Caleb Kennerly in Expedition Gear

ID: 78-10093

Creator: Unknown


Date: c. 1860

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-009, Smithsonian Photographic Services Collection

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Caleb Burwell Rowan Kennerly (1829-1861) was born at the family estate in White Post, Virginia. He attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where Spencer F. Baird was Professor of Natural History and Curator of the Museum. After graduating from Dickinson in 1849, he studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his M.D. degree in 1852. Because of his early association with Baird and his involvement in government expeditions, he contributed greatly to collection building at the Smithsonian. Dr. Kennerly's work as surgeon and naturalist on several government-sponsored expeditions was very significant. He participated in the Pacific Railroad Survey along the 35th parallel (1853-1854), the United States Mexican Boundary Survey (1854-1855), and the Northwest Boundary Survey (1857-1861). All these surveys produced rich natural history specimens that were deposited at the Smithsonian. Unfortunately, his productive life was cut short at the age of 32. He died at sea on his way back from the Northwestern Boundary Survey in February 1861, when his ship was sailing off the coast of Cape San Lucas, Baja California. Spencer Baird eulogized him in the Smithsonian Annual Report (1861).


  • Kennerly, Caleb Burwell Rowan d. 1861
  • Pacific Railroad Surveys
  • United States and Mexican Boundary Survey
  • Pacific Railroad Expeditions


Historic Images of the Smithsonian

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Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 11-009, Smithsonian Photographic Services Collection

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Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


c. 1860

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  • Scientific expeditions
  • Physicians
  • Naturalists


United States

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Number of Images: 1 Color: Black and White ; Size: 8.16w x 10h ; Type of Image: Portrait; Medium: Photographic print

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