This collection of essays honors beloved Alaska historian Terrence Cole upon his retirement. Contributors include former students and colleagues whose personal and professional lives he has touched deeply. The pieces range from appreciative reflections on Cole’s contributions in teaching, research, and service, to topics he encouraged his students to pursue, plus pieces he inspired directly or indirectly. It is an eclectic collection that spans the humanities and social sciences, each capturing aspects of the human experience in Alaska’s vast and variable landscape. Together the essays offer readers complementary perspectives that will delight Cole’s many fans—and gain him new ones.
No college campus in America has a wilder or more magnificent natural setting than that of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This history of UAF commemorates the colorful past of one of America's most unusual educational institutions. It tells the story of how the University of Alaska Fairbanks has changed the lives of thousands of people over the past seventy-five years.
The crookedest street in Fairbanks, an Alaskan sourdough once said, is rightly named for town founder E. T. Barnette. Crooked Past, Terrence Cole's lively history of Fairbanks examines one of Alaska's most notorious con men. Barnette, a footloose fortune hunter who had served time in an Oregon penitentiary, came north during the Klondike gold rush of 1897-1898. He struck it rich after founding the city of Fairbanks in the early 1900s. Yet less than ten years later he was run out of the territory and allegedly disappeared in Mexico, becoming the most hated man in the town he founded and fled.
When Alaskans in the 1950s demanded an end to "second-class citizenship" of territorial status, southern powerbrokers on Capitol Hill were the primary obstacles. They feared a forty-ninth state would tip the balance of power against segregation, and therefore keeping Alaska out of the Union was simply another means of keeping black children out of white schools.
C.W. "Bill" Snedden, the publisher of America's farthest north daily newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, helped lead the battle of the Far North against the Deep South. Working behind the scenes with his protege, a young attorney named Ted Stevens, and a fellow Republican newspaperman, Secretary of Interior Fred Seaton, Snedden's "magnificent obsession" would open the door to development of the oil fields at Prudhoe Bay, inspire establishment of the Arctic Wildlife Range (now the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge), and add the forty-ninth star to the flag.
Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star is the story of how the publisher of a little newspaper four thousand miles from Washington, D.C., helped convince Congress that Alaskans should be second-class citizens no more.
In this humorous and upbeat memoir, James Wickersham describes his career as a pioneer judge and later as a congressional representative assigned to a vast, snow-covered district, extending over 300,000 square miles in the undeveloped Alaska Territory. Wickersham’s many adventures include traveling by dogsled over hundreds of miles through snow-covered mountains; serving as judge for the trials of many famous outlaws in the midst of the gold strikes; and hunting, mining, and climbing in his local Alaska wilderness. Though he was instrumental in the early history of Alaska, and his legacy is evident throughout the state—for example, he named the city of Fairbanks—this is the first and only work to focus on Wickersham’s life during this pivotal time in Alaska’s history.