|Alaskan Gold Mining Company,|
The climate, however, was not the only contributor to the high mortality rate. Thousands were killed laying transcontinental tracks, and the unregulated industrial efforts across America proved deadly for many. Families were torn and forsaken, all the while political and racial tensions rose. That was the Gilded Age.
Gathering Background Data
|Gold Mine Map National Park Service|
In the diary that Jesse Tyler Ferguson reads on Who Do You Think You Are?, the July 1898 Monte Cristo River Steamer is referenced. This Steamer operated from 1898-1903. A helpful reference when tracing steamboats can be found in the Annual Report of the Supervising Inspector General of Steam-Vessels- Inspection for the relevant year. Through this report we learn that the Monte Cristo was used to traverse the Stikine River.
- National Parks Service (NPS). The NPS website is a great place to learn of the Alaskan trails, popular routes and events that may assist your ancestral research. The site boasts an expansive list of “searchable databases of people who went north to Alaska (and Canada during the gold rush.” They include the 80,000 genealogical records held at the Dawson City Museum, images of the gold rush at the Valdez Museum and Historical Archives and a Historical Database.
- Alaska State Library. The Alaska State Library offers Finding Your Gold Rush Relative to provide research sources for “the Klondike and Alaska gold rushes,” 1896-1914.
- Find A Grave. Landslides, avalanches, and other natural disasters often explain the cemeteries along the trials. Find A Grave has listed 116 burials in Slide Cemetery in Skagway Borough, Alaska. A Palm Sunday avalanche killed between 60-100 travelers over the Chilkoot Pass and the bodies recovered from this 3 April 1898 event are interred in Slide Cemetery. The listing of the Palm Sunday Avalanche victims may also be seen at the National Park Service website.
- Nationwide Newspapers. Across America newspapers were reporting the trials, tribulations and successes of the Stampeders - Gold Rushers. Either way, local news often reported names and dates of departure and news of the travelers if it reached the homefront.
- Diaries of Women and Men. The Klondike women’s
population was about eight percent (8%) - mostly housewives, a few wealthy
investors, but few worked as
miners. Accounts of their travels might be found in diaries. Visit the Alaska
State Library for diares of Mary Jane and Fred Healy, 1884 - 1891;
Clare M. Stroud Boyntan Phillips, 1898-1902; Elizabeth Robins, 1900, and more.
Read about the adventures and accounts from Jack London, Sam Dunham, Robert Service and more: Gold Rush Literature, National Park Service.
|National Parks Service|