Old Yukon

Tales, Trails, and Trials

James Wickersham

Old Yukon

James Wickersham

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

With a new Introduction by Terrence Cole
514 pages | 10 halftones | 7 x 10 | © 2009
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781602230514 Published September 2009
E-book $7.00 to $29.95 ISBN: 9781602231139 Published March 2010

In this humorous and upbeat memoir, James Wickersham describes his career as a pioneer judge and later as a congressional representative assigned to a vast, snow-covered district, extending over 300,000 square miles in the undeveloped Alaska Territory.  Wickersham’s many adventures include traveling by dogsled over hundreds of miles through snow-covered mountains; serving as judge for the trials of many famous outlaws in the midst of the gold strikes; and hunting, mining, and climbing in his local Alaska wilderness. Though he was instrumental in the early history of Alaska, and his legacy is evident throughout the state—for example, he named the city of Fairbanks—this is the first and only work to focus on Wickersham’s life during this pivotal time in Alaska’s history.



1        The Genesis of an Alaskan Court

2        Dawson and the Klondike Mines

3        Planting American Courts in the Wilderness

4        Common Law of the Trail

5        Riding the Arctic Circuit

6        The Yukon River Winter Trail

7        Triple Murder in the Aleutians

8        The Anvil Creek Conspiracy

9        The Corruption of the Court

10    Liars and Thieves

11    Social Life at Nome, 1901-1902

12    The Dog Trail From Circle to Fairbanks

13    Fairbanks and the Tanana Mines

14    The Mount McKinley Expedition

15    Up the Kantishna

16    The Approach

17    On the Slopes of Denali

18    Rafting Home

19    Three Thousand Miles of Justice

20    The Valdez-Fairbanks Trail in 1905

21    The Judge Goes on Trial

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