Photograph Album of the Cruise of the Revenue Cutter "Corwin" in Alaska, 1883

Finding aid created by Photo Archives staff using RecordEXPRESS
Huntington Library. Photo Archives
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
(626) 405-2129

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photograph Album of the Cruise of the Revenue Cutter "Corwin" in Alaska, 1883
Dates: 1881 and 1883
Collection Number: photCL 97
Extent: 36 photographs in 1 album; album 18 x 27 cm. (7 x 11 in.); 1 microfilm roll of copy negatives of the photos. See itemized list under "Additional collection guides."
Online items available
Repository: Huntington Library. Photo Archives
San Marino, California 91108
Abstract: This photograph album illustrates the sights and peoples experienced by the voyagers of the "Corwin." There are many views of native (Inuit) villages and inhabitants in Alaska and coastal Siberia, along with scenery and seascapes. All photographs are accompanied by detailed, manuscript captions in ink by an unknown individual. Photographs depict Alaskan nature scenes and harbors; Inuit people, dwellings and villages; and documentation of the fur trade in the 19th century.
Language of Material: English


Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Preferred Citation

Photograph Album of the Cruise of the Revenue Cutter "Corwin" in Alaska, 1883. Huntington Library. Photo Archives

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Shorey’s Bookstore (Seattle, Washington) in 1956.

Biography/Administrative History

Individual related to this collection: Michael A. Healy, 1839-1904,(not depicted in this collection) served with the "Thomas Corwin" beginning in 1882; he rose to the position of captain in March of 1883. While in command of the "Corwin," Healy patrolled the Arctic to prevent illegal sale of guns and alcohol to the Alaskan natives and to control illegal fur seal hunting. The captain was also concerned for the well-being of the Alaskan natives, and ferried Siberian caribou over to help reestablish the natives’ food supply since many seals and walruses were killed by white traders.

Scope and Content of Collection

The photographs of the Inuit inhabitants include portraits; views of homes and villages; and the killing and skinning of seals. There are also views of non-Indian hunters and traders. The Inuit villages and dwellings illustrated are in Sitka, St. Michael, King's Island, and locations in Siberia. There is one view of an "Eskimo" [i.e. Inuit] grave at an unidentified location. The photograph album has the words "Scenes in Alaska and the Arctic Ocean. 1883" embossed on the cover. An ink manuscript title page reads: "Cruise of the Revenue Cutter 'Corwin' 1881." See also photCL 131 for related photographs concerning the "Corwin."

Indexing Terms

Body piercing
Corwin (Ship)
Fur trade--Alaska
Indians of North America--Alaska
Orthodox churches
Russian Orthodox
Sailing ships
Arctic peoples.
Arctic Ocean
Bering Sea
Siberia (Russia)
Photograph Albums
Marine photographs

Additional collection guides