The Boundary Hunters: Surveying the 141st Meridian and the Alaska Panhandle

By Lewis Green | Go to book overview

4
The Klondike Rush and Temporary Boundaries
(1896-1903)

The Klondike Gold Rush started in late July 1897, close to a year after Carmack and his party made their discovery on Bonanza Creek on 16 August 1896. It took time for the word to spread, and, initially, there was Carmack's reputation to overcome. William Ogilvie wrote of the reaction to the news at Forty Mile:

Carmack proclaimed the discovery but very little attention was paid to him for some time. I am glad to be able to say I helped to establish his credit in this case. He told me the story of the find . . . showed me the dust and described the country to me too circumstantially to be purely imaginary which many around Forty Mile thought it all was, and maybe but for the presence of the Mounted Police in the town he would have been ordered out of town, back to his Indian wife in so little respect was he held.

A few days after he came down and when he was getting ready to return I met two old-timers in the country one of them a Canadian from New Brunswick, the other a Swede. Knowing them both intimately I laughingly asked them what they thought of the new discovery? Both of them having made previous attempts in the Throndy as they called it then laughed and said they thought it was a d------d fraud and countered by asking me what I thought of it! I said I thought there was something in it. At which they laughed and said Siwash George is the greatest liar this side of hell and who would believe him. I said that may be so but even the greatest liar can tell the truth if he wants to and in this case I think he wants to. He has twelve dollars in gold dust, that is fact number 1, we know he has been at the mouth of the

-65-

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The Boundary Hunters: Surveying the 141st Meridian and the Alaska Panhandle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Photographic Credits viii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Preliminary Note xiii
  • Foreword xv
  • 1 - Britain and Russia Establish Their Boundary (1825-67) 1
  • 2 - Canada and United States Mark the 141st Meridian (1869-96) 7
  • 3 - Staking a Claim to the Panhandle (1876-96) 46
  • 4 - The Klondike Rush and Temporary Boundaries (1896-1903) 65
  • 5 - Forced Settlement: The Alaska Boundary Tribunal (1903) 79
  • 6 - Marking the Panhandle Boundary (1904-1920) 95
  • 7 - The 141st Meridian: A Single Straight Line (1906-13) 143
  • Afterword 177
  • Appendix 179
  • Notes 185
  • Bibliographical Note 199
  • Selected Bibliography 201
  • Abbreviations 206
  • Index 207
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