- By Mary Kellogg Sullivan
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"Klondikers buying miner's licenses at Custom House, Victoria, B C, Feb 21, 1898" by John Wallace Jones is in the public domain.


Since the discovery of gold by George Carmack on Bonanza Creek in September 1896, the growth of this country has been phenomenal, more especially so to one who has visited and is familiar with Dawson and the Klondyke mining section.

As to the entire yield of gold from the Klondyke Creeks, none can say except approximately; for the ten percent royalty imposed by the Canadian government has always met a phase of human nature which prompts to concealment and dishonesty, so that a truthful estimate cannot be made.

The Canadian Dominion government is very oppressive. Mining laws are very arbitrary and strictly enforced. A person wishing to prospect for gold must first procure a miner's license, paying ten dollars for it. If anything is discovered, and he wishes to locate a claim, he visits the recorder's office, states his business, and is told to call again. In the meantime, men are sent to examine the locality and if anything of value is found, the man wishing to record the claim is told that it is already located. The officials seize it. The man has no way of ascertaining if the land was properly located, and so had no redress.If the claim is thought to be poor, he can locate it by the payment of a fifteen dollar fee.

One half of all mining land is reserved for the crown, a quarter or more is gobbled by corrupt officials, and a meager share left for the daring miners who, by braving hardship and death, develop the mines and open up the country

"Any one going into the country has no right to cut wood for any purpose, or to kill any game or catch any fish, without a license for which a fee of ten dollars must be paid. With such a license it is unlawful to sell a stick of wood for any purpose, or a pound of fish or game." This law is strictly enforced. To do anything, one must have a special permit, and for every such permit he must pay roundly.

The story is told of a miner in a hospital who was about to die. He requested that the Governor be sent for. Being asked what he wanted with the Governor, he replied: "I haven't any permit, and if I should undertake to die without a permit, I should get myself arrested."

It is a well-known fact that many claims on Eldorado, Hunker, and Bonanza Creeks have turned out hundreds of thousands of dollars. One pan of gravel on Eldorado Creek yielded $2,100. Frank Dinsmore on Bonanza Creek took out ninety pounds of solid gold for $24,480 in a single day. On Aleck McDonald's claim on Eldorado, one man shoveled in $20,000 in twelve hours. McDonald, in two years, dug from the frozen ground $2,207,893. Charley Anderson, on Eldorado, panned out $700 in three hours. T.S. Lippy is said to have paid the Canadian government $65,000 in royalties for the year 1898 and Clarence Berry about the same.

On Skukum Gulch $30,000 were taken from two boxes of dirt. Frank Phiscator of Michigan, after a few months' work, brought home $100,000 in gold, selling one-third of his claim interests for $1,333,000, or at the rate of $5,000,000 for the whole.

When a man is compelled to pay one thousand dollars out of every ten thousand he digs from the ground, he will boast little of large "clean-ups";and for this reason it is hard to estimate the real amount of gold extracted from the Klondyke mines.

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