John Muir



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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

""St. Laurence Island, the largest in the Behring Sea ... is a dreary, cheerless looking mass of black lava, dotted with volcanoes, without a single tree, covered with snow and rigidly bound in ocean ice for more than half the year."" Muir continues, however, saying, ""All the surface of the low grounds in the glacial gaps as well as the flat table-lands are covered with wet spongy tundra of mosses and lichens with patches of blooming heathwarts and dwarf-willows, and grasses and sedges ... forming gardens with a luxuriance and brightness of color, little to be hoped for in so cold and dreary looking a region."" Muir then describes the ""ghastly scenes"" of several villages with the skeletal remains of 1,000 natives who have died of starvation during the winter famine of 1878-79.


San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Aug.15, 1881


p. 3, cols. 7-8

St. Laurence Island. Arctic Volcanoes-A Land of Lava and Craters-A Ghastly Scene in an Arctic Golgotha-The Work of a Famine. Steamer Corwin, St. Laurence Island, Alaska, July 3, 1881.



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