Apr 07, 2022 - Sale 2600

Sale 2600 - Lot 3

Price Realized: $ 500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(ALASKA.) Three early issues of the weekly newspaper The Alaskan, including the first issue. Volume I, Numbers 1, 2, and 21. Each 4 pages, about 19 1/2 x 12 1/4 inches, on one folding sheet; stitch holes along inner margin, tightly trimmed with slight loss along fore-edge of #2 and #21, a few contemporary inked notations, moderate wear and toning. Sitka, AK: Alaskan Publishing Company, 1885-1886

Additional Details

The Alaskan was one of the first newspapers published in Alaska, preceded only by the short-lived Sitka Times (1868-1871) and Sitka Post (1876-1877). The Alaskan survived much longer than its predecessors, through at least 1908.

The first issue dated 7 November 1885 includes some colorful details on the obstacles faced by the new publication. The man contracted to serve as printer never arrived, but the Deputy Collector of Customs proved to have the needed skills. In other news, a tomcat stole a haunch of venison off the territorial governor's plate during dinner, so the governor grabbed a gun and shot the cat as it fled. Although the Yukon Gold Rush was still many years away, the mining industry is discussed frequently in all three issues. Issue Number 2, dated 14 November 1885, reports that "the native boys, most of them barefooted, are engaged in a game of base-ball on the parade ground." Number 21, dated 27 March 1886, featured a long report on the black-tailed deer.