Off For Cape Nome
The Bennett Sun, December 30, 1899
Off For Cape Nome
Advice to Argonauts Who About to Leave for the Beach Diggings.
The stirring cry of ‘49 is at present being repeated with a slight variation. Then it was “California,” now it is “Cape Nome.” Just as the former churned the imagination with visions of fabulous wealth, the latter today presents kaleidoscopic views of a land where Midas must at one time have strayed.
Very few people can resist the alluring stories. The prospect of getting rich overnight makes the average man throw off ihis accustomed indifference, prepare to brave all dangers and endure untold hardships. He is willing to leave a comfortable home, a wife and family; he is satisfied to risk the loss of all that is dear to him. And for what?
When the gold fever once attacks a man nothing but a dose of cruel experience can effect a cure. Nothing can prevent him from joining the mad rush. No amount of warning will stop him; he will not stop where “failure” written in the sky in letters of fire.
The most enthusiastic Cape Nomer must admit that the published reports of that country have been exaggerated to some extent. No sane man who but gives it a thought will deny that where there is, as in all other spheres of life, one success there are a hundred or more failures.
The vast throng that will flock to the Cape Nome country next year will make ‘49 appear insignificant. It will form an army larger than that with which Napoleon took possession of the ruins of Moscow. It is hoped that the suffering his army underwent on their return from the old Russian capital will not be repeated in the retreat over the various routes and trails next fall. In this mad rush, where civilization and Christianity for the time are forgotten, one stands, of course, as good a chance, however slim it may be, of “striking it rich” as does the next one, and there is no reason why our local gold seekers should not make the “find.”
There are at present many of our citizens who intend to go to Cape Nome. To these we wish to sound a note of warning. Not that we want to dissuade them from making the trip. Far from it. We would only advise them not to go unless fully equipped and prepared for the journey, both physically and financially. Want, misery, starvation and death await the rash argonaut in the frozen placers of Alaska.