A Schoolteacher In Old Alaska

The Story of Hannah Breece

Publisher: Vintage Canada
When Hannah Breece came to Alaska in 1904, it was a remote lawless wilderness of prospectors, murderous bootleggers, tribal chiefs, and Russian priests. She spent fourteen years educating Athabascans, Aleuts, Inuit and Russians with the stubborn generosity of a born teacher and the clarity of an original and independent mind. Jane Jacobs, Hannah's great-niece, here offers an historical context to Breece's remarkable eyewitness account, filling in the narrative gaps, but always allowing the original words to ring clearly. It is more than an adventure story: it is a powerful work of women's history that provides important—and, at times, unsettling—insights into the unexamined assumptions and attitudes that governed white settlers’ behaviour toward native communities at the turn of the century.