Robert Kennicott, Explorer, in Field Outfit, by Unknown, c. 1860s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Robert Kennicott (1835-1866), explorer and naturalist, in his field clothes. Noted for his field work in Alaska, Kennicott was one of a group of young naturalists who lived in the Smithsonian Institution Building or "Castle" and dubbed themselves "The Megatherium Club." Kennicott died in Alaska on May 13, 1866, while commanding the Russian-American Telegraph Expedition, also known as the Western Union Telegraph Expedition..