Copper River and Cook’s Inlet, Alaska. Pacific Steam Whaling Co. All American Route.
Copper River and Cook’s Inlet, Alaska. Pacific Steam Whaling Co. All American Route.
Copper River and Cook’s Inlet, Alaska. Pacific Steam Whaling Co. All American Route.

Copper River and Cook’s Inlet, Alaska. Pacific Steam Whaling Co. All American Route.

8vo pamphlet (9” x 4”), printed self-wrappers. 15 pp. San Francisco: Pacific Steam Whaling Co., 30 California St., 1897.

A scarce pamphlet produced by the Pacific Steam Whaling Co. of San Francisco and Seattle for prospectors venturing to Alaska’s Cooks Inlet and the Copper River mining district, on Prince William Sound.

This “first class line of passenger steamers” ran between San Francisco, Seattle and Copper City, and sailed every fifteen days through the inland waters of Alaska—“thereby avoiding the rough weather experienced on the outside passage.” The text offers a detailed account of the Cooks Inlet and the Copper River region, a portion of which is excerpted from a lecture delivered in Sitka (in Nov. 1897) by one Rt. Rev. I. T. Rowe (Bishop of Alaska) which was published in the “Alaskan.” The text covers Chefflon Creek; the Keokuk gold district; historic explorations of Alaska; the route by way of Copper River and Prince William Sound; gold mining success stories (“He almost broke his back carrying $65,000 of Gold”); Fish and Game; Copper River Indians (by turns “unfriendly” and “friendly”; said to steal; etc.); When to Start for Copper River; Cooks Inlet District; Climate of Southern Alaska; and Cooks Inlet Placers. Another extract is taken from the San Francisco Call (of Nov. 1897), covering the discovery of Great Bed of Copper in Cooks Inlet and Prince William Sound; “sensational” gold mining stories; When to Start for Cooks Inlet; What to Buy for an Outfit; Clothing; Cooking Utensils and Mining Implements; a Table of Distances; and finally, “Nuggets of Information”—such as the following: “Winter lasts nine months”; “Citric acid should be taken to prevent scurvy”; “Good moccasins are better than leather or gum boots”; “Do not underestimate the hardships of the trip”; “A sleeping bag lined with fur is the thing. Keep it free from vermin”; “The best way to live is to imitate the Indians in dress and habit.”

Established by group of Californian businessmen in 1883, Pacific Steam Whaling Co. was based in San Francisco and soon opened a branch in Seattle. The company established a shore-whaling station at Point Barrow, Alaska, and sponsored whaling expeditions to the Arctic region. The company’s large salmon cannery at Orca, Alaska is mentioned as well. It appears the company operated at least until 1908. Among its ships were the Mary D. Hume, Newport, Thrasher, Grampus, Baleana and Narwhal.

OCLC records three copies, at Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Washington and University of Wisconsin.

CONDITION: Good, small tape repair on final page and back-wrapper, top of pamphlet lightly trimmed (part of “R” in River excised), illegible ink inscription on back-wrapper, partial separation along spine, text good.

Item #5984

Price: $575.00

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