Exploration of Alaska, 1865-1900

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Work elaborates on the earliest exploration of the territory, including government attempts to lay telegraph, and railroad surveys. Explains the influence and work of Robert Kennicott and his relation with the SI in the early 1860's and the number of specimens that he brought for USNM and summarizes his expedition work. Elaborates on Russian-American phase of telegraph work, and the work of Kennicott, William Healey Dall, Henry M. Bannister and Henry Elliott. Examines the career of William Healey Dall at length, including a biography and a list of his accomplishments and an analysis of his expedition work. Touches on the work of John Wesley Powell. Entire chapters are devoted to Ivan Petroff, Henry Tureman Allen, and the history of the United States Geological Survey. Expounds upon the contributions from expeditions to the SI and USNM collections, and U.S. military involvement in the exploration of Alaska.


  • Dall, William Healey 1845-1927
  • Kennicott, Robert
  • Ketchum, F. E
  • Elliott, Henry W
  • LeBarge, Michael
  • Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902
  • Bannister, Henry M
  • Petroff, Ivan
  • Allen, Henry Tureman
  • United States Geological Survey (USGS)
  • United States National Museum
  • Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology
  • Western Union Telegraph Expedition (1865-1867)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Includes index and chronology. Illustrated, includes maps of Alaska and photos of William Healey Dall, Robert Kennicott, F. E. Ketchum, Michael LeBarge, Henry Elliott, John Wesley Powell, and others. Many of these photographs can be found in the Smithsonian Institution Archives collection. Extensively footnoted.

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Contact information

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




  • Scientific expeditions
  • Telegraph
  • Ethnology


  • Alaska
  • North America

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