Political Comments from the 1800’s

My cousin had given me some old family letters to read and I decided to share the comments from this particular letter. In today’s world, there are many comments and degrading of people since Trump was elected, but in the late 1800’s,  wry comments also existed about politics. I found this letter amusing.

In regard to the President (Grant), I hope he won’t hang Jeff Davis. I think they had better put him in a cage like they would a wild animal and take him around the world for a show dressed in petticoats, or perhaps you think they had better skin him and stuff his skin as he is a dangerous person. Melvin thinks he ought to be fed on raw cornmeal and rotten meat like the rebels fed the prisoners down south. He says I must tell you that Jeff Davis is a chap that would be an old woman if he could, but as he can’t, does all he can to show the world he’s not a man, but I have no doubt but Andy will try to do the right thing with all.

Jeff Davis had been the Confederate President during the civil war. He had treated prisoners of war terrible. The newspaper had made comic characters about him  with headlines about him dressed like a woman in an effort to escape capture. Contrary to the papers, Davis had wore his wife’s shawl over his head and a poncho due to the weather.

 

Vancouver, BC

Downtown Coal Harbor was once a shipyard for the industrial center and was also close to the railway terminus. Now it’s a haven for watching  float planes take off and for watching boats pass by. There are numerous waterfront pubs and small stores along the seawall.

Stroll along Water Street and you’ll enter Gas Town. It is the oldest district and its Victorian charm will wheel you in with its old architecture, boutiques, and vintage lamp posts.  It was founded by John ‘Gassy Jack’ Deighton in 1867. In the center of Gas Town is an old steam clock that still works.

East of downtown is Chinatown. Vancouver’s Chinese population originally made the journey to work in the mines and build the Trans-Canadian railway. You’ll find classic Asian specialty shops and cruisine.

Commercial Drive runs through the center of town. Lovely old ‘Queen Anne’ style homes remain on either side of the main road. You’ll find a diversity of cruisine.

Like most cities, Vancouver is growing. Foreign markets have bought many of the local homes and are tearing them down to build high rises and expensive condos, etc. For the average person, it is no longer feasible to live in the areas due to the high prices. It’s a great place to visit though.

1897 Women’s Survival Kit

The following suggestions were made to women in order to survive in the Klondike. The women that were strong and stubborn that followed their husbands, fathers and brothers in the fever for gold complied this survival kit.  I found it interesting and I decided to share it.

Women must be properly clothed and equipped for the trip to the interior. The most important item is proper footwear. Some women have worn shoes that are three times larger than one’s foot. It is not necessary. Get a shoe that fits. If the sole is not very heavy, have an extra one added. Moccasins can be purchased from the Indians. The tall bicycle shoe with extra sole would make an excellent walking shoe. A pair of rubbers fitted to these might come in handy during the rainy season. A woman should start out with these items:

  • 1 pair house slippers
  • 1 pair knitted slippers
  • 1 pair heavy soled walking shoes
  • 1 pair Arctics
  • 1 pair felt boots
  • 1 pair German socks
  • 1 pair heavy gum boots
  • 1 pair ice creepers
  • 3 pair heavy wool stockings
  • 3 pair summer stockings

A ready-sewed tick would be nice to have, for it can be filled with dried moss and makes a good pioneer mattress. Also 1 feather pillow, 1 rubber blanket, 1 piece of canvas, and 3 or 4 wool blankets would make a snug bed. Some people have tried sleeping bags and have been disappointed in them. A piece of canvas 5 x 14 feet can take its place. Fold half of the canvas on the ground, place your bedding on it, and draw the other half over you. Thus you are protected from the dampness and the wind. If you are caught in a blizzard without a tent, you can stretch the canvas over a pole and have a temporary tent.

In the way of wearing apparel, a woman can get by in comfort with these items:

  • 1 good dress
  • 1 suit heavy mackinaw, waist, and bloomers
  • 1 summer suit
  • 3 short skirts of heavy duck or denim to wear over bloomers
  • 3 suits winter underwear
  • 3 suits summer underwear
  • 1 chamois undervest
  • 1 long sack nightdress made of flannel or elderdown
  • 1 cotton nightdress
  • 2 pair Arctic mittens
  • 1 pair heavy wool gloves
  • 1 cap
  • 1 Arctic hood
  • 1 hat with brim broad enough to hold mosquito netting away from face
  • 1 summer dress
  • 3 aprons
  • 2 wrappers
  • 2 shirt waists
  • snow glasses
  • summer gloves to protect from mosquitoes
  • satchel

When an Alaskan outfit is packed down in a canvas bag, it takes too long to search for what you need. Try using 3 canvas bags instead. One can be used for the bedding, another for the wearing apparel, and the last for foot wear. It makes unpacking and repacking unnecessary.

A good-sized mess box with a hinge cover and lock, containing enough food for the trip will be a great convenience and avoids the extra work of opening sacks and boxes at every camp. Some camp sites have commissary departments to purchase items such as butter and evaporated eggs. These items are useful in your mess box:

  • flour
  • bacon
  • salt
  • yeast
  • pepper
  • rice
  • beans
  • sugar
  • cornmeal
  • dried fruits
  • baking powder
  • condensed cream
  • beef extract
  • pilot bread
  • canned meats
  • chocolate

I wonder how those women carried all those belongings, don’t you?IMG_0848

 

 

Anchorage

Anchorage is surrounded by the sea and Cook’s Inlet as well as the mountains. I consider it  a springboard to other destinations of Alaska. You can take a boat, ship, plane, bus, or ride the train from it.

There are many museums, including inside the Federal Building. Near West First Street is a monument of Eisenhower, for you history buffs. The Cook’s Hotel has a statue and a painting of Captain Cook. There are also several old paintings of the natives and the captain’s arrival.

For those who love to shop, you will be intrigued by the five-floored mall in downtown Anchorage. There are many fun tourist shops around too. Some shops have stuffed bears and moose to welcome guests. My favorite candy shop is inside the Cook Hotel. The owner colored his chocolates to look like the Northern Lights. How creative!

Many little parks dot the landscape of Anchorage. The Earthquake Park has a resident moose. Easy access from downtown is an eleven-mile coastal trail with spectacular views of the Cook Inlet. Kincaid Park is known for mountain biking. Many bicycle rental places are available. The pioneer spirit survives here. Anchorage has a population that appreciates the outdoors and never takes for granted the beauty here.

Ketchikan

Ketchikan, Alaska is known as the salmon capital of the world. I saw a tumbling creek where the salmon spawned  I actually saw more salmon in Skagway than Ketchikan. July through August are the best times to watch the salmon jump. It’s also the time when bears, eagles, and other wildlife that love fish will come out into the sea.

Ketchikan is also known for its totem poles and native artwork. I found it funny that the tourist shop owners hustled to get their wares out when cruise ships approached the docks. As soon as the tourists board their ships, the store owners close shop. Every where you turn, there is a jewelry store. I avoided them and headed to the museums. Enjoy the pictures.

 

Precious Gold

During the Klondike Gold Rush, gold was used as currency. It was eliminated from common coinage in 1933, yet gold is well used in today’s world that the average person doesn’t realize.

Gold is a heavy, yellow metallic chemical element. It has the greatest density of any mineral and because of its high density, it collects in streams as placer gold. Miners collected the gold nuggets and gold dust in pans, rockers, and sluice boxes. Pure gold is a soft metal that scratches, bends, and breaks easily. Therefore, gold is often mixed with other metals for use in jewelry.

Gold is reflective and is an excellent conductor of electricity. It can be drawn or molded into wire or threads. It doesn’t tarnish, rust, or dissolve in water and most acids. Due to this nature, gold is now used in many technical fields. Did you know that gold is used in the trigger deployment system of airbags in cars? Auto manufacturers use gold to dry paint on their cars. Gold-plated connectors operate in a car’s engine to withstand high temperatures and corrosive environment under a car’s engine hood.

Many aircraft use gold-coated acrylic windows in cockpits to help the windows stay clear of frost and fogging. The reflectability of gold helps keep the cockpit cool on hot runways. It also maintains the heat of the cabin while in flight at high, cold altitudes. Did you know that Air Force One uses gold reflectors to confuse an incoming missile’s heat-seeking signal? It makes it difficult for the guidance system to focus on its target. Gold protects the onboard computers in the Galileo space probe. It is used in satellites and the space shuttle’s electronic circuitry.

A telephone’s mouthpiece has a transmitter that contains gold in the diaphragm. Telephone jacks and connecting cords also use gold for contacts. Gold is the best material to use in microcircuits of electronic equipment. Did you know that gold is used in medical monitoring equipment?

Wouldn’t those miners of yesterday be surprised how precious gold has become? I found this information interesting.

Skagway: A Gateway

Skagway means the windy place. With only 27 inches of moisture a year, Skagway is known as the sunshine capital of southeast Alaska. Its soil is rich and with the summer hours of the long daylight or Midnight sun, visitors will be surprised at the enormous growth of vegetation and flowers. The height of the gold rush had barely passed when the local residents exercised their green thumbs. By 1905, the White Pass railroad’s brochure proclaimed the beauty of Skagway’s flowers and prolific gardens.

The city had its history of brothels in its day. In 1898, on the corner of 6th and State, the Red Onion Saloon was a dance hall and bordello. It was moved later to Broadway. On some of the side streets, you can visit some of the old Red Light district areas. Not far from there, is a historic log cabin built by Captain William Moore and his son. He had followed gold rushes and settled there. He prospered, after the flood of gold seekers, by owning a dock, warehouse, and a sawmill.

Another interesting building is the Artic Brotherhood Hall. The old lodge members had collected 8, 800 pieces of driftwood and nailed them to the front wall. The building is now the home of the Visitors Bureau.

The Golden North Hotel is said to be haunted. Its famous resident, Mary was a woman  that succumbed to pneumonia in room 23 while waiting for her fiancé to return with gold. Guests claim to see her spirit in the room and feel a sensation of choking.

During the Gold Rush, criminals and con artists set up shop. One of the most notorious was “Soapy” Smith. He erected a fake telegraph company and charged $5.00 to send a message. The scam was the wire never left Skagway. The Klondike Gold Rush lasted just a few short years, but it made Skagway a bustling boomtown. No matter where you go in this town, you’ll feel like you are stepping back in time with its wooden sidewalks and  storefronts in a colorful picture of its past.

Not talked about for some unknown reason is a small creek park before you walk into the main drag of the city. In July and August, you can see the salmon jumping about as they are in the process of spawning. It’s a great wonder to watch. I highly recommend visiting this town.

 

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