National Geographic : 1892 May 15
144 C. W. Hayes-Expedition through the Yukon District. face of the St Elias mountains, flowing from numerous small glaciers a mile or two back from and several thousand feet above the valley of White river. At a former stage, probably when the glaciers descended to a much lower level, the stream deposited a broad alluvial cone about the mouth of the gorge. This de posit of gravel is now being cut away and in its lower portions or in crevices of the bed rock numerous small nuggets of native copper are found. This seemed to be the only locality for the metal known to the Indians who were with us, though pieces which had been cut from a larger mass were shown us by those whom we met on Kluantu river. It is not probable, however, that any of the Yukon basin Indians are acquainted with exten sive deposits of native copper, since they have very little of the metal in their possession and hold a greatly exaggerated idea of its value. Some time was spent in searching for the source of the copper on Kletsan creek but without success as we soon reached the snow line, beyond which, of course, further search was impracticable. It appears to have been brought by glaciers from the region toward the south which is still covered by snow and ice. It is associated with greenish-black amygdaloid lava and red sandstone and jasper, rocks which resemble, superficially at least, those of the copper-bearing series of the lake Superior region. A small quantity of what appeared to be azurite, pulverized and used as a pigment, was shown us by the Yukon Indians. They said it came from the country beyond Scolai pass, but we were unable to learn its exact source or how they obtained it. According to Allen's account, the chief of the Copper river Indians told him of the existence of native copper and also of copper ores in the upper Chittenah valley between the two main streams, but he did not visit the locality. We expected to find Indians on the Nizzenah near the point where it emerges from the mountain pass and to be able to examine the copper of this region, but unfortunately Nicolai and his tribe were at their summer fishing station, Taral, and it was too late in the season to return to the copper region which we had passed. Doubtless this interesting region on both sides of Scolai pass will be found on careful examination to contain considerable mineral wealth, but the extreme difficulty of access together with the unfavorable climatic conditions will greatly retard, if not wholly prevent, the development of its resources.
1893 Feb 08
1892 Mar 31