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The Eskimo bulletin. [volume] : (Cape Prince of Wales [i.e. Wales], Alaska) 1893-1902
Place of publication:
Cape Prince of Wales [i.e. Wales], Alaska
Geographic coverage:
  • Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
  • Wales, Alaska  |  View more titles from this: City State
[American Missionary Association Mission School]
Dates of publication:
  • Ceased in May 1902?
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 1893)-
Annual (irregular)
  • English
  • Alaska--Cape Prince of Wales.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01335761
  • Alaska--Wales.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01219796
  • Alaska.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01204480
  • Eskimos--Alaska--Newspapers.
  • Eskimos.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00915242
  • Prince of Wales, Cape (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • Wales (Alaska)--Newspapers.
  • "The only yearly in the world."
  • Editor: W.T. Lopp.
sn 96060045
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The Eskimo bulletin. [volume] May 1, 1893 , Image 1


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The Eskimo bulletin

The Eskimo bulletin was a yearly publication produced at the American Missionary Association's mission school at Cape Prince of Wales. The paper was edited by William T. Lopp and published by both Lopp and Harrison R. Thornton, who were both missionaries and teachers. The first issue was published in May of 1893 and was handwritten, although it was reprinted in type by another newspaper. Thornton was killed later that year, and Lopp was transferred to the U.S. reindeer station at Port Clarence. Therefore, no issues were published again until 1895 when Lopp returned to Cape Prince of Wales. The paper claimed to be the only yearly paper in the world. The Bulletin focused on local news and issues affecting Native Alaskans.

The first issue was handwritten and printed using a Hectograph process with a gelatin pad. Later issues switched to using hand-set type with a printing press, although some issues were a combination of both methods. The newspaper provided training in writing and printing in the English language, as well as typesetting and engraving skills, for the students at the mission school. Illustrations were done with wood-cut blocks by one of the Alaska native students.

A front-page "Dog-Sled Dispatch" from March in the 1897 issue, released in July, reported that according to news "from the Yukon," William Jennings Bryan had been elected president of the United States. The editor explained later in the issue that the article originated from "a practical joke played on a Yukon steamer" which he decided to keep in the newspaper. The paper reported on local news, including the results of hunting, and comings and goings. The Bulletin also featured many articles on violent crimes and was unhappy with enforcement of the law in the territory. At that time, official law enforcement was frequently limited to visits by the Revenue Cutter Service vessel, USS Bear. Lopp asked that since it was apparently "out of the [Bear's] line of duty to arrest murderers, break up stills, and protect children against the vices of whites" jurisdiction should be given to the commander of the Bear.

A recurring topic in the Bulletin was the status of the local reindeer herds, and the adaptation of Alaskan natives to this new way of hunting and providing sustenance. Numbers of deer, updates in the herd size and location, as well as ownership were published. The publication also wrote about the famous reindeer drive in 1898 that brought relief to whalers stuck in the ice. It was organized by Lieutenant David H. Jarvis of the Revenue Cutter Service (R.C.S.) Bear. The Bulletin detailed the government's efforts to commandeer reindeer from the Alaskan native herders and how Lopp went with the expedition on its way to Point Barrow. The last issue of the Bulletin was in May of 1902.

Provided by: Alaska State Library Historical Collections