Artic Ambitions: Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage. It was brilliantly done, with original paintings, diaries, and other items on loan from Australia, England, and other places, as well as items from the museum's own collection. As a curator of rare materials who often mounts exhibitions, I was green with envy at the custom made cases and exhibit stands, the custom interpretative maps and models. My husband found it very amusing as I went around the exhibit mumbling "we have that," we have that, too," "Oooh, I wish we had that one," "Look honey, we have that at home!" The Bell Collection is super when it comes to Cook materials, but we don't have any of the original drawings or watercolors that were part of this exhibition. The image featured here is by artist John Webber: A Man of Oonalashka. From James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. London: G. Nicol and T. Cadell, 1785. Bell Library Call# 1785 Co You can find it and other images in our online exhibition: Captain Cook's Voyages of Discovery.
The Cookery to the sparse population of even the largest of its few cities to the local history about which I was appalling ignorant. On March 30, 1867, the U.S. government, in the person of Secretary of State William Seward, reached an agreement with the Russian empire to purchase Alaska for more than $7 million. Called "Seward's Folly," opposition to the purchase didn't really die down until gold was discovered in the Klondike in 1896.
The people of Alaska, descendants of the indigenous population and transplanted "southerners" alike, work hard to keep that history alive and to share it with visitors. Our visit to Skagway immersed us in history from the very beginning, when we boarded an old trolley car, converted to wheels, for a tour.
|Our tour guide posing at Reid's tombstone.|
I was hoping to see a lot of wildlife, but the weather often made visibility poor--if they were there, we didn't see them. We did see amazing scenery at every turn, including this and other glaciers.
Despite the distance of time, it was easy to picture Cook and his crew in every bay and along every shore.