Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska
472 Pages
English
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Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska

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472 Pages
English

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Project Gutenberg's Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled, by Hudson StuckThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog SledA Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior AlaskaAuthor: Hudson StuckRelease Date: October 12, 2007 [EBook #22965]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK TEN THOUSAND MILES WITH A DOG SLED ***Produced by Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes, OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net andthe booksmiths at http://www.eBookForge.netTEN THOUSAND MILES WITHA DOG SLEDBY THE SAME AUTHORTHE ASCENT OF DENALI (MT. McKINLEY).A narrative of the first complete ascent of The Highest Mountain in NorthAmerica and the most northerly high mountain in the world.Profusely illustrated. 8vo. $1.75 net"Few climbers have had such good fortune on a supreme occasion,but few have better deserved it."—London Spectator.Handwritten: Hudson Stuck.TEN THOUSAND MILES WITHA DOG SLEDA NARRATIVE OF WINTER TRAVEL IN INTERIOR ALASKABYHUDSON STUCK, D.D., F.R.G.S.ARCHDEACON OF THE YUKONAUTHOR OF "THE ASCENT OF DENALI (MOUNT McKINLEY)"ILLUSTRATEDSECOND EDITIONNEW YORKCHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS1916Copyright, 1914, 1916, byCHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONSTOGRAFTON BURKE, M.D.ANDEDGAR WEBB LOOMIS, M.D.PUPILS ...

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Project Gutenberg's Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog
Sled, by Hudson Stuck
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no
cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,
give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg
License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Title: Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled
A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska
Author: Hudson Stuck
Release Date: October 12, 2007 [EBook #22965]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK
TEN THOUSAND MILES WITH A DOG SLED ***
Produced by Suzanne Lybarger, Brian Janes, Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net
and
the booksmiths at http://www.eBookForge.netthe booksmiths at http://www.eBookForge.net
TEN THOUSAND MILES
WITH
A DOG SLED
BY THE SAME AUTHOR
THE ASCENT OF DENALI (MT. McKINLEY).
A narrative of the first complete ascent of The Highest
Mountain in North America and the most northerly
high mountain in the world.
Profusely illustrated. 8vo. $1.75 net
"Few climbers have had such good fortune on a
supreme occasion, but few have better deserved it."
—London Spectator.
Handwritten: Hudson Stuck.
TEN THOUSAND MILESWITH
A DOG SLED
A NARRATIVE OF WINTER TRAVEL IN
INTERIOR ALASKA
BY
HUDSON STUCK, D.D., F.R.G.S.
ARCHDEACON OF THE YUKON
AUTHOR OF "THE ASCENT OF DENALI (MOUNT
McKINLEY)"
ILLUSTRATED
SECOND EDITION
NEW YORK
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
1916Copyright, 1914, 1916, by
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
TO
GRAFTON BURKE, M.D.
AND
EDGAR WEBB LOOMIS, M.D.
PUPILS, COMRADES, COLLEAGUES,
COMPANIONS ON SOME OF THESE JOURNEYS,
ALWAYS DEAR FRIENDS,
AND TO
THE MOTHER OF THE THREE OF US
SEWANEE
THE COLLEGE ON THE MOUNTAIN-TOP
WHERE THE OLD IDEALS ARE STILL
UNFLINCHINGLY MAINTAINED
THIS VOLUME
IS
AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED
BY
THE AUTHOR
PREFACEThis volume deals with a series of journeys taken with
a dog team over the winter trails in the interior of
Alaska. The title might have claimed fourteen or fifteen
thousand miles instead of ten, for the book was
projected and the title adopted some years ago, and
the journeys have continued. But ten thousand is a
good round titular number, and is none the worse for
being well within the mark.
So far as mere distance is concerned, anyway, there
is nothing noteworthy in this record. There are many
men in Alaska who have done much more. A mail-
carrier on one of the longer dog routes will cover four
thousand miles in a winter, while the writer's average
is less than two thousand. But his sled has gone far
off the beaten track, across the arctic wilderness, into
many remote corners; wherever, indeed, white men or
natives were to be found in all the great interior.
These journeys were connected primarily with the
administration of the extensive work of the Episcopal
Church in the interior of Alaska, under the bishop of
the diocese; but that feature of them has been fully
set forth from time to time in the church publications,
and finds only incidental reference here.
It is a great, wild country, little known save along
accustomed routes of travel; a country with a beauty
and a fascination all its own; mere arctic wilderness,
indeed, and nine tenths of it probably destined always
to remain such, yet full of interest and charm.
Common opinion "outside" about Alaska seems to be
veering from the view that it is a land of perpetualsnow and ice to the other extreme of holding it to be a
"world's treasure-house" of mineral wealth and
agricultural possibility. The world's treasure is
deposited in many houses, and Alaska has its share;
its mineral wealth is very great, and "hidden doors of
opulence" may open at any time, but its agricultural
possibilities, in the ordinary sense in which the phrase
is used, are confined to very small areas in proportion
to the enormous whole, and in very limited degree.
It is no new thing for those who would build railways to
write in high-flown style about the regions they would
penetrate, and, indeed, to speak of "millions of acres
waiting for the plough" is not necessarily a
misrepresentation; they are waiting. Nor is it altogether
unnatural that professional agricultural experimenters
at the stations established by the government should
make the most of their experiments. When Dean
Stanley spoke disdainfully of dogma, Lord
Beaconsfield replied; "Ah! but you must always
remember, no dogmas, no deans."
Besides the physical attractions of this country, it has
a gentle aboriginal population that arouses in many
ways the respect and the sympathy of all kindly
people; and it has some of the hardiest and most
adventurous white men in the world. The reader will
come into contact with both in these pages.
So much for the book's scope; a word of its limitations.
It is confined to the interior of Alaska; confined in the
main to the great valley of the Yukon and its
tributaries; being a record of sled journeys, it is
confined to the winter.There is no man living who knows the whole of Alaska
or who has any right to speak about the whole of
Alaska. Bishop Rowe knows more about Alaska, in all
probability, than any other living man, and there are
large areas of the country in which he has never set
foot. There is probably no man living, save Bishop
Rowe, who has visited even the localities of all the
missions of the Episcopal Church in Alaska. If one
were to travel continuously for a whole year, using the
most expeditious means at his command, and not
wasting a day anywhere, it is doubtful whether,
summer and winter, by sea and land, squeezing the
last mile out of the seasons, travelling on the "last ice"
and the "first water," he could even touch at all the
mission stations. So, when a man from Nome speaks
of Alaska he means his part of Alaska, the Seward
Peninsula. When a man from Valdez or Cordova
speaks of Alaska he means the Prince William Sound
country. When a man from Juneau speaks of Alaska
he means the southeastern coast. Alaska is not one
country but many, with different climates, different
resources, different problems, different populations,
different interests; and what is true of one part of it is
often grotesquely untrue of other parts. This is the
reason why so many contradictory things have been
written about the country. Not only do these various
parts of Alaska differ radically from one another, but
they are separated from one another by almost
insuperable natural obstacles, so that they are in
reality different countries.
When Alaska is spoken of in this book the interior is
meant, in which the writer has travelled almost
continuously for the past eight years. The SewardPeninsula is the only other part of the country that the
book touches. And as regards summer travel and the
summer aspect of the country, there is material for
another book should the reception of this one warrant
its preparation.
The problems of the civil government of the country
will be found touched upon somewhat freely as they
rise from time to time in the course of these journeys,
and some faint hope is entertained that drawing
attention to evils may hasten a remedy.
Alaska is not now, and never has been, a lawless
country in the old, Wild Western sense of unpunished
homicides and crimes of violence. It has been, on the
whole, singularly free from bloodshed—a record due in
no small part to the fact that it is not the custom of the
country to carry pistols, for which again there is
climatic and geographic reason; due also in part to the
very peaceable and even timid character of its native
people.
But as regards the stringent laws enacted by
Congress for the protection of these native people,
and especially in the essential particular of protecting
them from the fatal effects of intoxicating liquor, the
country is not law-abiding, for these laws are virtually a
dead letter.
Justices of the peace who must live wholly upon fees
in regions where fees will not furnish a living, and
United States deputy marshals appointed for political
reasons, constitute a very feeble staff against law-breakers. When it is remembered that on the whole
fifteen hundred miles of the American Yukon there are
but six of these deputy marshals, and that these six
men, with another five or six on the tributary rivers,
form all the police of the country, it will be seen that
Congress must do something more than pass
stringent laws if those laws are to be of any effect.
A body of stipendiary magistrates, a police force
wholly removed from politics and modelled somewhat
upon the Canadian Northwest Mounted Police—these
are two of the great needs of the country if the liquor
laws are to be enforced and the native people are to
survive.
That the danger of the extermination of the natives is
a real one all vital statistics kept at Yukon River points
in the last five years show, and that there are powerful
influences in the country opposed to the execution of
the liquor laws some recent trials at Fairbanks would
leave no room for doubt if there had been any room
before. Indeed, at this writing, when the pages of this
book are closed and there remains no place save the
preface where the matter can be referred to, an
impudent attempt is on foot, with large commercial
backing, to secure the removal of a zealous and
fearless United States district attorney, who has been
too active in prosecuting liquor-peddlers to suit the
wholesale dealers in liquor.
There are, of course, those who view with perfect
equanimity the destruction of the natives that is now
going on, and look forward with complacency to the
time when the Alaskan Indian shall have ceased to