Portrait of Isaac Stinger, a man in priest collar who was also known as the bishop who ate his boots
Isaac Stringer, better known as the bishop who ate his boots. Courtesy Library of Congress, Carpenter Collection.

Bishop Isaac Stringer and a missionary worker, Charles Johnson, got stranded in 1909 when an early winter storm froze the river they were following by canoe. The two were traveling from Fort McPherson to Dawson City between two of the bishop’s dioceses. They spent 51 days trudging through the wilderness before getting back to civilization. Nearing starvation during the ordeal, the two men boiled their sealskin and walrus skin boots to suck the nutrients from their shoes. After the ordeal Stringer became well known and was often referred to as “the bishop who ate his boots.”

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