Project Canterbury

The Alaskan Missions of the Episcopal Church
A brief sketch, historical and descriptive

by Hudson Stuck, D.D.
Archdeacon of the Yukon

New York: Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, 1920.

Chapter I. The Purchase--Before and After

Chapter II. Our First Alaskan Missions

Chapter III. The Coming of the Bishop

Chapter IV. The Invasion of the Gold Seekers

Chapter V. Expansion and Contraction

Chapter VI. By Dog-Sled or Launch

Chapter VII. Some Special Fields

Chapter VIII. A Summing Up

I REGARD it as a great honour to be asked to contribute a preface to this book on our Missions in Alaska. The book is itself a preface from the fact that it opens the door to the beginnings of Christian work in Alaska upon which the structure of the Kingdom of God is now being built.

The scholarly author knows whereof he writes. For sixteen years he has been in Alaska, interested in its welfare, sympathetic in the needs of its people, a keen observer and investigator, and an enthusiastic builder in the growing Kingdom of God.

The public has already become charmed with the author's literary ability in the books which he has already written and published on Alaska, and I am sure that it will be equally interested in this narrative of our Missions.

As it is always most interesting to see and study the beginnings of anything, whether it be the source of some mighty river or the cause of some invention that has resulted in the world's progress, so must it be in the affairs of the Spirit, which, though silently, are no less surely, working out God's will in the upward movement of mankind.

Archdeacon Stuck has given the Church, in this book, an interesting, lucid and vigorous narrative of Missions in Alaska which in our study classes will be inspiring, and I heartily beg to commend the same.



THIS book is sent forth with the full realization of its weaknesses and limitations. While its author has received every possible assistance from the officers of the Department of Missions, yet much of it was written remote from any books of reference and at such intervals of time as have worked against its organic homogeneousness. The author is conscious that the book lies open to the criticism that the work in the interior has been over-stressed as against the work on the coast. He would plead that at the hand of one who has spent his whole Alaskan ministry in the interior, this could not be avoided however he might strive. While the author is one of the only two persons--the other being the Bishop--who have visited every mission station of the Church in Alaska, yet his stay at the ice-freed towns of its Pacific coast--the most important points in the whole of the territory--has been brief, and at some of them he has touched only once.

The plan of the book, which sought in the main to be chronological, presented another difficulty, for places once mentioned had either to be done with out of hand or else returned to again and again. Thus it has come about that the book is much more without consistent plan than was desired, for which, after all, inherent weakness in the organizing of material may be more responsible than the causes above alleged, the limitations of the book thus reflecting the limitations of its author.

Project Canterbury