Steaming To The North

ISBN: 978-1-60223-238-9

by Katherine C. Donahue & David C. Switzer

On a rugged frontier where the ocean was king, most laws came from those who ruled the sea, and few ships policed the western Arctic like the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear. Commissioned into the organization that would eventually become the U.S. Coast Guard, the Bear patrolled and charted the waters of Alaska and Siberia, bringing medical care, saving lives, and dealing out justice when needed. The ship’s crew and famous captain, the fiery Michael Healy, looked out for Natives and Americans alike in a time when Alaska was adjusting to its new status as a U.S. territory.

Steaming to the North follows the Bear from May to October 1886 as it takes its first summer cruise from San Francisco up to Point Barrow and back again. This is the first book to exhibit the photographs taken by Third Lt. Charles Kennedy of New Bedford, introducing rarely seen photos of the last sail and steam whaling ships, capturing early interactions of Natives with white whalemen and explorers, and showing lives otherwise lost to time. Essays follow the logbook of the cruise and allow readers to vividly ride alongside the crew on a history making voyage.


I would recommend this book to our readers who are interested in this particular era.

Published by

University of Chicago Press
c/o John Wiley and Sons,
1 Oldlands Way
Bognor Regis
West Sussex
PO22 9SA



Hardback: 203mm x 253mm
124 pp illustrated
Price: US$50


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