In 1879, the Alaskan territory organizes its first mining district. This guide provides access to materials related to the “Alaskan Gold Rush” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
During the mid 19th century, eyes were focused on California's Gold Rush; however, little did many know, the next American Gold Rush would occur years later in Alaska which was not yet a state. When word spread among the public, prospectors rushed to the land of opportunity and gold. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
May 10, 1879
Organization of the first mining district in Alaska.
Major gold strike at Silver Bow Basin by prospectors Joe Juneau and Richard Harris. More prospectors head to the area and found the town of Juneau.
Congress creates a civil government for Alaska in the Organic Act of 1884.
Gold discovery is made at Bonanza Creek which would prompt a great Klondike Gold Rush.
April 3, 1898
Deadly avalanche kills over 60 people on the Chillkoot trail.
News of another gold strike prompts many to head to Nome.
Gold Discovery in the Tanana Hills leads to the founding of Fairbanks.