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A region in the Northwest Territory of Canada, bordering on the Klondike and Yukon rivers. The first white people who visited the region went there in the interest of the Hudson Bay Company. It is said that they knew of the existence of gold there, but as they did not suppose it existed in large quantities, they did not make the fact known, as they feared that the entrance of miners would interfere with the trade of their company. In 1873 the existence of gold in paying quantities was reported, in a region then supposed to be wholly within British Columbia. Miners penetrated farther towards the Yukon in 1882, and were successful in placer mining along the Stewart and other rivers. The first rush for the region began in 1887, when the Forty-Mile Creek was discovered and coarse gold found there. In the next year mining was started on the Forty-Mile Creek, and by 1897 nearly all of the available gold had been taken out. The first reports of the wealth of the Klondike region proper were made by Indians. The first white man to enter the region was George W. Carmack, who staked the first claim on Bonanza Creek, in August, 1896. Here $14,200 were secured in eight days by three men. On July 14, 1897, a steamer from the Klondike arrived at San Francisco. On board were forty miners, who had more than $500,000 in gold dust, and there was $250,000 more for the Commercial Company. After an assay it was found that the [261] Klondike gold was not as pure as that of California, there being combined with it a greater amount of iron, lead, etc. On July 17 of the same year a second steamer arrived at San Francisco, bringing sixty-eight miners, with $1,250,000 worth of gold. Immediately the “Klondike fever” became general, and so large was the number of gold-seekers that the capacity of all the steamers running to St. Michael, Juneau, and Dyea was overtaxed. For a time it was feared that many of these goldseekers would perish before the opening of the passes in the following spring on account of the lack of provisions. On June 13, 1898, by an act of the Canadian Parliament, the boundaries of Ungava, Keewatin, Franklin, Mackenzie, and Yukon were changed, and the Yukon region was constituted a separate territory, with an area of 198,300 square miles, 2,000 of which is water surface. In February, 1898, the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey issued a new map of the Yukon River region. The map includes the territory between long. 38° and 166° W., and lat. 60° to 67° N. The Yukon River is traced considerably beyond the Klondike region, and the portion within Alaska is very fully treated. The country between Forty-Mile Post and Stewart River is also given with minute exactness. The results of military and scientific explorations undertaken by the United States government in Alaska indicate that that Territory contains a larger amount of gold, besides other economic “minerals,” than the area popularly termed the “Klondike region.” See Alaska.

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