National Geographic : 1898 Apr
140 ALASKA AND ITS MINERAL RESOURCES of 1896 still richer discoveries were made a short distance east of the boundary, along the Klondike river, and a great rush of miners to these now famous diggings set in the following spring. Accurate data with regard to the geography of Alaska it is as yet difficult to obtain. The immediate coast-line and the many islands which border it have been mapped by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, and the course of the great Yukon river, comparable in size to the Mississippi, was determined by the Western Union Telegraph Company's expedition in 1867 and by an expedition in 1869 under Lieut. C. W. Raymond, of the United States Engineers. What other information has been obtained with regard to the interior is derived from route and sketch maps made by individual explorers, who generally fol lowed the valleys of the larger streams. Vast tracts of mountain land between these streams are yet practically unknown. Ketchum and Lebarge, of the Western Union Telegraph ex pedition, were apparently the first white men to traverse the entire length of the Yukon river. They traveled on ice and snow from St Michael to Fort Yukon in the winter of 1866-'67, and in the following summer made their way to Fort Selkirk and back, joining on their return W. I. Dall, who had charge of the scientific work of the expedition, and who, with Frederick Whymper, had ascended to that point by water. In later years scientific explorations of the interior have been made by mem bers of the Canadian and of the United States Geological Sur veys. In 1887 Dawson and McConnell, of the Canadian Survey, ascended the Stikine to the Liard, the former going northwest ward by the Frances and Pelly to Fort Selkirk,the latter descend ing the Liard to the Mackenzie and the following season crossing from the Mackenzie to Fort Yukon by the Porcupine river and ascending the Yukon to its southwestern sources. William Ogil vie, of the same corps, entered the Yukon district in 1887 and has been there most of the time since, engaged in route and boundary surveys. In 1889 I. C. Russell, of the United States Geological Survey, in company with a boundary party of the Coast Survey, ascended the Yukon river from its mouth to the head of boat navigation, coming out over the Chilkoot pass. In 1890, under the auspices of the National Geographic Society, Russell explored the Mt St Elias region from Yakutat bay. In 1891 C. W. Hayes, of the United States Geological Survey, ac companied Schwatka's expedition up the White, across Scoloi pass, and down the Copper river. In the summer of 1895 G. F.