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A Schoolteacher in Old Alaska: The Story of Hannah Breece

What a fascinating book. This book was well off the beaten path of what I usually pick up and I don’t even remember how I got it. It’s a story told by the grandchildren (or other relations, I don’t think she had kids) of the woman portrayed about how she went north to Alaska to help with the education efforts there. Alaska in her day was a near total wilderness and the US Government was involved in trying to Christianize and Americanize the native people living there. Accordingly they send schoolteachers to this not-yet-state territory to set up establishments and generally keep an eye on things. Hannah Breece was a spirited woman, up to the challenge, whose story is told through letters and research done after the fact by Jane Jacobs who followed some of her paths through Alaska years later. It’s illustrated with several great old photographs including a few taken by Breece herself.