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Finding Aids to Personal Papers and Special Collections in the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 7067

Cooper, J. G. (James Graham), 1830-1902

James Graham Cooper Papers, 1853-1870 and undated

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Cooper, J. G. (James Graham), 1830-1902
Title: James Graham Cooper Papers
Dates: 1853-1870 and undated
Quantity: 0.54 cu. ft. (1 document box) (2 microfilm reels)
Collection: Record Unit 7067
Language of Materials: English
Summary:

These papers consist of journals and manuscripts containing Cooper's descriptions of his travels in Oregon and Washington territories, California, and his homeward trip through Panama, and as far north as Cape Hatteras. Included are observations made while he was a part of the Isaac Stevens survey. The journals and manuscripts contain descriptions of geological features, weather observations, and technical notes on the plant and animal life of the area. Also included are specimen lists, maps, and sketches of his route while on the Stevens survey.

Historical Note

Born and educated in New York City, James G. Cooper (1830-1902) was a naturalist and physician with Isaac Stevens' Pacific Railroad Survey expedition of 1853. One of the first to collect specimens in the Pacific Coast regions, he became an expert on the geological, biological, and zoological aspects of that area. He published material on the natural history of California and Oregon and wrote a chapter on zoology for Natural Wealth of California, edited by T. F. Cronise. After traveling extensively, he practiced medicine and lived in California until his death in 1902. The Cooper Ornithological Society was named in his honor.

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Introduction

This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.

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Descriptive Entry

These papers consist of journals and manuscripts containing Cooper's descriptions of his travels in Oregon and Washington territories, California, and his homeward trip through Panama, and as far north as Cape Hatteras. Included are observations made while he was a part of the Isaac Stevens survey. The journals and manuscripts contain descriptions of geological features, weather observations, and technical notes on the plant and animal life of the area. Also included are specimen lists, maps, and sketches of his route while on the Stevens survey.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7067, James Graham Cooper Papers

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Container List

Series 1

Journals

Box 1

Folder 1 Journal, 1853-1854, describing the weather, geology, botany, and zoology of the regions through which Cooper passed while traveling with the Northern Pacific Railroad Survey. Also included are sketches of the route; an index of animal and plant specimens collected; and a map of the Oregon Territory, 1849, and the Columbia River, 1841.

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Folder 2 Journal, 1855-1856, covering Cooper's travels from Olympia, Washington Territory, to San Francisco and the Santa Clara Valley in California. Included are observations of animals, plants, and the natural features of the area, particularly the Columbia River Region. The journal also includes observations on his homeward trip down the California Coast, through Panama, and as far north as Cape Hatteras. He confined his observations to natural phenomena and had little to say about events of the day.

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Series 2

Manuscripts

Box 1

Folder 3 Manuscript notes, 1860, describing the geology, botany, and animals collected or seen in the Rocky Mountains between Fort Benton, Fort Colville, and Fort Vancouver in Washington Territory. They include data on mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, and mollusks of the area. Makes reference to: Spencer F. Baird; Charles H.T. Townsend; Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden; George Suckley; Gouverneur Kemble Warren; and Lewis and Clark.

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Folder 4 Manuscript, 1870 (1 of 2) describing in detail specimens of mammals and birds collected and observed that year in California.

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Folder 5 Manuscript, 1870 (2 of 2) describing in detail specimens of mammals and birds collected and observed that year in California.

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Folder 6 Manuscript, undated, consisting of notes recording the general and specific characteristics of a wide variety of vertebrate animals and mollusks in California.

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