Synopses & Reviews
Swedish missionary Albin Johnson arrived in Alaska just before the turn of the twentieth century, thousands of miles from home and with just two weeksand#8217; worth of English classes under his belt. While he intended to work among the Tlingit tribes of Yakutat, he found himself in a wave of foreign arrivals as migrants poured into Alaska seeking economic opportunities and the chance at a different life. While Johnson came with pious intentions, others imposed Western values and vices, leaving disease and devastation in their wake.
Seventeen Years in Alaskaand#160;is Johnsonand#8217;s eyewitness account of this tumultuous time. It is a captivating narrative of an ancient people facing rapid change and of the missionaries working to stem a corrupting tide. His journals offer a candid look at the beliefs and lives of missionaries, and they ultimately reveal the profound effect that he and other missionaries had on the Tlingit. Tracing nearly two decades of spiritual hopes and earthbound failures, Johnsonand#8217;s memoir is a fascinating portrait of a rapidly changing world in one of the most far-flung areas of the globe.
andldquo;Johnsonandrsquo;s vivid memories and Ehrlanderandrsquo;s transparent translation makes the text highly readable. . . . Together, Ehrlander and Johnson leave readers with a more nuanced understanding of the role early missionaries played in the Far North.andrdquo;
The Eskimo Girl and the Englishman is a sequel to the delightful story Once Upon an Eskimo Time, which recounts the remarkable life of Minnie and her Eskimo mother as she comes of age in a traditional village on Alaskas western coast. Resuming the tale on the day Minnie encounters her first white man, The Eskimo Girl and the Englishman relates the next century of Minnies adventurous life—painting a picture of early twentieth-century village life as Minnie and her Englishman marry and find the determination, strength, and courage to live life in the face of tragedy, rapidly changing technology, and unrelenting hardship along the Bering Sea. Accompanied by photographs of early Eskimo village life, the narrative poignantly captures a sense of a long-lost way of life on the Seward Peninsula.
Swedish Covenant missionary Albin Johnson's memoir of his years among the Tlingit of Yakutat offers an eye-witness account of an indigenous people in transition. At the turn of the twentieth century migrants poured into Alaska seeking economic opportunities, and they brought with them western values, vices, and diseases, leaving devastation in their wake. Swedish Covenant and other missionaries sought to mitigate the negative effects of western influences on Alaska Natives while they engendered profound change themselves. The narrative captures encounters between Tlingit people and Swedish missionaries at a dynamic time in Alaska's history.
About the Author
Albin Johnson (1865and#150;1947) graduated from the Swedish Mission Covenant's mission school and then lived and worked in Yakutat, Alaska, until 1905. He later settled in North Park, Illinois. Mary Ehrlander is professor of history and director of the Northern Studies Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Table of Contents
AcknowledgmentsForeword 1. Sammy-Sis-Co2. Oolark's Last Hunt3. Dreadul Illness4. 30-30 Rifle5. Copper Cave6. Golovin Bay Trading Post7. Evil Songs8. White Crackers for Lost Love9. Arthur Samuel Tucker10. Bluff City11. Billy G.12. First Alaskan Hunt13. We Are Going to Be Lost14. Eating Oogruk15. Two Helpless Women16. Working at Port Safety Roadhouse17. One Way to Get a Wife18. Orphaned Reindeer19. Sorrow and Grief20. Two Men Name a Baby21. Big Flu22. Strange Noise23. The Owl's Good-bye24. Brave Woman25. The Spirit Circled Her26. Crane27. No More Bluff City28. Heart Attack29. "Something Terrible Would Happen"30. Death Is Hard31. I Just Take a Look32. Flood of '6733. Round Galvanized Tub34. Please Warn the Fisherman35. Man with a Heart