Western Union Telegraph Expedition Collection,
1865-1867
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 7213
Creators:
Western Union Telegraph Expedition (1865-1867)
Dates:
1865-1867
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.75 cu. ft. (1 document box) (1 half document box)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
This collection includes correspondence, mostly to Spencer F. Baird, from members of the Scientific Corps of the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, including Kennicott, Dall, Bannister, and Elliott; copies of reports submitted to divisional chiefs from expedition staff members; newspaper clippings concerning the expedition; copies of notes on natural history taken by Robert Kennicott; and a journal containing meteorological data recorded by Henry M. Bannister from March to August, 1866.

Historical Note
Historical Note
The Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867, also known as the Russian-American Telegraph Expedition, was undertaken to study the possibility of setting up a communications system with Europe by way of Alaska, the Bering Straits, and Asia. The expedition was organized in three divisions, working in Canada, Russian-America (Alaska), and Asia. Robert Kennicott, the veteran Alaskan explorer, was placed in charge of the Russian-American division. Under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago Academy of Sciences, a Scientific Corps was established, with Kennicott in command, to accompany the Russian-American division and make collections in natural history. Naturalists William H. Dall, Henry M. Bannister, and Henry W. Elliott served as members of the Scientific Corps. On the death of Kennicott on May 13, 1866, Dall became chief of the Scientific Corps until the expedition was terminated in July 1867 due to the successful laying of the Atlantic Cable.

Notes
Personal Papers

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7213, Western Union Telegraph Expedition Collection
Access Restriction
It appears that some of the material in this collection was removed from the official correspondence files of the Smithsonian.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Bannister, Henry M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kennicott, Robert, 1835-1866 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baird, Spencer Fullerton, 1823-1887 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dall, William Healey, 1845-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Elliott, Henry Wood, 1846-1930 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chicago Academy of Sciences Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Western Union Telegraph Expedition (1865-1867) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Russian-American Telegraph Expedition Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Natural history Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientific expeditions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alaska Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Field notes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu