Page:The cruise of the Corwin.djvu/59

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CHAPTER II

AMONG THE ISLANDS OF BERING SEA

St. Paul, Alaska, May 23, 1881.

about four o'clock yesterday morning the Corwin left Unalaska, and arrived at St. Paul shortly after noon to-day, the distance being about one hundred and ninety miles. This is the metropolis of the Fur Seal Islands, situated on the island of St. Paul—a handsome village of sixty-four neat frame cottages, with a large church, schoolhouse, and priest's residence, and a population of nearly three hundred Aleuts, and from twelve to twenty whites.

It is interesting to find here an isolated group of Alaskan natives wholly under white influence and control, and who have hi great part abandoned their own pursuits, clothing, and mode of life in general, and adopted that of the whites. They are all employed by the Alaska Commercial Company as butchers, to kill and flay the hundred thousand seals that they take annually here and at the neighboring island of St. George. Their bloody work lasts about two months, and they earn in this time from three hundred to six hundred dollars apiece, being paid forty cents per skin.