In a Far Country: The True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898
In a Far Country The True Story of a Mission a Marriage a Murder and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898 Author:John Taliaferro In the fall of 1897, eight whaling ships became trapped in the ice on Alaska's northern coast. Without relief, 200 whalers would surely starve to death by winter's end. In a Far Country is the story of an unprecedented and epically heroic trek to save them. Leading the rescue mission was the extraordinary missionary Tom Lopp. In rich and... more » vivid prose, John Taliaferro tells of how Lopp and seven native Eskimo herders drove 400 reindeer over 700 untracked miles. He also depicts the personal odyssey of Tom and his wife, Ellen--their commitment to the natives and the rugged but happy life they built for themselves amid a treeless tundra at the top of the world. Their accomplishment would surely have received broader acclaim had it not been eclipsed by two simultaneous events: the Spanish-American Warand the Alaska gold rush. Despite the Lopps' determined efforts, the natives of the North were soon overwhelmed by a force mightier than the fiercest Arctic winter: the twentieth century.« less
The mission and the marriage are the true focal points of this book, which chronicles the experiences of two late 1800s missionaries setting up early schools among the natives in Alaska. The reindeer rescue itself was somewhat anticlimactic, but you care so much about the people by the time you get there that it doesn't matter. Very interesting look at native life, including how their justice system works when the murder comes into play. Highly recommended. I thoroughly enjoyed it.