tions imposed. Subsequently, there was not great difficulty in adjusting the surveys, nor has there been much litigation.

The greater part of the ground now covered by the city of Seattle was covered by location certificates issued under the donation law, and all titles are now traced back to them. In view, therefore, of what has been recited above, and for the reason that the surveys can not be completed, even in part, for several years, it is most earnestly recommended that a similar law be passed for Alaska, and that it remain in force for a period of five years, from March 4, 1903, to March 4, 1908, and that an ample sum be allowed to start the surveys

at once.

It would be fair to give those who have been on the ground as squatters and who have shown by their faith and works the possibilities in agriculture as much advantage as was given to the early settlers in Oregon and Washington.

If such a law is passed it does not need a very wise prophet to tell what will come to pass within five years. We are informed by Mr. Cy Warman, in the Review of Reviews for September of this year, that

In the first four months of 1902 the number of immigrants from the United States was 11,480, and they took with them to Canada over $1,000,000 worth of property. Last year the "Yankee" crossed the border 20,000 strong.

* * *

Can Congress remain indifferent on this great question and allow such multitudes of our own well-to-do and well-brought-up people to slip away from us? Can it not afford to be as liberal with our own citizens in Alaska as Canada is with them in Manitoba? Listen again to Mr. Warman:

Now that land can no longer be had in the United States for the squatting on, and when even railroad lands bring big prices in the open market, the temptation which such a country as we have here described offers to the progressive American farmer is very great.

If he has money he can buy good, improved prairie farm in western Canada for very much less than his own holding will bring. If he has a wealth of grown boys he can obtain, free of cost to himself and for every boy over 18 years, a farm of 160 acres ready for the plow, and by united effort they can double their holdings by the yield of their labor in two or three years.

This statement is not made at random. I have been over the territory and have met with numerous instances of success in this regard. I knew a man who for a quarter of a century toiled on a stony, hard-to-work hundred acres in eastern Canada, and barely made enough to feed and educate his four sons and one daughter.

He took the western fever and settled west of Brandon, Manitoba, a few years ago. He sold his farm in Ontario, invested the money in adding 320 acres to his free grant of 160 acres, obtained 160 each for his three full-grown boys, and together they began to work this immense farm. The money borrowed at 10 per cent to stock the place was all paid off in five years, and so well did the venture turn out that the daughter was sent to a ladies' college in Ontario to complete her education, and the boys, at the end of eight years, were able to take a trip to Europe.

Congress can invite these people to come. door and say "Welcome to Alaska."

It alone can open the


The people at Sitka are bound hand and foot in regard to land titles. The Russian and American commissioners at the time of the transfer made a map of the town upon which they designated the various properties, which were enumerated in the inventories by letters, figures,

and colors. There has been no accurate survey from any initial point which is well located and determined. Since the date of transfer the United States Government has made numerous reservations in the town, none of which has been marked out with precision. Besides, the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case above cited, viz, 150 United States Reports, page 483, Kinkead v. United States, was that the commissioners had no authority to determine questions of title and ownership, and that their action was not binding upon the Government. But this is the very thing that they did, and the people are holding their possessions upon the certificates which were signed by these commissioners thirty-five years ago. The town has no opportunity nor incentive for growth under such conditions. It can not, like other places, take advantage of the town-site law, for it can not tell what to include and what to exclude.

This matter was mentioned by the governor in the annual report for 1899, but nothing has been done.

It is now earnestly recommended that the committees of Congress on public lands investigate this matter, and that a bill be drawn up and presented for Congressional action whereby a long-waiting and patient community can obtain relief.


It was confidently expected that Congress at its last session would pass a law allowing Alaska a Delegate. The bill, as unanimously reported by the Committee on the Territories of the House, failed to get a hearing. The Senate Committee on Territories had a bill of its own, which was read twice and referred back to them, where it was kept. No one can tell why.

The great majority of the people here think that Alaska should be represented by such an officer. We know that he will have no vote and will therefore seldom be invited to a logrolling; that he will sit at the foot of the committee table and will not often be allowed to open his mouth on the floor. Nevertheless people want their accredited representative there. He can persist in bringing measures for Alaska's welfare before the committees, look after the interests of her citizens before the Departments, and occasionally enlighten the House when it has Alaskan matters before it. Surely there is no valid reason why action on this matter should any longer be refused or delayed.


Two years ago the Census Bureau gave the population as follows: Population by sex, general nativity, and color, in Alaska, 1900.

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Since the enumerators were in the field a great many of the natives in the northwestern parts have perished, probably one-third of their number, by reason of the terrible epidemic which swept through their settlements. Some of the towns have gained in numbers, as Ketchikan, Douglas, Valdez, and a few others, while in others there is no perceptible change, as in Sitka, Juneau, and Kadiak. Skagway has declined in numbers very rapidly in the past six months.

It is difficult to determine what is the amount of the permanent white population on the Seward Peninsula and along the Yukon River. Great numbers come up on the various transportation lines and remain during the working season and return late in the fall. A number will remain over winter and go out the following season.

The number of those who have come with their families and household goods and who have deliberately chosen Alaska as their home is as yet small. There has been a growth, however, in the past two years in the resident population. This is noticeable more particularly in the neighborhood of the canneries. Many of the fishermen have married native women and are rearing families. In several places they have grouped together and are asking for public schools for their children.

It would be rash in the absence of any statistics to say what the gain has been in the past two years. It has possibly been nearly as much as we have lost by the death of so many Eskimos, and the total may be reckoned at what the Bureau gave it two years ago, viz, 63,592.


A few have been agitating this question during the year. One man who runs a small weekly newspaper has made it his stock in trade. He prescribes Territorial government as a medicine to cure all ills. Some few have banded together to get information on the subject, but the more they investigated the matter the more assured they have become that the suggested remedy for our ills is the most brazen quackery.

A few have become irritated by the continued delay in extending the land laws, and would recklessly support anything for a change. But let any sober-minded lawmaker analyze the above statement of the population of the district, or, better still, let him take the Census. Bulletin on the subject and, with a map of Alaska spread out before him, locate the communities and their distances, and then ask himself

if he would be bettering the condition of this people at this juncture by changing the form of government from what it now is to that of a regularly organized Territory. Either as a district or a Territory Alaska must remain under the direct control of Congress. Alaska as it is now governed entails the least possible expense upon the people residing here. The majority of the people here understand this quite well, and are not madly clamoring for a change at present. We know that whatever rights Congress sees proper to extend to us are just as secure under the present district as under a full-fledged Territory. Since the recent insular decisions many of us are not in love with a Territorial form of government, and think it is not necessary, like New Mexico and Arizona have done, to spend forty and fifty years in tutelage under it before arriving at statehood.

The Delegate from Arizona, who has been elected to Congress six times, on the 20th of May last, in a remarkable speech, told his hearers that a Territorial form of government is inherently bad, and gave his reasons. However, though it were ever so desirable, Alaska is not ready for it. It would mean a more complex organization than we have, such as counties and townships and all their concomitants of buildings, officers, courts, etc., as we see in Territories to-day.

This will entail an enormous expense upon a small population. It will discourage capital from investing, for the tax gatherer must collect some money out of every prospect hole and from everyone who begins an industry. Are we, then, anxious to escape taxation? By no means. No people within the jurisdiction of the United States are more willing to assume just burdens than are Alaskans. The creation of vast expenses by the organization of what is unnecessary would be unjust.

We say, give us the encouragement to occupy the land as recommended above, and at the close of five years we will show you a population of permanent home dwellers who will desire and be worthy of the highest organization which Congress can give them.

Intimately connected with this topic of Territorial government is that of


If we turn back fifteen years to the report of Governor A. P. Swineford on this subject, it will be nearly as pertinent to-day as it was then. Here it is:


It is difficult, if not impossible, to arrive at a reasonably accurate estimate of the value of taxable property in Alaska. There no fee-simple titles in the whole Territory, except in the cases of twenty small lots or paraels of land in the town of Sitka, and one in St. Paul, Kadiak Island, the absolute ownership of which was vested in the occupants at the time of the transfer by the protocol executed by the American and Russian commissioners, October 18, 1867.

In all other cases the occupants and claimants of lands, excepting mining claims, are simple squatters, depending upon and looking anxiously forward to such legislation by Congress as will enable them to perfect their titles.

At Juneau, a most active, prosperous town, with a dozen or more general merchandising establishments, churches, newspapers, theater, waterworks, etc., not one of the resident citizens is possessed of any other title to the land upon which his home or place of business is located than that which the mere fact of possession gives him, while the same is true of those who have invested their capital in business enterprises in other parts of the Territory. The taxable property is consequently almost wholly personal, and must necessarily continue to be so until the general land

laws are extended to the Territory and the resident people thus afforded an opportunity to acquire titles to the lands they occupy and upon which they have erected their homes.

That there is very little taxable real estate in Alaska is not to be wondered at, in view of the fact that no part of the vast public domain within its borders has ever been thrown open to settlement by homestead or preemption, and that in consequence the great majority of actual settlers have been unable to obtain titles to the lands they have occupied and improved. Nor is it any wonder, under the circumstances, that the white population is not many times larger than it is. People seeking homes in a new country are not inclined to go where they have no assurance of being permitted to enjoy the same rights and privileges accorded to settlers upon the public domain elsewhere.

Under the general mining laws, which were extended to Alaska by act of May 17, 1884, a large number of claims have been staked and recorded, but up to this time no patents have been granted or issued. Applications for patents in a number of cases are now pending, however, and it is fair to assume that claimants, as fast as their claims are proved more or less valuable, will take the necessary steps to perfect their titles. Placing a fair value on the mines already developed, as well as on those in progress of development, and taking into consideration the various other industries hereafter enumerated, I believe I will not be far out of the way in estimating the taxable property of Alaska, including everything that might properly be placed on a legal tax roll, at not less than $10,000,000, exclusive of the Alaskan Commercial Company's establishments on the seal islands. The increase will be rapid as soon as Congress by the necessary legislation shall invite and encourage the settlement of public lands by people desirous of securing homes and engaging in some business connected with the development of Alaska's many and varied resources. Until such legislation is had it is idle to expect any considerable settlement of the public lands other than those which are valuable for the mineral they contain, nor yet any such rapid increase in the valuation of her taxable property as would certainly follow close upon an extension of the general land laws to the Territory.

It is still difficult to arrive at a reasonably accurate estimate of the value of taxable property in Alaska. The united capital stock of all the salmon-packing companies was put down in 1900 by Mr. Howard M. Kutchin, the special Treasury agent, at $8,450,750, and the valuation of all the plants $3,149,082. This industry has increased very much in two years, and the above estimate would have to be increased very materially.

The improvements in connection with quartz mining have been very considerable in valuation but very much of this is in the way of development work and has never earned a dollar for the investors. Juneau has acquired fee-simple titles under the town-site law and is an incorporated town. Her gross amount of tax roll for 1900 was $8,734.71.


Next to the extension of the land laws and the surveys, the matter of transportation is perhaps of most concern to the largest number of people. In southeastern Alaska and all along the seacoast the problem is simple enough, for nearly all the places can be reached by seagoing vessels. The relief that is needed here is that the work of the Coast and Geodetic Survey which is now going on shall be pushed with more vigor, and that the aids to navigation which are furnished by the Light-House Board shall be increased many times. This matter will receive attention elsewhere.

It is in the great body of the country where transportation is the serious question. The Yukon River divides the territory pretty well in two, and it is a mighty river. The obstacles which stand in the way of those who have been trying to navigate this stream are serious and some of them are beyond removal by the best engineering skill. 9)10-02-2

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