Smithsonian African Expedition (1909)

Close
Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.
Print

Narrow Your Results

Reset

Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.
 

Description

Immediately following the end of his service as President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt lead the Expedition to Eastern Africa with his son, Kermit, serving as Expedition Photographer. The Smithsonian, through anonymous private donations, funded the three naturalists who worked on the Expedition in return for the receipt of live and preserved specimens. Edgar Alexander Mearns was selected as head naturalist and bird-collector, Edmund Heller was to care for the large mammals, and John Alden Loring was to have charge of the small mammal collecting. The party left New York March 23, 1909 and sailed for British East Africa. The route took them through the Azores, Gibraltar, Naples, Messina, the Suez Canal and Ismailya, Aden and Italian Somaliland to Mombasa in British East Africa on April 21. From there, the expedition traveled by the Uganda Railway to Kapiti Plains where their safari awaited them. The party followed a route that took them to Nairobi, the vicinity of Mt. Kenja, the Loita Plains, Lake Victoria, Lake Albert and up the Nile to Khartoum. The expedition broke up there on March 14, 1910. The official photographer for the expedition was Roosevelt's son Kermit, although other members of the party also took a number of photographs, especially Edmund Heller. The result was that the United States National Museum acquired approximately 1,000 skins of large mammals, 4,000 of small mammals, and other specimens totaling approximately 11,400 items. About 10,000 plant specimens were also obtained, as well as a small collection of ethnological objects.

Date Range

1909 - 1910

Topic

  • Animals
  • Zoology
  • Birds
  • Mammalogy
  • Plants
  • Ornithology
  • Botany

Place

  • Africa
  • Sudan
  • Kenya

Form/Genre

Expedition name