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be imported from Siberia and introduced among the Alaska natives. I followed up the subject and ascertained what was then new to me, the fact that the natives of eastern Siberia kept large droves of reindeer, which furnished subsistence to those people even to a greater extent than was the case in Lapland. Captain Healy's idea struck me favorably. I saw in it the possibility of elevating the natives of Alaska from the status of hunters and fishermen to the status of herdsmen. The entire country of Alaska, excepting the river valleys and the southern coast region, bore in large quantities the kind of moss that furnishes the best food for the reindeer. I accordingly placed in the estimates for the year 1891 a request for an appropriation on the part of Congress of a sum for the purchase of reindeer. The appropriation, however, was not granted by Congress for that year. As I grew more interested in the plan it occurred to me that it would be possible to obtain money from benevolent persons who were in the habit of making donations for the Alaska cause from year to year, and I urged on Doctor Jackson to appeal to the friends of missionary education for a preliminary sum, so that we could begin the experiment at once. The call was generously met, and the sum of $2,146 was contributed for the purchase of reindeer.a
a Doctor Jackson made an appeal in the Mail and Express, of New York City; the Boston Transcript; the Philadelphia Ledger; the Chicago Inter Ocean; and the Washington Evening Star, as well As in a number of leading religious newspapers of the several denominations, for contributions to this object. The response was prompt and generous, and $2,146 were received. The list of contributors was as follows:
1891. May 15. Miss H. 8. Benson, Philadelphia .
$200.00 John N. Brown, Providence, R. I
200.00 Jane N. Grew, Boston
30.00 Mary P. Gardner, New York
10.50 Sarah B. Reynolds, Kingston, N. Y
10.00 Mrs. H. B. Otis, Roxbury, Mass
10.00 M. A. and S. H. Foster, Portsmouth, N. H
10.00 June 10. Boston Transcript, from various persons
289.00 E. G. Read, Somerville, N. J
10.00 Effe V. V. Knox, New York..
10.00 Mrs. N. Williamson, Brunswick, N. J.
10.00 E. E. B., 140 Lanvale street, Baltimore, Md.
1.00 Helen B. French, Beloit, Wis..
10.00 Mary Ellen Smith, Philadelphia, Pa.
10.00 Judge E. R. Hoar, Concord, Mass
10.00 C. H. Barstow, Crow Agency, Mont
13.00 M. E. D., per Boston Transcript..
1.00 A. F. Allyn, Chelsea, Mass
1.00 R. P. Wainwright, Asheville, N. C.
10.00 M. A. Haven and Annie W. Davis, Portsmouth, N. H.
10.00 Mary Hemenway, Boston, Mass.
100.00 The Mail and Express..
500.00 Mrs. William Thaw
50.00 Five children in one family, one reindeer each.
50.00 Mrs. F. L. Achey
20.00 M. E. P.
50.00 The young ladies of Rye Seminary, Rye, N. Y
50.00 Mary L. Parsons...
20.00 Y. P. S. C. E., Reformed Church, Mount Vernon
13. 65 Three ladies of East Orange, N.J.
Captain Healy, of the revenue cutter Bear, who, through the courtesy of the Treasury Department, had for many years taken Doctor Jackson out on his annual trip to Alaska, in the summer of 1891 passed through Bering Straits and visited the northern coast of Siberia for 400 miles, more or less, making landings at various places and completing a preliminary purchase of 16 reindeer. It had been currently reported, first, that the reindeer could not be purchased from the natives, and, secondly, that if purchased they could not survive a sea voyage, and the first 16 reindeer purchased in 1891 were in the way of an experiment to ascertain the truth of these rumors, The reindeer were purchased by barter, and were turned loose on one of the Aleutian islands, having survived the trip in good condition. There was no attempt made to berd and keep in our possession the 16 deer thus purchased, but the following year the remaining portion of the sum ($2,146) contributed for the purchase of deer was used to complete the purchase of a herd of 171 deer, which were secured in the summer of 1892 and placed at Teller Station, near Cape Prince of Wales, under regular herdsmen obtained from Siberia, and a number of native apprentices were placed with this herd in order that their instruction as herders and teamsters might begin. The steady increase of the deer from year to year for thirteen years (shown in Table 1) proves the final success of the experiment.
Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Ludlow
Gen. E. Whittlesey, Washington, D. C..
$10.00 20.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 20.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 10.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5. 00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 2.00 1. 20 1.00 1.00 5.00 5.00 5. 00 5. 00 5.00
5.05 * 10.00 10.00 10.00 5.00 5.00 5.00 10.00 10.00 20.00 10.00 10.Co
5. 00 10.00
Table 1.- Increase from 1892 to 1904.
Table 2 shows the increase by fawns surviving at the close of each year. The fawns are born in the spring and naturally there is some mortality, but Table 2 shows how great the success has been in increasing the herd. The number brought over from the previous year, added to the number of fawns surviving, makes up the total of the herd for the year, and it will be seen that the twelve years of increase give 10,267 as the number of fawns that have been born in Alaska from the original importations and their descendants. For eight or nine years the importations were small from Siberia, and the increase by fawns seemed slow enough, but from year to year (as is shown in the second column of Table 2) the quota has become more numerous, and in 1901 the number of fawns born in the spring and surviving numbered more than 1,000. The subsequent years the surviving fawns numbered 1,654 in 1902, 1,877 in 1903, and 2,284 in 1904. The smallest per cent of increase for any year was 32 per cent, and the largest per cent of increase was 56. It is perfectly safe to predict from the inspection of the annual per cent of increase the doubling of the herd every three years. At this rate in 1907 there should be upward of 16,000 in the herd; by 1910, 32,000, and by 1916 the number should exceed 100,000 deer.
The capacity of the immense Territory of Alaska, containing upward of 600,000 square miles, of which more than three-fourths are mossbearing pastures, has been estimated as equal to the support of ten millions of reindeer, comparing the size of the moss-bearing pastures of Alaska with those of Finland and Lapland.
The apprentice contract, by which the natives enter upon the work as assistants of the herders, obliges those herders and natives to whom deer have been granted in payment of wages, or managers at the school stations who have obtained the loans of small herds for a stated period of time, to use only male reindeer for the requirements of food and to preserve in the herd all of the female reindeer.
Table 3 shows the loss to the herd from year to year either by butchering, or death by accident or disease.
TABLE 3.— Number of reindeer sold, butchered, or died, 1892 to 1904. 1892 28 1899
299. 1893 23 1900
487 1894 96 1901
538 1895 148 1902
353 1896 100 1903
290 1897 (1 334 1904
Table 4 shows the sex of the old deer in the herds and also of the fawns born in 1904. This table gives the needed evidence that the female deer are more numerous than the male deer and that there is a large stock of male deer remaining in each herd. A certain number of the male deer are trained to harness, and each apprentice is required to learn the art of using the reindeer in harness, as well as the art of herding. There are 10 stations named in Table 4, and it is seen that 3 of the stations have each an aggregate of more than 1,000 deer, and that 3 other stations have very nearly 1,000.
aTwo hundred and forty-six of these deer were killed in the relief expedition to the whalers at Point Barrow.
In order systematically and judiciously to distribute the reindeer among the Alaskan natives and prepare them for ownership, promising young men are selected by the local school teachers and encouraged to become apprentices for a period of five years in learning the care and management of the reindeer.
The young men so selected are fed and clothed for the five years at the expense either of the Government or of some local society engaged in the education and civilization of the Eskimo, to which a herd of reindeer has been loaned. They are also placed in training under Lapp or Finn teachers, provided by the Government, who are skilled in all branches of reindeer management.
If, after two years, the apprentice shows a desire to continue his training, and an aptitude for the same, as an encouragement during the third year he is loaned 2 female deer which, with their annual increase by fawns, he may call his own. This is also repeated at the close of the fourth and fifth year of the apprenticeship, when his herd should have increased to 14.
If at the close of the five years' apprenticeship the young man has been faithful and developed skill in the management of the reindeer, he is further loaned a sufficient number of deer which, added to the 6 loaned him during his apprenticeship and the offspring of the same, will altogether make a herd of 50. With the loan of these 50 deer the young Eskimo makes a start at self-support.
In order, however, to form and strengthen in him the reindeer habit, he remains for twenty years under the careful supervision of the reindeer superintendent in his locality. During these twenty years, for the support of his family, he is allowed, upon the written permission of the superintendent, to sell his surplus males. If during the twenty years he should become dissipated or neglect his herd, it is forfeited to the United States.
At the end of the twenty years' probation, if he has done well, the 50 reindeer loaned him and all their increase are to become his private property.
These Eskimo herders in turn are required to take and themselves train other apprentices, and in time a large number of the natives will have a comfortable support from the reindeer.