In Search of the Kuskokwim, by Stephen Spurr
The United States knew relatively little about Alaska prior to the turn of the century when the Klondike Gold Rush was about to attract thousands of stampeders north, many of them spilling over into Alaska as more gold was discovered on the Yukon River and her tributaries. The government had few reliable maps of the vast territory it had purchased from Russia thirty years before. The U.S. government commissioned J. Edward Spurr, a geologist, author, and explorer from New England, to mount two expeditions to explore and inventory Alaska, traveling thousand miles by canoe and on foot without benefit of telephones, radios, airplanes. The effort almost killed him, but his efforts helped provide detail to regions that had been largely blank on the Alaska map. In Search of the Kuskokwim (160 pages) details Spurr’s two incredible adventures, charting both the Yukon and vast Kuskokwim region.
Stephen J. Spurr, grandson of J.E. Spurr, is a professor of economics at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He has a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago. He has published many articles in economics journals, and a textbook on economic analysis of law. He and his wife Laura live in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. He plans to climb Mount Spurr, a volcano named after his grandfather, which is 78 miles west of Anchorage, with his two sons Nathaniel and Josiah (who is also named after Stephen’s grandfather).
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