Tag Archives: July-August

July-Aug Digital Issue

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The July-August issue of Alaskan History Magazine is available to read online, download, or share via email, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest at the digital magazine site issuu, an electronic publishing platform which was named one of Time magazine’s 50 Best Websites.

The 48-page July-August issue, which carries no advertising in its 8.5” x 11” full-color format, shares the history of the aviation pioneers known as bush pilots, from the first attempt to climb into Alaska’s skies in 1911 to 1935, when the future of flight in the Last Frontier was well-established and looking bright!

Jul-Aug coverOther articles in this issue explore Alaska’s first newspaper, The Esquimaux, which was published a little northwest of Nome; the Alaska Steamship Company, which became an Alaskan shipping monopoly; a 1916 horseback trip across the Kenai Peninsula by the dauntless world traveller Frank G. Carpenter; Alaska’s first commercially successful novelist, Barrett Willoughby, whose every book was about or set in Alaska, and two were made into movies; and an exciting childhood in the gold rush town of Nome by Irving Kenny, who saw it all first-hand. Wrapping up this issue are brief highlights about Alaska’s early missionaries, the ubiquitous white canvas tent, a half dozen classic books on Alaska’s history, and a guide to some of the sources and resources used in researching this issue.

To help readers become familiar with the online format, the first three digital issues will be free to view by anyone. Digital issues after November 1, 2019 will be available only to subscribers and anyone who purchases a print issue of the magazine. For more information and to subscribe or purchase a single issue (also available at Amazon), visit the Alaskan History Magazine ordering page.

To read the first two issues of Alaskan History Magazine online at issuu, click here.

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The Esquimaux

Esquimaux 3 420Only published for one year, 1866-1867, The Esquimaux was Alaska’s first newspaper, edited by a Western Union Telegraph line man named John J. Harrington. The July-August issue of Alaskan History Magazine shares the story of this unique publication, and the little-known history behind it.

Twenty miles south of present-day Teller, Alaska, on a sand spit separating Port Clarence Bay from the stormy Bering Sea, a Western Union telegraph cable construction camp named Libbysville was the site of Alaska’s first bona fide newspaper.

There were around forty men stationed at Libbysville, part of an ambitious Western Union project to lay an electric telegraph line from San Francisco, California to Moscow, Russia. The route would run up the west coast of the United States through northern California, Oregon, and Washington; then 850 miles through the colony of British Columbia (the project would be known in B.C. as the Collins Overland Telegraph) and cross into what was at that time Russian America, traversing 1,800 miles across the land which would later become Alaska before dropping under the Bering Strait, coming back to land at Plover Bay, Siberia, and then crossing Siberia to Moscow, where lines would connect to Europe. The project would be an alternative to the deep-water Trans-Atlantic Cable under construction at the same time by the Atlantic Telegraph Company.

440px-Robert_Kennicott_Harriman_Alaska_ExpeditionThe U. S. Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, has made The Esquimaux available to read online, and it records much history of early Alaska, such as the death of Robert Kennicott, who had been the Expedition’s naturalist: “Kennicott.––Died at Nulato, R.A. May 13th, 1866, Maj. Rob’t Kennicott, aged 32 years, a native of Louisiana, U.S.” The second issue would carry a lengthy front-page obituary for Maj. Kennicott, whose reports on the geology, flora, and fauna of the territory were among the earliest recorded, and may have precipitated the U.S. purchase of Alaska.

The July-August issue of Alaskan History Magazine, which includes the history of the newspaper, and the history of the trans-Alaskan telegraph cable project which was its reason for being, can be ordered here.

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July-August Issue

Jul-Aug coverAlaskan History Magazine’s second issue ranges widely through Alaska’s past to bring an assortment of topics for readers to enjoy! In the opening photo feature the focus is on the missionaries who blazed trails across territorial Alaska, sharing their various versions and interpretations of God’s Word and building hospitals, schools, and churches which would change Alaska forever. Many missionaries, such as Hudson Stuck, wrote extenisvely about their northland adventures, leaving first-hand accounts and invaluable records of the times.

The cover touches on the main feature for this issue: the aviation pioneers who braved Alaskan skies with sketchy flying machines and even sketchier maps of the land below. Flinging themselves aloft with fragile contraptions of fabric and wood, they too changed Alaska forever. 

Ak Steamship Co 2 420Other articles in this issue explore Alaska’s first newspaper, the Alaska Steamship Company, a 1916 horseback trip across the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska’s first commercially successful novelist, and an exciting childhood in the gold rush town of Nome. 

The back section of each issue begins with a photo collection highlighting one aspect of Alaska’s history, and for tihis issue we’ve chosen the ubiquitous plain white canvas tent which gave shelter to countless explorers, pioneers and homesteaders. Here are tent stores, banks, schools, hospitals… One might say the history of Alaska was written on white canvas.  

Wrapping up this issue are brief highlights from half a dozen classic books on Alaska’s history, and a guide to some of the sources and resources used in researching this issue. You won’t want to miss this one!

Click here to go to the orders page for subscriptions or single issues!