LEACH, Charles W. Group of Thirty-seven Autograph Letters, Signed, from Prospector and Cook, Charles W. leach, to His Wife and Son as He Hunted for Gold During the Klondike Gold Rush on the Copper River Near Port Valdez, Alaska, with Extensive Descriptions of the Difficulties in Acquiring and Preparing Food in the Mining Region]. [Various places, including San Francisco and Seattle, but mostly Valdez, Ak.]. February- September, 1898. Thirty-seven autograph letters, signed, of varying lengths, on quarto sheets and smaller, totaling approximately 180pp. of text. Plus twenty-six postmarked envelopes. Mostly quite clean with old folds and minor staining or splitting, one or two letters splitting more than the others. Overall very good. An exceptional collection of substantive, minutely detailed letters written by Charles W. Leach of Whitman, Massachusetts, over the course of an odyssey to the Copper River in Alaska in search of gold during the Klondike Gold Rush. Leach eloquently and exhaustively describes the journey, the scenery, the ins and outs of Gold Rush practice and trail culture, and his duties as a cook with continual wit, charm, and humanity. Alongside the engaging narrative of his adventure, these meticulous and thorough letters record the thought process and logistics behind planning and purchasing supplies (as well as details of weights and costs), booking passage to Alaska, how travel companies manipulated prospectors, the grueling business of how a group of men hauled a year's worth of supplies over a glacier, and how miners came together to solve personal problems and logistical challenges. Of special interest in these letters (and quite uncommon for a miner's archive), is a remarkable wealth of information about exactly what was eaten by this group of Massachusetts men on the trail in Alaska, how they acquired their food, and how it was prepared. There are descriptions of hunting for meat and fish, cooking sourdough bread, and preparing meals. Outside of his cooking reports, other anecdotes describe moving supplies, building boats to ferry gear down the (rapid and dangerous) river, sleeping on the snow, battling the ubiquitous mosquito, on-trail medicine and doctoring ("it's a tough thing, to have pneumonia on top of a glacier"), prices realized for gear sold by teams turning back (of which there wer.