The Topic of the Month. The Rush to the Klondyke Gold-fields
Regular Feature, Editorial, News-Commentary
Geology, Stratigraphy, Mining, Glaciology, Creation
Observes that amidst the chaotic rush to begin mining the gold reserves recently discovered in Alaska, the 'geologists have been busy explaining how it is that there is gold in the valleys of the Klondyke creeks'. Their calculations, moreover, reveal that the 'gold found in placer deposits is but as the dust on the fringe' compared to that which is 'stored up in the quartz rock', and to 'locate the mother lode will be for years to come the modern nineteenth-century Western world substitute for the search for the Holy Grail'. Explains that the 'deposit of gold dust and of gold nuggets in the bed of the Klondyke creeks is due to the operation of very simple causes' by which 'Nature' works 'calmly and continuously in the course of ages. Her mill never stops'. (245) Declares that 'with patience God stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all', while also noting that 'Creation never stops, the streams are still dropping gold-dust from their heedless fingers into the pockets of their channels, and still the heavy gold nugget, glacier crushed, sinks down into the gravelly bottom, awaiting such time as Nature will seal it up again in her mighty safe of petrified conglomerate' (245–46).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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