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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/27/2021
Alexander (Claude Alexander Conlin). Gold Rush Diary of Alexander, “The Man Who Knows.” Dated 1898, and being a 78-page clothbound memoranda book owned and kept by Claude Conlin during his travels to the Yukon. Filled with personal accounts of the miners he interacted with and the men who supplied them, as well as intimate personal details, financial records, and related data. Signed in pencil inside the front cover by Conlin. Approximately 16mo. Covers well-worn but sturdy and readable. A unique document of historical significance, not only in the life story of Alexander, but as a chronicle of the Alaskan goldfields during a storied era in American history. Alexander recorded his day-to-day activities and innermost thoughts in this diary, and the pages are filled with illuminating details of his life, written entirely in his own hand. From the opening statement on the front pastedown: “If I am found dead, please notify [my father] Dr. BMJ Conlin – Owatonna, Minnesota,” the diary follows Alexander’s journey in the Klondike initially working on boats ferrying supplies to miners along the Yukon River, to his own attempts to strike it rich. Through its pages, one sees Alexander evolve from a wide-eyed boy into a hardened miner and observer of human nature, an experience which would serve him well during the 1910s and 20s in his legendary crystal gazing act. Summing up his stay in Dawson, Alaska in October 1898, Alexander wrote, “...the one and only thing that chased me out of Dawson was my hearing a piece of petticoat [a dancehall maiden] sing, ‘Her darling boy now sleeps beneath a golden grave in far-away Alaska where the Yukon River flows.’ Well, I thought my chances were about 99 out of 100 of sleeping in a golden grave if I stayed there. And another thing, I am no hand for style. A common clay grave with the stars and stripes overhead will suit me better and I will leave the stylish grave for someone that is a bigger fool than I.” This diary was discovered in 2014, some 110 years after its final entry was made, and ten years after the definitive biography of Alexander was published.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $22,800.00
Estimate: $3,000 - $6,000
Number Bids: 29
Auction closed on Saturday, February 27, 2021.
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