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The Seattle post-intelligencer. [volume] (Seattle, Wash. Terr. [Wash.]) 1888-1914, February 20, 1900, Image 1

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045604/1900-02-20/ed-2/seq-1/

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THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
SPECIAL CAPE NOME EDITION.
w
WITH the most primitive pro
cesses and extraction, the
placer miners of Cape
Nome, during a working
season of ninety days last
year, produced In tho ag
gregate between |2,flflo.floo and 12,250,000 In
gold, record is phenomenal, In view
of the fact that It represents the first out
put of the district.
As a fwult of the attack to be made on
the neg gold fields, with modern mining
appliance** and by an army of fortune
seekers. the most conservative citlmutel
place the yield of tho present year at
SW.fiOO.WO
No f»»wcr than 3O,ofifl, and perhaps fto.flOft,
Alaskan Argonauts will «c«k the golden
fleece of their dream* along the shore of
Ber.ng sea. Many of them will dare* to
penetrate fMherlo, while other* will scout
to the northernmost point on the Amerl
ran continent nod even beyond Point Har
row on the Arctic coast.
In the American Iliad another world
surprintng epoch of conquest has begun.
No B*d Blood <\t All.
Every great mining camp has ha I Its
Atmosphere of romance; a certain grim
tmiquem- «t* and a pioneering history
punctuated with the rrlme of Cain- Yet,
strange to say, not a murder was com
mitted at Cape Nome last year. iesplta
the bitterness of feeling and the ugly pas
sion* aroused In the controversies over
location rights. When navigation opened
less than nine months ago only a small
village of Eskimos existed at the mouth
of Unake river. Three months later the
Nome City permanent structures and
tents stretched along the cape shore a
d-'tance of twelve miles: the district had
attracted a population of s.flGo souls, and
tog of the g.nfua of Americanism a vol
untary municipal administration had been
organised, without Jnr, commotion or bal
lot ♦ho* disputes.
Although tl\e gulch was discovered in the
furgm*r r»f ifcw, the news of the And was
not r)wul«te4 lu Seattle until late the fol
lowing winter. The story, so llk»> a fable,
was discredited. Having found qu ckcr
passage up the Yukon to Hamoart City,
forty-\llie and Dawson, It renewed hone
In a few of the brave spirits who had
fslled of lueg In th<w« regions. Th»*y has
tened down the river with Yukon sleds to
Nulato. and from that point crossed the
country.
Thought It Fiction.
tip!lug reports, confirming those of win
ter only excited In Seattle hostility
toward the transportation cnmpHntes.
They aef-e accused on all side# by the
sk«*ptleal with having Invented the new
gold fields for selfish purposes.
Means bile twenty-five square miles of
country nad l>een located as the result of
the stampede ftom Hr M'chsel. Council
City and the Missions M«»»t of this area
sat taken up by aliens and ugt nts acting
under powers «»f attorney. Some Caixa
Nome gold itnw to Heat tie shortly after
navigation had opened, but the simo ves
sel brought back to civilization a number
of disgusted mortals who had arrived at
the diggings too !«+*» to secure any de
sirable gulch ground, and prior to the
discovery of the beach placers. The dis
consolate talcs of their bootless expert
cities for a time wrw ncffpCtd a* j>roof
thai ctpp Nnmi* should foe M nnMl.
The Atxal of haplt• * -fold seeker* who
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20. 1900.
followed the ice flow from Dawson and
the American Yukon camps, left only its
driftwood at St. Michael. The conflicting
reports heard there discouraged the ma
jority from cha«lng any more rainbows !n
the direction of an Ice-loeked pot of gold.
With the destitute Jump-offs who took this
last chanee of finding fortune In the
Arctic circle their resolution was Inspired
for the most part by the desperate pre
sumption that the government would res
ent them from the starvation and death
jx>sslble in the event of failure Hut a
polar luck-star was guiding them, for
they reached the cape in to take ad
vantage of the beach discoveries. The
2.000 men who mined the ruby sand of the
coast line during the following seven
weeks with the crudest appliances aver
aged HOO In the total clean-up. and many
of them realised from $7,000 to $12,000.
The growth of the city was magical, as
was the comparative placidity of its gov
srnment. Only when* American activities
were aroused <ould such enterprise and
development obtain. Vessels at fumed in
from the southern hortson with tallsmanlc
timelines, laden with an abundance of
th»» necessaries of life «nd all maimer of
supplies for the workers in wood and«tron
Surprising foresight was shown in tb» x
character of the stores which heaped uj>
on the beach until w«itbouw« could t>e
constructed, Streets were laid out. and In
lieu of a law enabling the settlers to
fashion a city. they consents to squat
ters* sovereignty, and bullied without
discord on such ground as they chanced
to have occupied, or sold It without ques
tion. This spirit of equality, or regard for
relative rights, prevailed till the winter
set in. Not only were no lives lost hi
brothel quarrels or contention* over prop
erty, hut thievery was scarcely heard of,
and that human cormorant of the mining
camp, the footpad, never put in an ap
pearance.
Cape Nome Morals.
Another Mriklng experience of Nome
was Ith unexampled freedom from the
borrowing habit common to the miners*
Irregular life. Awakening destitute after
dissolute Indulgence, or arriving on the
ground without means, no matter how
desperate a man might be. he. would
scarcely think of besieging any one for a
loan, or resorting to violence to gratify
hi* needs or dewfires. *h»n nil he had to
do was to walk out on the bench and help
ham»»*if to gold. the possession of which
no one <1 Inputed. No better illustration
• ould be afforded of the morality and Rood
will contained in that content which
arises from ease in procuring money.
In ail probability, had not the ptienome
nal beach discing* !*>en dlacovered so op
portunely. when the Increasing arrivals
were lashing themselves Into resentment
against the wholesale manner In which
the hill and gulch country had been taken
up by aliens and power-of -attorney
agent.*, a different tale would have to be
related.
As it in. the new Arctic tamp enjoys the
original record of having founded iui earll»
eat substantial prosperity on an exception*
al kind of placers, mined in an ex< option
al way. without crime or law-breaking.
Although th* gulch placers, for the most
part nHutfrH by associated locators in
blocks of twentv-acre claims, were the
?w.*t discovered, the ea» h diggings yield
ed to simple methods of exploitation last
summ< r not less than two-thirls of the
total goki product of the district.
Gold Reterivs.
Before the lose of another working sea
son it ts evident from ad th«» information
at hand that the »"ape Xom«' district will
hsv» developed four different kmds of
goM-producing rej« r*es, of a capacity the
wI lest dreams might not measure First
In point of immediate utility n\ll be the
bea* digg;ogt, *et little more than
pecked over fo» tweiv* miles in a report
ed stretch of IV\ For the ♦ xpl» ration and
mining of these immens« resource* the
most modern Appliance* will be shipped toy
the earliest boats north. Then comes the
gulch placers back from the coast in the
hills, which will become the scene of
greater activity and more extended re
search. Prom the analytical male
in Seattle of quarts brought down from
the C*pe Nome mountain#, the rare gold
harness of which ts almost identical with
that of the local placer metal, it
able to presume that the moth?> kvl*
region, or the ecairce of the Nome
gold. ha« been discovered In this
hood is the promise of a great gold output,
running through the years to come.
More r*markabie -till and stimulating
to the duilfH imagination are the P"**J
t illtiea ' the v.sr <*? ret« h *«•? v
plain, known as tundra, whkch lea be
tween the sea and mountains.
Tuna? A PlAce* Beds.
late last season, and after placer min
ing had closed, considers!** peowpectlng
was d«*ne in the tundra tountry aa far
barfc a* the foothill*, by means of thaw
ing. Almost Invariably the frogen
swampy surfacp, when plffMd h fool or
•o. wan found to conceal a gravel l*cd
similar to that of the 1 teach, and In I hi*
iravnl of the tundra gold In jM)log quan
tities revealed itself. One dollar to the
pan «•« qultr a common find. This dis
covery ha* encouragod the theory that the
tundra bed Is a vast placer deftowli, jx-r*
haps on the whole a* rich as It* frlng? on
the sea. shore. Apropos of this theory. It
is worth drawing attention to the fact
that the richest spots on the neach were
st the mouths of little arroyos or swales
•.'Minting from the plain of the tundra to
the beach wash m'ntsture ravines that
may have serverl aa natural *'»ito*«i tor
the tundra gravel, since they are »»ur
courses. In one instance two Seattle men
who tested the tundra brought )inmei with
them a bottle of the s<ift or aludhy mat«-
rial at the guifnoe. Though ground to ex
ceeding fineness it turned out to constat
largely of quartx dirt, and In the several
metallurgical test* made it ran In gold
from $.12 to tt) a ton.
As the learh digging* are unique In
rkhneaa #nd character of g»»ld deposit. »o
are they original In the question of title
rateeid over them f'ew mining dt*-
trots hut have had woven through
th**tr history Vmg drawn out eg peri*
rnce* el cumpieg mgati«>o It re
mained for Nome to gtow to gr»»aine**
aa ar> Am*rt'-«in mining ramp with Its
rtehes sf>read over a *ort of
no man * land, for su< h might be termed
the tide land beach diggings, to which
SPECIAL CAPE NOME EDITION.
the mining taw* of the tolled Htate*
bear a trial ion NOT yet <Mlim4
It It* a fact well understood at this tlma
that under those statutes no one is en
titled to locate placer* on tide lands First
of all. the tide lands of territorial po«-
*e»*lona always have Iteen held In trust
by the federal g"\emment for the fu
ture state The jtcrmanent control and
disposal of them, a* a matter of public
policy, has been reserved for statehood
Thl** has been deemed the safest courea
In thf Interest of openness of navigation
and freedom of commerce.
80 far ««» the power Offended
over the tide land domain it has been
ynQned tg I,be of iigfct house
ffIBrKWW « - sent la I to tha
encouraacment of navigation, ami to gut
veying the meandering coast line Ho well
established is the doctrine that the tide
!ar>ds are th« i Inalienable Inheritance of
the Mute, that where federal reserva
tions have bt*n made, the title is paaaed
to the national government only when tha
territory i« udmltted to the I'nloo.
fiefore the slate determines live shot
ting rtght* of upland owners or dispose*
of tide lands by sale or lease. It must
ascertain prerlecly what constitute* tha
tide land areas These He between low
tide and ordinary high tide. whl< h are
surveyed and platted In all ha-alttlea re
quiring iheir uae f»r <om mere la I pur
posew Where, aa tha r«*ult of consider
able water front settlement, and the Ail
ing In of tide lands no p*t*ttlve evidence
ss to the line of ordinary high tide can
b" tired, the meander aurvay of the
original shore line made by the war da
pa rt men t la ronsu Ital.
With this explanation it will *w realised
that the q»j< Hon ' t mining rights en fha
<' *i*e Nome »*»•#*« h !• more than vising,
f- "W th- line of ordinary high tide no
«itiarr n will b» x i needed by ♦ ngreaa lltta
to j. 4 nd f -•» any purpo*,' Above It on tha
upland for *»*xty feet, tinder the Turner
amt'ti<ltu« nt to the act of i«a. no one may
acquire title i•» a settler. This strip la
hk> * re-?vd to Insure commercial
fmadoot.
l%ffr*tnct m Tides,
Owing to the law and meteorolo#-
I al influffft* < the tide variations a* Ihhl
latitude an different from thu*e of tha
t mper.Ue and torrkl tones. The fair
w<* liter Ude of t'*j»e Nom« murks ieaa
than three feet, ebbing aod flowing over
fifty or |«<»# feet of be*, h. fteyotMi this
fair weather high tidw line extols a wt4<h
t>t l«e»rh varj og from fiftv to l«fl> f«*l to
the tundra edge ft Is plain that the
weather tide *nd th» winter tea flora m-uur
the fringe of the twvdhra.
W h»n gold in pacing quanutlea was dis
roverel on th» Nwi h an original miner*'
g-*<* tstloiY, <on dieting of a few miners
and power of attorney «Uimaota. thought
to pMrste ten acre tracts along the bearh.
d <wn to. th«- low tide ii r,t They wer*
quickly Inform**! by the military authort
tie* that they osiM a*eert no right or till#
to the tide lands. Finally the In* 'easing

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