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Description

Rare promotional pamphlet showing the routes to the Klondike, published by the Alaska Commercial Company.

Three maps includes:

  • General Map of Alaska Showing Routes of Alaska Commercial Company's Ocean Steamers
  • Klondike River and Surrounding Gold Fields N.W.T.
  • Yukon River and Tributaries Showing Routes of River Steamers and Trading Stations of Alaska Com'l Company

Alaska Commercial Company

After the 1867 purchase of Alaska by the United States, the firm of Hutchison, Kohl & Company, including Hayward Hutchison, William Kohl, and Louis Sloss, bought the Russian-American Company. In 1868, Sloss, Lewis Gerstle, and August Wassermann bought this company, although Hutchison, Kohl & Company was in simultaneous existence and under the same ownership until 1872, when the new company paid off the purchase.

ThE new company, formed in 1868, was called the Alaska Commercial Company, and did business under this name until 1901. In that year, because of increasing competition in the sealskin trade, the Alaska Commercial Company merged with the International Mercantile Marine Company and Alaska Goldfields, Ltd., to form two new companies, the Northern Navigation Company and the Northern Commercial Company.

The original owners of the Alaska Commercial Company, Louis Sloss, Gerstle, etc. carried on the business under the name of the Northern Commercial Company. Shortly afterwards, W.J. Erskine bought some of the old Alaska Commercial Company boats and set up a small successor to the Company in certain areas of Alaska.

The Northern Commercial Company operated village stores in Alaska from 1868 to 1922, including during the Klondike Gold Rush (1897–1899). The stores often served as the village courthouse and post office as well. Much trade in the stores was bartered, as few people had cash. The stores accepted such items as gold, fish and furs in exchange for merchandise. The stores were often the nucleus of small communities and communities often grew because of the stores.

Rarity

The pamphlet is very rare.  OCLC locates an example in the British Library.

Condition Description
Several repairs with minor tape stains. Tape repairs on the covers.