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Inventory of the Michael A. Healy Papers, 1881-1900
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Captain Michael Healy (1839-1904), commander of the Revenue Cutters "Corwin" and "Bear" was the presence of the law off the coast of Alaska in the late 19th century. Although his primary function was to prevent the contraband sale of guns and alcohol to the natives and to control the illegal slaughter of seals, he was acclaimed for his fearless efforts to save the lives of seamen marooned in the Arctic. He was also concerned for the Eskimos, whose food supply was being depleted by the decreasing number of seals and walrus. Together with the missionary Sheldon Jackson, he initiated a plan to bring Siberian reindeer into Alaska. Healy bargained with the Siberian tribesmen for purchase of the animals, then ferried the shiploads of reindeer across the Bering Straits to establish the herds.
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