S. Hall Young


S. Hall Young


John Muir


Wrangel Feb 22 (1886)

Dear Muir

Your good one just recd by way of Littea & not time to ans. Have mailed Dec & [far?] No. of Glacier. Enclosed 1st & [illegible] of Feb. no Don't be [illegible] my muse if ex[illegible] Will answer fully concerning book etc. Will ans by next [str. ?] at Portland as see [illegible]Am exceedingly lonesome widower.

The "frame" in this sheet is that glacier bay near mouth of [Stickine?] as seen from top of Delta mountain

Kind regards to Mrs M S. Hall Young


History of Hoonah Mission.

Written and set in type by Dora Davis.

Hoonah is the nicest place in Alaska. There are nineteen houses. Only one hundred and nine people were at home last winter. The rest were at their limiting places during the whole year. They are very fond of their school. They come to school very regularly. Every sunday Mr. J. W. McFarland would go around and teach the old people from the Bible. He won't allow the wizards to perform on Sabbath. He would stop them, every time he caught them performing on Sabbath-day. They are improving so much, those people at Hoonah. They go away early in the Spring to their different places for hunting. We enjoyed our trip this past summer, carrying the gospel around t? different fisheries; first to the cod and halibut fishery, and then up to Barlett's Bay. We picked the nicest strawberries that I never saw before. There we saw the chief of that fishery. He was low down in bed with consumption. Last winter two persons were accused of witchcraft. They were tied up: the ropes were too tight on their hands so that they went through their flesh, and they were starved to death. All this was done for the sake of the chief. Blankets after blankets were given the wizards to heal him from all his sickness. He thought they would make Him we1l. But at the last he saw that they were not doing him any good. He wished for the missionaries. We talked to him from the Bible. He said he was sorry for his sins, but now he believed in God. He died; the next month in Sept. Also we went to the other chief's creek. That is where they put up their dewberries, huckleberries, cran-berries etc. There is silver salmon and trout. It takes four days to get up to the seaotter place. All the Hoonahs are going up there in the spring. Last spring seventy fur seal were shot by a boy about eighteen years of age. He was very proud of himself. His name is Frederick Qualechun. He is very good on a shot among the young boys. There is an.old woman with a name Yosadoha. She is a very pleasant old lady. She gave her name to the pastor's wife: they are very kind to her. One day she was invited to have her dinner with them. It took her about two hours to get up to the house. After dinner Mr. McFarland, the pastor, brought in the organ. We played for her and sang some of the Gospel Hymns that were translated into Indian. She sang along with us and enjoyed the singing so much. It was the first time she saw an organ, and she thought there was a man in the organ that was singing so low. She tried to sing like him. She will make a first-class bass singer. Her husband was the brother of the Sitka chief. Also there is a cripple: he is a silver-smith. He makes pipes for liquor-stills. He promised before God that he will never make them for the Indians: Mr. McFarland gave him a pledge. He never did walk ever since he was created. They say witch-craft made him that way: this was their belief.
One old-wizard has five wives and twenty children. One time he wanted help as he was building a new house. He came to the minister and asked how he could get help. The minister's reply was this; "If we want help, we must pray this way, 'Lord, help me'." As he was going home he prayed "Lord help me", as loud as he could. They heard him from the village across the bay, and asked him what he wanted. They thought he was talking to them.
In explanation of the above article we would say that Dora was an inmate of ?R. McFarland's Home before its removal to Sitka. She went, in Sept. '84, to the Hoonah Mission with Rev. J. W. McFarland and his wife, as their interpreter. She remained with them a year and returned to Wrangel last fall, bringing with her the dead body of her father, who expected death, had gone to speed his last days with his daughter. She then entered our [illegible] school, and is a permanent pupil and an apprentice in this office. The article is all hers.------ED.
—We at last have laws and an administration of them in Fort Wrangel that are a terror to evil-doers. Our newly appointed J. P. and constable apprehended and tried two pesons, a white man and an Indian woman, for drunken and disorderly conduct on the 4th. The man was fined $10.00 and costs, the woman 13.00. We mention this particularly, as it is the first judicial punishment administered in Wrangel, under the civil code. We claim to have the most peaceable community in the Ter., but unruly characters will break its peace occasionally, and needed just such a lesson. A fine strikes more terror to the Tlinkit heart than almost any other form of punishment.
Ukahaheen Ha-ish, Dike Ankow Hli tseeny, dike uwtleuh ka yatlutk. Ka cheklanuhyuteey Dnyeet Jesus Christ Ha-ankow, Hluhletugu Kiehiech hlu tuseku Maryjied wusenook. Ishanch oowachuk Pontius Pilate tyeek; yenjekuwduseku; woona; yuwduwau. Nusk yekekuh shuwdenook ukwoonow ya dub. Dekinde wugoot. Dike Ankow Du-ish ukshenuhah kiyanukcheate kattah. Ahadaquagoot ukuqkawoots kootseteeyeah woonowah. Ukahaheen Hluhletugu Kiehie, ka Hluhletugu Wooskooniade church ; duhonkich udayukutlaatkanooch ka hlooshkayih kuhsikagoo, ka cooshasakeeta, ka coos teey yekooyut. Amen.
—The Creed as above printed is frequently repeated by our sunday school.
But this is the last we will print in the native vernacular for a while, as this short effort exhausted all the Ks in the cases, and sent our girl assistants to the pi-box for hours in frantic search for that much needed letter.
—Rev. J. L. Gould of the Hydah mission writes of a quiet and prosperous winter. A number of new "Boston" houses are being built, and others will go up as soon as lumber is furnished by the mission saw-mill. Miss Clara Gould's school is full and interesting. But our civil Government should extend its protection and restraint over that important part of the Ter., No whites are there except the missionaries, and no government but their moral suasion. There are nearly a thousand Hydahs in that region, and a large number of natives from other tribes in the ?er. and from British Columbia go there in the summer to hunt tee fur seal.
Although we are opposed to making magistrates of missionaries where other good persons for such an office are to be found, yet in this case it seems absolutely necessary that Mr. Gould, who is in every way, by previous experience and natural qualification [illegible] for the position, should be made commissioner or justice of the peace for Howcan, and a constable or deputy marshal also appointed. The Hydahs are themselves getting impatient at the delay in giving them the advantages enjoyed by other tribes in the Ter;- for the natives like the white man's government and submit to it readily. We commend this matter to Gov. Swiueford and our other civil officials, that their rights may be given to natives and missionaries.






Deep calm from God enfolds the land.
Light on the mountain-top I stand.
How peaceful all, but ah, how grand!

Low lies the bay beneath my feet.
The bergs sail out, a white winged fleet,
To where the sky and ocean meet.

Their glacier mother sleeps between
Her granite walls. The mountains lean
Above her, trailing skirts of green.

Each ancient brow is raised to heaven:
The snow streams always, tempest-driven,
Like hoary locks, o'er chasms riven
By throes of Earth. But, still as sleep,
No storm disturbs the quiet deep,
Where mirrored forms their silence keep.

A heaven of light beneath the sea!
A dream of worlds from shadow free!
A pictured, bright eternity!

The azure domes above, below,
(A crystal casket), hold and show,
As precious jewels, gems of snow,

Dark emerald islets, amethyst
Of far horizon, pearls of mist
In pendant clouds, clear ice-bergs, kissed

By wavelets,-sparkling diamonds rare,
Quick flashing through the ambient air.
A ring of mountains, graven fair

In lines of grape, encircles all,
Save where the purple splendors fall
On sky and ocean's bridal-hall.

The yellow river, broad and fleet,
Winds through its velvet meadows sweet,
A chain of gold for jewels meet.

Pours over all the sun's broad ray.
Power, beauty, peace, in one array!
My God, I thank Thee for this day.

S. H. Y.

-There is hardly a mile of the scenery of the S.E. Alaskan coast that would not make a beautiful picture.


The first evangelical work done at Wrangel was not by Presbyterians, nor even by the whites. The U. S. troops, stationed in the Fort, had established partial order in the native village. Rich discoveries of gold up the Stickine had attracted to Wrangel a crowd of miners and traders, and these in turn furnished work to hundreds of natives who gathered here from all the tribes in the archipelago. Among them came some Tsimpsheans from Fort Simpson, B. C. They had learned Christianity in the Methodist Mission there, and were anxious to extend the (to them) new faith among the other natives. Mr. Crosby, their missionary at Fort Simpson, encouraged their efforts and gave special charge to Philip Mc Kay, who opened a school as early as the summer of' 76, and held services every Sunday. A number of the Stickines followed his lead and became nominally Christians. Philip was certainly a very faithful man, and his influence was remarkable.
Mr. Crosby visited Wrangel early in the Spring of '77, and made an appeal for a church. One hundred and twenty five dollars were subscribed, mostly by the natives, and placed in the hand.-of Mr. Vanberbilt, a merchant of Wrangel.
Several of the officers and soldiers who had been in Alaska (notably Gen. Howard,) had set forth, in public and private Correspondence, the intelligence of the natives and the fuvorable openings for missions. Rev. A. L. Lindsley D. D. of Portland, as early as 1869, became interested in the Alaskans by an interview he held with Sec. Seward, and from that time on was persistent in his efforts to secure the establishment of schools and missions in Alaska: and he has always been a firm and helpful friend to this mission especially, and to all the others in S. E. Alaska.
In the spring of '77 Mr. J. C. Mallory was com missioned by the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions for work among the Nez Perce Indians. But when he reached Portland he learned that the field to which he was appointed was already supplied. Dr. Lindsley embraced this opportunity to occupy this long-desired field of Alaska. He sent Mr. Mallory up to Fort Wrangel, in May, at his own expense. Mr. M. assumed the responsibility of the school, and employed Philip to assist. But the June str. brought Mr. M. news of his appointment to a government position in Arizona, and he left at once for that field. When he returned to Portland he found Mrs. A. R. McFarland, whose husband had recently died at the Nez Perce Mission, ready to go to Wrangel and take up the work he had left. Dr. Lindsley again advanced funds for expenses and in August this lady, who was well qualified by nature and experience for such a work, went to Fort Wrangel. She was escorted thither by Rev. Sheldon Jackson D. D., who was making a tour of the north-western mission-fields at the time.
Dr. J. returned immediately to the East, and went energetically to work to secure money and missionaries, to develop this new and promising field.
The Board of Home Missions took up the matter and commissioned Mrs. McFarlapd.
Her work, though difficult, was successful from the start. The little band of professing Christians acknowledged her leadership, and brought to her all their differences for settlement. Philip was her faithful helper. Ho also was commissioned by the Board at a small salary. Regular church services were held, another school opened for Indians from other tribes. In short, the work of minister, magistrate, teacher and lawgiver was all done by Mrs. A. R. McFarland, and the mission well established.
Philip McKay died in Dec. of that year, of consumption, leaving Mrs. McFarland alone in the work.

Continued in March number.


Wrangel [Alaska]

Circa Date

[1886] Feb 22


Original letter dimensions: 30 x 41 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 05, Image 0618

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

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Some letters written to John Muir may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Owning Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.


3 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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