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Item #: PL5984-239
LOOKING FAR NORTH: THE HARRIMAN EXPEDITION TO ALASKA, 1899 William H. Goetzmann and Kay Sloan 1982 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Goetzmann, William and Kay Sloan
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Detailed Product Description
New York, Viking, 1982, 1st edition. 244 pp, b/w photos, appendix, notes, index. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine.

Edward Harriman was one of the most powerful men in America. He owned several railroads, with a dream of owning all of them. He had taken a number of near-bankrupt railroads and restored them to profitability. However, by early 1899, he was exhausted. His doctor told him that he needed a long vacation. Never a man to do anything small, Harriman decided to go to Alaska to hunt Kodiak bears. But rather than go alone, he conceived of the idea of taking with him a scientific community to explore and document the coast of Alaska. He contacted Clinton Hart Merriam, the head of the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy at the United States Department of Agriculture, and one of the founders of the National Geographic Society. Harriman told Merriam that he would cover the expenses of scientists, artists, and other experts who would join the voyage. He asked Merriam to choose the scientific party. 

Historians question why Harriman wanted to go to Alaska. Some think he was considering developing Alaskan resources. Some think he was considering building a railroad to the Alaskan territory. Some people at the time openly wondered if he was going to buy Alaska, or build a railroad bridge from Alaska to Siberia - a railroad around the world. Nothing seemed impossible for Edward H. Harriman. Merriam held a flurry of meetings and sent out dozens of telegrams. He organized a broad range of experts arctic experts, botanists, biologists and zoologists, geologists and geographers, artists, photographers, ornithologists, and writers.

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