Report of the Operations of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Nunivak on the Yukon River Station, Alaska, 1899-1901.

p. 49: Grouse and ptarmigan were fairly abundant throughout the winter and not only afforded excellent sport, but also furnished an agreeable change from our rather monotonous fare of canned meats. Two days of the week were set aside as holidays for the crew and permission was granted them to go hunting and trapping in the vicinity of Fort Shoemaker. With one or two exceptions, however, the men preferred to remain on board reading, smoking, or sleeping, rather than to go on hunting trips through the woods after game. As the regular drills and other duties gave them plenty of out-of-door exercise, I did not interfere with their method of spending the time given them for recreation and amusement.

Books, periodicals, and magazines belonging to the officers were freely loaned to the crew, and no effort was spared to make life as pleasant for them as possible consistent with the maintenance of good discipline. The system of routine adopted for the government of the command during the winter was modeled on the plan of a ship’s daily, weekly, and monthly bill of stations and duties, with such modifications as were necessary to adapt it for our use, and it was carried out with regularity during the period of our enforced detention in winter quarters.

p. 78, at Fort Shoemaker: The clubhouse was particularly desirable as furnishing a place in which the men could congregate during the long winter evenings and amuse themselves without disturbing others on the vessel. It was well lighted and furnished with a large table, benches, etc., and kept supplied with files of newspapers, magazines, and books contributed by the officers.

p. 215, on education in the Yukon region: At the present time there are five schools for the instruction of the native children in the portion of the Yukon Valley covered by our observations, namely, at Russian Mission, Koserofski, Anvik, Nulato, and Tanana. The school at Russian Mission is in charge of the priests of the Russian Church at that place and is partly supported by an appropriation made for this purpose by the Russian Church authorities, whose headquarters in the United States is at San Francisco. Those at Koserofski and Nulato are under the supervision of priests of the Roman Catholic Church, and the teachers are Sisters of Charity of the order of St. Anne, a Canadian organization having headquarters at Quebec, Canada. Of these the school at Koserofski is better known as the Holy Cross Mission, and that at Nulato is called the Mission of St. Peter Claver. …

“The aim of these schools is to teach the children such habits of industry as shall help them to grow up into self -supporting men and women and to give them enough instruction in the English language as will enable them to read and understand for themselves the Holy Scriptures; to make them intelligent citizens and Christians, and to free them from the superstitious beliefs that hinder their progress.”

p. 232: The grammatical construction of the Indian dialects is very complete, and I have been informed by Father Ragaru, at Nulato, and Mr. J. W. Chapman, at Anvik, both of whom have devoted years of study to this subject, that the verbal variations of the native language are sufficiently complex to express even the finest shades of meaning. Our own experience while in contact with the Indians at Dall River, while not long enough to enable us to do any more than acquire the use of a limited vocabulary and a few phrases to express simple ideas, still showed us that in conversing with each other the Indians never seemed to lack words to express their ideas on any kind of subject. This was particularly noticeable when they were engaged in looking over our stock of magazines and listening to the explanations given in English of the various subjects therein illustrated, and in noting the apparent ease with which these explanations could be translated by some of the Indians who understood English to the rest of the party. This is rather remarkable when the extent of the field of information which was covered by this means is considered. Some of these impromptu language lessons extended over a period of several hours, and I very seldom heard the interpreter make use of an English word to express his meaning when he was engaged in the work of translating into the Indian dialect what was read or spoken to him in English.