Document 89: Letter from Alfred McMichael
Diary and Letters of Alfred McMichael, Juliette Reinicker Papers, MSS 100, Acc. 79/68, Box 10,
Yukon Archives, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.
April 8, 1898
There is scarcely any stealing and yet this is a tough camp. Gambling places and saloons run wide open night and day but I have yet to see the first drunken man. I think the numerous signs of "drinks 25 cents" will explain this moral tone in society. And yet in spite of it all, the man who chooses the right path seems to be as secure in his life and property as if in Detroit....Instead, there are thousands of men here who are brave, hardy and deadly in earnest in the effort to reach the gold fields. Many are poor but have enough to pull through, and they are honest—though rough. There are, of course, many turning back; some from the difficulties, some are homesick, others find the expense greater then they anticipated and the duty is an obstacle they cannot surmount. Many are packing or doing other work to get money to pay duty on their outfits. Others are reckless and squander their money....This terrible calamity of the snow slide has frightened a good many and they are selling out and going back....
The revised list of the number lost in the snow slide is 47 men and one woman. There are supposed to be more under the snow, but it would be a difficult task to find them....