Michael, Alaska, Sep. 16 -- Dear Folks: I wrote you when I first
reached here, but as I only had a few minutes, did not have time to
write much. We have been here sixteen days and just launched our
boat this morning. We leave here about Friday. I wrote you about our
boat, how it was built in San Francisco, and put aboard the ship and
brought here. It was put together by twenty ship carpenters with the
assistance of all the passengers. All of us had to work.
regard to our prospects, will say they are very bright. We will not
reach Dawson City this winter, in fact, we do not wish to.
in regard to this country: It is the most barren place on earth,
even worse than the Klondike district. There isn't a sign of a tree.
The ground is wet on top; you strike ice 18 inches from the surface.
We have been sleeping on the ground and are all well, in fact, I
never felt better. Am getting used to it and gaining in weight every
day. We are camped 50 yards from the sea where we can catch
all the fish we want, in fact, we are sick of them.
are two companies which have stores here with a world of supplies,
but they ask enormous prices. $15 a hundred for flour, 85c a pound
for bacon and other things equally high. Fortunately for us we have
plenty of everything.
up the river are very scarce. People are starving at Dawson City,
with no prospect of the situation improving this winter. It would
not be wise to go there if we desired. Since we have been here
it snowed two days, but we did not notice the cold. Tis nice and
are a number of Masons here in our party. The other night we held a
meeting in Mr. Shepard's office, the manager of the North American
Trading Co., who is a Mason. There were 17 States, Canada, England
and the Sandwich Islands, represented. You can see it was a great
gathering. I never spent a more enjoyable evening in my life. There
were about forty Masons present. We organized, and I think we will
enjoy the lodge.
entertained the correspondent of one of the San Francisco Papers
yesterday in our tent for dinner. We had a large goose, and he
enjoyed it very much. He took our pictures and wrote it up for his
me to all my friends. With my present good health, I think I shall
return well paid for my trip. I am writing this letter on a rough
boot jack ready made by myself.
cannot advise anybody to make this trip. It is a matter about which
they should decide for themselves. The opportunities for making
money are great, but the hardships are also great. I am glad I came,
and would not sell out my chances for a good deal. You can tell the
boys who are thinking of making the trip that the hardships are
great, but they are no worse than we expected. I must close now as I
want to get the letter off. Will write again before leaving. Hoping
all are well, I am, yours,
P.S. -- We leave here on the 24th. Will go up the Yukon 1000 miles
to Minook. Address all letters to Mysook, Alaska, until you hear