Comprehensive Map of the Seward Peninsula During the Nome Gold Rush
Fascinating map of the the Seward Peninsula at the height of the Nome Gold Rush.
This is one of the few published maps of the Seward Peninsula to focus on the infrastructure of the region. While most maps of this type were focused on the location of the gold diggings and how to reach them, the present map serves a more commercially sophisticated purpose.
The Peninsula is divided into precincts (Cape Nome Precinct, Port Clarence Precinct, Good Hope Precinct, Fairhaven Precinct, Noatak Kobuk Precinct, Koyuk Precinct, St. Michael's Precinct, Council City Precinct, and Kougarok Precinct), with the map providing details of the Recording Offices, Post Offices, Road Houses and Trails, the essential information for not just miners but also those planning to sell goods and services in the mining regions.
We note that the map is titled "Revised Precinct Map" in the cover title and this edition is compiled as of December 1903. We note that the Bancroft Library holds a copy which is printed in blue print format, also titled "Revised Precinct Map", which is corrected to June 1903.
Nome Gold Rush
The Nome Gold Rush (1899-1909) commenced in September 1898, when the "Three Lucky Swedes": Norwegian-American Jafet Lindeberg, and two American citizens of Swedish birth, Erik Lindblom and John Brynteson, discovered gold on Anvil Creek and founded Nome mining district. Several men around the trading post at Golovin were early participants, including Missionary minster Nils Hultberg, a doctor, A. N. Kittilsen, sometimes manager of the reindeer station at Port Clarence. On one prospecting venture in the summer of 1898, Hultberg, mining engineer H.L. Blake (who would later make a report to Congress on the Nome Gold Rush in June 1900), John Brynteson and others discovered gold on the Snake River; Hultberg also later claimed to have found gold at Anvil Creek at this time, but did not tell Blake, an episode reported to Congress by Blake through the testimony of Dan. H. MacDonald, the likely author of this map and guide.
News of the discovery reached the outside world that winter. By 1899, Nome had a population of 10,000 many of whom had arrived from the Klondike gold rush area. In that year, gold was found in the beach sands for dozens of miles along the coast at Nome, which spurred the stampede to new heights.
The map is very rare on the market. We note only the Streeter Copy (sold at the Streeter Sale in 1969, #3615).
We locate a single example at the Library of Congress. OCLC references 3 other examples, which seem to be copies of the LC copy.
We also note the earlier variant edition at the Bancroft Library.