The First Scientific Exploration of Russian America and the Purchase of Alaska

This volume chiefly contains the journals of Robert Kennicott and Henry Martyn Bannister, Smithsonian naturalists, concerning Alaska immediately before statehood, and relates to their advice to Seward and Sumner.

p. 40: Many times, Bannister, twenty-one years of age, had confided in his Journal: “This day has been as pleasant as the preceding one in respect to weather, but in other respects rather dull”; or ‘nothing of interest occurred, did not go away from the fort”, or “nothing of interest outside today”. His diversions on some of these dull days were: reading and playing chess—passed the time quite pleasantly.”… “I wish that I had more books here, I can read one over and over again now, even newspaper advertisements are welcome.”… “Quite a treat to read the broken stories in Harper’s Weekly. Only the advertisements are complete and we relish them also.” Many of his spare hours were devoted to the study of Russian and the acquisition of Eskimo words and phrases. [Punctuation and quotes exactly as in original]