Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Rampart, Alaska (1900-1906)

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  Sept. 27, 1900-Aug. 4, 1906

Size and Format:  8 x 10 inches; 2 cols; 4 pages

Editor/Publisher:  W.R. Edwards, editor (1900); J.B. Wingate, editor (1901-1906), manager (1900-1906)

Title Changes and Continuation:  Occasionally cited as the Rampart Forum

General Description & Notes:

According to McLean, Edwards promoted mining stock and Wingate was a mining recorder, mail carrier and miner then they started printing the Alaska Forum.  The partnership lasted only five months, with Edwards leaving to start the rival Rampart Miner six months later (The Miner last only about one year).  By July 1904, however, the local Episcopal Church recalled the iron printing press Wingate leased to publish the Forum, intending to lease to the promoters of a new paper, the Yukon Valley News.  Wingate fought the termination of his lease in court, but failed in his claims.  Wingate, without a press, tried to continue to publish the Forum to hold off his new rival.  Using old copies of his paper as a base, he pasted over the previous week’s news handwritten and typewritten material reproduced on a hectograph machine.  The absence of old copies of the Forum and the difficulties of publishing the manual versions led to a two-month suspension of the paper.  Wingate resumed printing the Forum when he had a new, foot-powered press built.  The shafts and fixtures of the press had been turned on a lathe run by dog-power, leading Wingate to refer to his printing plant as a “five-dog-power press.”

The Forum cost 25 cents and contained advertising, local news, especially stories related to mining, editorials, and occasional attacks on the Episcopal Church, judges (particularly Judge Wickersham, compiler of the Bibliography on Alaskan Literature, who had ruled against Wingate’s bid to keep the Episcopal press) and others Wingate opposed.  The tone of the paper became noticeably more strident after the loss of the printing press.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Dora E. McLean, Early Newspapers on the Upper Yukon Watershed:  1894-1907, unpublished M.A. thesis, University of Alaska, 1963, 44-56; James Wickersham, A Bibliography of Alaska Literature, 1724-1924 (Cordova, AK:  Cordova Daily Times Print, 1927), 251.

Locations:  AlHi-Juneau, AK