Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush, 1896-1899

Paperback | October 9, 2001

byPierre Berton

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With the building of the railroad and the settlement of the plains, the North West was opening up. The Klondike stampede was a wild interlude in the epic story of western development, and here are its dramatic tales of hardship, heroism, and villainy. We meet Soapy Smith, dictator of Skagway; Swiftwater Bill Gates, who bathed in champagne; Silent Sam Bonnifield, who lost and won back a hotel in a poker game; and Roddy Connors, who danced away a fortune at a dollar a dance. We meet dance-hall queens, paupers turned millionaires, missionaries and entrepreneurs, and legendary Mounties such as Sam Steele, the Lion of the Yukon.

Pierre Berton's riveting account reveals to us the spectacle of the Chilkoot Pass, and the terrors of lesser-known trails through the swamps of British Columbia, across the glaciers of souther Alaska, and up the icy streams of the Mackenzie Mountains. It contrasts the lawless frontier life on the American side of the border to the relative safety of Dawson City. Winner of the Governor General's award for non-fiction, Klondike is authentic history and grand entertainment, and a must-read for anyone interested in the Canadian frontier.

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From the Publisher

With the building of the railroad and the settlement of the plains, the North West was opening up. The Klondike stampede was a wild interlude in the epic story of western development, and here are its dramatic tales of hardship, heroism, and villainy. We meet Soapy Smith, dictator of Skagway; Swiftwater Bill Gates, who bathed in champa...

From the Jacket

With the building of the railroad and the settlement of the plains, the North West was opening up. The Klondike stampede was a wild interlude in the epic story of western development, and here are its dramatic tales of hardship, heroism, and villainy. We meet Soapy Smith, dictator of Skagway; Swiftwater Bill Gates, who bathed in champa...

Pierre Berton, Canada's most widely read historian, was born in the Yukon and educated at UBC. Author of forty-seven books, he has received three Governor General's awards for nonfiction, two Nellies for broadcasting, two National Newspaper awards, the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and the National History Society's first award for...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6.02 × 1.15 inPublished:October 9, 2001Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385658443

ISBN - 13:9780385658447

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Edition
Cast of Major Characters
The Golden Highway

ONE
1. The Pilgrims
2. "Gold — all same like this!"
3. The hermits of Fortymile
4. The land of the Golden Rule

TWO
1. The prospector and the squaw man
2. The exculpation of Lying George
3. Moose pastures
4. The kings of Eldorado
5. Henderson's luck

THREE
1. Clarence Berry strikes it rich
2. The death of Circle City
3. The birth of Dawson
4. A friend in need
5. Big Alex and Swiftwater Bill
6. City of gold

FOUR
1. The treasure ships
2. Rich man, poor man
3. A ton of gold
4. Klondicitis
5. Warnings all unheeded
6. Balloons, boatsleds, and bicycles
7. Fearful passage

FIVE
1. Captain Billy's last stand
2. The swarming sands of Skagway
3. The dead horse trail
4. Hell on earth
5. The human serpent

SIX
1. Starvation winter
2. Revolt on the Yukon
3. A dollar a waltz
4. Only a coal miner's daughter…
5. Greenhorns triumphant
6. The Saint of Dawson

SEVEN
1. The trails of Ninety-Eight
2. Rich man's route
3. Frozen highways
4. "Bury me here, where I failed"
5. Overland from Edmonton
6. The road to Destruction City

EIGHT
1. The Chilkoot
2. Up the Golden Stairs
3. One of everybody
4. Death beneath the snows

NINE
1. Rage in the sawpits
2. The Lion of the Yukon
3. The outlandish armada
4. Split-Up city

TEN
1. "Cheechako!"
2. Carnival summer
3. Champagne for breakfast
4. Remember the Sabbath
5. Graft and the Nugget

ELEVEN
1. Soapy Smith takes over
2. Alias Robin Hood
3. The Committee of 101
4. Dictator of Skagway
5. Shoot-out at the Juneau dock
6. No escape

TWELVE
1. Gold, restless gold
2. The San Francisco of the North
3. The false fronts of Front Street
4. Queens of dance-hall row
5. Fortune's wheels
6. The last stampede
7. Tales of conspicuous wealth
8. Money to burn

THIRTEEN
1. Finale
2. The legacy of the gold rush
3. River of ghosts

Chronology
A Note on the Revised Edition
Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index

Editorial Reviews

"A fascinating book of permanent value." —The Globe and Mail

"A comprehensive and absolutely first-rate history." —The New Yorker

"An epic account … fascinating and exciting." —The Observer, London

"Pierre Berton writes 24-carat gold." —The Edmonton Journal