THE BROKEN ROSE
A novel of Alaska in the early years of the twentieth century
by: Ken Lord
Copyright 2012 by Kenniston W. Lord, Jr.
For more than a century, Alaska has been news. The oil-rich reservoir, the seven billion dollar pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and the political controversy surrounding the pressures to drill for oil in ANWR—the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve—keep Alaska in the headlines when Middle Eastern oil has exceeded $120 a barrel. Alaska also became notorious with a bridge to nowhere earmark in the Federal Budget and cancelled, a United States Senator convicted of fraud, and a Governor who nearly became the first female Vice President of the United States.
A century ago, however, the discovery of vast deposits of copper placed Alaska squarely in the sights of the Lords of Creation, the barons of Wall Street who had the resources necessary to reach, develop, and extract the mineral. Copper was in demand for a looming conflict in Europe, what we now call World War I—what they then called “The Great War.”
The discovery of copper deposits at Kennicott, Alaska brought together industrial giants, caused the building of an expensive transportation system, and involved the country in political turmoil. As Alaskan oil has center stage in today’s environmental and economic discussions, a hundred years ago the arguments were the same; the mineral was different.