Document 5: Flora Shaw, Lake Bennett, 1898
Melanie Mayer, Klondike Women: True Tales of the 1897-98 Gold Rush (Athens, Ohio: Swallow Press, 1989), p. 175.
To begin with, the great majority of the boats are being built by men who have never built boats in their lives before. They are to be manned and navigated, in the majority of cases, by men who have never been in a boat in their lives before. Add to these conditions the fact the waters to be navigated are exceedingly treacherous, and in some cases positively dangerous, on account of rapids and rocks, and it will be readily be understood that when a mob of 2,000 or more boats, all struggling to get ahead of each other, start in a body for the same destination, there is likely to be trouble. This is admitted by almost everybody in the camp, though no one seems to think that he individually is taking any risk.
—Journalist Flora Shaw, observing activity at Lake Bennett, July 1898