0.75 cu. ft. (1 document box) (1 half document box)
United States -- History$yCivil War, 1861-1865
The papers of George Suckley mostly concern his work on the Pacific Railroad Survey of the 47th and 49th parallels, 1853, and on the collections of the Northwest Boundary
Survey of 1857. They include incoming and outgoing correspondence, mostly copies; journals, field books, notes, and related materials concerning the progress of the Railroad
Survey, the canoe trip from Fort Owen to Fort Vancouver, Suckley's Panama trip with Cooper, and natural history observations and collecting work; fiscal matters; translation
of Indian vocabulary; Suckley's monograph, The Natural History of Washington Territory, co-authored with Cooper; and manuscripts of Suckley's reports on the mammals
and salmonidae collected on the Northwest Boundary Survey of 1857.
George Suckley (1830-1869) was born in New York City and graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons (now a part of Columbia University) in September 1851.
In April 1853 Suckley was appointed assistant surgeon and naturalist to the Pacific Railroad Survey of the 47th and 49th parallels between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Fort Vancouver,
Washington Territory, under the command of Isaac I. Stevens. His work on the survey included a 1,049 mile, 53-day canoe trip down the Bitter Root, Clark's Fork, and Columbia
Rivers to Fort Vancouver, during which he made extensive natural history collections. On December 2, 1853, Suckley was commissioned Assistant Surgeon, United States Army.
He was ordered to duty at Fort Steilacoom, Washington Territory, where he remained until June 12, 1854, when he was transferred to Fort Dalles, Oregon Territory. In July 1854,
Suckley obtained leave of absence for six months, which he partially spent collecting natural history specimens in Panama with James G. Cooper. Suckley resigned from the Army
on October 3, 1856, and for the next five years pursued his interest in natural history. During this period, Suckley was assigned to write the reports on the mammals and salmonidae
collected by the Northwest Boundary Survey of 1857. In 1859 he co-authored with James G. Cooper, The Natural History of Washington Territory, which was based primarily
on data and observations made while serving with the Pacific Railroad Survey. On the outbreak of the Civil War, Suckley rejoined the Army and was commissioned Surgeon of Volunteers.
He served for the duration of the war, resigning April 22, 1865. Suckley died July 30, 1869, in New York City.
Correspondents include Spencer F. Baird, James Graham Cooper, George Gibbs, Rodman M. Price, and Isaac I. Stevens. The letter of 1 January 1854 from Suckley to Spencer
F. Baird contains notes and observations on the country traveled by the Pacific Railroad Survey of the 47th and 49th parallels. The letters of July 22 and 31, 1856 from Suckley
to Rodman M. Price contain accounts of Washington Territory under the administration of Governor Isaac I. Stevens.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7191, George Suckley Papers
This finding aid was digitized with funds generously provided by the Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee.
This collection consists primarily of journals kept by Gibbs while in Oregon Territory, 1850-1853, and on the Northwest Boundary Survey, 1857-1862. The journals contain
zoological and ethnological observations, accounts of collections made, and Indian vocabulary. Also included are notes on the forest growth of Washington Territory, circa
George Gibbs (1815-1873) was an ethnologist and expert on the language and culture of the Indians of the Pacific Northwest. A graduate of Harvard University, Gibbs
moved west during the gold rush of 1848 and eventually secured the position of Collector of the Port of Astoria, Oregon Territory. From 1853 to 1855, he was a geologist and
ethnologist on the Pacific Railroad Survey of the 47th and 49th parallels under the command of Isaac Stevens. In 1857, Gibbs joined the Northwest Boundary Survey and served
as geologist and interpreter until 1862. The last decade of his life was spent in Washington, D.C., where he undertook studies of Indian languages under the auspices of the