To make "a book about the Klondike" so shortly after that word first burst upon the ears of a surprised world, would be the height of literary impudence, considering how remote and incommunicado that region is, were it not the public is intensely curious to know whatever can be said authentically in regard to it. "The Klondike," it must be remembered, is, in reality, a very limited districtonly one small river valley in a gold-bearing territory twice as large as New England; and it came into prominence so recently that there is really little to tell in respect to it because nothing has had time to happen and be communicated to the outside world. But in its neighborhood, and far north and south of it, are other auriferous rivers, creeks and bars, and mountains filled with untried quartz-ledges, in respect to which information has been accumulating for some years, and where at any moment "strikes" may be made that shall equal or eclipse the wealth of the Klondike placers. It is possible, then, to give here much valuable information in regard to the Yukon District generally, and this the writer has attempted to do. The best authority for early exploration and geography is the monumental work of Capt. W. H. Dall, "Alaska and its Resources," whose companion, Frederick Whymper, also wrote a narrative of their adventures. The reports of the United States Coast Survey in that region, of the exploration of the Upper Yukon by Schwatka and Hayes of the United States Geological Survey, of Nelson, Turner and others attached to the Weather Service, of the Governor of the Territory, of Raymond, Abercrombie, Allen and other army and naval officers who have explored the coast country and reported to various departments of the government, and of several individual explorers, especially the late E. J. Glave, also contain facts of importance for the present compilation. The most satisfactory sources of information as to the geography, routes of travel, geology and mineralogy and mining development, are contained in the investigations conducted some ten years ago by the Canadian Geological Survey, under the leadership of Dr. G. M. Dawson and of William Ogilvie. Of these I have made free use, and wish to make an equally free acknowledgement. It will thus be found that the contents of this pamphlet justified even the hasty publication which the public demands, and which precludes much attention to literary form; but an additional claim to attention is the information it seeks to give intending travelers to that far-away and very new and as yet unfurnished region, how to go and what to take, and what are the conditions and emergencies which they must prepare to meet. Undoubtedly the pioneers to the Yukon pictured the difficulties of the route and the hardships of their life in the highest colors, both to add to their self-glory and to reduce competition. Moreover, every day mitigates the hardships and makes easier the travel. Nevertheless, enough difficulties, dangers and chances of failure remain to make the going to Alaska a matter for very careful forethought on the part of every man. To help him weigh the odds and choose wisely, is the purpose of this little book.
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