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Daily precipitation, in inches, at Cheyenne, for the year ending August 31, 1888.

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T.-Trace, rain, snow, hail, etc., i. e., less than .01 inch. Snow is recorded as water; .10 inch water equals 1 inch snow.

In closing this report it is proper to represent to the Department that if any action is to be taken towards leasing the school and university lands, under the law which I understand passed this session, such action should be taken in time, so as to allow of the leasing before the 1st day of February, 1889. Men usually desire to make their ar rangements in the winter for the coming season, and it will take some time for the board or commission to consider the question of leasing, in giving proper advertisement, and in promulgating the general rules which will govern in making leases. I desire again to invite the atten. tion of the Department to the fact that the selections of university lands have not been approved by the President of the United States and the Secretary of the Interior, at least so far as I know.

Respectfully submitted.

Hon. Wм. F. VILAS,

THOMAS MOONLIGHT,

Governor.

Secretary of the Interior, Washington, D. O.

REPORT

OF THE

GOVERNOR OF ALASKA.

SITKA, ALASKA, October 1, 1888.

SIR: In compliance with the requirements of section 2 of the act of May 17, 1884, entitled, "An act providing a civil government for Alaska," I herewith submit a report of my "official acts and doings, and of the condition of said district (Alaska) with reference to its resources, industries, population, and the administration of the civil gov ernment thereof," for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1888. As in the case of my last annual report, however, in order to present a reasonably accurate statement of the commerce and productive industries of the Territory, I have included the term intervening between the close of the last fiscal year and the date of this report; it would otherwise be impossible to include therein and treat intelligently all the questions concerning which the honorable Secretary of the Interior desires to be specifically informed.

Having, during the past summer, through the courtesy of the honorable Secretary of the Navy, been able to visit all that part of the Territory committed to my executive charge bordering on the sea coast between Sitka and Point Barrow, the last the most northerly projection of the national domain, including the principal islands of the Kadiak and Aleutian archipelagoes, I am now able to speak and write much more largely than hitherto from personal observation and knowledge, concerning the "resources, industries, and population" of Alaska as a whole; in my former reports I was able to speak advisedly, and from personal observation, of the southeastern section only, having had no opportunity to extend my investigations beyond the points visited by the mail steamers plying between Puget Sound ports and Sitka. The U. S. S. Thetis, having been assigned to special duty in these waters, arrived at Sitka soon after my last annual report had been forwarded, when I was officially informed that the orders to her commanding officer (Lieut. Commander W. H. Emory) included among others one "extending to the governor every facility to visit the outlying ports of the Territory," where in his judgment it might be safe to navigate his vessel. It was then too late in the season to think of embarking on a cruise to the westward with the hope of accomplishing anything in the way of profitable results, even had not her orders required the Thetis to be at the Mare Island navy-yard within three months after her arrival at Sitka. Neverthless, I availed myself of the opportunity she afforded to visit several otherwise inaccessible settlements in southeastern Alaska, and but for the fact that I had received orders to proceed to

Washington on public business connected with the interests of the Territory I would have been enabled by the same means to extend my trip of observation to all the more important native villages on the islands of the Alexander archipelago, most of which are remote from the route usually taken by the regular mail steamers. That I did not do so was no fault of the commanding officer of the Thetis, who offered me every facility, and evinced a most earnest disposition to aid and cooperate with me in every movement designed to promote the best interest of the Territory. I am happy to say that the zeal thus manifested by Lieut. Commander Emory has suffered no abatement, but up to the present time has prominently characterized all his official relations with myself, and, I believe, with all the other civil officials of the Territory.

Having undergone repairs and refitment, the Thetis arrived a second time at Sitka, on the 19th day of May last, with the same orders relative to transportation, of which fact I was officially informed by the senior naval officer, who at the same time desired to know at what time I would be ready to embark. All preliminaries having been satisfactorily arranged, myself and interpreter, Mr. George Kostrometinoff, a Russian, who is well educated in English and who speaks most of the native dialects, were embarked, and on the 27th of May the Thetis sailed on a cruise which extended over a period of four months and five days, and covered a distance of something over 10,000 statute miles. The route taken was around the curve of the coast to the north and west, stopping first at Yakutat to investigate the reputed rich discovery of gold in the black sands of that section; thence to Nuchek, in Prince William Sound; then to St. Paul's, on Kadiak Island; Afognak, Kenai, and Coal Bay in Crook's Inlet; thence south through Shelikoff Strait to Karluk, on the west side of Kadiak, sailing from the latter place direct to Oonalaska. From Oonalaska, after coaling, the ship sailed direct to St. Paul, the chief of the Pribylov group, popularly known as the seal islands, where I was afforded an opportunity to investigate the operations of the Alaska Commercial Company with direct reference to the fulfillment on its part of the conditions of its lease from and contract with the Government; thence returning again to Oonalaska. Sailing from Oonalaska a second time, the cruise was extended to the mouth of the Nushegak River, in Bristol Bay, up which river I ascended a distance of 50 miles in one of the ship's steam-launches, to where there are a number of settlements and four salmon canneries, as also a trading station of the Alaska Commercial Company, a Greco-Russian church, and a Moravian mission, with a school belonging to each. Returning south again, Belkofsky and Unga were called at, after which the ship once more returned to Oonalaska, and taking more coal sailed for the Arctic, touching only at St. Michael's, King's Island, and Cape Prince of Wales before passing through Bering Strait. Several days were spent in Kotzebue Sound, principally at Hothain Inlet, where I found a rendezvous of about 2,000 natives from the interior, that being the place where they annually assemble for the purposes of barter and to catch and cure their winter's supply of salmon, which are there exceedingly plentiful. Leaving Hothain Inlet, no stop was made until after passing Cape Lisburne, when the ship was brought to anchor and a boat sent on shore in search of the so-called Corwin coal mine, which the officer failed to find, and the ship was again headed on her course for Point Barrow. At or near Point Belcher the revenue steamer Bear was met and spoken, and with a view to rescuing a wrecked schooner from the ice the two vessels proceeded in company to Point Barrow, and some 20 miles beyond, in what proved an unsuccessful search for the wreck, and then returned to Point Barrow, the Bear

shortly after taking her departure for San Francisco, with about 150 sailors from five wrecked whaling ships on board. I may here be permitted to remark that the Thetis shortly after found and rescued the wrecked schooner, which had been abandoned as a total loss, towed her into Point Barrow and afterwards to Port Clarence, where she was hove down and repaired, after which she was dispatched in charge of one of the junior officers to San Francisco as a present to her original owner, officers and crew having waived all rights to which they might otherwise have been entitled in the way of salvage. Remaining a week at Point Barrow, and finding that the whaling fleet were not likely to require her assistance, the Thetis started on her return voyage, stopping at only one point on the Arctic coast-at the coal seams which crop out in many places along the coast between Cape Lisburne and Point Lay. A stop of a week was made at Point Clarence and Grantley Harbor, whence the ship ran direct to St. Michael's, at which point were embarked seventy-one miners who had made their way down the Yukon to that place, and who would, in connection with the permanent residents, have been subjected to the severest privation and suffering, if not to actual death by starvation during the present winter, but for the relief afforded them by the Thetis. A careful investigation instituted by the commanding officer elicited the fact that there were not more than sufficient provisions in the settlement to subsist the resident population until the earliest possible date at which a ship might be expected to arrive next season, and having regard to the welfare of all concerned that officer, very properly, in my opinion, decided to accord the desired transportation to the miners, many of whom were without means, with no possibility of earning enough to pay their passage home next summer, should they succeed in eking out a miserable existence till then. Orders had been given by the Treasury Department to the captains of the revenue steamers to refuse transportation to miners who might find their way down the Yukon to St. Michael's in the expectation of being brought away from there in Government vessels, but it appeared that these men were not apprised of that fact until they had floated down the river so great a distance that it was impossible to row back against the swift current, and there was no alternative left them but to continue on to St. Michael's. In my way of thinking, the action of Captain Emory in affording the relief he did can not be too highly commended; it was not only a question of relief to the unfortunate miners he was called upon to determine, but one which involved the safety and lives of the permanent residents as well, left as they would have been at the mercy of a set of men with whom self-preservation would most likely have been the first and only law in the face of threatened death by starvation. Leaving St. Michael's, the ship sailed direct to Oonalaska, and from thence by the shortest route to Sitka, where she arrived October 2, having been absent just four months and five days.

A narrative in detail of the incidents of this cruise, however interesting it might be to the general reader, is not within the province of this report. The result of the observations it enabled me to make concerning the character and resources of a very large section of the Territory of which very little has hitherto been known will be found embodied in the discussion of the general topics I am expected to consider and under the appropriate captions. It may not be amiss, however, by way of preface, to remark that the knowledge of the country thus obtained, through personal observation and research, serves but to confirm and strengthen. in my mind the views heretofore expressed in my official reports conINT 88-VOL III-61

cerning the immeasurably great and practically inexhaustible resources of Alaska as a whole.

And in connection with this cruise, in addition to what I have already said, I desire here and now to return thanks to the honorable Secretary of the Navy for having assigned to command in these waters two such efficient, zealous, and courteous officers as Lieutenant-Commanders J. S. Newell and W. H. Emory. From both these gentlemen I have received the most prompt and cheerful co-operation in all matters affecting the best interests of the Territory, and while I remain in my present official position I can ask no higher consideration at the hands of the Department of the Navy than that they may be continued in their present commands.

POPULATION.

The white population of the Territory is principally embraced within the limits of what is popularly known as the southeastern section, and is increasing even more rapidly than might reasonably be expected, in view of the limited means of transportation between Puget Sound and Alaskan ports, and the consequent high passenger and freight rates, which are not only a hindrance to immigration but a very material enenhancement of the cost of living to the immigrant. The sale of several large mining properties on Douglas Island, and on the main-land in the neighborhood of Juneau City, upon which the work of development has been actively commenced, and is being vigorously prosecuted, involving as it does the erection of an equal number of very large stampmills in the near future, has greatly stimulated the growth of that flourishing town, the population of which has very nearly, if not quite, doubled itself during the past year. There has also been a marked increase in the white population at other points as well, particularly on the islands and main-land to the west and north of Sitka, induced by the utilization of the salmon fisheries, the discovery of rich gold and silver bearing lodes, and the prospective great value of the coal measures on Cook's Inlet and elsewhere, which last are but just now beginning to attract the attention of capitalists. There being no funds available for the purpose, a general enumeration of the inhabitants of the Territory has, of course, been out of the question; but while on my trip to the north and west I obtained from the records of the Greco Russian Church a statement of the number of the Creole, Aleut, and so-called "Indian" people inhabiting the coast from Yakutat to Cook's Inlet (exclusive of Copper River), the Aliaska Peninsula, and the islands of the Kadiak and Aleutian Archipelagoes, which is as follows: Creoles, 1,530; Aleuts, 2,878; Indians, 3,383. In the same sections there are about 500 permanent white residents and perhaps as many more transient whites, together with from 700 to 800 Chinese, who are employed in the salmon canneries during the summer. There are probably 200 to 250 white miners located on the Yukon River and its tributaries, and even the inhospitable shore of the Arctic is not without its white population, though the whole number does not exceed a dozen. Personal observation, coupled with information obtained from the most reliable sources, leads me to the conclusion that the native population, of which it is not pretended that any accurate enumeration has ever been made, is much larger than heretofore estimated. Rev. Father Tosi, a very earnest and zealous Catholic priest, who has passed several years on the Yukon, and who has established, under the auspices of his Church, a boardingschool in one of the central settlements between St. Michaels and Nulato, and whose long residence there enables him to speak from personal

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