Creator

S. Hall Young

Creator

S. Hall Young

Recipient

John Muir

Transcription

00973 [4]

I Articles placed in the coffin. 2 pairs flannel drawers at $2.00 ……… $4.00 1 undershirt ………………………………. 2.00 1 fine “ ……………………………… 1.50 1 pr pants ………………………………….. 8.00 1 vest ………………………………………. 4.00 1 coat ……………………………………….. 20.00 1 overcoat! ………………………………….. 30.00 1 pr shoes …………………………………… 5.00 1 “ socks …………………………………… 2.00 1 “ gloves ………………………………….. 1.50 1 “ mittens …………………………………. 3.00 3 silk handkerchiefs at 2.00 …………………. 6.00 1 white blanket ……………………………… 3.00 1 blue “ …………………………………….. 4.00 1 hunting sack ………………………………. 5.00 1 [illegible] 60.00 Total val. of goods in coffin 159.00

II Debts of honor paid to those who presented gifts & performed services for the dead while the corpse lay in state. Paid for dissecting & [removing?]


[1]

Fort Wrangel, Alaska. Jan. 26. ’81.

John Muir,

Dear Friend;

Fort Wrangel is a very indignant town just now & the most indignant part of it is the missionary establishment. The steamer failed to bring any letters for the place. The fault lies (so Ned Hughes says) with the P.M. at Port Townsend who mislaid the mail bag somehow. So we are completely in the dark as to the doings of our friends & “enterprises of great pith & movement” in the mission world have to lie by & perhaps fail because of the carelessness of

[Page 2]

[2]

some petty government official. I suppose a letter from you is among the number. I wished to hear whether the box of Indian [illegible] I sent two months ago has reached you. I am afraid it is lost for I gave it into Hughes’ hands with instructions to express it to you, pre[illegible] charges, & give the bill to me. He presented no bill & when I asked him about it could tell nothing. I have had a severe time with [lower back?] from a fall I received nearly six weeks ago on the ice was confined to bed for a while & have to use a cane still & take it slow. No permanent injury. There is much drinking & fighting among the Indians here more wars than ever before since I come to

[3]

the country. They openly buy & make all the vile liquor they want. I have much trouble to keep my church adherents straight Old [Lot Ljeen?] is the staunchest man I have. He wants you to know that by the death of his Uncle, Chief Shustak the chief[illegible] properly descends to him & he is very busy now “making ready” the affairs of the deceased. He has sent below for a $100.00 stone & has had a fence made for another hundred. The obsequies will cost in all about $350.00. But he will more than make good these expenditures out of Shustaks estate. As you like curious Indian items I’ll give you a list of the expenditure to satisfy the honor & minister to the comfort of the dead chief by his brothers – not by [God?]

[Page 3]

note [E?]

[in margin: Letter about the Alaska Indian from S H Young]

00973

[5]
5.
the diseased portion of lungs & cleaning the part ……………… $90.00 Paid woman for helping ………… 17.00 “ for 1 cord wood for us of watchers ………………………… 10.00 “ 37 cts worth of oil …………….. 3.00 “ 2 candles presented …………… 1.00 “ watchers at 3.00 per night per man 27.00 other “ presents of little value presented by disconsolate friends to show their affection to the diseased. with certainty of being [remembered?] ten fold ………………………….. 80.00 Value of feasts given immediately after the decease …………………. 150.00 All this & more was given away “[illegible]” from [natives?] of pride by Shustak’s brothers. And then they begged me to give them a coffin & other goods because “they were too poor to buy one”. [illegible] had nothing to do with this part of the

[Page 4]

[6]

ceremonies but only insisted upon having order & no whiskey at the feasts. I had sent to Sitka for a brass [illegible] for old [Shushak?] who said he would die happy if he could see it belonging to him. The gun came but was carried past to Portland. The old man was terribly stricken by this blow but rallied & I believe for about two weeks hung on to life tenaciously just to see that cannon before he should die & at last when Nature lost her patience the old [heathen?] just before he died uttered his last & I suppose his first prayer as follows: “O Chief Above, if there be such a being up yonder, have pity upon me & let me live to see my big brass [illegible]”. The [illegible] of this [illegible]

[7]

appears from the [fact?] that Shuatak had been for a year a regular attendant upon chuch & had been privately admonished besides. I will not give you [illegible] this time for the boat is in sight [Roby?] is a marvel of good temper & good health. Susie is getting “whiter” every day. Mrs [Y.?] is well & joins in best wishes.

Yours [S. Hall Young.?]

Location

Fort Wrangel, Alaska

Date Original

1881 Jan 26

Source

Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier

muir04_0427-md-1.pdf

File Identifier

Reel 04, Image 0426

Copyright Statement

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

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

Pages

4 pages

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