This collection consists of an unpublished book manuscript written by Ulysses G. Parks entitled “At Their Very Door,” dated circa 1913. This manuscript is bound with a leather book binding, is 563 pages long, and contains six original photographs mounted within the book’s narrative.
The short introduction of the book reads;
The writer of this simple story in his own simple way having spent sometime [sic] with the people of both native and white of Alaska felt it his duty to pay tribute to a little native girl and her father for valuable information that made this simple story possible. And also and [sic] old native that has been a chief who now spends his time trapping for pleasure not profit that kindly let me stop one stormy night when prospecting, in his cabin and after giving me valuable data also rolled me up with himself in his blankets when retiring. To these people and also a partner who rendered me such valuable assistance, I write in memoriam “AT THEIR VERY DOOR”.
The manuscript’s attributed historical fiction plot is the story of an adventure in Southeast Alaska between a Tlingit girl and a Russian trapper/prospector who work together to find a large cache of gold deep in the mountains. The Tlingit girl, Chala Taipen, is attributed as being from the Wrangell area, while the Russian trapper, Ivan Mitoff, rescues her from a winter storm, and the two later work together to seek out gold, which they learned about via Tlingit lore and a treasure map. The pair travel to various parts of Southeast Alaska, the Popof Glacier, the Chilkoot area of Alaska, and other places, and eventually marry.
Overall, this story provides an interpretation of Tlingit life and culture in Southeast Alaska shortly after the turn of the century, which also intersects with Euro-American perceptions of Alaskan and Alaska Native life.