LETTER WRITTEN FROM THE YUKON GOLD RUSH IN 1898
ALASKAN GOLD RUSH. Canadian / Yukon gold rush of the late 1890s. Autograph Letter Signed, “Charlie”, in blue wax pencil. Two full pages, quarto. No place, [Ships Camp] May 27, 1898. Top edge slightly chipped, else very fine condition. To “Dear Jennie Precious Wife”. The letter reads:
“how are you and little folks. I am at Ship Camp. The boys are with me and we have had our goods shipped by this tramway. The men I am acting as pilot for think lots of the boys and I think they will have them go down the Yukon with us. They represent forty million dollars and perhaps will not let the boys pay any of the boat expenses. Instead of having sore feet this time as I had last year at this place I sit in a wagon 7 miles or 9 miles and walk 6 just one day from Dyea and stop at a hotel lookout window and see our outfit going by on the tramway. Really it seems as if it is a pleasure trip (over). The crowd has passed this point and comparatively few or on this side of the summit tomorrow perhaps we get to Lake Lindenman all the boys are packing all the instruments. It costs just 7 ½ cents per pound for freight landed at Lindenman from Dyea, please tell this fact to Mr. Moore and Ed Millsaje. Give my kind regards to your mother for Dear Jennie I can’t help but feel tenderly towards her for (she is the mother of my wife). Sweetheart how I wish you were here and how I would pet you darling. I love you oh if I could only have you in my arms how happy I could be, and the little folks, give to mother and Jessie. And such a big lot for you if any Yukon widow deserves it you do sweetheart, oh how I think of those few happy days at home you so kind and gentle to our children. Love and kisses, Charlie”.
Gold was discovered on August 17, 1896, near the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon rivers in W. Yukon Territory. The news spread quickly, and by late 1898 more than 30,000 prospectors had arrived. Annual production peaked at $22 million worth of gold in 1900, and soon prospectors began moving on to Alaska. By the time mining ended in 1966, the area had yielded $250 million in gold.