Arthur C. Pillsbury Foundation

Protecting and Preserving All Life -- By Extending Human Vision

Camera Craft
​A Photographic Monthly
No. 1             San Francisco, California  August, 1900           Vol. 4

"Photos in the article by Pillsbury include the one below of John Muir, taken onboard the steamship SS George W. Elder, which Edward H. Harriman had refitted for the voyage and the photo on Page Three (169) of the Muir Glacier.  The Harriman Voyage  began in May of 1899 and ended in August of the same year when the Elder returned to Seattle. 
Arthur C. Pillsbury had returned to Alaska to photograph the opening of the mining fields from the headwaters of the Yukon River to the Pacific. While the photograph documents that Pillsbury knew Muir in 1899 it is likely they met earlier as Pillsbury spent much of his free time in Yosemite on studies of wildflowers from 1895 on.  

The Harriman Expedition

               By the end of May, the ship's guests and passengers had all arrived in Seattle. Newspapers around the world ran front-page stories about the trip. The Elder left Seattle on 31 May 1899. Cheering crowds saw them off.
           Their first stop was the Victoria Museum on Vancouver Island. They then traveled farther north to Lowe Inlet, where they stopped to explore and document the wildlife.
            On 4 June, they stopped in Metlakatla, the European-style settlement that was created by Scottish missionary William Duncan for the Alaskan indigenous people. The scientists visited with Duncan in his home.
          In the next two weeks the Elder stopped at several spots on Alaskan soil, including Skagway and Sitka. They saw the results, both positive and negative, of the Klondike Gold Rush. They continued to catalog plants, animals, and marine creatures, as well as geological and glacial formations. Harriman had brought a graphophonic recording machine, and used it to record a native Tlingit song.
             By 25 June, they had reached Prince William Sound. They discovered an undocumented fjord in the northwest corner of the Sound. They named it “Harriman Fjiord.”
            While the scientists had some control over where they stopped to explore, Harriman retained the final judgment. He was anxious to hunt a bear, and he decided to head toward Kodiak Island when he heard that there were bears there.
        On 7 July, they reached Popof Island in the Shumagin Islands. Four of the scientists, Ritter, Saunders, Palache, and Kincaid (accompanied by guide Luther Kelly), decided to camp on Popof Island while the rest of the scientists continued on to Siberia. This allowed them to make much more detailed notes about the area, rather than quick notes on frequent stops along the way.
           Edward Harriman’s wife wanted to put her feet on Siberian soil, so the Elder continued northward. By 11 July, the ship had put into Plover Bay in Siberia.
            Harriman, by this time, was impatient and ready to get back to work. The Elder steamed southward, picking up the party on Popof Island. On 26 July, the Elder made one last stop, at an abandoned Tlingit village at Cape Fox. On July 30, the ship pulled into Seattle.  Wiki
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