by: Rodney Arroyo
Tukeman’s story is I think the first person account of how he ventured into a lost valley on the Alaska Yukon border and there killed what may have been the last living mammoth. At the end of the story, Tukeman tells his readers that the bones of the mammoth were bought by a fabulously wealthy adventurer who donated them to the Smithsonian as his own discovery. Let’ further discussed the story.
There have been many tales about living Mammoths. Yes, like “The Killings of Mammoth” written by Henry Tukeman. This is in part due I am sure to the fact that some frozen specimens found look as if they died recently as they are so fresh. With scientists talking about regenerating a mammoth clone ala Jurassic Park, I thought I would dig up dome of the living mammoth stories. Tukeman’s story began in the untamed wilds of Alaska in 1890. There was little in the way of creature comforts, but Tukeman decided to stay the winter in Fort Yukon. One day during his stay he was showing some pictures of African animals he had hunted to an Inuit named “Joe” who, when Tukeman turned to a picture of an elephant, became very excited. Joe already knew of such a creature. He had seen one himself, up there in Alaska! Joe’s run in with the beast had occurred many years before while he was out hunting with his son.
They were looking for beaver aTukeman’s story is a first person account of how he ventured into a lost valley on the Alaska Yukon border and there killed what may have been the last living mammoth. At the end of the story, Tukeman tells his readers that the bones of the mammoth were bought by a fabulously wealthy adventurer who donated them to the Smithsonian as his own discovery.nd other game when they had come across a huge animal, the Tee-Kai-Koa, bathing in a lake. It was a living woolly mammoth. Joe’s son shot it but did not kill the behemoth, and afraid of what such a great beast might do when wounded the two Intuits rushed back home”. Tukeman was fascinated by Joe’s story. The animal sounded just like a woolly mammoth. If such a creature survived, it presented a unique (and lucrative) opportunity to collect an animal that was supposed to be extinct. As soon as the winter freeze ebbed, Tukeman resolved, he would visit the spot where Joe had seen the mammoth with another Native American, Paul, as his guide. The mammoth trackers set out as soon as summer arrived.
When the following summer melted the ice and snow they were on their way. The trip was arduous but Paul and Tukeman soon found signs they were on the right track. They found a cave “paved” with the numerous remains of mammoths. Surely there would living ones nearby, and the bones provided Tukeman the chance to test the strength of the firearms he had brought for the hunt..On August 29th the hunters finally found their prey, yet they did not immediately try to gun it down. Joe had said that the mammoth he say followed the smoke from the gun his son had fired. Perhaps, Tukeman reasoned, mammoths were attracted to the smoke so that they could stomp out any forest fires before they really got going. “
When the trap was set in the autumn the mammoth was drawn by the smoke and tried to stamp it out. Everything was going as planned. Paul and Tukeman did not waste their chance. They fired, over and over again, until blood oozed out of scores of bullet wounds in the animal’s flesh. The Tee-Kai-Koa was dead. Paul and Tukeman skinned their prize and collected its bones, but by that time winter was setting in. They would not be able to leave until the following spring. Tukeman had hoped that the remains would be purchased by a great museum in Europe or America but Conradi, the man who put a gag order on Tukeman until 1899, offered a much larger sum than Tukeman could otherwise hope for. The plan was for Tukeman to stay silent while Conradi presented the mammoth as a discovery he had made himself.
Ever since the appearance of that number of the magazine the authorities of the Smithsonian Institution, in which the author [F.A. Lucas] had located the remains of the beast of his fancy, have been beset with visitors to see the stuffed mammoth, and our daily mail, as well as that of the Smithsonian Institution, has been filled with inquiries for more information and for requests to settle wagers as to whether it was a true story or not. Tukeman’s story was a work of fiction. It is not impossible for a Mammoth to have survived but unlikely. The climate has changed and the food sources have changed so it would have to have evolved somewhat. Still the stories are wonderful and fired up the imagination of many who read them.
One of the characteristics of the genre is that they usually told in the first person, with a framing sequence explaining how the story came into the author’s hands or why the author chose to tell it at this time — usually the storyteller is the dying last survivor of the adventure who wants to make sure the tale doesn’t die with him. At a time when there were still blank spots on the map and the general public believed that entire civilizations or ecosystems still waited to be discovered, it’s not surprising that these stories were occasionally believed to be true.
Henry Tukeman is very brilliant in telling tale story. Like me, you are also make amaze by the unweaving events when they hunt-down that herculean mammoth. Furthermore, e my own insights and I know you also have but it’s depend in your position how you argue to it, wither you are literate or not. which had wintered in North sound, and at once sailed for San Francisco.