About Alaska, U.S., Jail Book of St Michael Island, 1899-1905
About the Alaska, U.S., Jail Book of St. Michael Island, 1899-1905
General collection information
This collection consists of log books of people incarcerated at the St. Michael Island Jail between 1899 and 1905. The jail was located on Norton Sound on the western coast of Alaska. Entries in the log books are handwritten in English and include names, aliases, and admission dates for each individual. The books include information about the crimes committed or the length of a person's jail sentence, however this information is only available in the record image.
Using this collection
The log books in this collection may include the following information:
The records in this collection can be used to verify that your ancestor was admitted to St. Michael Island Jail on a specific date.
Collection in context
The log books were created by officials working for the Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Marshal for the Fourth Division of the District of Alaska in Fairbanks. Alaska was a federal district until it became a U.S. territory in 1912. The collection includes images of the original log books, which are primary historical sources. The original documents are housed at the National Archives in Seattle, Washington.
The jail log books were created at a time when the towns of St. Michael and Stebbins were inhabited primarily by Indigenous Alaskans and Russian immigrants. A U.S. military fort was established in the area in 1897. From the late 1890s until about 1909, central Alaska was at the center of gold rush fever, which brought a new population to the region. St. Michael was a port of entry through the Yukon River to Alaska and western Canada during the Klondike gold rush in 1897 and 1898. The Nome gold rush from 1899 to 1909 occurred just across Norton Sound from St. Michael. It is possible that some of the individuals listed in these jail log books were in the area because of the gold rushes.
Bill, Laurel. "St. Michael Alaska Awakens." Aunt Phil's Trunk. Accessed June 8, 2022. https://auntphilstrunk.com/st-michael-alaska-awakens/.
National Archives and Records Administration. "US Marshals Jail Book of St. Michael Island, 1899-1905." Accessed June 8, 2022. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/159259647.
National Park Service. "What was the Klondike Gold Rush?" Last modified December 16, 2021. https://www.nps.gov/klgo/learn/goldrush.htm.
Samuelson, Laura. "Looking Back: The 1900 Nome Gold Rush." Alaska Historical Society. Accessed June 8, 2022. https://alaskahistoricalsociety.org/looking-back-the-1900-nome-gold-rush-5/.
Welcome to St. Michael. "History." Accessed June 8, 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20090304043242/http://www.kawerak.org/tribalHomePages/stMichael/index.html.