Do we have any accurate figures of deaths during the 1878-1880 St. Lawrence Island famine?

Wikipedia states the population had been decimated, but attributes that to both deaths and migration.

Encyclopedia Arctica states

These are the remnants of a much larger population which was greatly reduced by a severe epidemic and famine which struck in the winter of 1878-79, killing hundreds of people then living in villages on all sides of the island. Since then the entire eastern end as well as most of the north and south coasts of the island have been uninhabited.

  • 1
    I have added some links and a quotation.
    – user904
    Aug 1, 2016 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


The original report comes from Report of the cruise of the U.S. revenue steamer Thomas Corwin, in the Arctic Ocean, 1881, by Calvin Leighton (C.L.) Hooper, of the US Revenue Cutter Service.

I found this by reviewing the references in the OP:

In that year Capt. C. L. Hooper, in command of the U.S. Revenue Steamer Corwin, stopped At. St. Lawrence to investigate reports of starvation of large numbers of Eskimos during the winter of 1878-79. Capt. Hooper has given a vivid description of the distressing conditions he found (Hooper, 1881).

The St. Lawrence Island Famine and Epidemic, 1878-80: A Yupik Narrative in Cultural and Historical Context reports that at least 1,000 lives were lost.

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