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Conditions on the Klondike trails, January 1898



Klondike Gold Rush


The Daily Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana) - January 9, 1898

Klondykers are not starving yet - January 9, 1898

    Seattle, Wash., Jan. 8 - T. B. Corey, of Seattle, one of the men who arrived here from Klondyke om the steamer City of Seattle, says:

    "My party counted twenty-five boats and their passengers tied up on lake Lebarge and twice as many on lake Tagish. In places along the river they counted 20 more."

    Mr. Corey speaks highly of the humane acts of mounted police located en route, who make room in their camps for men to sleep, feed them and sell necessary provisions at actual cost.

    On lake Bennett the party met fourteen sleds drawn by horses, carried 1500 to 2000 pounds to the sled. It was the intention, if possible, to get as far as the foot of lake Lebarge and from there to send the supplies along the dog trails. Later it was reported that ten horses, with their loads, had been lost through the ice at Cariboo crossing. Mr. Corey said there was a shortage of food but expressed no fear of starvation, many having gone to Fort Yukon.

    Corey says rich quartz rock has been discovered on Deadwood creek, which is estimated to run as high as $50,000 to $75,000 to the ton.

    J. B. and J. F. Graeber, formerly of Shamokin, Pa., report that on Oct. 6, a party of seven people left the head of lake Lebarge, since when nothing has been heard of them.

    Two boats, marked Whiteman and Parker, containing 500 pounds of provisions, were found drifting down the river.

    Napoleon Durpros and a party of six Frenchmen are reported to have brought upwards of $40,000 in dust with them. They also have a draft for $100,000, the proceeds of the sale of some mining property. The present trip of the City of Seattle is one of the quickest ever made on the Skaguay run, occupying just ten days for the round trip.

No Danger of Starvation.

    Juneau, Alaska. Jan. 3, via Seattle, Wash., Jan. 8. - Twenty men have arrived here from Dawson. Some of them have deen in the interior of Alaska for ten years. They unhesitatingly state that there is no danger of starvation and no necessity for a government relief expedition. They say that Thirty-Mile river, between lake Lebarge and the Hootalinqua, is open water and they were compelled to take to the side hills. Most of those who arrived to-night intend going back as soon as possible with supplies for the coming year. The trail is reported to be in very fair conditions; for two weeks the weather has been very mild.

    Ed. Lard, the man who was recently arrested at Dawson, for stealing $22,000 worth of gold dust from a saloon in which he was barkeeper, has been released. It is stated at the reason of Lard's discharge was that the police had no food for prisoners.

    Major Perry, of the mounted police, is inquiring very closely into the action of the Canadian customs officials who are collecting duty at lake Lindemann, with a view to determining what amount of provisions a miner should be allowed to take in duty free.

    Advices have been received at Juneau that funds have been deposited at Seattle to meet all liabilities of the Howell Gold Mining Company, and that the receiver will soon be discharged.

The Horrors of the Trail.

    Skaguay, Alaska, Jan. 2, via Seattle, Wash., Jan. 8. - Captain Wood, in command of the detachment of Northwest mounted police the district which extends from the White Pass summit to lake Tagish, warns all persons enroute to the Klondyke that they will not be permitted to pass Tagish House unless each person has at least 600 pounds of provisions.

    Wm. Byrne, of Chicago, lies in a cabin on the Lewes river with both feet amputated. Byrne and his uncle, James E. Maguire, also of Chicago, were making their way up the river from Dawson, and Dec. 5, Byrne, who is only 18 years of age, had both feet frozen. The men continued their journey for five days. The boy suffered horribly and the flesh began to drop from the frozen feet. Still they forged ahead, with the bones protruding from Byrne's feet until Lewes river was reached, and the boy placed in a cabin where he could receive some care. It was found necessary to amputate both feet near the knees. A doctor who happened to be in the Lewes river camp performed the operation. McGuire, the uncle of Byrne, reached Skaguay in a dying condition, having been seized with quick consumption on the way up. He will probably live long enough to reach his home in Chicago.

    A man named Shroeder died twelve days ego at a camp near the mouth of the Hootalinqau river. Shroeder was from the Black hills.

    Scarcely a day passes that does not witness several cases of lot-jumping in Skaguay. Building operations are being pushed night and day. Some of the buildings are be used as hotels and lodging houses, more are dance halls, variety theatres and saloons. Each incoming steamer brings hundreds of people.

    Besides the City of Seattle, which arrived to-day, the Elder came in from Portland with 300 passengers. It is almost impossible for people to secure hotel or lodging house accommodations. The restaurants, saloons and gambling houses are thronged day and night, while general business is good. Tents are being put up wherever an available site can be found, generally in the street.

    W. B. Sam, the first postmaster of Skaguay, took charge of his office yesterday.

    The first public school will open to-morrow in the new church building.

    The first marriage to take place was celebrated Saturday night, the groom being Patrick Boynes and the bride Miss Jennie Mack.