In a Far Country: The True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898by John Taliaferro
In the fall of 1897, eight whaling ships became trapped in the ice on Alaska's northern coast. Without relief, two hundred whalers would starve to death by winter's end. Mercifully, an extraordinary missionary, Tom Lopp, and seven Eskimo herders embarked on a harrowing journey to save the whalers, driving four hundred reindeer more than seven hundred untracked
In the fall of 1897, eight whaling ships became trapped in the ice on Alaska's northern coast. Without relief, two hundred whalers would starve to death by winter's end. Mercifully, an extraordinary missionary, Tom Lopp, and seven Eskimo herders embarked on a harrowing journey to save the whalers, driving four hundred reindeer more than seven hundred untracked miles.
At the heart of the rescue expedition lies another, in some ways more compelling, journey. In a Far Country is the personal odyssey of Tom and his wife Ellen Lopp 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. The Lopps pulled through on grit and wits, on humility and humor, on trust and love, and by the grace of God. Their accomplishment would surely have received broader acclaim had it not been eclipsed by two simultaneous events: the Spanish- American War and the Alaska gold rush. The United States and its territories were transformed abruptly and irrevocably by these fits of expansionist fever, and despite the thoughtful, determined guidance of the Lopps, the natives of the North were soon overwhelmed by a force mightier than the fiercest Arctic winter: the twentieth century.
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Meet the Author
John Taliaferro is a former senior editor at Newsweek and the author of three acclaimed books, Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore, Charles M. Russell: The Life and Legend of America's Cowboy Artist, and Tarzan Forever: The Life of Edgar Rice Burroughs. He lives in Pray, Montana, and Austin, Texas.
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She runs here andlooks around for a way across. Then she finds an opening in a tree and goes in it, to a secret tunnel...
I think that this is a great book. It has great descriptions of the characters. verry good book!
Two endearing characters give the reader a realistic picture of 1890's Alaska through the eyes of non-natives. A not so rosy picture of the whaling and mining industries and its impact on the natives in Alaska at that time. The Lopps, stationed in a town along the frigid waters of the Bering Strait, are culturally-sensitive missionaries who set out to bring Christianity to the natives of Alaska but end up learning more from the natives over their 12 or so years while stationed there. In spite of the frigid conditions, lack of even the basics,lack of communication with their lower 48 relatives, the Lopps revel in their life in Alaska, the life they make for themselves, their children and the natives. Well-researched story of the Overland Relief Expedition (which I knew nothing about) to bring supplies to whalers who got themselves iced in for the winter during 1898. Great history of reindeer/caribou populations. This book gives the reader a great sense of the geography of Alaska I flipped back and forth between the map and the story. So now I know where the Chuckchi Sea is! Don't forget to read the epilogue...it sheds a lot of light on the Lopps' years after leaving Alaska for Seattle. The Bibliography is well-worth perusing as well.