Photographs made on the Geographical Explorations and Surveys west of the 100th meridian, under Lieutenant George M. Wheeler, War Department, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A. 1871-74. They include images of expedition party members, archeological sites, pueblos and puebloan and other Indigenous people of the southwest (including Zuni, Navajo, Apache, Coyotero Apache, Jicarilla Apache, Ute, and Mohave), and scenic views in Canyon de Chelly, canyons of the Colorado River (including the Grand Canyon and Black Canyon), Apache Lake, and the Cerro Blanco Mountains.
The collection includes two complete sets of the stereographs published by the War Department Corps of Engineers, which were collected by John R. Swanton and Alice C. Fletcher, and an incomplete set donated by Vincent McMullen. It also includes lists and notes (circa 1935-1948) regarding the photographs prepared by F. M. Fryxell and Bruno Klinger, as well as stereographs published by the Corps of Engineers.
The geographical surveys west of the 100th meridian were operated under the United States Army Corps of Engineers and supervised by First Lieutenant (later Captain) George Montague Wheeler from 1869 through 1879. They documented Native American tribes and geography in the region, in order to make accurate maps; selected possible sites for military installations and rail or common roads; and noted resources in the area. In total, the surveys analyzed the region now covered by Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon, and the expeditions produced 164 maps, 41 publications, and a series of stereoviews. Timothy H. O'Sullivan began photographing geographical surveys in 1867-1869 when he was official photographer for Clarence King's United States Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel. He served as official photographer for the Wheeler surveys in 1871, 1872, and 1874, with William Bell taking over in 1873. O'Sullivan would go on to become the United States Geological Survey's first photographer in Washington, DC.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 4501, NAA MS 4500, NAA MS 4499, NAA Photo Lot 4558
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Descriptive lists and notes relating to the expedition photographs, previously filed in MS 4499, have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 4501.
Complete sets of Wheeler Expedition stereographs published by the Corps of Engineers, previously filed in MS 4500 and Photo Lot 4558, have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 4501.
Additional O'Sullivan and Bell photographs held in National Anthropological Archives Photo lot 40, Photo Lot 37, Photo Lot 90-1, Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 97, and Photo Lot 167.
Numbered manuscripts 1850s-1980s (some earlier)
See others in:
Timothy H. O'Sullivan and William Bell photographs from the Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, 1871-1874
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo Lot 4501, Timothy H. O'Sullivan and William Bell photographs from the "Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian" and associated papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution