In Sepp, Nina Kristin Nilsen writes about one of the most exciting destinies in Norwegian emigration history. Leonhard Seppala was of Kven lineage – from Skibotn in Troms. He emigrated to the United States in 1900, during the gold rush in Alaska. Nilsen writes about this era, the gold miners, immigrants and life in the Arctic in a way that will leave the reader breathless.
But Seppala's greatest claim to fame (in his time, he was one of America's best known people) didn't come from gold mining, but from dog mushing. When the small gold mining community of Nome – on the furthest west coast of Alaska, by the Barents Sea – was struck by a diphtheria epidemic, it couldn't be reached by neither boat nor plane.
It was mid-winter, with temperatures down to 45 degrees below zero and winds of over 35 m/s. In a sled relay that was followed by all of the United States via telegraph lines, the dog teams struggled through the Arctic tundra – and when they reached their destination, a new set of heroes was born.
To the top