|Judge James Wickersham|
Judge James Wickersham was the Renaissance man of Alaska. Not only was he an author, judge, and territorial delegate to Congress, but he also enjoyed dog sled travel and mountain climbing.
He came to Alaska by appointment to the 3rd Judicial Division. The territory needed “cleaning up” after Judge Noyes was embroiled in the Nome claim jumpers’ conspiracy. Wickersham was the perfect person for the job, and he energetically traveled throughout the district putting things in order. He was a firm believer in justice for all, including Alaska Natives, which at the time was not a sentiment shared by some who migrated there.
|Denali (Mt. McKinley) photo by Lynn Lovegreen|
He also worked with E. T. Barnette to promote the town of Fairbanks as a hub for the interior of Alaska, and was instrumental in getting federal help to rebuild the town after the 1906 fire. That’s how he came to have a cameo role in my book Golden Days. The photo here is of his Fairbanks home, moved to Pioneer Park. His house in Juneau is also preserved for posterity.
Wickersham is mentioned in my upcoming book, Gold Nuggets, because of his role in establishing Mount McKinley National Park (now called Denali National Park and Preserve). As Alaska’s delegate to Congress, he introduced the bill and encouraged the measure for years until it passed in 1917. He also persuaded his fellow congressmen to pass the Home Rule Act, and the creation of the Alaska Railroad and what is now the University of Alaska.
Judge Wickersham was a remarkable man in a remarkable time. His name is still revered by many Alaskans. He enjoyed Alaska’s people and natural wonders, and did his best to make it a better place.
Gold Nuggets, last of Lynn Lovegreen's Gold Rush series.
|(Cover by Joan Alley at Prism)|
About Gold Nuggets:
In the shadow of Denali, she has a home, and he finds adventure. Charlotte Cooper wants to stay near her parents' home in Alaska. But her dreams of being a writer call her away to college or work, and she has to choose her own path in life.
Henry Reeves is a wealthy New Yorker seeking a summer adventure when he travels to Kantishna near the proposed Mt. McKinley National Park. He discovers two passions, one for Charlotte, and the other for keeping Alaska wildlife from being wiped out like the buffalo.
Charlotte and Henry find an attraction they can’t deny, but can they build a new life together between the wilderness and high society?
Excerpt from GOLD NUGGETS:
Henry swatted at the mosquitoes again. Charlotte was glad she had a net over her hat. She heard the louder buzz of a bee as she looked for the next bend in the river.
Stinky wiped the white stubble around his mouth like he was trying not to laugh. “Bees doan like it when you swat ’em.”
Henry inspected his right wrist. “I think I’m allergic to bees.”
“You think you’re allergic?” She hoped he wasn’t.
“Last time I had a bee sting, it got all swollen.”
If that was all, that wouldn’t be too bad. “Well, we’ll see if it happens again.”
“And I had a little trouble breathing. Not very much.”
She took another breath.
“The last time, I was hunting, too. My father and I were deer hunting in the Adirondacks. We spend a lot of time hunting and fishing. I practically grew up outdoors.”
That was probably true by New York standards, but he still seemed like a cheechako to her. A greenhorn.
He scratched at his wrist.
“Don’t scratch it. That’ll make it worse,” she said. It was already pink.
They passed by a creek tumbling down the hills to the east and turned another bend in the river. When she looked at Henry’s wrist again, there was a pink lump. Henry scratched it again as he looked up at an eagle circling overhead.
“Is that an eagle?”
“Yes, a golden eagle. Stop scratching at it. Here, put this over it.” She untied the bandanna from around her neck and tied it over the sting. As she touched his skin, she felt an electric thrill that she hadn’t expected.
“Thank you, Sharon.”
“Charlotte. My name is Charlotte.”
His face was red again when she looked up. “I’m sorry, Charlotte. I keep putting my foot in my mouth. Thank you again, Charlotte.”
He couldn’t even get her name right. Maybe he was just bad at names. Some people were. But she hadn’t felt anything like the sensation when she’d touched his hand. Was it because he was so attractive? Or just part of his vibrant energy?
“You’re welcome.” She was starting to get concerned about his bee sting. It was swelling quite a bit. At least his breathing seemed all right. He was irritating, but she didn’t want him to get sick.
One more turn to the right, and then they were home. They navigated the last stretch and brought the boat in to the loading dock. Charlotte glanced at the bandanna on Henry’s wrist as Daddy and Stinky unloaded the supplies.
“I think we’d better show your bee sting to Mama. She can put something on it for you.” She grabbed his left hand and pulled him toward the house, ignoring the vibration that went through her at touching him.
“Thank you, that’s very kind.”
About Lynn Lovegreen:
Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at www.lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest. Her novels Fools Gold, Quicksilver to Gold, Golden Days, Gold Nuggets, and novella Worth Her Weight in Gold are available through Prism Book Group or your favorite book vendor.
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