Can you find the Klondike diary of Edward Magawly Banon?

Another “crowdsourcing challenge” for you folks who read this site…


The ornate jacket of Banon’s diary (image credit: Alexander Street)

We all-too-rarely see documentation of Chinuk Wawa as used in the Yukon. Here’s such a record, apparently using both CW and German, as well as English.

I’d love to see the original of this diary. This was found in a database of settler diaries about 20 years ago.

Can you track a copy of the document down?

  • Maybe all it will take is academic institutional access to Alexander Street online.
  • Or privileges at a physical university library.
  • As an independent scholar, I currently have neither. (Want to get your university to issue me privileges?…) 😎

Here’s the excerpt I was able to copy years ago. — Dave R.

Page 13

Diary of Edward Magawly Banon, June, 1897
June 2ND

We launched the Wild Goose today. Boy, she leaked all around, she was
pitched yesterday. It was rather too quick a job I guess, but damn this
leaking. (Note: Some lines on May 20th and June 2nd follow in German and

June 5TH

First day out. We leave camp today 3:00 p. m. We have a larger boat than we
expected and draw . . . . inches, our barge is 14 feet bottom, 18 feet top,
4 feet side, 6 feet beam, she leaks considerably, kept me bailing all day.
Our sail is too small and we made bad time. Towards evening the breeze
became very strong and cold. The Cushmans and Captain Frost start with us.
Cushman has trouble with his sail, which is a little large. We camp around
the point opposite the island on the West side. It is an ideal camping
ground. The scenery is beautiful. We arrive at 6:30 a. m. It is a beautiful
morning, a dead calm, just warm enough to be pleasant. The formation around
is fine. The snow has almost left the tops of the mountains, ought to be
good sheep hunting.

June 7TH

We depart, wind high round the windy arm. Wild Goose goes all right but
takes in so much water that it keeps me bailing all the time. Camp for
night on head of Tagish just above Kerry’s saw mill. We arrange to go down
with the Cushmans and Captain Frost who state they intend going to Circle.
We believe we can make better time. The Cushmans having two large boats and
but three to manage them. They believe they will have trouble in the river.
They ask us several times to join them. We decide to do so with the
understanding that we are all going to Circle. We depart in a dead calm.
Cushman, Captain Frost and myself in one boat, Jack and Cushman in other.
We get our first taste of mosquitoes tonight at supper and all get badly
bitten. On west shore of Tagish we sleep and camp along lake. Very foolish.

June 9TH

We pull for East shore and camp all day on account of calm. Should have
rowed to Police Station.

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?