Document 20: Letter from R. Hunter Fitzhugh to Friend Brokie, Summer 1899

Robert Hunter Fitzhugh Collection, Box 2, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Claim No. 9, Little Manook Creek
Rampart Mining District, Alaska

Dear Brokie,

I am sitting in my flannel shirt our...dining table, by a little bit of window made of celluloid instead of glass...I am the cook this week, and am at present cooking peas, evaporated potatoes, evaporated eggs, tomatoes, and corn-starch pudding, for which latter I have a wide reputation....My partner, Joe Bush, is cussing mosquitoes out doors, and also washing his unmentionables in a five gallon evaporated potato can—the national wash tub of Alaska. I washed my shirt and my other pair of socks yester e'en, so don't have to repeat the performance for at least two months.

The sun never sets now, and all night is just the same as all day, only the mosquitoes are more so, if anything....I can take my rifle and in a few hours kill ducks, geese, grouse, and squirrels enough to last me a week. To be sure I long for home and civilization with a longing that "is me doom" at times, but on the other hand if I was in the States I would be under the eye and hand of a boss, or out of a job, either of which.... I may get next to a claim this year that will net me $125,000.00...who knows. The Yukon broke up May 22nd., and is now full of steam boats. But in a few months it will again lie cold and still and another long dark winter will be upon us....

I am a bull-necked, horny-handed, whiskered backwoodsman now, and weight 165 pounds.



Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest