Record Unit 7243, Harriman Alaska Expedition (1899), Harriman Alaska Expedition Collection, 1899-1900
The Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899 was co-sponsored by Edward Henry Harriman, President of the Union Pacific Railroad, and the Washington Academy of Sciences. Originally conceived by Harriman as a big game hunt, it was transformed into a scientific exploring expedition on the advice of Clinton Hart Merriam, Chief of the Bureau of Biological Survey.
Many prominent naturalists, scientists, and artists accompanied the expedition, including Merriam, Albert Kenrick Fisher, Grove Karl Gilbert, Frederick Vernon Coville, Bernhard E. Fernow, John Burroughs, John Muir, William H. Dall, Daniel Firaud Elliot, Robert Ridgway, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh, Frederick A. Walpole, Robert Swain Gifford, and Charles Robert Knight. Many of the specimens collected were deposited in the United States National Museum, including large collections of birds and mollusks secured by Ridgway and Dall. The expedition departed from Seattle, Washington, aboard the George W. Elder, on May 31, and returned on July 30, 1899.