Ultimate Americans

Point Hope Alaska, 1826-1909

Tom Lowenstein

Ultimate Americans

Tom Lowenstein

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

368 pages | 30 halftones | 7 x 10
Paper $36.95 ISBN: 9781602230385 Published February 2010
Cloth $49.95 ISBN: 9781602230279 Published March 2009
The third volume in a series on Point Hope, Alaska, Ultimate Americans examines the first encounters between the native Tikigaq people and Anglo-Americans during the nineteenth century. Tom Lowenstein investigates the interactions between Native Alaskans, commercial whalemen, and missionaries in Point Hope, charting the destabilizing elements of alcohol and disease among Native populations, as well as cultural collisions and the eventual mutual assimilation of the groups. An in-depth historical chronicle, Ultimate Americans will be invaluable reading for historians, ethnographers, and anthropologists alike.

List of Illustrations

“Eskimo! White Man!”




Brief Chronology

Historical Characters

Missionaries at Point Hope

Spelling and Terminology

Pronunciation Guide

1. Introduction: First Encounters

2. Contact with the Chukchi and Europeans Up to 1854

3. The Alaska Purchase and the Russian Period

4. The U.S. Navy, the Alaska Commercial Company, and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service

5. The Commercial Whale Hunt—1

6. The Commercial Whale Hunt—2

7. Jabbertown: Point Hope’s Shore-Based Whaling Station

8. Jabbertown: The Transformation of Point Hope’s South Shore

9. Atanauraq: Shaman, Trader, Point Hope’s “Chief”

10. Atanauraq and the White Man

11. Atanauraq and Charles Brower at Point Hope, 1884

12. How Atanauraq Was Assassinated

13. Disease in Alaska

14. Sheldon Jackson Takes on Alaska

15. The Search for Order

16. John B. Driggs: Medical Missionary to Point Hope

17. First School on the Arctic Coast

18. The Hidden John Driggs

19. Driggs: Consolidation in the Village, 1892-93

20. The Missionary Edson—Fear and Trembling

21. Sunny Teachings: Death and Resurrection

22. Disease in Point Hope and the Great Sickness

23. Millenarian Alaska: Return of the Spirits—1

24. Millenarian Alaska: Return of the Spirits—2

25. Drigg’s Homecoming, 1896

26. Driggs: The Final Years and Deposition

27. Reburying the Ancestors

Appendix A: The Point Hope and Jabbertown Census of 1908

Appendix B: The Point Hope Qalgi and Its Changes

Appendix C: Driggs and the Issue of Missionary Trading



Review Quotes
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“An account of the founding of Port Hope, an Iñupiat settlement in northwestern Alaska, [Ultimate Americans] is the most authoritative account of this community and one of the richer ethnohistorical accounts of the relationships between settlers and Iñupiat. . . . The study focuses on the life-histories of two individuals: Ataŋauraq, a mercurial Iñupiat leader, and John B. Driggs, a ‘bohemian’ missionary. . . . In between these two biographies, Lowenstein provides the reader with excellent chapters giving details of economic relations, the earlier history of contact, and the health and spiritual life of the local population.”

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