Klondike Gold Rush
The 16th of August 1896 AD
The Klondike gold Rush in Northwest Canada was nothing like as dramatic as the California version that began in 1848 , and it only lasted for three years before the action moved into Alaska. But for a brief period the Yukon, British territory at the time of course, attracted prospectors from around the world, including plenty from these shores.
Gold was found by a small party consisting mainly of Tagish indigenous people. Exactly which member of their party found the gold is not known, but the claim was registered in the name of the Californian George Carmack, the First Nations majority deciding doubtless with good reason they might be cheated out of their rights should one of them try to stake the claim.
By the time the rush ended nearly 400 tons of gold had been found; and about 100,000 men and women been attracted to the territory, reached by trekking on foot over the mountains from Alaska and then by raft for the remaining 500 miles.
Two Britons made a lasting cultural mark thanks to the Klondike Gold Rush. Journalist Flora Shaw, working for The Times, exposed corruption in the region, and reported on the conditions there; more imaginatively, though he arrived after the action had moved on, Preston -born Robert W. Service made his fortune with the literary gold of his poetry.
More famous dates here
5704 views since 24th January 2011
On this day: