Klondike gold rush

Klondike Gold Rush ( Eng. Klondike Gold Rush ) - unorganized mass production of gold in the region of Klondike in Canada and on the peninsula of Alaska at the end of the XIX century .

The fever began after prospectors George Carmack , Jim Skukum and Charlie Dawson discovered gold on August 16, 1896 on Bonanza Creek Creek, which flows into the Klondike River . The news of this quickly spread around the inhabitants of the Yukon River basin . However, it took another year for the information to reach a big light. Gold was not exported until June 1897, when navigation was opened and the ocean liners Excelsior and Portland accepted cargo from Klondike . Excelsior Arrives in San Francisco July 15, 1897 with a cargo of about half a million dollars, arousing public interest. When Portland arrived in Seattle two days later , a crowd met him. Newspapers reported half a ton of gold, but this was an understatement, since the ship transported more than a ton of metal .

In 1911 it was declared in the territory of Yukon opening day August 17 ( Eng. The Discovery Day ). Over time, the third Monday of August was a day off. The main festivities are held in the city of Dawson .

British Columbia Gold

“Cooking Bacon”, 1862. A painting by an unknown artist depicts the interior of a miners' hut on the Fraser River Gold on the Fraser River in British Columbia was discovered in the early 1850s, in the midst of the California Gold Rush . Several people found gold between Fort Hope and Yale at the same time that it was no longer available in California , and thousands of prospectors set off in search of a “new Eldorado .”

Having found gold and having experience with Indians in California, James Houston was hiding behind the name of the Hudson's Bay Company , to which the indigenous population was mostly loyal. Meanwhile, he was robbed and in critical condition reached Fort Hope. In the spring of 1857, he began searching for gold in streams near the fort. Another prospector was Ferdinand Boulanger, a native of Quebec , who also arrived in British Columbia from California. Together with a group of Quebec and Iroquois, he discovered gold on the Fraser River. Boulanger showed the Indians how to determine metal, and he promised to exchange it for chewing tobacco. However, the Indians showed the gold they found to Donald Macklin, the head of the trading mission at the fort. He recommended that the Indians not sell gold to white people, and sent the found particles to his boss James Douglas in Fort Victoria , from where it was then transferred to the headquarters of the company’s western branch in San Francisco .

The road to the mines on the Caribou River, photo 1867 In the spring of 1858, prospectors began to arrive on the banks of the Fraser River. A total of about 30 thousand gold prospectors arrived, mainly from the United States . A gradual survey of all the streams and tributaries of the Fraser River began. In 1860, in an inaccessible isolated place in the Caribou Mountains, gold was found at a depth of 2.5 m and below. On a standard site, processed by a team of three people, up to 3.5 kg of gold per day was mined. It was the richest mine in British Columbia, which mined about half of the province’s gold.

James Douglas at Fort Victoria immediately realized the danger of floods in the region by prospectors. It was likely that the territory could be taken over by the Americans, and Douglas wrote a letter to England asking him to act immediately, which was done. The British government revoked the license from the Hudson's Bay Company, which had previously owned the territory for 21 years, and on August 22, 1858 recognized the land as its colony .

At the same time, exploring all the waterways of the region, prospectors gradually moved north. Gold was repeatedly found on lakes, rivers, and streams in northern British Columbia, and numerous spontaneous gold mining camps broke out. In 1874, a fever swept over the Kassiar Mountains and reached the Yukon River Basin .

Gold in the Yukon Basin Fur merchants The Hudson's Bay Companies established four trading posts in the modern Yukon in the 1840s , and a few years after them one or two religious missions appeared. The next fifty years, the presence of Europeans in the territory was only a few people. Traders discovered gold in the tributaries of the Yukon River almost immediately, but they hid information, fearing competition with gold miners, and also considering gold mining a less profitable business than the fur trade. The missionaries held similar views, who believed that the few Indians living in the territory were not ready for the influx of prospectors.

Nevertheless, in 1874 the Americans Jack Makkuesten and Alfred Mayo , knowing about Alaska America purchase, founded near present-day Dawson Trading Post commercial company Alaska (Eng.) Russian. Fort Reliance , among the trading operations of which, besides the fur trade, was the sale of equipment for prospectors for a percentage of the gold found in the future. Despite the fact that at first gold was not found, trade continued. The situation changed when gold was discovered on the Stuart River in 1885 . Faced with a small boom, the company closed part of its fur trade offices and focused on miners' goods. In 1886, gold worth 100,000 Canadian dollars was exported from the district , which only increased the activity of miners. Gold on the Stuart River quickly ran out, but even before that, the prospectors had smiled on Fortortile River .

Forty Mile and Circle City

The Fortimile River flows into the Yukon, photo 1897. In the foreground, near the steamboat, Fort Kudakhi is located, in the distance you can see Forty Mile Like many of the region’s geographic features, the Fortimile River (Forty Mile) got its name from the distance from Fort Reliance - it flows into the Yukon 40 miles downstream. Arthur Harper suggested looking for gold in the area of ??the river, and prospectors found quite large grains of sand. Harper realized that as soon as the news reached the limits of the Yukon, prospectors would pour into the region who would have nothing to eat. He decided to send a message to the nearest settlement of Daiya , located on the other side of the Chilkut Pass . A volunteer and an Indian conductor called out. In winter, they fell into a blizzard and only the Indian who could not describe why such a difficult route was reached reached his destination; he could only say “Gold!”.

The city of Forty Mile , the first city in the Yukon territory, was founded in the winter of 1887, when 160 people settled on the territory of the Khan Indians , the forerunners of modern Trondek-Khvechin . The city was completely dependent on ship shipments for the Yukon River from St. Michael , located at the mouth of the river. During the summer, the ship could make only one voyage. The flights were operated by the New Racket steamer , owned by a commercial company in Alaska. The company tried to build a second ship, Arcticbut he couldn’t even make the first flight. Only in 1890, the ship began regular work, which allowed more people to stay in the city for the winter (before this provision was only enough for 100 people).

In 1895, $ 400,000 worth of gold was mined in the Fortymeyle and Sixtemeil districts (60 miles upstream). By that time, about 1000 prospectors, mostly Americans, lived in the city. Bishop Bompas founded the Buxton mission in the city, and also wrote two letters to Ottawa , expressing dissatisfaction with the loss of morality among gold miners, which has a negative impact on the Indians. Around the same time the city came John Healy and founded a trading post of the North American Trading and Transportation Company ( Eng. North American Trading and Transportation's Company About enterprise | ), called Fort Cudahy ( Eng. Fort Cudahy), on the opposite bank of the Fortortail River. Healy founded the company in Chicago, his main goal was to trade in the Yukon and Alaska, he was going to compete with the commercial company of Alaska.

The city had saloons and shops, a library and a Shakespeare club, an opera house with a troupe from San Francisco and a tobacco factory. The saloons for the price of 50 cents per glass could be bought in season - diluted whiskey , and other times - hutchinu ( hootchinoo ), a drink that is prepared from molasses, sugar and dried fruit, and serve hot. Another name for the drink is Forty Rod Whiskey , because, according to Pierre Burton, he was able to kill from such a distance. It was in Forty Mile that the Canadian office for registering gold mining sites was located.

At the same time, Forty Mile had a competitor. Gold was found in Alaska in Birch Creek County. The prospectors' new city was called Circle City , as it was located exactly on the Arctic Circle. Many prospectors left Forty Mile to relocate to Circle City. McQuesten opened his stores there, who continued to lend gold to prospectors for future finds, which Healy did not do in Fort Kudahi. By 1896, the city called the “Paris of Alaska” ( Engl. The Paris You of Alaska You ) lived about 1,200 people (according to other sources 700), there were two theaters, a music room, dance floors eight and 28 saloons.

The course of the gold rush By 1896, the main production was carried out on the rivers Fortymeil and Sixtimile. The first flowed into the Yukon 40 miles downstream of Fort Reliance, the city of Fort Mile stood on it, the second flowed into the Yukon 60 miles upstream of Fort Reliance, and it had a small trading post named after the surveyor William Ogilvy , who defined the border between Alaska and Canada. The trading post was managed by Joseph Ladue, who traded more successfully for prospectors than he mined gold himself. Between the settlements there were two tributaries of the Yukon: the Indian River was located 30 miles upstream from Forty Mile, Tshondek another thirty. Tshondek, translated from the language of local Indians “to drive water” ( Engl. Hammer Water Water), got its name from the pillars that the Indians drove into the bottom of the river to set traps on salmon . Europeans could not pronounce the name of the river correctly and simplified it to Klondike.

Fever Start: Klondike's first gold

Discovery section of Bonanza Creek Creek, 2005 photo When Robert Henderson appeared in the region , Lada had already tried to search for gold on Klondike, but could not find it, so he offered to inspect the Indian River tributaries. Exploring the river, Henderson crossed to the north bank and climbed a hill. From the hill a few streams running north, including Rabbit Creek ( Eng. Rabbit Creek ). Henderson decided to check out this thread. Going down and washing the rock, he immediately discovered a large amount of gold. Henderson called this place a “gold mine” ( Eng. Gold Bottom ) and was able to find three people to continue working on the creek.

In the summer of 1896, Henderson went to Lada to restore supplies of food and supplies. On the way, he talked about the gold in the stream, which was called Bonanza Creek. On the way back he met George Carmack , his wife, an Indian Tagish tribe, Kate Carmack with her daughter, her brother Jim Skukum and nephew Charlie Dawson .

Jim Skukum Henderson, who did not like the Indians, told Carmack about gold, but asked not to bring his friends there. The news did not interest Carmack, but attracted the attention of Skukum, who wanted to become a prospector. As a result, Carmack, Skukum and Dawson got to the bottom of the gold and tried to wash the gold there, but then moved downstream, where the stream flowing from the south flowed into Rabbit Creek. It remains unclear who found the first nugget. Each of the participants told his version of what happened. Gold weighed about a quarter of an ounce and cost $ 4 at those prices. Soon they completely filled the Winchester case with gold. That was on August 16, 1896. Later the stream was called Eldorado.

According to the law, each of the group could take one site, the discoverer was supposed to have an additional site (Discovery site). Carmack staked out two plots for himself and one for Skukum and Tagish. Now the group had a road to Forty Mile, where they were supposed to register the plots. At the office, Carmack was not believed, and he had to demonstrate a gun cover full of gold.

Until the end of August, many suitable sites in the area were staked. On September 5, a steamer from Alice commercial company Alice delivered prospectors from Forty Mile to Klondike. Soon after, there was no free land left. Not everyone believed in luck and realized that they had found a gold mine. Many resold their plots, others, already on Klondike, did not dare to start mining and returned, while others, having reached Forty Mile, refused to go further. Carmack mined $ 1,400 gold in less than a month, but he also preferred to work with Lado.

Developments On December 15, the first Klondike newsletters reached Circle City. At first, they did not perceive this information, but when even the most respected miners, among whom was Frank Densmore, whose name was named Mount McKinley at that time, confirmed the facts in their letters, they believed in the city.

In the fall of 1896, William Ogilvy, worried about the development of events, tried to warn Ottawa. He sent two letters with fellow travelers, who, despite the most difficult conditions, reached their goal. However, in the capital they did not attach importance. In winter, the situation with the sites was completely confused, the boundaries of the sites and their owners were unclear. William Ogilvy, who at that time was engaged in geodetic work in the city of Dawson, undertook a second measurement, provided that his decision was final. In mid-June of the following year, Ogilvy sent a short report by mail stating that according to his data, gold worth $ 2.5 million was mined over the winter.

The End of the Fever: Gold in Alaska Planned section.svg This section of the article has not yet been written . According to the plan of one or more Wikipedia participants, a special section should be located on this place . You can help by writing this section. This mark was set on October 31, 2016 . Transport routes Gold Digger Handbook, 1987 Gold Digger Handbook, 1897 With the start of the gold rush, various publishers published a series of brochures with detailed maps of the area, some of which were far from reality. There were three main routes along which gold prospectors reached Klondike. The most popular route was from Seattle through Vancouver along the coast to Daiya or Skagway , then one of the Chilkut or White passes , and then through the Whitehorse rapids down the Yukon River. In addition, there was a waterway: from Seattle by sea to the mouth of the Yukon River in St. Michael and then upstream; as well as the Canadian route: Edmonton, the Mackenzie and Pelly Rivers to the confluence with the Yukon.

Chilkut Pass Profile

Prospectors overcome Chilkut pass The route was also called Juneau and was overcome using various modes of transport. The journey from Seattle began with a 900-mile crossing along the ocean to the port of Juneau (4 days). From Juneau, the route lay to the north-west, where, after 100 miles by sea, the long and narrow Lynn Canal began, on which the village of Daiya was located . Behind it began the Chilkut Pass, 3350 feet high and 32 miles long, of which the first 12 or 18 could be overcome on a horse.

George Holt was the first white man to cross the Chilkut Pass in 1878. He mined a small amount of gold, but much more important is the fact that he went back along the pass, not knowing that the Chilkut Indians (Tlingits) were protecting him from outsiders. He was lucky to stay alive. In 1880, the U.S. military entered into an agreement with the Tlingits on the use of the Chilkut Pass in the mountains of Alaska and British Columbia.. In 1880, 50 miners took advantage of the pass, the same number in 1882 and 1883, another 75 miners overcame the pass in 1884, and part of the miners spent in Fort Reliance and winters. In 1885, when gold was found on the Stuart River, 200 people crossed the pass. The pass opened access to Lake Lindeman and the Lewis River (as the upper reaches of the Yukon River used to be called) and soon became the main route of prospectors.

With the start of the gold rush, the Chilkut pass became the most popular route and could not accommodate everyone who wanted to overcome the mountains. In 1897-1898, it was overcome by various estimates from 20 to 30 thousand people. The Chilkat and White passes were made as alternative options.

Dayi and Skagway arranged a kind of competition: through which pass more miners will pass. After a series of avalanches took place on the Chilkut Pass in the spring of 1898, many prospectors rushed to go to Skagway.

After the passes, a waterway began along the rivers and lakes of the Yukon. The final part of the route started on Lake Bennett and included 600 miles downstream to Dawson. Usually a boat was built on the lake, capable of supporting four people and 4 thousand pounds of food.

The Yukon is particularly turbulent in the Miles Canyon, which is located on the Yukon River two days from Lake Bennet and ends with the Whitehorse rapids . The total length of the canyon is three miles. During the gold rush in the canyon, people worked who ferried boats across the rapids.

Waterway San Francisco, July 1897. The Excelsior steamship leaves from San Francisco to Klondike on July 28, 1897. The Excelsior steamship departs from San Francisco to Klondike on July 28, 1897. In 1882, even before the onset of Ed Sheffelin's fever(Ed Schieffelin) first used the water route, reaching the mouth of the Yukon River in the Bering Sea and traveling from there up the river. Sheffelin was a wealthy man from Arizona who became rich in silver mines. He was about to repeat his success in Alaska. He believed that a gold-bearing belt crosses the Yukon Valley there, and planned to find this place. Sheffelin and the team reached the mouth of the river and set off upstream, passing the abandoned forts of Russian America and Indian cemeteries along the river. Sheffelin reached the Lower Ramparts and found some gold there. However, he decided that gold mining was impossible in such difficult natural conditions, and returned back. William Ogilvy, who studied the events on the Yukon River in the late XIX and early XX centuries, claims that information about

When in 1897 a whole stream of prospectors headed for Klondike, the water route from Seattle to Dawson was about four and a half thousand miles. The ocean journey began in Seattle, after 1800 miles west, towards Japan, the ship crossed the Aleutian Islands through the Unimak Strait with a stop in Unalashka. Then the ship turned north, to the Bering Sea and the small village of St. Michael at the mouth of the Yukon River. The total length of the ocean route was, according to various sources, from 2725 to 3000 miles and took 15 days of travel. Further, the route lay up the Yukon River. During the navigation period, the distance of 1298-1700 miles was covered on the boat in 15-20 days, and in winter - by dog ??sledding along the frozen river. The path passed through the settlements of Kutlik, Andreafski, Holy Cross, Koserefky, Anvik, Nulato, Novikakat, Tanana, Fort Yukon , Circle City , Forty Mile , Dawson .

Canadian Route The journey in the interior of Canada passed through the valleys of the Pis and Mackenzie rivers to the north, and then to the southwest along the Peele River. The route was also called Edmontowski. For the first time in search of gold, it was made by Arthur Harper, having overcome 2000 miles and reached the middle course of the Yukon in 1873. Harper believed that if gold is found in California and British Columbia, then it should be further in the north, namely in the Yukon basin. Harper, along with four companions, decided to take a trip along the old route of fur traders. There was very little information about the route, documents of the Hudson's Bay Company, which could contain useful information, were not published.

Territory management Before the arrival of the Northwest Mounted Police in 1895, the territory was almost American. The city of Forty Mile received goods from the United States without paying customs duties, the post office worked with American brands. The management of the city was in the hands of the prospectors themselves, they imposed a punishment on thieves and warned alcohol dealers from transactions with the indigenous population.

Many Canadian authors contrast the American and Canadian territorial management systems that emerged after defining the boundaries. The Canadian management system implied tight control and the absolute power of the gold commissioner. It was developed from the experience of gold rushes in British Columbia and included a definite and unchanged code of laws. The American system was much more democratic. Decisions were made by a majority vote at the meetings of prospectors, the tradition of convocation of which came back from California. Each area had its own rules.

Border definition In 1825, the Hudson's Bay Company and the Russian-American company reached an agreement on the division of commercial territories in Alaska. The main document was the agreement between Russia and Great Britain , signed on February 28, 1825 . According to this agreement, the border was determined from the southern point of the Prince of Wales island , along the strait, to land at 56th degree north latitude. From there, along the ridge of the mountains parallel to the shore to the 141st degree of longitude west and further north to the Arctic Ocean. The boundaries set in the agreement were extremely difficult to physically demarcate, so for a long time the exact boundaries were not marked. Only in 1883, US Army lieutenant Frederick Swatka established the approximate position of the 141st meridian. He was mistaken for several kilometers. More accurate calculations were carried out by the geodetic party of William Ogilvy in 1888 and later confirmed by a special commission.

At first, the Americans laid down their territory right up to Lake Bennet. The reason for this was an ambiguous definition of the border, counted from the coastline pitted with fjords. In 1895, a compromise decision was made by the US-Canadian joint commission to cross the border. Since most of the inhabitants were Americans, the name Alaska was established for the entire territory , although it did not reflect the actual administrative position. After Ogilvy's visit, an agreement was reached to name new trading posts and settlements in the Canadian territory in honor of the representatives of the Canadian authorities, and in the US in honor of the American. Preference was given to officials who visited the scene.

In addition, Tagish Post, built in September 1897, was located on Lake Bennet, which served as a customs and for many defined the border. When the Northwest Mounted Police established posts at the White and Chilkut passes, and also began to collect customs duties, many were unhappy and were planning to defend US land rights with arms.

Canadian Territory After the founding of the Yukon County in 1895, the administration of the region was completely in the hands of the territory commissioner, who was subordinate to the Minister of the Interior of Canada. Gold mining regulation was not part of the commissioner's responsibilities. Three judges and one police magistrate worked in the district. Their salaries were 10,000 and 6,700 dollars a year, respectively. The order in the district was supported by the Northwest Mounted Police.

Northwest Mounted Police

Northwest Mounted Police at Chilkut Pass in Pleasant Camp, photo 1898 Through the efforts of Bishop Bompas and merchant John Healy, two Northwest Mounted Police officers were sent to Forty Mile : Inspector Charles Constantine and Sergeant Charles Brown. For a few weeks in the city, they confirmed Canada’s rights to the territory and collected customs duties in the amount of about 3200 Canadian dollars.

Inspector Konstantin insisted on a detachment of 40 people, but only 20 were allocated to him. In July 1895, Inspector Konstantin returned to Forty Mile with the detachment. The first year they were mainly engaged in the construction of Fort Constantine. They had to use force for the first time in 1896, when they demanded that they register a plot obtained by violent methods. A detachment of twelve armed police representatives made a 48-km march and returned the site to its rightful owners.

At the same time, the presence of Inspector Konstantin at the very beginning of the fever allowed the Northwest Mounted Police to quickly respond to developments in the region and warn Ottawa. Already on June 12, 1897, an additional detachment of 20 men arrived, led by Inspector Scarth, and in October of that year they were joined by a new commissioner, James Morrow Walsh, with a detachment. By the time the main streams of prospectors appeared, the police units, armed with Winchester rifles and Maxim machine guns, were ready to guard the border and levy customs duties at two strong points at the Chilkut and White passes.


Prospectors are waiting for the opening of an office for registration of land Canadian gold mining laws were drafted back during the gold rush in British Columbia. Their implementation was monitored by the Northwest Mounted Police. According to these laws, gold mining districts were determined for each water stream. Within each district, a gold digger could register only one piece of land. The exception was the discoverer, who was allowed to register an additional site. The length of the plot was 500 feet along the course of the river; the width was determined from the top of the hill on one bank to the top of the hill on the other bank.

Soon after the first Klondike gold was discovered, laws were tightened. The whole region was recognized as a single district, and the prospector was supposed to have no more than one site throughout Klondike. Also, under the new rules, plots that were not completed within 60 days were opened for re-registration.

American Territory Alaska’s administration was in the hands of the state governor, and public service was led by a federal officer reporting directly to Washington. Legally, Alaska was part of the ninth US judicial district, which also included the states of Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. The closest judges lived in California and Oregon.

In Alaska, decisions were made at a meeting of prospectors by a majority vote. Voting was by show of hands. The first year in Circle City was no sheriff, no court, no prison. According to Pierre Burton , a well-known Canadian journalist and historian, author of several books on the Klondike Gold Rush, the US government considered such meetings legal. He cites the example of an assembly that pleaded not guilty to Jim Kronister, who committed murder for self-defense. The verdict was sent to Washington and confirmed there.

However, after saloons appeared in the city and meetings began to be held in them, they were greatly degraded.

Gold mining methods

Prospectors at work There was loose gold on Klondike and for its extraction special equipment was not required, a shovel and a tray were enough. Many people washed sand in trays of Klondike streams and did not try to search for gold on land. Those who wanted to explore the breed were faced with permafrost. For the same reason, Klondike did not use hydraulic machines for gold mining, which had previously been widely used in California.

Before the discovery of Klondike, many had no idea that gold can be mined in winter. However, back in the fall of 1896, a number of prospectors began to dig mines. They thawed the frozen ground with the help of bonfires. Louis Rhodes reached the rock at a depth of 15 feet on October 3. From the first time he hit a gold mine - among the clay and stones, gold streaks were visible. After that, all the prospectors began to thaw the soil and dig the ground. According to Pierre Burton, Klondike was all in bonfires and resembled hell (“the valleys looked like the inferno itself”). Overnight, the soil thawed 8-14 inches, during the day the thawed soil was removed, and then the procedure was repeated.

Under permafrost, excavations were very difficult, which was exacerbated by the onset of winter. At this time, prospectors were looking for methods of more effective soil melting. The main ideas were the use of steam, as well as arson using crude oil or gas. The main advantages when using gas was greater efficiency and mobility, but gas cost much more firewood that is needed for a steam engine, so the use of steam was considered more adequate. In addition, after conducting checks, it turned out that the action of gas fire is very slow and local. Thus, machines began to operate on Klondike, which sent several jets of steam into the ground under very high pressure.

The final stage of work with the breed took place in one of two ways. The first method, manual, was to work with a manual tray, usually iron or copper. The tray with the rock fell into the river flow, prospectors made circular motions with the tray, trying to create turbulences in it. Heavy rocks, among which was gold, sank to the bottom. The waste rock was carefully poured from the tray, and the remaining gold was placed in a barrel of water and mercury (about one or two pounds per barrel of water). Gold formed a compound with mercury, which was then passed through a deer skin. Mercury suitable for further use passed through the hide, and the remaining gold was placed in a retort or simply in the sun for further evaporation of mercury.

The second method was to use a stationary tray of complex design. The tray was three feet long and two feet wide and consisted of two parts. The upper part was an iron sheet with holes about a quarter of an inch in diameter. Large nuggets remained at that level of the tray. The lower part was a separation box with inclined grooves. The design was installed on a solid foundation in the area of ??direct access to water. After the rock was placed in the tray, the prospector added water to it with one hand, and the other rocked the structure. Gold remained in the grooves, and sand and waste flowed out of the tray. At the very bottom of the tray, mercury was placed to prevent the smallest particles of gold from being washed out. In any case, mercury was needed for the final stage. In winter, prospectors often left her on the street instead of a thermometer.

Before the gold rush, the issue of gold mining by drags was considered . However, due to the difficult route through St. Michael, which would not allow the dredge to start working in the same season, this method of production was considered unprofitable. Klondike gold forced to reconsider the attitude to this issue and in 1898 the first dredge appeared in the region. Materials for the construction of the dredge were delivered to Bennett Lake, and from there the dredge descended to the Big Salmon River. The builders of the dredge could not use it for various reasons, and it went to a group of prospectors in the lower reaches of Bonanza Creek. Their dredge cultivated the site in two years, despite the frozen ground.

Social background All the social activity of the region was concentrated in the city of Dawson. While the others were registering plots for gold mining, Joseph Ladu took a plot at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike rivers, 6 miles from Fort Reliance. He transferred a sawmill from Ogilvy to the site, built a warehouse and a small hut for himself near it. The new settlement Lada named Dawson in honor of the leader of the party of surveyors George Dawson. By the middle of winter, a city had formed around the buildings, in which almost everything was in short supply, except for gold, which became the cheapest commodity. Salt was sold at the price of gold one to one, one cow cost 16 thousand dollars, one chicken egg - a dollar.

Many prospectors knew each other long before appearing in the region; they met at gold mines in Idaho, Colorado and other places. On December 1, 1894, even before Klondike gold was found, the Miner's Association was created in Forty Mile, which later became the Order of the Pioneers of the Yukon ( English Yukon's Order of Pioneers) Prospectors who came to the region until 1888 were admitted to the association. The organization established laws in places of gold mining, the first of which was “Do unto others as you would be done by”, which became the motto of the fraternity. The members of the fraternity pledged to help each other in need and to share information about proven gold. On the first day, 24 people became members of the association, led by the first president, Jack McQuesten .. The fraternity experienced serious problems in connection with the discovery of gold in Klondike. Although news and rumors spread quickly, some tried to hide information. The first manifestation was the Carmack group, which did not talk about the prey to Henderson, who was two miles upstream. After that, many prospectors tried to underestimate the amount of gold in order to scare others away.

The impact of the gold rush Political Implications

Commissioner Yukon Residence in Dawson The definition of the Yukon as a separate district in the Northwest Territories occurred in 1895. The inner borders of the Yukon County differed from the clear boundaries of the southern districts along the meridians and followed topographic landmarks, since the goal of creating the district was to establish law in places of the gold rush. Therefore, the Yukon District included the Yukon River and all its tributaries and water routes, in other words, the entire territory on which gold mining was possible.

In 1898, at the height of the gold rush, the independent Yukon Territory unit was formed as part of the Canadian Confederation with its capital in Dawson .

Economic implications

Railroad Building in Skagway, Alaska The gold rush contributed to the development of the territory's infrastructure. For a long time, the main transport arteries of the region were the Yukon River and its tributaries. About 10 steamboats operated on the river, which were mainly built at the mouth of the Yukon River in St. Michael. After the Klondike gold was discovered, the number of ships, their quality and size increased sharply. Many steamboats went to Dawson from St. Michael, but some also from Lake Bennet.

In 1900, the White Pass & Yukon Route railway company founded the city of Closehouse (later becoming Whitehorse ) and connected it with Skagway in Alaska. Two years later, a winter track was laid between Whitehorse and Dawson.

Indigenous participation

Potlach ceremony on the Chilkut River, beginning of the 20th century Despite the fact that the Yukon Indians were mainly not engaged in gold mining, the gold rush on Klondike influenced their lifestyle, habitats and basic occupations. The main changes occurred with the Tlingit and Khan Indians.

The Tlingit people, who lived in the vicinity of the Chilkut Pass and initially didn’t let anyone through it, quickly found that they could benefit by packing food for numerous prospectors. In particular, this was initially done by Jim Skukum. At first, the cost of packaging was 5 cents per pound, but in 1896 rose to 16.

Copy of Jack London's Dawson Hut In 1897, young Jack London went to Alaska . He reached Klondike along the most difficult route, the Chilkut Pass, and spent the winter there. London collected materials for its future works - “ White Fang ”, “ Call of the Ancestors ”, “ Smoke Bellew ”, “ Time-not-Wait ”, “ Thousand Dozens ” and many others. Films were shot on some of these works ( Time is Not Waiting , Smok and the Kid , White Fang (film adaptation of 1946 , 1974 , 1991 ), White Fang 2: The Legend of the White Wolf“(The second part of the tape of 1991). A copy of the hut in which Jack London spent the winter was installed at Dawson. The same copy is installed in Seattle.

Jules Verne, in his novel The Golden Volcano, describes the surroundings of Klondike in a gold rush.

In 1925, the adventure comedy ” Gold Rush “ by Charlie Chaplin.

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