Document 42: Letters from Jonas Houck to His Wife in Detroit, Michigan

Jonas Houck Papers, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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March 29, 1898, White Pass Trail

The thick black mud runs down the trail on the mountain. I tell you this is more than I bargained for....If any person had told me I could stand this I would certainly have thought they were crazy....take about 50 lbs. at a load over the same ground 60 times before we get our goods moved from one place to another....

April 13, 1898, Balsam City, White Pass

....the hill coming up to the summit is beyond description....You ask if I am as confident as when I started. I don't know what to say for this trail is enough to take the confidence out of most any person.

July 10, 1898, Dawson City

This is an awful country. Men sleep anywhere in the woods like so many wild beasts....a great country to make the young old and the old dead.

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest