Alaska Collectors' Club

Book Reviews

Murder By MailMurder by Mail and Other Postal Investigations
by Robert Bruce Clifton
Dorrance & Co., Ardmore, Pennsylvania
2nd ed. 1980, 225 pgs.

The author began his 24 year career as a US Postal Inspector in 1940’s Alaska. Many of the postal crimes and situations he describes take place in Alaska, including the 1922 dogsled mail robbery of $30,000 in currency being sent to McGrath; the 1946 wreck of the S.S. Yukon; the Medfra trading post and post office safe theft; the 1947 disappearance of packages sent from Anchorage to Kenai, etc. Some unique Alaskan stories and an insider’s view of postal crimes all make for good reading!

—Jim Zuelow

Sailing the Mail in AlaskaSailing the Mail in Alaska - The Maritime Years of Alaska Photographer John E. Thwaites, 1905 - 1912
by J. Pennelope Goforth
Cybrrcat Productions, Anchorage, Alaska
2003, 171 pgs.

Bob DeArmond, author and Alaska State Historian, accurately calls this book “A captivating insight into Alaska history.” Mr. Thwaites was the U.S. Railway Postal Service Clerk onboard the famed S.S. Dora from 1905 through 1912. An avid photographer, Thwaites recorded the scenes along one of the longest and most dangerous mail routes in the world. Ship wrecks, volcanic explosions, the frenzy of Bristol Bay cannery life, the first train from Seward to Anchorage: Thwaites recorded and wrote about them all. His postcards are especially popular with collectors today.This book is a "must" for anyone interested in the mails and Alaska history!

—Jim Zuelow

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