Illustration by Paige Weldon


A quick look at the brave men and women who dedicated their lives to inhabiting an obviously uninhabitable wasteland.

Gryshnalnikov Starkinkalsky (1790-1804)

Gryshnalnikov Starkinkalsky, an admiral in the Russian navy, is notable for his attempts to settle southeast Alaska. He currently holds the military record for most battles lost in a single campaign against a native population, in addition to the record for most battles lost during a military career. According to Russian military custom he attempted to take his own life in shame, but was unable to do so before being killed by a small child.

Atticus Smythe (1865-1881)

Smythe was the first and only man to attempt Gold Farming, a curious practice based in alchemical traditions of the 1600s and years of Smythe’s own extreme isolation and alcohol abuse. His practice involved “sowing” minuscule grains of gold along the banks of Alaska’s rivers, with the hope that they would grow into beautiful gold trees, which he could later harvest. Smythe spent twelve years of his life, and several million dollars worth of gold, to achieve this dream before dying in poverty. His work would later inspire fortune hunters to flock north to sift through his leavings in what would become the great Alaska gold rush.

Magdelina Crisp (1890-1909)

Magdelina, a wealthy heiress from San Francisco, moved to a small community in western Alaska to escape the crushing social pressures of the American west coast. She has since gone down in history as the first recorded female alcoholic.



The Higgs Weldon is a humor website with funny stories, articles, cartoons, and one liners. It was started by the Los Angeles stand-up comedy community, but takes submissions from everybody. Please read and enjoy our jokes!


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