Edward William Nelson photograph collection of Mexican Indians, circa 1892-1906
Nelson, Edward William 1855-1934
21 prints : silver gelatin and possibly platinum
Indians of Mexico
Edward William Nelson (1855-1934) was an explorer and naturalist for the United States government known for his studies in Alaska, California and Mexico. Born near Manchester, New Hampshire, Nelson grew up with an ardent interest in birds and the outdoors. With the help of Henry W. Henshaw and Smithsonian Assistant Secretary Spencer F. Baird, he gained a post as a weather observer with the Signal Corps in 1877. Nelson was stationed in St. Michael, Alaska, for the next four years, during which time he collected ethnological data and natural history collections for the Smithsonian Institution. In 1890, Nelson joined the Bureau of Biological Survey of the United States Department of Agriculture as a Special Field Agent on the Death Valley Expedition of Clinton Hart Merriam. After this Expedition disbanded in 1891, Nelson continued to work in California under orders from the Bureau and met his future expedition partner Edward Alphonso Goldman. A three month field survey in Mexico in 1892 evolved into fourteen years of research by the pair, during which they made extensive investigations of Mexican mammalogy, ornithology, and ethnology. Following these studies, Nelson moved into an administrative role in the Bureau, holding appointments as Chief Field Naturalist, 1907-1912; Assistant in Charge of Biological Investigations, 1913-1914; Assistant Chief, 1914-1916; Chief, 1916-1927; and Senior Biologist, 1927-1929.
Studio portraits of Mexican Indians and one image of a coffee plantation. The photographs were likely collected by Edward William Nelson during his field studies in Mexico with Edward Alphonso Goldman, 1892-1906.
Photo Lot 171, Edward William Nelson photograph collection of Mexican Indians, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution