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The Copper bee. : (McCarthy, Alaska) 1916-1916
Place of publication:
McCarthy, Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • McCarthy, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
Captain [i.e. J.P. Hubrick]
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 19, 1916)-v. 1, no. 4 (Mar. 11, 1916).
  • English
  • Alaska--McCarthy.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01267721
  • McCarthy (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • "Published in the interests of copper development, the resources of Alaska and all the latest war dope and scandal."
sn 95060041
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The Copper bee. February 19, 1916 , Image 1


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The copper bee

The Copper Bee was both McCarthy's first newspaper and the first foray by the publisher, Captain J.P. Hubrick, into the news business. Hubrick was well-known across the state as a photographer and outdoorsman, but he admitted in the first issue on February 19, 1916, that he had no experience with publishing a newspaper and asked people to "be merciful." The publisher's block noted that the paper was focused on the interests of copper development, Alaska's natural resources, and "all the latest war dope and scandal." Hubrick advertised the paper as a publication "of the North for Whites and Indians." Hubrick was an advocate of prohibition, and he argued that McCarthy had plenty of potential for growth "without the damnable saloon as a stumbling block." The publisher stated his Democrat leanings in the first issue, but the Bee rarely featured any kind of reporting or commentary on politics beyond the issue of prohibition.

The Bee's price was seemingly negotiable as the publisher's block at times offered the options of paying 25 cents, or bartering for one buck rabbit or one prime musk rat skin. In the March 4, 1916 issue Hubrick revealed that he had traded one issue for bear bacon but demanded his paper back when the bacon was too tough. Hubrick wrote that he had long wanted to hold the "lofty and distinguished position of an Editor," but remarked in the very first issue that his excitement had cooled considerably, in part as a result of his struggles with printing. He complained about the process of setting type and the struggle of finding, or in some cases losing, the letters he was looking for and making sure everything was oriented right.

Hubrick's writing style was often exaggerated and sarcastic, making it hard without context to determine just how truthful some of his stories are. The Bee frequently featured references to or contained ads for the publication Outdoor Life magazine, which Hubrick was a contributor to. He strongly supported the push for tougher game laws in Alaska and opposed what he saw as the wanton destruction of Alaska's wildlife. The Bee was suspended on March 11, 1916 when Hubrick and his wife embarked on a trip to photograph Alaskan wildlife with the goal of obtaining close photos of brown bears; however, he also wrote that he was suspending publication due to financial difficulties. Upon his return from the trip, Hubrick seemed to turn towards photography and guiding hunting parties as full-time occupations and The Copper Bee fell silent.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections