"As I was
instructed to write and tell about my life, I may tell it so now. I
will try and tell just as nearest and truly as I can remember. It
is impossible to tell it in any otherwise if you know how to tell it yourself.
I am typing this on my typewriter that I bot in Nome.
My name is Ad-loo-at, and I was born at Kin-ge-gan (Cape Prince of Wales)
in some part of the month of December 1883 or 1884. When I began to know
and wake up like, I lived with my Uncle. When I was little boy, white man
came to our place and tell us there was a God in heaven and if we call to
him he will hear us. After that nobody come to tell us about God for a long
One time, my mother and father, brother, sister and me went to Siberia
trading in skin canoe. On way back, big storm came up and we think we drown.
Everybody was scared and were crying but I sit in the middle of the boat
and am crying also, but suddenly I remember the words of that man, there
is God in heaven and if you call he will hear you. I am poor eskimo boy -
I cannot speak english - I cannot pray, but something insides of me says
look up and so I looked up to those black clouds and quick as anything, all
the fraid went out of my heart and I am very happy. For many hours we struggled
with the wind and waves and reached the land. My people think they are very
lucky but I thinks that God has saved me.
Two weeks, three weeks, long time and that same joy and peace still
in my heart and then I know God speaks to me in that boat. I use tobacco
from little boy. After God speaks to me in boat, you thinks I stop to use
tobacco, I guess not. I likes God, I likes tobacco, I likes them both. No
teacher had come to my place to teach us but one day, walking along the beach,
the same voice speaks to me that speaks to me in the boat and says "What
for you use that stuff?" I know what he means and I says, I don't know. I
walks away and the voice speaks to me again and he says "What good is that
stuff anyway?". I thinks and says, no good I guess. I walks on more far
and the voice speaks to me third time and says "Why don't you quit?"----and
I must tell you how many people lived in my Uncles in-nie or house. My
Uncle had two wives, their children were seven, my cousin, my grandmother,
my half brother, my mother Wey-ak-k-new and myself. Only one man took cared
of them. Nearly all of us were trying to help all we could. Some of the
children need to get drifted wood, some of them helped in the home, some
of them get water. I used to hunt and fish with the older cousins part of
My Uncle was hunting sea animals all the time. He was a great hunter
of all kinds of games. I was told it was just a while before I was born that
he caught two bull head whales, two wild deer, two or three polar bears and
great many common seals and oo-grook (big seals). You see that was a great
catch for one year. It would take other men three or four years before
they get one. But my Uncle was good and intelligence land animal hunter.
He know just what time the animals would come around and also he knew just
exactly when to hunt them. One time he came home with a large oo-grook all
alone, you know it takes several men to haul one of those big oo-grook,
they are probably 8 or 9 feet long and at least 2 foot broad. One time he
came home with six common seals so we called these seals nek-sok. Oh my
(ah-non-ka) but he was a generous man as I ever saw in my life.
Some time we had not enough to eat when spring come. In month of April
and May these are the hardest months. Some time he caught a common seal
and when some one saw him hauling a seal, great many old women would come
and took almost every bit of that seal away, sometimes nothing left but the
head and the gats. I should think there would be 30 or 40 women come. I
will never forget my Uncle. His name was Ket-me-sook but I am sorry to say
that he died by shot himself by accident with a shot gun. He became
an old man, still he was a good hunter, he was hunting ducks that time when
he shot himself. It was in the month of Oct. 24, 1914 and he died in November.
Before we get this white food, we used to live on all kind of meat-on
fish, all kind of ducks, clams, black bead berries, green leaves and certain
kind of roots - this was in summer time. In winter time, seal meat, oo-grook
meat, polar bears meat and stowed up berries. In spring time the same thing
excepting and besides we gets these ducks, geese, cranes, big and small crab
too. I used to like to hunt them.
Sometimes I would be out all day fishing tom cods with a hook. I used
to hunt the flounders too. I would make a hole through the ice with a toock
and an ice scoop, make the hole looks like the track of a man, only larger.
Then I would lay down beside the hole on my side, just like I was going to
bed and then look down into the hole where I would see tom cods and flounders
come along from all directions and then I would speared them.
Ah-men-ka, some time I would be very cold, I would be shivering. I never
had clothes enough. My father left my mother when I was probably two or
three weeks old and I never had a brother of my own. My father never gave
me any food or clothes either. I used to make queer plans that how I would
treat my father when I grew to be a man, but instead of treating him bad,
I tried to treated him best I could. I used to feel that I wanted to revenge
but the Holy Bible tells us, Vengeance is mine, I will repay Thee. So I always
try to remember that when difficulties come.
My mother was married three times. Last man was pretty good hunter.
It may be I was six or seven years old. This man helped me very much and
he lived with my mother till he died. Sometimes he would come home with
4 or 5 seals. He caught 3 whales while I lived with him.
I used to go when he go hunting walrus in the spring. He was great for
story teller, but now I forgotten pretty nearly all of them. My step father
was an old timer I-pa-ney man, but he was pretty good and smart all the
same. That was in his canoe hunting. He caught these three whales with I-pa-ney
outfit. He was not believing in these white mens outfit of shoulder guns,
spears and bombs.
One time he was out hunting seals and we come to a big crack in the
ice, probably it was 2 miles to the ends. I left them on walk, when I got
to the middle of the ice, I found a big oo-grook laying on the ice by his
hole and then I crept on the ice silently to him and when I got close enough,
I shot him but I did not kill him dead. He went down under the water and there
I found him suffering and dying from his wounds. I shot him again on the
head and that time killed him. Before I shot him I was pitying him because
he was suffering so much. I didn't have any rope with me and so I took off
my belt and tied his lips to hold on with. Then I began to called but no
answer came. Then I called still more louder and at last there came a man
named Ah-pos-uk and another man named Ta-touk and another man named Ig-hun-ga.
I was very glad they came and help me. Then we dragged it to the canoe where
we could put it in and take it home. Dont you know that in olden time the
young man only got the head. They were glad to get the skin and they divided
the oo-grook up into several parts for their shares. You dont know how
much I was glad and proud of it when I came home that day because that
was the first one I killed.
I must tell you about the friends who come to help us, this was in 1900.
I was just big enough to walk about the village and saw them bringing long
things, that must be lumber and made big piles of them. Then afterwards
I saw them way up in the air -- that must be them build the house and set
up frame work. I thought that was great work when they finished that house.
They called it La-la-ka-yoke-tut-han.
They put up the se-le-ya-kie,
that must be they called the school and put up the seal skin banner. The
first English word I learned was harpoon, snow and ah-kra stove. I never
forget those kind faces, I can seem to look at them now. These were To-mo-rok
and At-es-uk, those were meant Mr. Lopp and and Mr. Thornton. I want to
tell you reader that those men had very hard time. Lots of trouble.
They the ones, first white men to live in this place. Lot of drunkards,
lot of quarrels in village then. Some people killed each other just be revenging
each other. So me, time when we were in school room, bad drunkards come
in, just break through door. One time an old drunkard women was kicking the
door and pounding it with a big stick because they wont let her in. My dear
reader, think you would stay another year if folks treat you like that? I
guess not. I think you would be anxious for summer to come so that you would
get out of it and leave that miserable place Kin-ge-gan. You think they left
that summer? I guess not. I think they anxious for us to learn fast as we
can to learn . I know they staid another year and another nearest as I could
Dont you know when you are young a year seems a very long time, so it
was with me that time. The good SS Bear brot them.
The kind looking faces I could remembered them. We called them na-loo-wok-mo-ut-ok-nod
which was meant white ladies. That na-loo-wok-mo-ut meant, those who lived
in white tanned seal skin because they are white like a white tanned seal
skin. I can remembered now how those ladies use to teach us how to read
and write. These were Mrs. Lopp and Mrs. Thornton. Another thing they taught
us about was God and His only Son Jesus.
One time, my step father caught a whale. Dont you know the old custom
when they caught a whale they never do anything. They claim when any one
does anything, he would probably affect himself from making or sewing, maybe
he would get sick or die. So that time I want to see whether it be true if
a harm will come to any one who does a thing. My parka was torn on the side
and I thought to myself, I will see if it is true and I sowed my parka right
before them all. Of course they were excited and told me to stop sewing if
I don't want to get sick, but I kept right on, only I turned toward them
and smiled. Of course it was not nice for me to acted that way but I wanted
to see whether it was true. My step father was very mad to me and scolded
me but I was just smiling again at him and that made him more mad. Probably
he thought I laughed at him. And my mother told me I better stop if I did
not want to get sick and die. I said to her, "Mother I was to try if this
was true I will be sick by morning. That night I was not sick at all and
that was only a story they tells, then I said to my mother, "Mother didn't
you see me sick this morning?" "You might get sick some time" she said,
but I was never get sick on that account.
I used to like to visit Mr. Lopp and I would stay for hours because it
was just a place I like to stay. Sometimes it would be midnight before
I would come home and they would simply tell me kindly, "I think you had
better go now for it is time for you to be home because your mother will
be worrying about you." They would tell me in eskimo and I used to keep
thinking, I hope they will not tell me to go home, Ah-non-ka I used to like
to stay at their house just because I like it very much. When they lived
in that old school house, I used to come around their house and look at
the window and look in and then I would think, I wish I could get in. I wish
I could live in a house like this.
When the school time come, we would go into the school room and set down
and they would look downward and say something that sounded like this,
"Cut padder oo wot een habben". We would be very puzzled about it but that
must be when they was say the Lord's prayer.
When I was a small boy, I used to have some sleeping visions and
it was about some big red things and a fine place and beautiful things.
When I saw pictures of big red houses, then I would remember my dreams.
Then, somehow rather I want to learn very much. I tried to go to school as
I got chance but don't you know anybody cannot learn much just by going to
school part of the time.
Another thing that bothered me when I tried to read, my step father said
things that were not suitable to me--when I heard there were fine schools
outside, there was one in the state of Pennsylvania and another at a place
called Unalaska and at that place was a home for children and one can learn
all he wants to. I felt I want to go and of course I said I would. Then he
asked the Captain of the Revenue Cutter Bear and after a while he told me
that Captain Jarvis would take me to Unalaska. I was very glad and may be
you don't know how glad I was and how much I thank Mr.Lopp but I didn't say
anything because I was bashful.
Before my parents go away I told my mother that I will go to Unalaska,
"Oh dear, don't go", she said and she cried and begged me not to go but
I said to her, "Mother, I will go whether you want me to go or not because
I can't learn here at all." She said, "probably you will never come back."
I told her I will come back in a few years. That summer they went on some
trading expedition and while they were gone, I went. I left Kin-ge-gan in
October 10, 1899. I must be about 16 then. Before I went, I told my cousin
Ki-uz-ruk, "I am going outside to learn more about the Bible and God and
after I have learned, I will come back and help you.
When I got to Unalaska, one of the SS Bear sailors took me to the Jesse
Lee home, a large two and a half story building at the end of the village.
There, I met Dr. Newhall first time and also Mrs. Newhall. I will never forget
what he said to me when I reached that home, "You are welcome to this house.
I will try to take care of you best I can." He and his loving wife did take
cared of me all through while I was with them. It was the 7th of October
1899. There doctor Newhall was very busy on the sick folks that time, seven
or eight patience. Only one or two died. I tried very hard to learn. When
I began to school, you think I was in the class with bigger boys? I guess
not. I was with the little bits of children in the chart class. Oh my, I
was very much ashamed of myself and so I was trying to learn fast as ever
Finely in a few weeks I was in third reader. Then I thought I would be
better to study alone, so I asked Dr. Newhall to teach me at home and so
he did. Dr. Newhall and his wife are very kind when I was with them. They
had a child who was born on Nov. 6, 1899 and I took cared of her but she
died and you do not know how much I missed her. After two years, my teacher
took me outside when they went there. It was in July 1901 when we reached
Seattle and when I saw all those big houses I remembered my dreams. Those
trees and big ships I thought very grand. I saw the car going back and
forth and I thought everything was wonderful.
I stayed in Seattle a few days. Then we started to go eastward and we
took the Northern Pacific Railroad. When we was on the state of Montana,
it was so hot it nearly make me sick. I put my hand out of the car window
and it was so very hot, I felt to like I'm into a very hot oven. It was 109
In July 25, we reached the city of Chicago at 9:30 A.M. I thought that
was big city everything was supernatural sight. We went from there to the
city of Philadelphia and there I saw many animals in the zoological garden.
I saw 142 different kinds animals in the zoo and heard some fine music,
all kinds of them. We stayed there several days. Oh my, I would be
uncomfortable from the heat. In the daytime I would just be setting down
and sweating and in the nights it would be comfortable. Sometime in daytime,
I would go to bathroom and pour some cold water in the tub and lay in the
cold water for hours and be comfortable.
When we left there, we arrived at New York City in July 31 and there
I met a very good man named Capt. H.L. Meeker. I was told once he was a
drunkard man but some years past he was converted and he was working for
his Lord and I saw his chapel. He had make an old boat into a chapel. But
he was a very good man, I might say for changed.
I saw those great many buildings just like a visson. We left there in
August one and took a fine steamer up the Hudson and arrived at Hagandan,
N.Y. and the next day went to a fine Methodist Church. Here I took the name
Warren Ad-loo-at Sowle. I stayed most at Stoneham, Mass. and went to Boston
many times. When I went to Lynn Beach that seemed like my own home. I talked
in a great many places and used to put my furs on to show them. Another
thing I used to interest them was how we first used the flour and we made
just soup. We got it from the whalers when they come to trade. One time I
visited Mrs. Thornton in Auburn Maine (Mr. thornton was killed by some eskimos
soon after they took up the work at Wales). I surprised Mrs. Thornton very
much but she was glad to see me. She was so glad that the tears were just
running down, saddened by the death of her husband and felt, perhaps
all their sacrifices and hard labor of love had been in vain but some seeds
that were sown had fallen on good ground. It reminded me of her being in
my place with her beloved husband. Myself, I was glad to see her then. I
had very nice visited her.
When I was leaving there, Mrs. Thornton was seeming to be sad--she was
saying she would miss me very much. There were no doubt that I missed her
presence but I had to go back to my place for I was not forgetting my people.
At Southport Conn. I met a man named Mr. Holman and he was fine man and
he showed me many interesting things and he bought for me a little organ,
which I have it now.
Then I was bounding to my home. I left Stoneham, Mass., on April 10,
1903. All of my met friends said farewell to me. I must tell about my teachers
family. They were very good people and were very good to me when I was with
them. Specially Chester Newhall, I used to sleep with him and he was like
my own brother. I miss them that time very much. I will never forget
them, especially Dr. Newhall. He treated me just like his own child - gave
me nice home with them and his wife took cared of me like her own child.
I will never blot them out of mine, always will remember them, they have
done so much good to me.
I was on my way five days without stopping. One time in the train a man
came to me an asked me if I would like to have some tea as I was eating my
dinner. He pleased me very much for he was the only one who spoke
kindly to me.
When I reached Seattle I stayed with some people named "Gauntlett" and
the boys were very kind to me while I was waiting for the good old Bear
to come. I attended some churches and visited some people. Almost every
place I went they seem to want to help out some. I received a letter from
Mr. Lopp which made me feel more to go home. It was very encouraging letter.
Finely the Revenue Cutter came and I was glad to see her come. Left Seattle
at 5:10 P.M. on April 26, 1903. What you think happen. You think I went
right straight to Kin-ge-gan. I guess not. When we reached See More Narrows,
we ran against a rock wall and we had to go back to Seattle to get fixed.
I was very disappointed but we were lucky not to get wreck. You see that
shows the ship are a strong boat. While they were fixing that boat, I used
to go to Seattle to buy some things and when I came back the old "bosun"
would growled and said, "Are you buying the whole Seattle?" You will run
away with it some time. Before I started, I received another letter from
Mr. Lopp saying they were anxious for me to come back home but when I got
home they were gone outside and I was very disappointed. I reached home July
Just a little while after I came, Mr. Lee and his family came. Since
then I have been trying to help in mission work. Since that summer I have
began that interpretation work for the missionaries at this place of Kin-ge-gan
After while, Mr. Cross came and I worked with him and he was very nice
man. He was the man who wants to help the people and had done much good.
Of course, others came too and they had done some good even when they had
been talked about bad.
Of course, some are working just for the money they gets. Some are working
just because they wants to help the people. They have the right spirit
in them, as Mr. Lopp did and his wife. We assistance eskimo are the same
way. Some works just because they wants to get some money. They have no
right spirits in them.. I was trying very hard to bring my people into new
life. Of course some of them didn't like at all, they always trying the
You don't know how much I was trying to help and lead my people to be
good village homes, although they did not like to be lead or told. Some time
they made it so difference and difficulty I used to be near discouragement.
But I always tried to remember some words that I used to hear from my loving
friend Chester Newhall, "You can do more good by being good than any other
Mr. Shields have sent us a nurse, being Mrs. E.W.Tashner, who left the
Methodist hospital in Nome for care of us. We hear her in church speak
very good words on watch and pray. She say many good things to us. We will
help her all we can in the work of religion. She is very fine lady as was
Mrs. Lopp and Mrs. Thornton. I am waiting to move my religion work to Shish-ma-reff
and anyone who feels like to help this work may do so. How can I get to
Shishmareff? The weather is uncertain, blow and blow almost every day and
big surf. Some say "Wait till when you can go on dog team." I guess so.
Now I want to thank those who had helped me in past years. I want to
remember and thank the Methodist Mission in Unalaska, Alaska because they
help me very much. Now I want to thank doctor Newhall for he had done more
good to me than any other man will ever do to me. Another one I will remember,
Mr. Lopp, because he was the one who have done more good in my place than
any other man will ever do to us. If it were not for Mr. Lopp we would have
nothing to say about.
I used to remember what he say to me just before I left Wales. That time,
when I was going outside, "They will like you better in Unalaska if you
do not do bad things."
winter of 1918, Ad-loo-at was working as an interpreter for a mission school
in the village of Shishmareff (60 miles from Kin-ge-gan). His wife Stella,
who was expecting their 6th child, chose to stay behind with their 5 other
children: Agnes b.1906, Helen b.1908, Chester b.1912, Winfred b.1914 and
Early that winter, the Spanish Influenza Epidemic reached Kin-ge-gan and
quickly killed almost half of the village, including Ad-loo-at's mother.
When word reached Shishmareff, Ad-loo-at made preparations to return home.
His Shishmareff friends tried to stop him by telling him that he would surely
catch the sickness, but he felt he had no choice but to return to his family. He found Kin-ge-gan besieged
with illness, including his family. Shortly after he got home, his wife gave
birth, but the baby didn't live long.
Word of the tragic conditions in Kin-ge-gan reached Nome and the Superintendent
of Schools there, sent a nurse to help the village. She went to Ad-loo-at's
home to care for the family, however by that time, he was very ill and soon
passed away. The rest of his family survived.