Collection is open for research. Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs are restricted due to fragile condition. Researchers should consult microfilm in NMAH library for 1880-1983 editions, drawer 692. Some additional items may be restricted due to fragile condition. Off-site materials must be requested in advance. Consult Archives Staff.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Dry Goods, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Some of the original watercolor and wash drawings are included in the scrapbook, including: Indian canoes, page 200 in McKenney's Sketch; View of the Urn, Lake Superior page 361; Grave of a Chippewa Child on the Island Opposite Fond du Lac (Minnesota) page 305; Cave Rock, South Shore of Lake Superior, page 364; Oblique View of the Doric Rock of Lake Superior (unpublished): Front View of the Doric Rock, page 225; Castle Rock, South Shore, Lake Superior, page 363; View of the Urn, Lake Superior (and the Monument), page 362; Skeleton of a Chippewa Indian's Lodge, page 418; Chippewa Lodge, of poles, covered with birch bark, unpublished; Chippewa Widow, page 292; Key-way-wo-wut, or Going Cloud, page 327, O-Car-Gee-Wick, page 314; Chippewa Chief with His Calumet and Pouch, page 331; Indian Dog Train, page 196; another view of Doric Rock, unpublished; another view of the Urn, unpublished; Front view of American Fur Company's Building, Fond du Lac, Minnesota, page 276, and a view of the gathering for the Treaty of Fond du Lac, 1826, page 311.
Also a drawing by John W. Hary (?) showing how Eskimos at Hudson Bay caught fish. Other original, unidentified artwork, a certificate of membership in the Baltimore Beneficial Society, and samples of printing of bank papers are included. There are, in addition, engraved portraits and title pages and illustrations from publications. The portraits include De Witt Clinton, William Cobbett, James Thomson, Goliah Werner, and William Bainbridge. The materials from publications include items from The Chemist and National Recreations, or Holiday Amusements and Robert Stuart's Dictionary of Architecture and A Descriptive History of the Steam Engine (all printed by Knight and Lacy of London); Citizen of the World, Edwin and Anelina; The Works of Robert Bruns, The Works of Thomas Moore, Thackery's Vicar of Wakefield; and other unidentified publications.
Biographical / Historical:
Lucas was an owner of a printing and publishing firm in Baltimore. In 1827, it issued Thomas L. McKenney's A Sketch of a Tour to the Lakes, which was illustrated after drawings by James Otto Lewis.
Tintypes depicting fur trader Robert Meldrum and his wife Medicine Tree [Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke); also known as Margaret].
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains two circular gem tintypes pasted to a mat board. The tintypes depict Robert Meldrum and his wife Medicine Tree [Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke); also known as Margaret]. The photographs were shot by an unidentified photographer in St. Louis, Missouri, circa 1858-1865.
According to the original inventory, the tintypes were part of a jewelry locket. At some unknown point in time, the tintypes were removed from the locket and pasted to a mat board.
The tintypes are arranged on a mat board inside an archival phase box.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Meldrum (1802-1865) was a fur trader and interpreter for the Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke) tribe.
Born in 1802, Meldrum and his family emigrated from Scotland to Canada in 1812 and eventually moved to the United States. By the late 1820s, Meldrum was living in St. Louis, Missouri and working in the Rocky Mountain fur trade industry.
The American Fur Company hired Meldrum in 1833 to act as a liaison between the company and the Crow community in Montana. He was stationed at various American Fur Company trading posts and commercial forts along the Yellowstone and Upper Missouri Rivers including Fort Cass, Fort Alexander, Fort Sharpy, and Fort Sharpy II. At these posts, Northern Plains tribes brought various furs to be traded for guns, ammunition, clothing, beads, and other goods.
Meldrum also learned to speak the Apsáalooke language and served as an interpreter between the tribe and U.S. Government. The tribe conferred Meldrum the status of chief and gave him the name "Round Iron" because of the iron trinkets he gifted. Meldrum reportedly married several Apsáalooke women over the years, including Medicine Tree (Margaret), although very little was written about them.
On July 10, 1865, Meldrum died at the American Fur Company's Fort Union on the Upper Missouri River.
The Montana Historical Society Photograph Archives also holds a photograph of Robert Meldrum.
The National Museum of the American Indian also holds other objects from Jirah Isham Allen's collection (object catalog numbers 147472 to 147486).
Formerly in the collection of Jirah Isham Allen (Colonel Ike Allen, 1839-1929, a Montana prospector, pioneer, and storekeeper) and probably collected by him between 1862 and about 1920; purchased by MAI from Jirah Allen in 1926.
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Western Union Telegraph Expedition (1865-1867) Search this
0.75 cu. ft. (1 document box) (1 half document box)
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.
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.
It appears that some of the material in this collection was removed from the official correspondence files of the Smithsonian.
These are the original drawings that accompanied Edwin Thompson Denig's 451 page manuscript, entitled "Report to Hon. Isaac I. Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory, on the Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri, by Edwin Thompson Denig." The drawings depict utensils, tools, game pieces, plants, warfare, hunting, a tipi, a scalp dance, and a map. Five of the drawings are attributed to anonymous Assiniboine artists. The drawings that are not attributed to the Assiniboine may have been drawn by Edwin T. Denig. All of the drawings were likely created between 1853 and 1854, while Denig was working on the report. Records indicate that his original manuscript included 15 pages ink drawings. The manuscript was published in 1930, in the Forty-sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Prior to being photographed for the publication, the 15 pages of drawings were trimmed into 39 smaller drawings, which were subsequently arranged and pasted onto 19 mounts. Included with the drawings is typed page identifying the drawings as "Original sketches for Plates 64-80 and Figs. 30-35 of Denig's "Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri," edited by J.N.B. Hewitt, BAE-AR 46, Washington, D.C., 1930. " The page also contains a list of negative numbers.
Biographical / Historical:
Edwin T. Denig was born on March 10, 1812 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. He entered the fur trade in 1833 as an employee of the American Fur Company. He would be employeed in the fur trade for the next 23 years. During this period he worked at Fort Pierre and Fort Union, eventually rising to the position of bourgeois at the latter post. In 1854 he authored a 451 page manuscript, entitled "Report to Hon. Isaac I. Stevens, Governor of Washington Territory, on the Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri, by Edwin Thompson Denig." Denig left Fort Union in 1856. He died on September 4, 1858 near the city of Winnipeg, Canada. For further biographic information, see Edwin Thompson Denig, Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri: Sioux, Arickaras, Assiniboines, Crees, and Crows (edited and with an introduction by John C. Ewers), University of Oklahoma Press, 1961.
Fort Union trading post was constructed by the American Fur Company in 1828 and was located near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. It was established to open trade with the Assiniboine, yet it served a variety of tribes, including the Crow, Arikara, Mandan, Hidatsa, Plains Cree, Chippewa, Blackfeet, and Sioux. These tribes exchanged beaver pelts and buffalo robes for trade goods at Fort Union. In 1866, the trading post was sold to the Northwestern Fur Company. A year later, the United States Army purchased the facility, which it subsequently dismantled. For further information, see: National Park Service, Fort Union Trading Post: Grandest Fort on the Missouri http://www.nps.gov/fous/history.htm Edwin Thompson Denig, Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri: Sioux, Arickaras, Assiniboines, Crees, and Crows (edited and with an introduction by John C. Ewers), University of Oklahoma Press, 1961.