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In this humorous and upbeat memoir, James Wickersham describes his career as a pioneer judge and later as a congressional representative assigned to a vast, snow-covered district, extending over 300,000 square miles in the undeveloped Alaska Territory. Wickersham’s many adventures include traveling by dogsled over hundreds of miles through snow-covered mountains; serving as judge for the trials of many famous outlaws in the midst of the gold strikes; and hunting, mining, and climbing in his local Alaska wilderness. Though he was instrumental in the early history of Alaska, and his legacy is evident throughout the state—for example, he named the city of Fairbanks—this is the first and only work to focus on Wickersham’s life during this pivotal time in Alaska’s history.
James Wickersham (1857–1939) was a statesman, author, historian, and scholar. He was born near Patoka, Illinois and moved in 1883 to Tacoma in the Washington Territory.
Terrence Cole is professor of history and director of the Office of Public History at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He lives in Fairbanks.