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By Alfred H Brooks

This can be the tale of early Alaska -- of the pioneers who driven their approach into the unknown reaches of this quarter and opened find out how to everlasting cost -- as instructed via one of many state's most renowned trailblazers.

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I have organized the 27 essays into chapters in what seemed to me the most satisfactory and logical arrangement on the basis of subject matter dealt with and the chronology of events presented. I have deleted a number of repetitions with the thought that one Page viii version of the same story or illustrative incident was sufficient; but since the individual essays, now the chapters of the book, are organized according to topics, strict chronology has not been possible and a certain amount of repetition, consequently, still exists, especially in those chapters dealing with historical material.

Both of these rivers afford routes into the interior that have been but little used, as they are not navigable. There are but few passes through the Coast Range below the line of perpetual snow. The best known of these are the Chilkoot and White passes, made famous by their use during the Klondike rush. Chilkoot Pass is about 20 miles from tidewater at Dyea Inlet, forming the head of Lynn Canal. It is approached through a rather steep valley which reaches the foot of the final ascent 2,900 feet above the sea.

A scientist by inheritance and training, he chose geology as his profession, and his ideal of geology was as a foundation for progress and development. On his graduation from Harvard in 1894 he was at once assigned to field work with Dr. W. Hayes, who had made an exploration in Alaska in 1891, and it was accounts of this trip which inspired him with the vision of Alaska as a field for development on scientific principles. He asked to be assigned to work in Alaska; but it was not until 1898, while he was studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, that he received a telegram offering him the opportunity.

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