Letter 5/19/1899 Dawson City, Canada
Previous Letter Next Letter Back to Stewart River Map Back to Klondike Journey Map To Bob's Homepage

Dawson N.W.T. Canada
May 19th 1899
Mrs Georgia Barton Mineola Mo
Dear wife:-- The Youcon opened on the 17th inst at Dawson, so will try & get a letter out on the first boat to my dear girl, dont expect you can read it though as my hands are very clumsy sore and tired we have sluiced about twenty four hours altogether & cleanded up something over twelve hundred after 19 hours run it is good dirt and we are still taking out from 20 to 40 buckets a day. but it is caving in on us and getting dangerous. We are the only ones still drifting on the creek that we know. but we want to make as much as possible while here as I dont expect to come back to work is too hard and the climate too severe. we would make some money of we did not have to give half to the claim owner and have so much expence we have paid all winter very high for provisions as we could not lay in a supply the first of the winter and then speculators got a hold on butter sugar and milk which is selling as follows now Butter 1.50 per # condensed milk 1.00 per can cost 11 on the outside by the case Sugar 1.00 per lb but is down to 75 now. flour has fallen from 8.00 per sack to 5.50, bacon from 50- to 25 & 30. we pay about 500% on stuff in this country. so after we pay half to owner of claim and 1000.00 or more expences then the fare home and if the company insists on a division it will be impossible for me to say how much we will have left, if any. however little woman the chance of seeing you are drawing near makes me feel like we can commence a new and be happier there if I come with much gold I never knew that I could work till I came to this country and as long as I have you and keep my health, we, I hope can live happy. we are expecting to get through sluicing by the 15th of July and possibly by the 1st but not later then the 15th. There is a statement in Wednesdays paper of Dawson giving a statement of how this dam Government robs the miners here. Taxes 10% Royalty 10% Fraction 10% claims reserved on new discovered creeks 50%, leaving 20% for the miners which goes for tucker (Grub) but I am tired out hearing others complain both Canadian and Americans so think I will get the hell out of here (out) as Mr Kievioz, our partner says. The last letter from you was dated Mah 6th. Lee has several since that and so has Frank but as you have so many other correspondences I of course will not expect many letters from you that is as many as Lee. he gets more then twice as many as Frank and I togeather. Frank dont like it very much as it looks like we might get as many as Lee, having wives, and he none. but his folks think more of him probibly. his letters are all from home except one from Mrs Duey. but I dont care so long as you write once a week I will get one out of ten, or if on returning home and beholding the face that I so much love there will I find a true & virtuous woman (and a good mother) I will be perfectly satisfied. Dear something has brought to my mind dozzens of times the last week of the coming Sunday --21st day of May and all day to day I was thinking about it probibly I can get of Sunday and take a hollowday. but am so anxious to get home that expect I would be better off at work. I have not written but two or three letters this winter and all of them to you I should have done better but the other boys done about as well. and it was a terrible task to write. this winter. besides the mail had to be taken 600 miles over the ice. the last mail from the office was letters written in Sept and Oct. but one before was dated Mah 6th. you seemed to feel blue from the way you wrote. you wrote of being married to Lester Reiff in one letter and expecting a letter from him in the next So if you keep on at that rate dont think it will be of any use for me to come home, except for my boy. well dear tell Dr Crockett I will write to him some of these days. you can show him this or tell him what is in it probibly I will have a chance to write more before I have a chance to send this to the office as we are 12 or 14 miles from Dawson. tell Susie I receive her letter and to write if she does not get one from me as am always glad to hear from little sister
wish love to all from your boy Everett Barton
May 24th 99 Well little woman before sending the first part of this letter, or having a chance to do so I will write this. We at present are working at nights which are almost as light now as the days. We finished sluicing a small dump of 1200 buckets which sluiced out 1500.00 and over but we only get half of that (750.00) and then that is divided by four which makes each mans part rather small. I think it is our best dirt. we have our boxes moved to our largest dump now and will commence to night, if it stops raining. I think now we can be done by the last of June if nothing happens hoping so at least. The Willie Irvin an up stream steamer leaves, or is billed for her first trip the 25th inst one boat or scow is already in from up river so the boats will soon be running in full blast and probibly we will get some mail then. There are thousands of people going out and there are several thousand that cannont get out on accoount of not having the money. if the Government dont help some of these people out there may be some danger of getting robbed there is or has been a good many holdups already but am not much afraid of losing my sack. however it is wise to look out fore there are many thugs and toughs in here for that business. but the police handle them pretty rough when caught. Lee is thinking of stopping in the west untill Christmas dont think I will do any thing like that when I get to the states as the first thing will be to see my Girl & Boy, although I may stop a few days on the coast and at Denver, Col. but not long There has been some big fires in Dawson lately one fire burned $1,000,000.00 dollars worth of property. Lee said to tell you he was coming to see you soon as he got home. he didnt say he wanted me to be there either. he threatened to drop a bucket on Franks or my head once but we never gave him the chance.
Dear I will close hoping to heare from you soon
Love to all
From Everett Barton

[ed. note 21 May is the anniversary of wedding of Georgia H. & Everett Barton; married on May 21, 1893]