The deadly gold rush

In the 1890s, tens of thousands of people flocked to the Yukon in search of gold but were instead assailed by scurvy, bears and punishing cold. Felicity Aston relates how the Klondike gold rush turned into a grim battle for survival

Jubilant miners display a large gold nugget during the Klondike Gold Rush, c1897. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the December 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine

On the morning of Saturday 17 July 1897, the modest seaport of Seattle awoke to a sensation. The morning papers screamed the headline: “Gold! Gold! Gold! Gold! Sixty-Eight Rich Men on the Steamer Portland! Stacks of Yellow Metal!”

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