Western Union Telegraph Expedition - Robert Kennicott
About the Project
Calling overseas today is simple enough. Wireless networks, satellite and cell towers make it possible to reach a broad expanse on almost every continent. In 1865, it was a completely different affair. The Western Union Telegraph Company wanted to build a communication link from the United States to Europe. One path to investigate was to head west through Russian America [now Alaska], over the Bering Sea and across Russia. In order to gather thorough and comprehensive data, it recruited a Scientific Corps, under the auspices of the Smithsonian, and embarked on a two year expedition to survey its options. Robert Kennicott was selected to lead the group of naturalists investigating Russian America, then died in the middle of the expedition. Please join us in transcribing this part of his correspondence.