1903 Letter about John H Pappe's
Death in Alaska

To Richard Pappe from George Krasting

John Hermann Pappe (1854-1903) went to Alaska sometime between 1897 and 1903 in search of gold. With a partner named Dan Headman he filed a claim and with also purchased a steam boat with another partner, George Krasting. This letter from Krasting describes the death of John Pappe, who froze to death on March 5th, 1903 while hiking overland to his camp.

The transcription below reflects the exact text of the handwritten letter including the original spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Rampart Alaska
April 1, 1903

Dear sir!
I am sorry to halfto write you this Bad news so I will tell you how it Happened John Pappe your Brother started on a 40 miles journey with Dan Hedman a pardner of his to go to a camp wich they had made some too months Before they started at 7 oclock in the morning with a sleigh load of Provisions they got 17 miles when they had lunch then they started on and struck overflow.  They waded right through with mockesons on of course they got their feet wet then they traveled a few miles before they struck the next overflow.  then they Put on their rubber Boots.  Dan had dry socks to put on. John didn’t have any so he put on his Boots without socks so instead of getting up on the Bank and Building a fire they left their sleigh ax showshoes and grub to eat so they plunged along until Johns feet was frose so he pulled off his Boots and dan rubbed them with snow but only made it worse as it was about 25 Below zero and the snow was from 4 to 5 feet deep. So they managed to get their mockisons on John was existed at this time so Dan helped him along until until he couldn’t get him any farther so they crawled that far so John almost froze to deth then he only said to dan I am cold give me a smoke but Dan couldn’t strike a match he Breathed his last then Dan could not arouse him any more this was about halfpast three in the morning Dan went on to camp which was about 5 miles wich took him until eight Oclock in the morning he stid the next day their then he came to Omega creek to see me and told what happened that John had frose to deth so it was so bad wether storming for two weeks I could not get their so he laid their two weeks Wether got Better so I got help and a dog team and took him to Rampart and Beried him the best way I knowed how. I am pardner in the Boat the North Star John had two thirds I one third. The Judge at Rampart wanted to appoint a Administrator to sell the steamer at public Auction but I refused and explained that if it would be sold at Auction it would not pay expenses as wages is $10.00 a day two men a day to take him for Burial also a team to holl him over to town. I will do the Best I can to sell the Boat at the Best atvantage and I want to hear from you as soon as Possible

Yours Truly

George Krasting

My Address Rampart City Alaska


return to History Page


Click to enlarge

Terms of use: The content of this website is presented here for use by the Pappe family. It shall not be copied, displayed on any external website, published, printed or used in any way without written permission from the Pappe family.

Copyright © 2009, All rights reserved