William Dall's Diary from the 1867 Western Union Telegraph Expedition, Pages 99-100

ID: SIA2015-004542

Creator: Dall, William Healey 1845-1927

Form/Genre: Document

Date: May 26 -July 13, 1867

Citation: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7073, Box 20, Folder: 3

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Pages 99 and 100 of William Healey Dall's diary during the Western Union Telegraph Expedition. These pages show sketches of Fort Yukon. A small sketch of the outside of the fort runs along the side of page 99 and a landscape view of the inside of the fort runs across both pages.


  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Western Union Telegraph Expedition (1865-1867)


Historic Images of the Smithsonian


  • Dean of Alaskan explorations, William Healey Dall, 1845-1927, began his scientific career as a member of the Scientific Corps of the Alaskan Western Union Telegraph Expedition in 1865. While on the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1868, Dall conducted a geological and biological survey of Alaska to determine a feasible route for a telegraph cable across the Bering Strait. A member of the Expedition's Scientific Corps, he assumed leadership of the Expedition after the death of Robert Kennicott in 1866. In 1871 he was appointed to the United States Coast & Geodetic Survey, where he continued his studies on Alaska and the northern Pacific Coast. Dall left the Coast Survey in 1884 to transfer to the United States Geological Survey as a paleontologist. A position he held until 1925. Concurrently, as a malacologist, he assembled and described some of the collections of mollusca and other organisms held by the United States National Museum since 1868, and served as Honorary Curator of the Museum's Division of Mollusks from 1880 until his death.
  • This diary documents the travels of William Healey Dall from May 26 -July 13, 1867 during the Western Union Telegraph Expedition. It includes drawings of Koyukon Indians, clothing, buildings of Fort Yukon, and shorelines of the Yukon River. Journal entries list daily activities, types of specimens collected, terrain and vegetation, interactions with American and Russian expedition participants, travel progress, latitude and longitude positions, and detailed descriptions of geological strata of Yukon Shoreline. Locations extend along the Yukon River.

Contained within

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7073, Box 20, Folder: 3

Contact information

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


May 26 -July 13, 1867

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  • Diaries
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • Personnel management
  • Employees
  • Field Notes
  • Smithsonian Institution--Employees


  • USA
  • Alaska


  • Document
  • Drawing
  • Scientific illustration

ID Number


Physical description

Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 5.3w x 14.8h; Type of Image: Document; Medium: Photographic print

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