Carmack of the Klondike


166 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-920663-10-9
DDC 971.9'102'092




Reviewed by W.H. Heick

W.H. Heick is a professor of History at Wilfrid Laurier University.


Carmack of the Klondike is a fictionalized chronicling of the effects on
the lives of George Carmack, his family, and his acquaintances of the
discovery (made by Carmack) that began the Klondike gold rush.

Johnson depicts Carmack being gripped by gold fever and migrating to
the Yukon, then describes the logic behind the successful strike for
gold on Bonanza Creek, Carmack’s relationships with his Tagish Indian
partners and wife, and his use of his Yukon wealth to invest in Seattle
real estate and his other economic enterprises. Carmack’s death led to
a long contest among his relatives for his estate.

The prime historical evidence that forms the basis for this book is the
40-year correspondence between Carmack and his sister. Johnson augmented
this source by interviewing Carmack’s daughter and some of his
acquaintances, examining government documents, and perusing contemporary
newspapers. He has created dialogue in numerous places in an attempt to
enliven his story.


Johnson, James Albert., “Carmack of the Klondike,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 28, 2022,