Arriving in Dawson

Exhibit: Klondike Gold Rush - The Perilous Journey North
"Men, on arrival here, have suddenly found out the unlimited opportunities for getting suddenly rich will not be reached no matter how great their capacity for enduring work and hardships."
~ Alfred McMichael, Stampeder, 1898.


~ Detail from The Klondike Nugget, June 23, 1898.


Most stampeders felt disappointed when they reached Dawson. Local miners had claimed all the gold-bearing creeks up to a year earlier.

Without gold "for the taking," late arrivals milled about town. Many went home. Some found jobs in and around Dawson. People made good wages working another miner’s claim, or in saloons, hotels, and other support positions. Others looked for gold on nearby creeks but rarely found any.

The irony of the gold rush was that after risking their lives and fortunes on the journey, most stampeders never struck it rich.


Hegg 612

Disappointed stampeders lived in their boats while deciding what to do. 1898.
~ Detail from Hegg 612.

Many people sold their outfits before heading home

Many people sold their outfits before heading home. 1898. Photographer Unknown.





The Klondike Nugget

The UW Libraries has a complete run, 1898-1903, of the publisher's copy of The Klondike Nugget, an American owned and operated Canadian newspaper located in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, during the Klondike Gold Rush. The Nugget, unlike many other gold rush frontier newspapers, was multidimensional, so that in addition to boilerplate, it astutely covered mining, political, and social events. The beginning of a frontier community, development of municipal government, interrelationship between local and federal politics, social and cultural events, and eccentric characters such as Diamond Tooth Gertie and Captain Jack Crawford, are documented. The Nugget represents an American view of Canadian politics and life seen through the eyes of its Seattle publisher.

The microfiche index includes the entire run of the newspaper. Over 28,000 citations provide the researcher access to a multiplicity of Library of Congress subject headings, personal and corporate names, and geographic locations. A separate business index is appended at the end of the Nugget index.