Tag Archives: 1918 influenza epidemic

Pandemic

May-June 2020 cover

Editorial from the May-June, 2020 issue:

We’ve been here before… The 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic

[This issue includes an article about the 1918-19 pandemic in Alaska, free to read online at the premier digital magazine site, Issuu]

The past few weeks have been unusual in our lifetime, but not unprecedented in the history of Alaska. As most are aware, we’ve been here before, if not literally, then certainly historically. The influenza pandemic of 1918-19 was utterly catastrophic, wiping out entire communities and leaving so many orphaned children that facilities were overrun and struggled to care for them all. The devastation was described by Eva Greenslit Anderson, Ph.D. in her book about the venerable Dr. Joseph Romig, titled Dog Team Doctor, published by Caxton Printers, Caldwell, Idaho, in 1940: 

“The fight at Bethel lasted all summer. During six weeks of germ warfare, there were seventy-two deaths at the mission alone. Everyone in all Alaska was sick, or so it seemed. A census taken soon after revealed that of the 3,500 who had lived in that section, 1,500 had died. Half of the natives on the lower Yukon passed out of the picture that summer, too. Tied to the mission by the specter that haunted the place, Dr. Romig was unable to travel down the river, so the lower Kuskokwim natives suffered most. In one village below Bethel, where before the epidemic this doctor had counted 121 natives, not twenty were left.” 

Alaska recovered from the 1918-19 pandemic, of course, and we will recover from this current scourge as well. But just as in the past, the disease will leave an indelible mark on us all. This time will become a reference point in our lives, just as other disasters, both natural and man-made, have assumed their unwelcome places on the ever-marching timeline of history. 

The May-June issue includes an article about the 1918-19 pandemic in Alaska, free to read online at the premier digital magazine site, Issuu:

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Delayed M/J Issue

MJ 2020 page 1The May-June, 2020 issue of Alaskan History Magazine is currently at the printer, but with delays in production and potential delays in delivery, the issue will possibly not arrive until around the first of June.

The digital edition will be available at issuu by May 10th. If you are a subscriber or have purchased a single issue and would like to access the digital magazine, simply send me an email and I will return the access code to read or download that issue.

The May-June, 2020 issue of Alaskan History Magazine features articles on the Matanuska Colony Project, the 1918 influenza epidemic, an unusual stone storehouse built in 1896 in Hyder, a pioneering packhorse trip to the upper reaches of Kluane Lake, Stephen Birch and the Kennecott Copper Company, and the wide-ranging travels of Archdeacon Hudson Stuck, who ministered via dog team and riverboat across the northern reaches of the Alaska territory.

Production of the July-August issue is underway, and my plan is to have publication and mailing back on schedule to arrive in mailboxes the first week of July.

MJ 2020 ToC



 

May-June 2020

May-June 2020 coverThe May-June, 2020 issue of Alaskan History Magazine features articles on the following topics:

• The 1935 government social experiment known as the Matanuska Colony Project, which brought 200 farm families to Palmer.

• A unique historic look at the 1918 influenza epidemic from the Alaskan legislature, in which Governor Thomas Riggs, Jr. explained the situation.

• The pioneering packhorse trip of the English journalist E. J. Glave and the cowboy trailblazer Jack Dalton, from the coast near Haines to the upper reaches of Kluane Lake.

• Stephen Birch and the Kennecott Copper Company, and the infamous Alaska Syndicate.

• The wide-ranging travels of Archdeacon Hudson Stuck, who ministered via dog team and riverboat across the northern reaches of the Alaska territory.

• The history of an unusual stone storehouse built in 1896 in Hyder, on the border of Alaska and Canada.

Additional regular columns will make this another wonderful and wide-ranging exploration of Alaskan history!

To order the May-June issue, or back issues, or to subscribe, visit this page.


M:J 2020 PayPal