to Offer Postwar Pioneers?
I Go to Alaska?
Our last frontier is no bonanza fieldno get-rich-quick
spot in which to stay a year or two in the hope of making a fortune. Alaskas
boom days are over, fortunately for the Territory and its citizens. The hard-fisted
era of gold rushes, miners meetings, and frontier justice has vanished.
The fortune hunters have come and gonemost of them poorer than they arrivedor
have left their bones in remote graveyards. The real pioneersstubborn and
tough-minded men and women who believed in themselves and in Alaskas futurestayed.
A new generation, born and brought up in Alaska and educated in Alaskan schools,
has come of age.
This does not mean that the pioneer spirit has disappeared.
Far from it. Alaskas pioneer tradition remains strong and is breaking down
barriers today. It is discovering new ways of conquering the Territorys
vast distances, conserving and developing its rich resources, using modern machinery
to snake up for its lack of manpower, solving the problem of growing its own food
and bringing it to market, keeping its scattered population in touch with one
another and with the States by plane and radio, ocean and highway.
you decide whether or not to go to Alaska to live and work; ask yourself a few
questions and answer then honestly.
Do I like to work?
works in Alaska. If an Alaskans job means doing something with his hands,
he likes it so much the better. Alaskas white-collar class is very small.
And although some Alaskans are very well off, there is no class which merely lives
on its investments. No Alaskan ever retires until he is physically
unable to work any longer.
Do I get along well with others?
last census there were only a few more whites in Alaska than there are people
working in the Pentagon in wartime Washington, D. C. The total resident population
of Alaskawhite and nativein 1939 was 72,524, or about the population
of Little Rock, Arkansas. It was probably under 100,000 in 1944.
a man is soon known, by reputation at least, to many other Alaskans. Gossip spreads
fast in this northern outpost. A show-off, a snob, or a lazybones is soon known
for what he is. In Alaska a good reputation is worth more than money in the bank.
With it, you can get on credit a grubstake, housing, or tools, and can buy on
terms other commodities and transportation which sell for cash on the barrelhead
in the States.
Getting along with people is important because there are
no large cities, no Coney Island crowds, no mass entertainment. The anonymity
and excitement of New York, Chicago, or San Francisco are lacking. You will be
judged on your own merit as an individual, not on the basis of how much money
you have or who your grandparents were.
Can I do more than one thing?
all-round knowledgeability to repair a truck or a boat, shoot a gun; use
tools handily, pitch a camp, and cookare useful in Alaska. Most Alaskan
industries are seasonal, closing down in summer or winter, and many Alaskans ply
two or more trades. This does not mean that all Alaskan work is manual. There
is plenty of need in Alaska for professional men and for skilled workers with
a trade. But if you are a dentist and can fly a plane, or if you are a farmer
and can run a trap line; so much the better.
Am I physically fit?
climate is healthy and no more taxing than Minnesotas. But to make your
way in the Territory, sound health will give you a good running start.
I some capital?
To make a good beginning, with time and money to look around
before settling down, the prospective Alaskan should take with him, over and above
his fare, enough money to see him through at least six months. A single man should
take at least $1,500; a man with a family of, say, a wife and one child, at least
If the answer to each of these five questions is an honest yes,
you should be able to make your way in Alaska.
Should I Take My Family?