Page images
PDF
EPUB

SAM IN THIS UNIQUE INDUSTRY.

moss which they dug out from under the Mr. Georgeson says thai the undertaksnow.

ing was a complete success. He adds: Another practical demonstration of the "That the deer could be driven through value of reindeer was given when a relief such a country in large numbers, find expedition in charge of Lieutenant D. H. their own food, arrive safely at their desJarvis of the Revenue Cutter Service was scat overland to carry food to ice-bound whalers at Point Barrow. The journey was made successfully and Lieutenant Jarvis and Second Lieutenant E. P. Bertholf and Surgeon S. J. Call, who accompanied the commanding officer, were given gold medals and the thanks of Congress for their rescue work.

When the relief expedition reached Cape

SOME TYPICAL REINDEER HERDERS AND DRIVERS WHO ARE SERVING UNCLE Prince of Wales a herd of 300 reindeer was secured and a white man named W. T. tination, and there drop a large number Lopp and a native Alaskan, Charlie of healthy fawns, is evidence of the value Antisarlook, a graduate of one of the of the reindeer to people who live in the government reindeer herding appren- Arctics.” tice schools, volunteered to accompany The animals have been used for several the rescuers to Point Barrow and to winters to carry mail to the little villages drive the reindeer. The distance was along the coast of Bering Sea, and, re800 miles and it was the intention to cently, interior wilderness routes have use the deer at the end of the journey to been covered successfully by the mail supply the 300 whalers with food. The carriers driving their hardy. reindeer hardships of this trip through a bar teams. Epitomizing results a govern

ment official says: “It has been proved to the satisfaction of every fair-minded person who has taken the trouble to post himself on the subject that reindeer are an unqualified success, both as a means of transportation and as a source of supplies for most of the necessities of life in the Alaskan country.”

The natives who control herds have shown that they have learned the lesson of economizing their possessions. They kill only the male deer for food and for . clothing, taking care to keep enough of

the males for propagating purposes. The

natives sell their surplus meat to the minIN THE REINDEER COUNTRY.

ers and receive good prices for it. The

money which comes in exchange they exren, unpeopled country with the tem- pend for things which to the white men perature from 20 degrees to 50 degrees are necessaries, but to the Eskimo are below zero and with blizzards raging luxuries. Since the introduction of the much of the time can hardly be fully deer into Alaska the native hut has known even by using the imagination. changed its character. It is now a house, not infrequently much more than com- should be nearly 70,000 reindeer in fortably furnished, and with pictures and Alaska. even musical instruments for the culti- The future of the Alaskan natives vation of the gentler senses.

[graphic]
[graphic]

seems to be provided against want by the Recently the Russian government has forethought of the missionary who, in the objected to the sale for transportation to face of ridicule, had the courage of his Alaska of any more of the Siberian rein- convictions so strongly developed that he deer. This is not the blow at the new kept everlastingly at his work until the industry which it might seem to be at end was crowned with success. It seems first thought. Alaska can be completely probable that the Eskimo because of the stocked from the increase of the present reindeer will be saved from the fate of herds within its borders. The yearly other aboriginal people whose land has natural increase of the herds is about 40 been invaded and industries interrupted per cent and by the year 1910 there by the all-conquering Caucasians.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]
[graphic]

PPORTUNITY is the tion from a raw and undeveloped condione wizard whose tion to that of a settled, civilized comtouch can invest the .munity; and as he saw group after group most arid and desolate of young men armed with levers and land with the atmos- chains and other instruments of the surphere of romance, the veyor and the civil engineer, he recalled throb of keen and in- a question he had heard raised in a dis

tense personal interest. cussion: Has not the West become so To-day thousands of boys and young settled that the opportunities for the civil men have their ears to the ground listen- engineer and the man doing pioneer coning for the call of opportunity. . They are struction work are rapidly becoming cirall eager for the real battle of life to be- cumscribed ? It is an interesting quesgin, and anxiously ask themselves if the tion. fates will to-day deal them as splendid F rom the platform of a car, standing chances for quick and substantial success upon the tracks of a railroad little more as those which were open to their fathers. than a year old, the writer overlooked, lit

Are the opportunities which go with a erally, millions of acres of raw land, cov"new country” still open ?

ered with a virgin growth of mesquiteThe writer recently returned from a land as marvelous in its productiveness as hunting trip through an empire which has in its extent. This newly opened empire just begun to experience the transforma- . is the latest of the great hidden domains AT SANTA GERTRUDIS RANCH.

of "new country” to be opened to the tiller of the soil, to the builder of railroads, of cities, of irrigation and industrial plants—to the makers of civilization. What this means to the men who produce the real wealth of this country—the nation's builders and producers—is not easy to estimate, but it can be suggested in a few words.

This whole region is commonly known as the Gulf Coast country; and the story of how it was lost to the eyes of the great commercial world, and how it has suddenly loomed up as one of the biggest things now on the business horizon, is a typical American tale as romantic and picturesque as the history of the great goldfields or the narrative of the pioneer settlement of Kansas or any other staid and similarly prosperous Western State.

Brownsville, Texas, near the mouth of the Rio Grande, is the focal point of this remarkable region, both historically and industrially. But the stretch of country covered by this term extends several hundred miles northward along the coast. · Kingsville is to-day the northern metropolis of this region, and Sam Fordyce the western. What is now taking place can be understood only by reference to what took place when all this region was a bone of contention between the United States and Mexico, just after Texas had been received into the Union. Our Government contended that the Rio Grande was the northern boundary line of Mexico, while the Mexican authorities declared that their territory extended 150 miles farther north, to the Nueces River. The United States took measures to enforce its contention, and sent thousands of troops, under General Taylor, to back up its claim. These troops were landed at Corpus Christi, but their objective point was the northern bank of the Rio Grande, directly opposite the Mexican city of Matamoros, which was then the commercial gateway to all northern Mexico. General Taylor's cavaíry could make its own way southward; but to transport his infantry and cavalry, he brought Brown and drive a prosperous traffic with two well-known Mississippi River steam the men who had lately been their enboat men—Captain Mifflin Kenedy and emies in the field. Captains King and Captain Richard King—and their steam- Kenedy remained, and established a boats.

[graphic]

busy line of vessels plying the Gulf and Then came the defeat of the Mexicans the Rio Grande. At that time the only at Palo Alto, near Brownsville, and the outlet for the product of the great silver

[graphic][merged small]

building of a Fort Brown, a permanent mines of northern Mexico was MataAmerican fortification, across the Rio moros, and ocean vessels frequently took Grande from Matamoros. When once cargoes of a million dollars in bullion the Mexicans were defeated and con- from that port. The El Paso and Laredo ceded to the United States the territory in gateways were unknown, Matamoros was dispute, the venturesome traders began to wild and prosperous; and the thrifty setcluster about the protecting walls of Fort tlers in the region of Fort Brown picked

« PreviousContinue »