Studio portraits of Klamath, Modoc, and Tolowa Indians made by surveyor Alexander W. Chase while working for the US Coast Survey. Also included are photographs of artifacts from his ethnographic and archaeological collection. The photographs are mounted on brown paper with handwritten descriptions; two newspaper articles, including Alexander Chase's own article for the Topeka Daily Capitol, are glued to the back of two of the pages.
Alexander W. Chase (1843-1888) worked as a surveyor for the US Coast Survey from 1862-1878, during which time he visited several reservations near the San Francisco Bay area and southern Oregon. As an amateur artist, photographer, and ethnologist, he recorded his observations of the daily life on the reservations in a journal. He published his documentation of a visit to the Alsea Reservation in a newspaper article for the Topeka Daily Capitol, dated Sunday, November 27, 1887. He also published a longer paper on the Siletz Reservation in 1869. Additionally, he contributed ethnographic and archaeological data, photographs, and sketches to Stephen Powers' monograph, Tribes of California.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 2003-10
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photo Lot 24 contains four cartes des visite by Chase of Maidu individuals "Captain Tom" and his wife, daughter, and son.
The records of the NMNH Department of Anthropology contain some of Chase's original sketches for Tribes of California.
Additionally, the NAA also holds MS 3230, a manuscript by Chase on the shell mounds of oregon, and the records of the Bureau of American Ethnology contain correspondence between Chase and BAE anthropologists.
The photographs in this collection are published in
Thomas Blackburn, "Some Additional Alexander W. Chase Materials," Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 25, no. 1 (2005): 39-54.
Donated by Jean Prentiss through Thomas Blackburn in 2002.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo Lot 2003-10, Alexander W. Chase Photographs of Klamath, Modoc, and Tolowa people and material culture, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution