Circa 500 photographs documenting Sheldon Jackson's work in the Presbyterian Church and among Alaskan natives, including images of towns, buildings, scenery, and Alaskan natives. The collection includes commercial prints and photographs probably made by Jackson.
Sheldon Jackson (1834-1909) was a Presbyterian minister and missionary and a United States government official. He graduated from Union College in New York (1855) and completed a program in theological studies at Princeton (1858). After graduation, he worked at a school for Choctaw boys in what is now Spencer, Oklahoma. He then moved to Minnesota to work as a pastor (1859-1869), stopping briefly to serve as a chaplain in the Civil War. In 1869, he became superintendent for the Board of Home Missions for Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. In 1870 his superintendency included almost all of the American West.
Jackson first visited Alaska in 1877, and in 1884 the federal government appointed him the territory's first superintendent of public instruction. In 1885 he joined the Bureau of Education as a general agent for education in Alaska. In this position, he worked to increase access to education and establish schools. He also introduced domesticated reindeer to Alaska in 1892 in order to alleviate undernourishment in the Alaska native population. In 1897, Jackson was elected moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, the highest honor of that denomination.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot R81-13
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The Presbyterian Historical Society holds the Sheldon Jackson papers.
Photographs relating to Jackson's project to import reindeer for Alaskans held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 130.
The Department of Anthropology collections holds artifacts collected by Sheldon Jackson in Alaska and elsewhere.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
The microfilm was obtained for reference purposes only. Copies of the images should be obtained from the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia.