambulation they take photos of all 

remarkable places, and upon their return 

they start a studio in N.Y. and live hap 

=pily ever afterward!  George is thoroughly 

infatuated with Stevens & his scheme, and 

it is amusing, though disappointing to me 

to watch his abject slavery to Stevens. 

McLeod was nearly hysterical after the 

wreck - laughter & crying - he lost all 

his little belongings except his gun - 

and this seemed a ray of sunshine to him 

for without it he is lost - but with it 

never.  He sleeps with it - never allows 

it beyond reach of his hand, and is now 

cleaning and talking to it.  Stevens 

 

<page break> 

 

openly criticises Webb for the 

disaster - and boasted of his skill 

& nerve until I was forced to call him 

down & told him that his nerve was 

wholly in his mouth.  We will take 

a new start in the morning - Stevens 

George & John in the raft - Webb & I 

with the mules & try & reach the Kantish 

-na that way - then fix the raft & put 

the mules on & go down it on the raft 

It cannot be more than 40 or 50 mi 

down to the Kantishna - possibly more. 

The disaster robbed us of all our blanket 

except one - which was under the saddle 

- but as it is double we can cut it.  We 

will use the Horse blanket for two 

Webb & John and thus get along. 

But all the dishes are lost - so that 

 

<page break> 

 

we can neither make tea nor 

coffee, - nor bread except on a stick 

-         after the Indian style. 

[sketch of glacier and camp sites]

[captions:] 

Glacier 

Camp June 23, 

              "   24, 

              "   25. 

Eagle Gorge 

Camp June 25th 

 

Clear    June 26th          Friday 

Went down river about 15 miles  & 

found Stevens, Jeffery & McLeod with 

raft & passed night with them.  McL. 

refuses to go further on raft & Webb will 

go with raft tomorrow & McL. with me 

 

<page break> 

 

& mules.  Found my rabbit skin 

robe in river on a bar & am drying it 

out.  Brush very bad for horses & mus 

=quito s terrible.  Cold on bar tonight 

& no musquitos – Waded channels of 

wide spread river today a dozen times. 

Clear    June 27th     Saturday 

McLeod & I left with mules & packs 

or such as is left.  Our provisions all 

gone except small quantity of flour 

- about 2 days supply.  Bar 

good below today & walking 

fair – swam and waded glacial 

channels a dozen times.  River 

yet wandering over sandbars 

through several channels.  Raft 

opposite to us at 3 oclock 

We saw the great boulders at the head of 

 

<page break> 

 

this river which only the glacier could 

move, farther on great boulders which 

the river could move, then smaller and 

smaller – this side of Eagle Gorge they 

were smaller – then gravel, and now we 

are where the glacial stream is beginning 

to deposit its finer silt and are constantly 

in quicksand.  Both mules were down 

in deep quicksand once today & I thought 

they were both lost – but by putting timbers 

under them as they floundered we got 

them out.  Came about 20 miles today. 

The McKinley river is now in pretty 

well defined banks and we hope to 

reach the Kantishna tomorrow.  The 

boys came through with the raft & luckily 

we came together & are camped all 

together on a bar.  River now running 

due north. 

 

<page break> 

 

[sketch of river]

[captions:] Camp June 28. 

Eagle Gorge Camp June 27. 

Old sand bar channel   McKinley Riv. Flats. 

20 mi.   15 mi.   Camp June 26. 

 

     wide sandbar – mile or more – cut by 

numerous channels.  A mile above our 

camp of 27th the river formerly cut- 

across country to the right & north of the 

present channel.  Our camp last night 

is near this old channel & McLeod & I will 

follow it with the horses.  Our flour 

is going fast.  McLeod killed a goose last 

night which gave us supper & is now 

out examining some rabbit snares for 

breakfast – if.  Since losing the pots 

frying pans, &c in the wreck we have 

had to cook “bannacks” in Indian 

 

<page break> 

 

fashion:  Mix the flour and 

water in the sack – make your ball 

of dough – pat it out and spread 

it on a flat stone set before the 

fire – Turn as it browns – there 

is your Indian made bannack 

We drink nothing but glacial water 

- lying flat on our stomachs. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    June 28th                      Sunday 

     Remained in camp until 2 oclock 

assisting in preparing new “sweeps” 

for those lost in wreck.  Came about 

10 miles & are camped on a bar with 

strong wind blowing – hope for a night 

free from mesquitos, which trouble 

us greatly.  Shot two geese & a rabbit. 

The three men on the raft have gone 

on to the mouth  {junction} of the Kantishna & we 

are to meet them there.  McLeod gave 

an exhibition of his cunning in killing 

rabbits:  He saw one run ahead of us 

into the bushes, and giving me the leading 

rope to hold he went 50 feet ahead & 

placing the back of his hand to his 

mouth made a kissing sound for 

 

<page break> 

 

a minute, when here came the 

rabbit on the jump toward him. 

The shot was easy.  He also brought 

a young rabbit to his hand and caught 

him.  This evening just at camping 

time I saw a big moose standing broad 

side to us on a sand bar.  –McLeod wanted 

to shoot – but after 6 or 8  fair but long 

shots failed to kill – he hit it the 

last shot but it got away.  For 

lunch this afternoon we had rabbit 

roasted – and nothing else – even 

without salt.  River running north 

& as placid as the Kantishna – The 

bars and sands are getting more solid 

& there is less danger of quicksand. 

Hope we can reach Kantishana tomorrow, 

for we have but a few pounds of flour 

left. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    June 29th                      Monday 

We are in the finest moose 

country in the world!  We camped 

on the bar where the big bull moose 

crossed last night & while we are 

now eating our breakfast a big 

moose cow and two calves are 

walking parallel to us on the 

bar the other side of the river – 200 

yards away and in plain sight. 

It is a great pleasure to see the calves 

frisk & play & suckle and rush 

along like innocent lambs. 

We got up at 6 oclock & will 

start early – John cooked a 

goose – spitted & roasted it fine 

A well marked Indian trail for 

a time last night helped us 

 

<page break> 

 

along fine & we followed it two or 

three miles today.  Ab Started from 

camp about 8 oclock & from the 

shape of the hills ahead judged 

that we could strike the Kantishna 

about noon – but alas! we were 

disappointed for we passed the hills 

& no Kantishna appeared.  We were 

much dejected for the interminable 

mazes of the thickets of brush were 

hard on our bodies & it seemed as 

if we must travel on 20 miles more 

to catch the raft.  We started on 

but while eating our lunch at noon 

discovered a big fire a few miles ahead 

& were soon after met by Webb 

looking for us – We found them 

 

<page break> 

 

landed and were correspondingly 

happy – except about the food 

question – all the flour was gone 

except what we had & that would 

only do for two meals.  While we 

were talking our situation over 

Webb discovered a bull moose on 

the other bank coming into the river 

& taking my gun ran up the bank 

toward him and with a few lucky 

shots killed him – We are now 

in food – meat only – until we get 

home.  River here running N.E. 

We now learn that a large stream 

joined the McKinley at the big bend 

which we crossed before meeting Webb 

& the boys think it the Kantishna 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    June 30th                      Tuesday 

Remained in camp all day 

working on the raft – Johnnie 

is making an Indian canoe 

out of spruce bark.  Flour 

all gone & we are living on moose 

meat straight. 

Clear    July 1st  Wednesday 

Raft is now ready to go and Mc 

Leods canoe is done and we start 

on our trip in an hour.  Webb 

saw a moose just across from 

camp last night. 

     A grand, glorious & lazy day. 

Drifted 25 miles or more, easy. 

Saw a big cow moose on a bar 

this afternoon.  River running 

east & north.  No creeks yet 

 

<page break> 

 

Cloudy July 2nd     Thursday 

Ran 10 hours - 30 miles 

without mishap - no sign 

of Indian encampment & 

we camp on bar tonight.  We 

are now out of flour for four  

days - moose meat straight 

& every body very tired of it.

[sketch of rivers]

[captions:] McKinly  Kantishna Riv 

 

            River runs pretty near 

east now, and Chitsiah bears 

due S.E. from this camp.  Another 

violent quarrel between Stevens & 

Webb - in which latter called S  

a son of a bitch & other names, 

and offered to fight but S  would 

not, out of consideration of my 

 

<page break> 

 

presence. 

Cloudy    July 3rd          Friday 

We felt pretty certain that we were 

near our last encampment with the 

Indians on going in - and we reached there 

about 2 oclock and found McLeod 

there - he having bone ahead in this canoe 

& brought out our boat, flour and beans. 

Luckily, also, he found an old tin bucket 

and we landed and for the first time in 4 

days made bannacks and also cooked 

some beans in the bucket.  After a big 

feed, we went on determined to push out 

as fast as the current would carry us. 

Mules behave well, - they march on and off 

the raft for feed &c. with as much sense 

as a person.  We are rejoiced to know 

now, where we are and at our better con 

 

<page break> 

 

dition.  Determined to run the raft 

all night.  With George at the front 

oar and I at the stem oar, two hours, 

and Stevens at front and Webb at stern 

two hours we alternated all night, only 

stopping at midnight to cook & rest 

an hour.  Geese - brant, ducks 

myriads of wild fowl - and the woods 

vocal with song birds &c 

Clear.   July 4th.                Saturday 

The glorious 4th.  We ran all night 

passing our second encampment with 

the Indians and latter this morning the 

mouth of the Totlat river.  We are 

now camped for noon hour to let mules 

- and ourselves feed.  Between 3 and 5 

my watch, this morning it was glorious - 

birdsong every hour of the night. 

 

<page break> 

 

Ran till 9 oclock and camped for 

the night.  Passed the point where the 

"Tanana Chief" landed us at 1:30 today. 

No Indians there - all gone down river. 

Cloudy.                  July 5th.      Sunday 

I have not stated the reason why I took 

my gun and ammunition with me and 

John McLeod, instead of permitting the 

three men on the raft to take it to the junction 

of McKinley & Kantishna on the 28th. 

Before they left us Stevens told McLeod 

that they would not wait long for us - that 

provisions were about gone and that they 

would only wait 2 days and a half and 

then go on with the raft and leave us - 

McLeod repeated this to me and upon inquiry 

Stevens & George both said the same to me. 

This so frightened McLeod that he would 

not let then have his 44 gun nor the 

 

<page break> 

 

big axe, and he advised me not to let them 

keep my gun saying that he believed they 

intended to desert us earlier and that 

we must have my gun at least and the 

big axe to get out at all.  I realized 

that if they did desert us, or putting 

it even more liberally, if we were unable 

for any reason to find them at the mouth 

of the Kantishna, we would be 150 miles in 

the brush and wilderness with no boat or 

raft and no means of making one, with 

the mules, & as McLeod had but half a 

dozen shells (and they spoiled) for his 44 

he insisted, and I agreed, that I ought  

to keep my 30-40 and ammunition 

as without it the men on the raft could 

drift in two or three days at most to 

our cache at the last Indian encampment 

 

<page break> 

 

while it might take this us weeks to get out 

with the mules – Then, too, I felt they 

would be more careful and certain to wait 

if we kept the guns – so we did, and 

events proved that we did right in 

doing so ↓ 

     Started from our camp at 6:15 in 

morning, and hope to get to Baker Creek 

on the Tanana tonight.  No Indians 

any where on the river now – all out 

to Weare and Rampart. 

     ↓ for they informed me plainly, when 

we found them below the mouth of the 

Kantishna that they had intend to wait 

only 10 hours – or 8 hours after we 

found them, before leaving us.  As 

we had not been gone from them but 24 

hours it proved McLeods surmise 

to be correct – I hate a deserter!! 

 

<page break> 

 

Reached the mouth of the Kantishna 

and passed into the Tanana at 

3:30 this afternoon.  The 

Tanana is as large as the Ohio, 

and is not so yellow with glacial 

mud as the Kantishna – about the 

same as the Yukon.  Its Bluffs 

are round, set back from the river 

but a short distance on the north 

but the valley is very wide to the south. 

The valley and bluffs are covered with 

a forest of spruce, birch, cottonwood 

alder, &c.  The whole country is just now 

on fire – a vast destruction of a 

rich harvest of timber.  We reached 

Belt & Hendricks trading post at 

the mouth of Baker Creek at 11 p.m. 

 

<page break> 

 

having been on the raft since 6:15 

this morning without stopping to rest 

or cook.  Unloaded the mules & got the 

clerk up at store, bought 12.50 worth 

of provisions & went to a cabin 

where there was a stove & went to 

cooking.  We have been starving 

for 8 days – four days on moose 

meat, straight, without salt, and 

the last four days on flour and beans 

straight, without meat or salt, and 

canned peaches, fresh fish, coffee 

with canned cream, &c. seems too 

good almost.  After a big feed we 

will sleep.  Will leave the mules 

here to go up river on boat, while we 

will walk across to Rampart – 50 

miles across country. 

 

<page break> 

 

Clear    July 6th.                        Monday 

After a big feed, and “smudging” the 

cabin the clear the musqutos out – at 1 oclock 

we went to bed, but at 2:30 a steamer 

whistled & we all turned out to find 

it the “North Star”, a small steamer on 

her way to Chena & Fairbanks.  Mr. 

Belt of H. & B. came in on her.  We 

had no more sleep – Webb ran a fine 

pike – 19 ½ lbs. into a net & we had 

a big peice of it for breakfast.  Made 

an arrangement with Belt to take the 

mules up to Chena (with McLeod also)- 

and at 11 oclock a.m. left Baker Creek 

for Glen Gulch.  Had settlement with 

McLeod, but could not with H. &.B. 

because the bill from Chena was so 

 

<page break> 

 

different from my agreement with Hend- 

=ricks.  Belt agreed to submit the 

matter to H- & then to me later. 

     Baker Creek valley is a beautiful one 

- grass to our shoulders - fine land. 

Reached Glen Gulch mines for supper 

 - 20 miles by telegraph - but 25 

by trail.  Took supper with Belsea 

and Beardsley of Eagle Min. Co. 

but slept over at Frank Stevens cabin 

& had breakfast with him.       ↓ Two fine 

    July 7th 

good meals & a good bed.  Stevens 

made agreement with me to get up 

and start at 6 oclock, but failed 

to come.  Webb showed up at 8 

and we started for Rampart - 30  

miles away - Dinner at the 

 

<page break> 

 

"106 Minook Road House" and 

a good hours rest at "72".  I 

left the boys there resting and started 

for Rampart - walked the 15 

miles - over the worst roads in 

the world - in just 5 hours - 3 mi. 

per hour - reached Rampart at 

9 p.m. - passed the cabin where 

Debbie sat at the window waiting 

for me & she did not recognize 

my whiskers.  Had bath - shower 

& sent for clean clothes &c 

Found Debbie nicely housed in 

good clean cabin - nicely furnished 

& well provided.  The other boys got 

in about 1 oclock & spent rest of 

the night cleaning up - Rained 

all day. 

 

<page break> 

 

            -July 8th- 

    After nights rest examined 

mail - looked after office - got 

Webb a place as guard - heard 

an application to sue Green -  

Comr. &c & went to Miss Alaska 

Youngs musical in evening. 

Everything all right apparently - 

Gave Dr.Hall photographs to 

develope. 

            July 9th 

Found that Heilig had not received 

my Nome docket until recently and 

had not furnished West Pub. Co. 

the necessary data to complete my First 

Alaska Rep - spent the day in doing  

it. 

 

<page break> 

 

            -July 10th- 

George does not come to office yet, 

and I am answering my correspondence 

by hand.  Complaint has been 

made against Heilig - that he charges 

people for preparing applications for 

licenses and accepts retainers secretly 

as counselor.  Have this day adopted 

new rules of court to cure the evil & 

wrote him a sharp criticism - Also 

informed him that he must go back to 

Eagle after his term - and could not 

go to Valdez - via St. Micheal and 

Bristol Bay.  He seems to realize at 

last that he is only clerk.  Dribelbis, 

Dep. U. S. Marshal, in charge of repairs on 

courthouse also complained, justly, 

 

<page break> 

 

that Heilig interfered with his efforts by 

personally employing men to do work 

&c.  Called Heilig in before Dribelbis & 

plainly stated the case and told him to 

attend to his own business and let 

the repair of the public buildings alone. 

Complaints from Atty General and Hender 

-son about Whittlesey - gambling 

& overcharging.  Am afraid made a 

mistake in his appointment. 

            July 11th  

Working every day in office getting 

things ready for court.  No boats 

from Fairbanks or Eagle yet - but 

"Powers" expected daily.  George & 

Stevens loafing.  Webb was sent 

out as special deputy yesterday 

to secure jurors & witnesses. 

 

<page break> 

 

            -July 12th-  

McLeod turned up today - says 

the "Seattle No 3." passed Baker Creek 

going up to Fairbanks without stopping 

so he came over here - gave him $20.00 

on account.  "Powers" in from up 

river.  Claypool & family, Bishop 

Rowe, & the mail came. The 

"Sarah" & other boats reported by 

telegraph as coming between Tanana 

& Rampart.  Debbie has another 

chill & not so well.  Have rcd. 

photographic plates {McKinley trip} 

from Dr. Hall 

= $20 for development.  Some 

of them are good, but many bad 

& all show want of artistic skill 

in taking them. 

 

<page break> 

 

            July 13th- 

"Sarah" "Healy" & "Kerr" 

are in from down river.  We now 

have some fresh meat, &c.  Mrs. 

Dr. Rininger on "Sarah".  Nothing 

of importance.  When I got home 

I found Mrs. W  living in a nice 

clean well-furnished cabin which 

Dribelbis had got for her.  We can 

live there during term of court, when 

she & Mrs. Harlan will go back up 

river and outside.  Houses have 

been obtained for Perry, Harlan &c. 

We are fixing courthouse up & 

painting it inside. Expect a 

long hard term of court.  The 

"Sarah" at levee all day - left in 

the evening up river.  Settled with 

 

<page break> 

 

John McLeod & paid him $80.00 

balance in full todate, also settled 

with Heilig & paid him 66$637.60 

in full of amount advanced at Valdez 

& by Mrs. H  at Eagle.  Wrote to 

George T. Reid to pay Buckley land 

money on my Indian reservation 

land purchase.  Webb came in 

from Glen gulch tonight & Jessen 

is in from Eagle - he came down in 

small boat. 

            -July 14th- 

Stevens was just in very politely 

requesting a single copy of Mt. McKinley 

picture which I politely but positively 

refused.  He recognizes that a publication 

of his magazine article with such a 

picture would spoil my use of it. 

 

<page break> 

 

and not withstanding he went at my 

expense, and at his own request, & that 

I paid everything & furnished everything 

he has the "nerve" to seek to destroy 

all my values.  George is standing 

with him & acting just as he did with 

Sawyer - as his hypnotic slave - 

I intend to discharge George at the end 

of this term of court - I cannot longer 

trust him - and he is even more incom 

-petent than ever - I ought to have  

discharged him in January when I 

brought Geoghegan to Valdez - 

     Have just just instructed Heilig 

to prepare an order of court instructing 

him to pay those fixes salaries like 

clerks, deputies, official stenographer 

 

<page break> 

 

janitor & rent monthly without wait 

=ing for an order - but not to pay 

expenses or any other sum of any 

kind without first having an order 

to do so.    Made and filed notices 

of location of placer mines on 

Chitsiah Creek - for myself on 

Discovery,  Debbie on No 4. above 

and Darrell No 5. below, fee $6.90 

            -July 15th- 

Abe Spring is just in from Fairbanks 

- reports things good but quiet - thinks 

the mines are all right but "boom" busted. 

Hess and others at Tanana.  Took 

dinner with Dr & Mrs Hedger 

- Claypools & Heilig also present. 

Heilig is going back to Eagle pleasantly. 

 

<page break> 

 

            -July 16th- 

Signing orders in license matters. 

Getting ready for court on Monday. 

            -July 17th- 

"Isom" reported coming up river and 

will be here about Tuesday.  Dep Mar 

=shal Dribelbis brought Joe. Anisich 

in to talk over his kick against officials 

- convinced him that he ought to support 

law & order.  Dribelbis goes to Tanana 

tonight in Peterborough boat with Webb 

for prisoners.  Webb seems to be 

"placed" with the marshal as a guard. 

"AB" dance tonight but we cannot 

go on account of Mrs. W  health. 

Have finished reading "Daniel of 

the Blessed Isles" - its poor! 

 

<page break> 

 

            -July 18th- 

Signing orders for licenses and working 

on court work generally.  Good many 

items from Nushagak - will take 

them up there. 

            July 19. 

Rained hard last night but clear 

and sunny today.  Courthouse 

clean, newly painted & ready for court. 

"Forum" - Wingates paper criticising 

"court officials" for permitting gambling 

- and dance hall - none here yet but 

he says its coming & begins criticism 

in advance.  Nome papers give full 

report of Grand Jury denouncing 

Marshal & Dist. Attorney, & up 

-holding Judge Moore.  Str. "Isom" 

came into port at midnight & went on up 

the river - Went to Church - Pres:  Koonce 

 

<page break> 

 

            July 20th 

Was awakened early this morning by the 

arrival of the "Jeff. C. Davis" with the 

Senate Com. on Territories on board -  

They are to remain here a few days to 

take statements of people in the matter 

of needful legislation for Alaska.  The 

party comprises:  Senator Dillingham 

of Vermont, Senator Burnham of 

New Hampshire, Senator Knut Nelson 

of Minnesota and Senator Patterson 

of Colorado.  With them is Sargeant 

at Arms {Colonel} Ramsdell of the Senate, 

Mr. Brill. of the McRea Scripps Associated Press, 

John McLane, Ed. of the Minneapolis Journal 

Dr. Wilcox, of the Surgeon Genls staff 

U.S.A. & secrataries &c. 

 

<page break> 

 

Called court at 11 oclock, impanelled 

the grand jury, instructed them - 20 members 

Senatorial party all present during the 

examination and empanelling of grand 

jury - Gave Committee my front room 

in courthouse - rear room just done 

Courthouse new, clean & looks fine. 

Met Senator. Burnham first and then 

Dillingham.  They are now holding a 

session of the Committee in their room and 

McKenzie is making a statement of 

{the needs of} 

the Koyukuk country - they will hear others 

as rapidly as convenient.  I am personally 

pleased with remarks made to me by Sen 

=ators Dillingham and Nelson - about my 

official life in Alaska.  Dillingham 

spoke to me about the kind things that 

 

<page break> 

 

people have said since he entered 

Alaska in support of my administration 

and expressed himself as highly pleased. 

Senator Nelson also said to me that he 

had tried to keep me at Nome, and compli 

=mented me on my work there, and said that 

I ought to have been allowed to remain. 

Dillingham also spoke of the same matter 

and expressed regret that I had not been 

left there.  Senator Patterson is 

sick and so far unable to appear in 

public.  They brought word down from 

Eagle that Mrs. Harlan is very sick & 

the "Davis" is instructed to take him back 

- she is very sick - I hope she may live 

until he gets there.  Adjourned court 

for the afternoon & aided him to settle 

the Struthers-Belsea case & also the 

Roden case.  All were compromised 

 

<page break> 

 

and dismissed.  The N.A. T. & T. 

people are giving a dinner to the Senate 

Com. tonight at 7 oclock. - 

      Received a letter from Adam Johnson 

in Seattle dated     saying that Judge 

Moore had just left there for Oyster Bay, 

R. I. to lay the Richards matter before the 

President, and if Richards was not removed 

he intended to resign!!  Verily hell doth 

reign at Nome!  I am surprised that  

a convicted thief can defy court and public 

opinion and hold an office so long! 

      Was a guest at a dinner tonight tender 

=ed to the Senatorial Committee by Duncan 

of the A.C. Co. and Kelterer of the N.A.T. & T. Co. 

Presided at request of hosts and sat at 

head of the table - to my right sat Senators 

Dillingham & Burnham & host Duncan 

To my left Senators Nelson & Patterson 

 

<page break> 

 

& host Kitterer.  Other guests below 

on either side of the table.  Beside the 

Senatorial party there were myself, Duncan 

Kitterer, Comr's. Green, Claypool & 

McKenzie, and Heilig.  No speeches, 

but pleasant conversation & a most 

enjoyable dinner - at Rampart restaurant. 

            -July 21st - 

Steamer "Lavelle Young" passed up 

river last night.  Called assignment 

docket this morning & motion docket. 

There is but little business - civil - for this 

term.  During the morning hour of 

court one Frank D. Wells, who formerly 

resided in Eagle, arose & asked leave 

to present affidavits to the court & 

I replied by asking him to file his 

affidavits with the clerk & that I 

would read them.  They proved 

 

<page break> 

 

to be there in number - one 

by an Indian woman asking for 

the disbarment of Comr. J. L. Green 

for failing to bring a divorce case for 

her after she had paid him $35.00 

another by John Morgan, saloon keeper 

alleging that he had paid Green $8.75 

under suspicious circumstances & the 

3rd by Wells accusing Green of many 

shortcomings but stating no facts.  I 

have talked the matter over with Hess & 

find that it is almost impossible to 

get a satisfactory committee of the bar & 

have about concluded to refer it to the 

grand jury. 

            -July 22nd - 

Mrs. Wickersham was delighted 

yesterday evening to receive a call 

 

<page break> 

 

at our cabin from the Senatorial 

party, consisting of Senator W. P. 

Dillingham, of Vermont, Senator H. E. 

Burnham, of New Hampshire, Sen 

=ator Knut Nelson of Minnesota 

and Senator E. M. Patterson of 

Colorado:  Sargeant at Arms of the 

Senate Col. Ramsdell, Lt. Andrews, 

of the army, Dr. Willcoxen, U.SA 

Mr. John McLane {McLain}, Ed. Minneapolis Jour 

=nal & Mr.        Brill, of the Associated 

Press, {& Lt. Andrews - U.S.A.} 

Mrs. Claypool had been invited 

over to asist in entertaining them and 

we had a very pleasant hour, dis 

cussing pioneer life in Alaska. 

      At the opening of court this 

morning, also, a very interesting incident 

 

<page break> 

 

occurred, viz. the admission to the bar of 

this district of the four United States 

Senators.  Col. Claypool had been 

requested to move their admission which 

he did with a nice reference to the fact that 

he was the first attorney admitted on 

the Yukon.  I then requested them 

to stand and administered the oath 

to support the Constitution and laws 

whereupon I made the orders admitting 

them. - Four great lawyers and leaders 

of the nation - probably no territorial 

{Judge} has ever had so pleasant a duty to 

perform in which so many distinguished 

men became members of a territorial 

court at the same moment. 

      Immediately upon admitting 

the Senators I gave the grand jury 

 

<page break> 

 

a special charge on the affidavits of 

Wells, filed in court yesterday, against 

Comr. Green.  I advised them strongly 

that these charges were either - true or 

false.   If true Green ought to be 

indicted and removed from office, if 

false Wells ought to be indicted for either 

slander or perjury.  I instructed them 

to go into the examination at once, and 

protect their community from a corrupt 

official, or their local court from the 

false and malicious attacks of a 

slanderer.  It was a dramatic scene 

-quiet- and impressive with four 

U.S. Senators listening at every word 

to determine if I - myself - was fair 

to both parties.  They commented very 

 

<page break> 

 

favorably afterward upon the facts, 

and I am satisfied.  Grand Jury  is 

now at work on the evidence. 

     Senate Committee examined me today 

on needs of legislation in Alaska. 

I urged, 1st Election of 2 delegates 

- one for S.E. Alaska, and one for 

all north & 2nd The building of 

main trunk roads with funds 

derived from licenses outside of incor 

=porated towns.  Arctic Brotherhood 

gave a "smoker" tonight to the Senatorial 

party - Claypool presided - in his 

happiest manner. 

            -July 23- 

The whole Senatorial party concluded 

to join the Arctic Brotherhood and on 

account of their near departure the 

 

<page break> 

 

lodge met at noon today and initiated 

them - Brill was chosen as the "victim" 

Together with them Jack Belsea, Beardsley 

and House of the Glen Gulch miners 

also joined.  Belsea was "accused" 

After initiation the Arctic Chief rec 

=ognized me and I made a few remarks - 

That Rampart lodge of A.B. is the most 

northerly lodge - fraternal organization upon 

American Territory, - U.S. Senators and 

miners have met in common brotherhood 

upon its floor - 4 Arctic Brothers to 

represent the interest of the Alaskan 

miner in the Senate of the U.S. &c.  That 

Theodore Roosevelt, Pres, &c. recently 

expressed a desire to become a real 

active member of some Alaska lodge 

of Arctic Brothers - and then moved. 

 

<page break> 

 

That a transcript of the initiation of the 

distinguished party &c be transmitted to 

Theodore Roosevelt, Pres. &c with an invitation 

to him to join Rampart Camp No 15. Arctic 

Brotherhood:  The motion prevailed with 

much enthusiasm.  Afterward all the 

members of the Order gathered on the front 

steps of the cabin & were photographed. 

The government steamer "Gen Van Vliet" 

arrived at 2 oclock to take the Senatorial 

party down the river - All the A.B’s gave 

them a rousing "Send Off"  The party was 

much pleased - their stay here was val 

=uable in every way and they left highly 

pleased - members of the bar of the district 

and of the Arctic Brotherhood.  Senators Nelson 

and Dillingham were especially kind in their 

expressions of confidence toward me and 

 

<page break> 

 

publicly and voluntarily promised to give 

me their personal aid and support in 

Washington.      Not much in court 

yet.   The Marshal, Collector of Customs 

Jarvis, prisoners, witnesses &c. from 

Eagle have not yet come and may not 

for a week.   Senators saw & appreciate 

fully the failure of transportation facillities 

here. 

            -July 24th- 

No indictments yet.  - Mr. Harlans 

sudden departure left court business 

in a bad way.  Steamers "Leah" 

with a barge, & "Rock Island" also 

with barge came in this evening on 

their way upriver.  Met Captain 

LeBalister of the "Rock Island" who 

is a pleasant gentleman. 

 

<page break> 

 

            July 25th 

Dr Hall left last night for Fairbanks 

- gave me handsome picture - photo of 

A.B. gathering with Senators. Grand Jury 

returned their indictments this morning 

We heard last night from a man who 

came down the Yukon in a small boat 

that the "Sarah" is off the bar and on 

her way to Dawson, and may be down 

about the middle of next week. 

            July 26th 

            -Sunday- 

Latest report from "Sarah" is that she 

is still on bar.  The court is 

seriously retarded in its business, for 

the U.S. Mar. & witnesses & prisoners in the 

most important cases are not yet here. 

 

<page break> 

 

            -July 27th- 

Trial of Fissell v Klondike Estates Co. 

Hung jury. 

            July 28th 

Trial Nelson & Risdon v Massey 

- all day before jury.  Capt. Jarvis 

Comr. Graff, from Forty Mile, the mail, 

& two or three men came in this afternoon 

in a small boat, & report that "Sarah" 

will be in tomorrow. 

            -July 29th- 

"Sarah" came in this morning at 6 a.m 

Judge Moore & family were aboard & had 

one hours visit with him.  He was in 

Washington but met with rather a cold 

reception and his report seems to indicate 

that neither Richards nor Grigsby will 

be removed.  I learned from him 

 

<page break> 

 

that the last Nome grand jury indicted 

Forrest - Richards chief deputy & 

the smoothest and most brutal scoundrel 

of the lot.  But with Grigsby to prosecute 

- Well, its a bad lot & the President is 

playing politics and dare not remove 

them!  he must have North Dakota & 

McKenzie & the Dakota senators are 

holding him up hard.  / Judge & Mrs 

Harlan & Ed also came on "Sarah".  Also 

met Senator Dietrich, of Nebraska, 

going to Nome.  James D. Hoge, of Seattle, 

Kittinger, McGraws partner & others. 

McGowan, Perry & witnesses, &c. all 

arrived & court may now proceed. 

            -August 1st - 

Engaged all week in trials of criminal 

cases.  Wm A Bigelow & Wm D. McCarty. 

 

<page break> 

 

tried & convicted of robbery, & two or 

three smaller fellows pleaded guilty. 

Work going well & grand jury now at 

work also.  Will probably get through 

by 15th of Aug.  Have called court 

at Bristol Bay for September 1st 

The revenue cutter "Rush" will meet 

us at St. Micheal instead of "Perry" 

     Sent to Billy Robinson, Fairbanks 

$50 & Scott $25. for rent of mules 

by Edgar Wickersham, Dep. Mar. 

Paid G. C. Belt, this day $40.00 for 

freight on two mules from Baker Creek 

to Chena, & $100 on account 

of grub for Mt McKinley trip. 

He agreed to get account for supplies 

settled as agreed upon between Hendricks 

& me at Chena.  

 

<page break> 

 

            -Aug 2nd - 

Went out with Stoel & Dr. Hedges to 

see the first hydraulic plant ever set to 

work on the Yukon - on Hunter Creek, 

- a tributary of the Minook Creek.  It was 

a fine day and Eleven of us went on 

horseback - had dinner out there, & 

were much interested in the work of the giant 

nozzle.  The water is brought on the upper 

part of the claims by a flume - run into a 

big tank - 75 feet above the paystreak 

or bed rock, & piped down & it does the 

work of a hundred men.  It will run  

night and day for four months or more - 

=equal to eight months, and the system 

will revolutionize mining in this region. 

Cap. Jarvis, Idleman, Stoel, Kitterer, 

Dr. Hedges, Brady, Wingate, &c. 

 

<page break> 

 

            -Aug. 3rd - 

Trial U.S. v. Smith.  Larceny - Not guilty. 

Genl. Funston reached here on "Davis" 

& remained an hour.  Called & paid 

respects. "Capt." Mayo, an old "Sour- 

Dough" passed a pleasant hour talking 

with the General about their friendship 

ten years ago at "Forty Mile" when 

Funston was {making} a special trip down the 

river in a canoe gathering specimens 

of bugs for one of the departments.  Verily 

the volunteer soldier has a chance in 

this land of the free & home of the brave! 

            -Aug 8th - 

A week of hard court work.  For the 

past two days have worked on the case 

of U.S. v. Idleman, defaulting Dep. Collector 

 

<page break> 

 

of customs from Forty Mile.  Jury 

trial two days and jury out all last night 

but failed to agree & discharged this morning 

This was Capt. Jarvis case & the accused 

seems to be guilty, - but told a plausible 

story - & jury seemed to have a doubt. 

Sentenced McCarty & Bigelow today for 

robbery - McCarty to ten years & Bigelow 

to 15 years. - Bigelow used the gun. 

            -Aug 10th- 

Mr & Mrs Harlan & Ed, Mrs W. & I, 

Dr & Mrs Hedges took dinner with Mrs 

Garrett yesterday - Prepared my opinion 

in Habeas Corpus of Burkal involving 

the question of whether a dog is the 

subject of larceny in Alaska - held 

that it is.  Saturday & today trying 

case of U.S. v. Minnis, larceny.  

 

<page break> 

 

            -Aug 11th- 

"Sarah" came in today & Mrs. Wick 

=ersham & Mrs Harlan went up the 

river home.  Trials about done 

juries dismissed & will finish tomorrow. 

Discharged George A. Jeffery, to take 

effect Aug 31st.  "Sarah" went 

out at midnight.  Orders today incorporating 

Fairbanks Chena and Rampart 

            -Aug. 12th - 

The "Hermann" came in early this 

morning and will wait until we finish 

the business of the court & we will all 

go down river on her.  Packing up 

& closing up all small matters. 

Paid Claypool in full - $125. yesterday. 

Order creating Fairbanks Min. District. 

Good news from my Fairbanks Mines. 

 

<page break> 

 

Tried two or three remaining cases 

& left Rampart at 4 p.m. for St 

Micheal.  Mr. Harlan & Ed, 

Marshal Perry & wife, George 

Drebelbis, & two or three guards, 

one of whom is George A. Jeffery - 

go with us to St Michal on their 

way outside with prisoners. 

            -Aug. 13th- 

The officers of the Herman - Captain 

Malmquist, whom I met on the "Alice" 

two years ago - first Mate Willetts, 

- a curiosity - always drunk - but a worker. 

Used to be first mate on the "Puebla" under 

Capt. Debney - Coming aboard drunk one 

night Willett fell overboard & was pulled 

out by he sailors with a rope - just as 

he struck the deck - puffing and dripping 

 

<page break> 

 

Captain Debney called down from the 

pilothouse, not knowing what had 

happened - saying "Whats the trouble 

down there Mr. Willett?"  The ready response 

was "Oh, nothing Sir, only a drunken 

sailor overboard - all right now, Sir." 

Have the room on upper deck reserved 

for directors - officers of the Company &c. 

Writing letters to catch up - wrote to 

Willig & Frank Cleary about my 

Fairbanks interests.  At McKenzies 

suggestion I wrote a letter to Peter, 

Chief of the Kobuck Indians at 

Bergman, & gave it to Johnson to deliver 

It was to encourage & strengthen him 

in fighting whiskey selling to Indians 

& the debauching the girls by white men. 

 

<page break> 

 

-Aug 14th- 

Passed Nulato early this morning & 

having passed the mouth of the Koy 

=ukuk during the early hours and left 

Johnson there.  We take on a Lapland 

=er reindeer herder - his young wife 

& baby. 

            -Aug 15- 

Passed Holy Cross mission at 

5 oclock this morning - Russian 

Mission about noon & will reach Andre 

-offsky tonight some time.  Heavy 

headwind - & boat going slow on 

account of wind and poor fuel. 

Oil is being used & they do not seem 

to have it so arranged as to get the 

best out of it.  It is also very dirty 

around the boat - a failure as fuel! 

 

<page break> 

 

            -Aug 16th - 

Left Andrefasky at breakfast time 

and have been all day in the lower flats. 

Will reach St. Micheal in the morning. 

            -Aug 17th - 

On Berings Sea in the early morning. 

     Copy of Marshal Johnsons 

"Scenes in court life all remind us 

we should think of things in time. 

 

"Ah well for the world that it ne'er knows 

"The silent but awful remark: 

"That oer the deaf mutes fingers flow 

"When he steps on a tack in the dark. 

 

     The unfinished Speech (Barnes) 

It ill becomes" - (at this point the 

ambidexter stenographer crossed his 

wires. 

"Butt in" - A new Latin phrase -- Green 

 

<page break> 

 

"Barring None"  Motto of the Rampart Bar Assoc. 

"Barring all we can" - Rampart Jail. 

 

Barnes and Brady, Green & Pratt. 

They are figuring where they're at, 

Now the Court has pulled its freight. 

They will mutually relate, 

What strong point of legal lore, 

He'd have sprung upon the floor, 

Had he had the others case. 

 

Arrived at St. Micheal at 1 pm and 

found the Revenue Cutter "Rush" awaiting 

us - Captain Fenger, Collector Customs. 

Jarvis is also here.  Captain Hibberd 

of the N.C. Co. met us & asked me to occupy 

my old room at the A.C. Co. quarters with 

Capt. Jarvis, which I did - the rest of 

our party going to the hotel.  During  

 

<page break> 

 

the afternoon the "Ohio" came in - she 

will take the Deputy Marshals prisoners 

crazy persons and Mrs Perry, down 

to Seattle.  Mrs. P  has insisted on 

tagging along with her husband and 

intended to go with him on the "Rush" 

but the Captain gently but positively 

said "No." - so she must go with 

the rest of the crowd to Seattle, and 

thence back to Valdez - I really feel 

sorry for her - she is so evidently bitterly 

disappointed.  Mrs. Claypool is 

also here waiting for the Ohio - which  

will now sail about the 19th or 20th 

     We do not have to reach Bristol  

Bay until Aug 31 - 13 days from this. 

Capt. Jarvis wants to go over to Nome - 

he has just received information that 

 

<page break> 

 

Dr. Call, Dep. Col. of Customs at Nome 

has lost his mind, & it will keep  

him there several days - so it has 

been arranged with Captain Fenger 

of the "Rush" to wait for us until 

Friday while Jarvis & the party go over 

to Nome - on the "Sadie" this evening 

I intended to go with Jarvis, but upon 

talking it over with him & Capt. Humphrey 

have concluded not to go.  They both urge 

me not to go.  Judge Noyes{mistake} & Ex. District 

Atty. Joe Woods are both there - also 

ex Marshal Vawter - Judge Moore & 

Marshal Richards have also returned 

from Washington - the nasty mess of 

Nome factional fight is at a fever 

heat, and so I am not going to even 

land on the beach.  Perry & Harlan 

 

<page break> 

 

will visit there until Jarvis is ready 

to come away, but I will not go, nor even 

send a letter to anyone. 

            -Aug 18th- 

Called on the Catholic fathers this 

morning.  Fathers Van Gorp, Rene 

Camille, and three others - & smoked a 

good cigar with them.  A Mr. Bell 

foreman in the A.C. shops here has 

a fine old Eskimo pot from Shismareff 

Inlet, - 12 inches high - 8 inches in 

diameter at the top & six inches diameter 

at base - black with age and fire. 

It is unbroken and a fine specimen. 

Sent off my mail, also gold pan 

&c. to Senator Fairbanks. 

     Father Jacquet is well and 

fully recovered – so the Fathers say 

 

<page break> 

 

            Aug. 19th. 

"Ohio" left harbor at noon with 

Mrs. Claypool & children - Dep Mar. 

& prisoners.  Dinner with Capt 

& Mrs. Humphrey at N.A.T. & T. Co. 

quarters  Present also Capt. & Mrs. 

Hibberd. "Ohio" goes to Nome & 

thence to the Sound. 

                        -20th.- 

Visited the "Rush" to pay my respects 

to Capt. Fenger & his officers - he 

and Mr. (Lt) Ballinger took 

dinner with Capt. Hibberd- 

& I came aboard the "Rush" 

with them as we are to go out 

for Nome in the morning at 

daybreak 

            -August 21st  

Opposite Cape Nome - be in 

by 5 oclock.  I shall not go ashore 

 

<page break> 

 

and we will only remain off Nome 

an hour - just long enough to get 

Harlans & Perry aboard.  Reached 

Nome at 4 oclock in afternoon - water 

calm & beautiful day - boat returned from 

shore with word that Harlans & Perry were 

out on creeks, and would not be back 

until tomorrow morning.  Jarvis sent 

out word that business would prevent his 

going with us - but would meet us at 

Unalaska.  Anchored mile off shore 

            -August 22nd - 

Captain Jarvis came off this morning 

before I was up and took breakfast 

with Capt. Fenger and me.  Boat 

went in with Fenger & Jarvis after breakfast 

& will bring others off.  Jarvis says 

many of my friends asked for me &c. 

 

<page break> 

 

Dr. Call went out on the "Ohio" 

much improved - Boat with our 

party came off and at 10 oclock we 

started south.  Saw no one in Nome 

& am glad of it.  Mr. Harlan tells me 

that the opinion is prevalent in Nome 

that both Grigsby & Richards will be 

removed - but Jarvis does not 

seem to think so. 

            -Aug 23rd- 

Officers on Revenue Cutter "Rush" 

Captain C. C. Fenger. 

1st Lt. James G. Ballinger 

2nd Walter A. Wiley 

3rd Leon C. Covell 

Acting Ch. Eng. Micheal N. Usina 

Acting 1st 

2nd Asst Eng. Quincy B. Newman 

2nd Asst Eng. J. A. Burns 

 

<page break> 

 

Dr. H. W. Cole Jr. 

Opposite Cape Romanzoff at 

daybreak & skirted past Nunivak 

Island at dark.  Bering sea 

calm & good weather.  Passed time 

reading.  I am with Capt. Fenger 

in the cabin while the Harlans & Perry 

have rooms with the ward room officers 

below.  Harlan, Sr., Perry & I eat 

with the Captain & Ed with the 

ward room officers. 

            -August 24th- 

My birthday - Aug 24, 1857. 

Fine weather - opposite Cape New= 

=enham tonight. 

            -Aug 25th- 

In Bristol Bay - wide flats &c. 

opposite first cannery – Clarks 

 

<page break> 

 

at the mouth of the Nashigak 

river.  The "Mary D. Hume" & the 

"Thistle" passed out going to S. F. 

Canneries all closed for the season 

& men going out.  "Jeanie" & the 

"Elihu Thompson" will be in in a 

day or so for load of canned salmon. 

Nushigak harbor is a fine body of 

water - sharp conical peaks on 

the N.W.  Clear & bright day. 

Anchored in harbor opposite the 

lower cannery tonight.  Passed 

evening in ward room with officers 

- music, song & stories. 

            -Aug 26th - 

In forenoon visited Eskimo village of 

Ikuk - (Ek-uk) & the saltery between 

there & Clarks point - Capt. Johnson 

 

<page break> 

 

of the Scandanavian cannery came 

down - piloted "Rush" up opposite 

Nushigak - Clegg came over from  

the Moravian Mission - supper 

at Johnsons - Mrs. J. is large 

fine looking Scandanavian. 

            -August 27th - 

The public business on Bristol Bay is quite 

important and will deserve attention.  There 

are several canneries here - about 8000 men 

are employed here during the summer, but go 

to S. F. & below in the fall after the season is over 

It is a very short season & everybody is now 

gone except a few who are here to put the outfit 

away & load the remaining cargo.  Clegg 

has visited every cannery & has statistics & 

proofs - $25,000. yet due for former years 

for licenses unpaid, and none paid for this 

year.  There are also several persons 

 

<page break> 

 

in jail for crime - two for murder.  Those for 

felonies will be taken, with witnesses, to Valdez 

for trial, and we have concluded that Judge Clegg, 

must go as a witness & especially to aid in the 

collection of cannery licenses.  We will remain 

here until Monday morning, call court at Nush 

=agak at 11 oclock, and do the formal part, 

then adjourn and go.  Everything except the mere 

formal part will be done, or agreed upon before. 

Several mercantile licenses can be granted here. 

&c.  Our appearance here, and the formal 

holding of court, the recognition which Clegg & 

the deputy marshal get from the court and revenue 

officers, the carrying away of accused persons by 

the cutter, & all, has strengthened the officers here 

& made for their future good.  We are all 

invited off to dinner with the Johnsons this 

evening - Capt. Fenger & all of the court 

officers.  Lt. Ballinger, do: 

 

<page break> 

 

            -Aug. 28th - 

Left "Rush" this morning in launch and landed at the 

Moravian Mission on east side of Nushagak river - had 

dinner at Mission with Mr & Mrs. Zulzer (?) who spent 

a dozen years or more in missionary work in Greenland. 

Good garden, flowers, chickens, milk and butter. 

Walked down beach 3 miles to Nushigak.  Examined  

proposed sites for jail and courthouse - prefer Nushigak. 

Visited Russian church - Mittendorf, the trader & took 

dinner with Mr & Mrs. Bumbrook - Supt. Cannery. 

Came off to cutter about 11 oclock - head tide.  The 

tides in Nushigak run about six or seven knots 

per hour - strong but no bore.  Some baskets today 

            -August 29th - 

Remained on board cutter all day - Jeanie 

is said to be in lower bay. 

            August 30.   Sunday 

on board "Rush" all day - Went off with Capt 

Fenger & Mr Harlan & Mr Perry pay our last 

visit to Capt. & Mrs. Johnson at Scandanvian Cannery 

 

<page break> 

 

            Aug 31st.          Monday 

A beautiful clear day – Left the “Rush” early 

on tug belonging to Johnson & arrived at Nush 

agak in an hour.  Arranged to hold court 

in Mittendorffs setting room.  Present 

at the first court ever held in the Bristol 

Bay country – Judge – U.S. Dist. Attorney 

N. V. Harlan, U.S. Marshal, Geo. G. Perry, 

Clerk, Ed. Harlan, - also Clegg, Mittendorff 

& others – three other men only & Mrs. Mittendorff. 

Granted a number of mercantile & cigar licenses 

appointed John Niven, Comr. in place of Clegg 

who resigns to go with us as Dept. Dist. 

Atty & License Collector.  Otto A. Larsen 

& Paul Frecher[?] declared their intention to 

become American citizens.  Made an 

order reserving a courthouse & Jail 

site on north side of the bay & ordering 

 

<page break> 

 

headquarters of court officials to be estab 

=lished there & the place named “Dillingham” 

after Senator Dillingham of Vermont, the 

Chairman of the {Special}  

Senate Com. on Territories lately 

in Alaska.  After transacting all business 

including orders to take all criminals & crazy 

man to Valdez for examination, we went 

aboard onto tug & dropped down to 

Clarks Cannery where we met the “Rush” 

preceded by the “President” – Johnsons 

steamer, - we then went to sea & bid good 

bye to Bristol Bay. 

            Sept. 1st 

Rough weather & awful sea sick 

            Sep 2nd 

Sea sick – and waiting for Dutch Harbor 

Reached Dutch H at dark – beautiful view 

of Shishaldin:  mistook it for 

vessel sending up rockets of distress. 

 

<page break> 

 

            Sept. 3rd  

Went over to Unalaska with Gray last 

night & slept in a bed that sat still 

while I slept. 

            -Sept. 5  4th - 

Remain in Unalaska with Gray - the Str. 

St Paul came in today from Nome - met many 

of the people &c. and wrote letter to Debbie. 

            -Sept 6th           Sunday 

The schooner Abbie M. Deering from Nome 

was wrecked in Akutan pass {on Friday morning}  

& the Manning 

went out & brought in her crew, passengers 

& baggage - nobody lost.  The collier 

“St. Francis "heavily laden with coal is on 

fire - spontaneous combustion of coal- 

            -Sept. 7th  

"Thetis" went out this morning carrying Senator 

Dietrich & daughter - also shipwrecked 

 

<page break> 

 

crew and passengers of the "Deering" 

The "Bear" and "Manning" yet in the harbor 

also our boat the "Rush" - all coaling. 

            - Sept. 8th - 

We left Unalaska at 7 a.m.  Mr. Jarvis 

going with us on Rush.  Passed out through 

Akutan pass & thence south of Akutan 

to south shore of Unimak.  At night saw 

Mt. Shishaldin flaming high - a 

rare and beautiful sight 

            -Sept. 9th- 

Belch of sky this morning at 6 oclock. 

Visited Father Axeline, Russian priest, who is 

a great talker - a clean looking man with a 

clear eye & a fine beard.  Visited the town & 

people.  Had a splendid view of Mt. 

Pavlof - an active volcano, which is con 

-tinually sending up a column of black 

smoke - mt. is snow covered, &c. Remained 

here only 3 hours & then went on to Unga 

 

<page break> 

 

Pavloff is sending up high columns 

of black smoke - in great intermittent puffs 

a thousand feet high with ashes falling like 

rain from a storm cloud - A magnificent spectacle 

& ought to be even more so at night.  The crater is 

at the very summit of the mountain - the whole top is as 

black as coal smoke can make it 

            - Sep. 10 - 

Remained at anchor in Humboldt Bay - Sand Point- 

Popoff Island, last night, early this morning ran over to 

Unga and landed in a growing storm - Met Mr. Hubley 

Driffield, & others & after discussing the situation walked 

up the beach to the Apollo gold mine - met Misses Brown and 

Randall - also Mrs. Brown - spent an hour - also met 

Golder - who until a year ago was Comr: he is a nuisance. 

Will appoint a Comr. for Unga & Perry will appoint a 

Dep. Mar. - will remove Barstow.  Storm increasing & we 

went off to Rush in a heavy blow and rolling sea - & ran 

back to Humboldt Bay where we are now lying in safety 

listening to the storm howl.  Mr. Harlan & Captain Fenger 

are playing Debbies game of solitaire - they are inveterate 

            -Sept. 13th        Sunday 

We left Sand Point early on the morning of the 11th and reached 

Karluk last night - two days of "high rolling" and I was 

sea sick all the time.  "They who go to sea on ships 

see the wonders of the Lord", - but they who go on the "Rush 

catch hell.  We went ashore for two hours and visited 

the Karluk canneries - took dinner with the Supt. Van 

Korofsky - a square headed brute - who swore at his 

peroxide wife in our presence - and was, I hope, licked 

as soon as we left - at least with her tongue.  We 

left Karluk at 4 p.m. this morning and are 

now in the beautiful Karluk straits, sailing along the 

shore of Kadiak Island.  It is the usual high 

rolling mountainous country, but unlike the more west 

=ern islands, is blessed with scattering groves of evergreens 

            -Sept. 14th - 

Reached Kodiak harbor yesterday evening -went ashore 

an hour after supper with Jarvis & called on old man 

Sargent - & others.  Ashore again this morning & called 

upon a Russian by the name of Stuffaoff also the  

Russian priest - Rev. T. Samaloff - Notified Gallagher 

of charges against him & heard testimony all day & 

reduced to writing.  Dist. Atty. Harlan conducted 

the examination & I swore witnesses.  So Harlan took 

down the testimony.  Looked over Kodaik (St Paul) for 

old Russian books, maps &c. and got some - but not much 

but old samovar, from Chichinoff family.  Was 

a beautiful day - St. Paul & Kodiak harbor the most 

beautiful in Alaska, - under way for Seldovia at 

10:30[?] tonight. 

 

<page break> 

 

            - Sept. 15th  - 

"Man Overboard"  - was the cry that startled 

us while at breakfast, and brought us to the quarter 

deck on a run.  The Chinaman held for assault 

with intent to kill a country man with a knife, either 

through fear or crazed with opium had suddenly jumped 

overboard.  The watch had changed & the boats crew had 

undressed - three of them had & two not - but instantly 

sprang into the boat and were dropped astern where 

we could see his black head bobbing on the waves. 

Within 5 minutes they had pulled him in their boat & in 

10 minutes for the alarm we had started forward 

again.  In Cook Inlet - just abreast the Barren 

Islands -  Visited Seldovia today - small 

Indian settlement with a Russian church & 

two small stores.  Heard that Cooks party for 

Mt McKinley was very late & might not reach 

the mountain.  No word from them yet. 

            -Sept. 16th - 

Sea sick all day - rolling along south 

of Montague island toward Valdez - Ran 

into Nutchek for the night. 

            -Sept. 17th  

Left Nutchek early and reached Valdez at 

noon.  Everything in good order - but Kayak 

Ball in the evening at Moose Hall - adjourned 

to McKinley Hall - in honor of the young officers 

on the "Rush".  Capt. Jarvis took dinner 

with me and I had a long talk with him about 

my standing with the President.  He thinks it is 

good & urges me to be careful - he will write to 

Clark for particulars before I write in explanation 

of the impression which Grigsby & the Marshall 

have tried to create.  The Chamber of Commerce 

will give us a reception in a week - No 

mail of any importance.  Jarvis took my 

Russian book to Sitka for translation 

 

<page break> 

 

[inside back cover]

[sketch of rivers]

[map captions]

 

Menchibena

E

Ridge Chit = River

McKinley

Indian Camp

Indian Camp

Kantishna River  

Beaver  [River]

McKinley [River]

Birch [River]

Moose Creek  

Lake 14 mi. across

Lake Menchibena

Menchetn?        

Mun Chub’ Enna.

JW ?

 

[page break]

 

[back cover] 

[clipping:] 

     “Another Attempt to Scale Mt. McKinley – The Bull- 

etin of the American Geographical Society reports that  

the Expedition to Mt. McKinley which left Fairbanks, 

Alaska, on February 6th, fitted out by a newspaper of 

that town to attempt the ascent of the mountain re- 

turned unsuccessful on April 10th.  An elevation of 

10,000 feet was reached on the north side of the moun- 

tain east of Peter Glacier, where precipitous ice cliffs 

prevented further progress.” 

 

 

 

http://library.alaska.gov/hist/fulltext/ASL-MS0107-Diary06-1903.htm