The New Student's Reference Work/Aleutian Islands or Catharine Archipelago
Aleutian Islands or Catharine Archipelago, a group of over 150 islands, volcanic as well as rocky in their foundation, which extend southwestward from the Alaskan peninsula across the northern Pacific and between the latter ocean and Bering Sea. They are populated by a hardy race, between 2,000 and 3,000 in number, allied to the Eskimo stock, who subsist chiefly on seals and fish. There is little agriculture, for the soil is thin and poor, and the vegetation is stunted and insignificant. The islands, which form part of Alaska and with that northwestern peninsula belong to the United States, were discovered early in the eighteenth century by Bering, the Danish navigator. The inhabitants as a rule are of a low order of intelligence, use primitive implements in their work, and live in winter in crude dugouts and underground dwellings. They have been Christianized by Russian missionaries and are nominally attached to the Greek church. Their food, in addition to the fish they catch, includes foxes and reindeer. The Fox Islands form the larger and more populous portion of the archipelago, which extends along both sides of the parallel of 55 north latitude, separating the Northern Pacific from the Sea of Kamchatka. See Alaska.