George W. Carmack papers, 1869-1994  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Carmack, George W. (George Washington), 1860-1922
Title
George W. Carmack papers
Dates
1869-1994 (bulk)
1881-1990 (bulk)
Quantity
1.21 cubic ft. (5 boxes)
Collection Number
5176 (Accession No. 5176-001)
Summary
Gold miner whose discovery claim at Bonanza Creek on August 17, 1896, started the Klondike Gold Rush
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to all users.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was partially provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

George Washington Carmack (1860-1922) was a miner whose discovery claim at Bonanza Creek on August 17, 1896, started the Klondike Gold Rush.

After deserting the United States Marine Corps in 1882, George Carmack lived among the Tagish Indians in the Yukon Valley along with his common law wife, Kate Carmack, and their daughter, Graphie. Kate's brother, Skookum Jim, and Jim's nephew, Tagish Charlie, also made their fortunes mining for gold as partners of Carmack.

George and Kate later moved to a ranch near Hollister, California, and lived with George's sister, Rose Watson (later Rose Curtis). George eventually left California, parting ways with Kate as well as his former partners. He left Kate and Graphie with Rose, and in 1900 George married Marguerite Laimee in Olympia, Washington. Kate, illiterate and nearly destitute, began a difficult legal battle to prove she was George's wife and entitled to alimony. She eventually dropped the case in hopes of winning back her husband. When this attempt failed, she settled in Carcross, Alaska, where she died in 1920. After Carmack's death in 1922, Graphie, now married to Marguerite's brother, and Rose challenged Marguerite's appointment as administratrix of Carmack's estate. The case was settled out of court.

In 1990, James A. Johnson published Carmack of the Klondike . The book was republished in 2001 as George Carmack: The Man of Mystery Who Set Off the Klondike Gold Rush .

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Approximately half of the records are the personal papers of George Carmack. Included are letters, court documents, legal documents, and photocopies of photographs of George Carmack. The bulk of the letters were written by Carmack to his sister, Rose Watson. James Wickersham's correspondence documents his research on Carmack. The court papers relate to the legal battles over Carmack's estate. There are separate subgroups for the papers of his first wife, Kate Carmack, and for the research papers of his biographer, James A. Johnson.

The Kate Carmack subgroup consists mainly of correspondence with her attorney, John H. Durst, from the period 1900-1901.

The James A. Johnson subgroup includes correspondence with publishers and Carmack's heirs pertaining to the writing and publication of Johnson's biography of Carmack, Carmack of the Klondike (1990), as well as a manuscript for the book.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from this collection in digital format

Restrictions on Use

Literary rights originally granted to James A. Johnson by Mrs. Arthur Howard, grand-niece of Carmack's wife, Marguerite, and other heirs were transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Incoming Letters, 1883, 1991, 1921Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/1

 Outgoing Letters, 1883-1912Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/2-9

Correspondence of OthersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/10
Other Family Members
1899-1906
1/11-12
Wickersham, James
1938-1939
1/13
Re: Mason, James
1938

Notes, 1883-1884Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 1/14

Military RecordsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/15
Enlistment Papers - United States Marine Corps
1881
1/16
Deck Logs of USS Wachusetts
1882

Court PapersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/17
Saftig and Curtis v. Carmack
1922
1/18 1923
2/1-2
Re: Estate of George W. Carmack
1924
2/3
Frye v. Carmack
1924
2/4
Re: Estate of Carmack
1925
2/5
Re: Estate of Carmack
1926
2/6-7
Re: Estate of Marguerite P. Carmack
1942
2/8
Frye v. Carmack
n.d.
2/9
From Washington Supreme Court
n.d.
2/10-11
Briefs - Supreme Court of the State of Washington
n.d.
3/1-3
Briefs - Supreme Court of the State of Washington
n.d.

Legal Documents - Marriage Certificate, 1900Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 3/4

Legal Documents of Others, 1913-1938, n.d.Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 3/5

PublicationsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
3/6
"Early Days at Caribous Crossing and the Discovery of Gold on the Klondike," "The Klondike News"
1898; 1950

Financial Records of Others, 1913Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 3/7

Photographs (Photocopies), 1869-1990, n.d.Return to Top

Container(s): Box-folder 3/8

Kate Carmack PapersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4-1/4
Incoming Letters
1900-1901
4/5-7
Outgoing Letters
1900-1901
4/8-12
General Correspondence of Durst, John H.
1900-1901
4/13
Financial Records
1901

James A. Johnson PapersReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
4/14
Incoming Letters
1960-1994
4/15
Outgoing Letters
1987-1990
4/16
Publications - Carmack of the Klondike
1990
5/1-17
Writings - The Carmack Story
n.d.
5/18
Interview Notes with Mrs. Arthur H. Howard
1974
5/19
Lists
n.d.
5/20
Clippings
1987

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Claims against decedents' estates--West (U.S.)
  • Gold miners--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Archives
  • Pioneers--Yukon Territory--Klondike River Valley--Archives
  • Personal Names :
  • Carmack, George W. (George Washington), 1860-1922--Archives
  • Carmack, George W. (George Washington), 1860-1922--Estate
  • Carmack, George W. (George Washington), 1860-1922--Family
  • Carmack, Kate--Archives
  • Durst, John H
  • Johnson, James Albert, 1905- --Archives
  • Wickersham, James, 1857-1939
  • Geographical Names :
  • Klondike River Valley (Yukon)--Gold discoveries
  • Yukon Territory--Gold discoveries
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Legal documents
  • Titles within the Collection :
  • Carmack of the Klondike
  • Other Creators :
    • Personal Names :
    • Carmack, Kate (creator)
    • Johnson, James Albert, 1905- (creator)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Personal Papers/Corporate Records (University of Washington)