Sunday, March 22

Alaska Through New Eyes

The whaling steamer Belvedere, Cape Lisburne, Arctic Ocean, circa 1886
"In 1886 Alaska had been American for less than two decades, Russian presence had waned, and the whaling industry widely occupied the region. The sole representative of American authority in those waters was the US Revenue Cutter Bear, a 198-foot, reinforced-hull vessel powered by both steam and sail. The ship’s mission was to confiscate illegal alcohol and guns, make observations for nautical charts, offer medical assistance to natives and ships’ crews, pick up explorers from an earlier US Navy expedition, and generally police the area. As a new book, Steaming to the North, shows, the Bear’s cruise that summer also produced some of the first photographs ever taken of that part of the world...."
The New York Review of Books
Steaming to the North - University of Chicago Press