Hardback
August 1, 2003
9780295983295
English
52 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.34 Pounds (US)
$95.00 USD
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
February 11, 2010
9780295983301
English
304
52 illus.
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.1 Pounds (US)
$25.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Nature of Gold

An Environmental History of the Klondike Gold Rush

In 1896, a small group of prospectors discovered a stunningly rich pocket of gold at the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon rivers, and in the following two years thousands of individuals traveled to the area, hoping to find wealth in a rugged and challenging setting. Ever since that time, the Klondike Gold Rush - especially as portrayed in photographs of long lines of gold seekers marching up Chilkoot Pass - has had a hold on the popular imagination.

In this first environmental history of the gold rush, Kathryn Morse describes how the miners got to the Klondike, the mining technologies they employed, and the complex networks by which they obtained food, clothing, and tools. She looks at the political and economic debates surrounding the valuation of gold and the emerging industrial economy that exploited its extraction in Alaska, and explores the ways in which a web of connections among America's transportation, supply, and marketing industries linked miners to other industrial and agricultural laborers across the country. The profound economic and cultural transformations that supported the Alaska-Yukon gold rush ultimately reverberate to modern times.

The story Morse tells is often narrated through the diaries and letters of the miners themselves. The daunting challenges of traveling, working, and surviving in the raw wilderness are illustrated not only by the miners' compelling accounts but by newspaper reports and advertisements. Seattle played a key role as "gateway to the Klondike." A public relations campaign lured potential miners to the West and local businesses seized the opportunity to make large profits while thousands of gold seekers streamed through Seattle.

The drama of the miners' journeys north, their trials along the gold creeks, and their encounters with an extreme climate will appeal not only to scholars of the western environment and of late-19th-century industrialism, but to readers interested in reliving the vivid adventure of the West's last great gold rush.

About the Authors

Kathryn Morse is assistant professor of history at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Reviews

"The Nature of Gold is a tour de force of modern scholarship. It takes on special significance because few theoretical analyses of northern settlement, particularly in Alaska, have yet been written, and the Klondike gold rush is one of the first historical events newcomers to the field find themselves drawn to. This work will give them just the introduction they need to construct a meaningful understanding of northern history. ."—Pacific Northwest Quarterly

Endorsements

"Morse demonstrates the dramatic environmental damage created by the gold rush, but she also helps us understand the very real accommodations that miners had to make if they hoped to survive in these far northern landscapes. . . . She is a superb storyteller with a wry sense of humor, a flair for the quirky detail and the revealing anecdote, and a keen appreciation for the tragicomic underside of this famous event."—William Cronon, from the Foreword

"This environmental history of a gold rush is as surprising, revealing, and complicated as gold itself. I know of nothing quite like this wry and clever book."—Richard White

"If you're only allowed one book about the Klondike Gold Rush, I suppose it has to be Jack London. But this volume definitely comes next—-a wonderfully compelling account of what it actually felt like to pack up and head to the Yukon. Scholars will find it provocative and deep, but all readers will find it absorbing, touching, funny—-a truly revealing window on our national history and our national character."—William McKibben

"The Nature of Gold follows environmental history's prescription to examine how people know nature through labor. But this is no myopic study of gold seekers trudging up Chilkoot Pass and then lighting the fires that thawed the frozen earth for mining. Kathryn Morse recognizes how profoundly the economic and political culture of the 1890s shaped the rush for gold in Alaska and the Yukon. And she details the varieties of interconnected human and animal labor that sustained the Klondike rush, from the Native peoples who hauled supplies over the pass, to the woodcutters who provided the fuel for steamboats, to the packhorses and sled dogs who moved gods from place to place, to the local fishers and hunters and distant farmhands and meatpackers who kept the miners and their beasts fed. The Nature of Gold effectively and seamlessly blends both older and newer environmental history methodologies, and does so in an eminently accessible and compelling prose style."—Susan Lee Johnson, University of Wisconsin—Madison

University of Washington Press
Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books

9780295983295 : the-nature-of-gold-morse-cronon
Hardback
$95.00 USD
9780295983301 : the-nature-of-gold-morse-cronon
Paperback / softback
304 Pages
$25.00 USD

Other Titles by William Cronon

Native Seattle, second edition

Coll Thrush, foreword by William Cronon
Mar 2017 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - Hardback
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Conservation in the Progressive Era

David Stradling, foreword by William Cronon
Apr 2016 - University of Washington Press
$20.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$95.00 USD - Hardback

A Storied Wilderness

James W. Feldman, foreword by William Cronon
Mar 2016 - University of Washington Press
$25.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$95.00 USD - Hardback

Other Titles from Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books

Wetlands in a Dry Land

Emily O'Gorman, series edited byPaul S. Sutter
Jul 2021 - University of Washington Press
$95.00 USD - book
$30.00 USD - book

Bringing Whales Ashore

Jakobina K. Arch
Aug 2020 - University of Washington Press
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Cultivating Nature

Sarah R. Hamilton
Aug 2020 - University of Washington Press
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in HISTORY / United States / General

Challenging History

edited by Leah Worthington, Rachel Clare Donaldson, John W. White
Jul 2021 - University of South Carolina Press
$39.99 USD - book
$39.99 USD - ebook

The Long Civil War

edited by John David Smith, Ph.D., Raymond Arsenault, with contributions byMichael J. Birkner, Paul A. Cimbala, Stanley Harrold, James R. Hedtke, James Oliver Horton, Lois E. Horton, Daniel Kilbride, Diane Miller Sommerville, Stephen J....
Jul 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - book
$45.00 USD - ebook
$45.00 USD - ebook

The Fabric of Empire

Danielle C. Skeehan
Dec 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in History of the Americas

Hiking Washington's History, second edition

Judith M. Bentley, Craig Romano
Apr 2021 - University of Washington Press
$19.95 USD - book

Inside the US Navy of 1812–1815

William S. Dudley
Apr 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - book
$54.95 USD - ebook

To Her Credit

Sara T. Damiano
Apr 2021 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$55.95 USD - book
$55.95 USD - ebook