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MAJOR-GENERAL A. W. GREELY, U. S. A.
WITH NEW CHAPTERS ON FISHERIES, FUR-FARMING, FUR SEALS
GAME, GOLD-MINING, PETROLEUM AND
6-13-61 Refek kepzace. Wahr 12-7-2512567
PREFACE TO THIRD EDITION
NEARLY a score of years have passed since the first edition of this Handbook was written. Then a country in the course of exploitation by adventurous prospectors, with few permanent settlements, without outside communication for most sections during eight months annually, Alaska was currently viewed as a mining territory, lacking in elements essential to future Statehood.
The doubts of the armchair prophets were not without good grounds. The fur seal and other furbearing animals were near extermination through reckless exploitations. Most of its few railroads were aided into bankruptcy by an annual federal tax of one hundred dollars per mile. Every business, however simple and unremunerative, paid a federal license. Gold was the only productive mineral. Federal restrictions were such that ownership was practically impossible for a homestead, business site, an oil well, a coal mine, a timber lot, or a fox farm. Agriculture was deemed impracticable, and industries were non-existent, save mining and fishing.
The white settlers were ruled by federal proclamations and bureaucratic decrees. The Territory had neither any local government nor any court of final Territorial resort. The natives were perishing yearly in large numbers through famine or imported epidemics. Congress was granting them three cents