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Elizabeth "Libby" DuBois Beaman was the first American woman to travel to the Pribilof Islands of Alaska. She came from an upper-class family and served as a volunteer nurse during the U.S. Civil War. In 1874, she married John Beaman and lived as a socialite in Washington, D.C. During the post-war depression, her husband needed a job, and she appealed to President Rutherford B. Hayes, a family friend, to help him find one. In 1879, John Beaman was made second agent supervising the seal-fur trade in the Pribilofs, recently purchased from Russia. The couple went to live in a small village on St. Paul Island, just south of the Arctic Circle in the Bering Sea. There Libby Beaman taught school and made drawings of the nearby islands and wildlife. She also chronicled the many hardships of their lives in that "ice-bound, rock-bound, weather-bound" place in her diaries that were collected and published along with her sketches by her grandaughter Elizabeth "Betty" John, an author of children's books. Libby made her last entry in the journal in August 1880 as the couple prepared to return to the continental USA. She was expecting a child and John had gotten a job as a civil engineer.
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