Two Women in the Klondike
Distributed for University of Alaska Press
Two Women in the Klondike created a sensation when it was first published in 1899. The idea that two well-bred socialites could survive the dangers of the north thrilled nineteenth-century readers from San Francisco to New York.
When Mary Hitchcock heard about the discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1898, she left her privileged city life for the wilds of Alaska, planning to stake her own claims. She persuaded her friend Edith Van Buren to accompany her, and the two began preparations for "roughing it." The "necessities" that they brought up the Yukon River to Dawson City, Canada, included a portable bowling alley, an ice cream maker, a Great Dane named Ivan, and a full-size circus tent.
Hitchcock relates the struggles, surprises, and pleasures of traveling in the late nineteenth century in her trademark style. She describes in diary form the people she met and her impressions of rural Alaska and Dawson City. Invaluable for its detailed descriptions of manners, food, and personalities, Hitchcock's account of the Klondike Gold Rush is an outrageous adventure for general readers, armchair travelers, and anyone interested in the lives of American women in the late 1800s.
This new, abridged version includes a map of Hitchcock's northern travels and an introduction by Terrence Cole, professor of history at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.