This collection contains papers of U. S. Cutter ship captain Michael A. Healy (1839-1904) who commanded the
U.S. Revenue Cutters "Corwin" and "Bear" off the Alaskan coast in
the mid 1880s, and his family. Subjects include Alaska; the ships the "Bear" and the "Corwin"; the United Staets Revenue Cutter
Service; and whalers and whaling.
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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