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SEALASKA seeks accounts of 1869 bombardment


It started as a domestic dispute brought on by a rowdy Christmas party at a nearby American fort in 1869, according to Tlingit witnesses.

Eventually, it spiraled into the full-scale artillery bombardment of native villages around Wrangell, and resulted in the deaths of at least three (possibly more) Tlingit clansmen, a white business owner living near the fort, and a woman’s severed finger. The discrepancy in casualty stems from the tendency of Tlingit oral histories to employ tales like those of the Wrangell bombardment as moral lessons, according to Zachary Jones, in town this week to s...

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