Abercrombie, 1884, 1898-99
In the spring of 1898, by direction of the Secretary of War, three
military expeditions were organized for exploring the interior of Alaska.
The second of these expeditions was under the command of Capt. William R. Abercrombie,
U. S. A., who had in 1884 ascended the Copper river to latitude 60° 41' and afterwards
visited Port Valdes, in Prince William sound. Abercrombie was directed to organize his
party at Valdes and then explore the valley of the Copper river and its tributaries
and the country northward to the Tanana. Mr. F. C. Schrader, of the United States
Geological Survey, was attached to his party as geologist. Schrader's report was
published in 1900 in the Twentieth Annual Report of the Geological Survey,
Part VII, pp. 341-423. Abercrombie's report was published in July, 1899, in War Department,
Adjutant General's Office, No. XXV, Report of Explorations in Alaska, pp. 295-351.
It was also published in 1900 in a 4° volume entitled Compilation of Narratives of
Explorations in Alaska, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1900, a work which
seems to have come from the Senate Committee on Military Affairs.
continued the work of exploration in 1899 under instructions, inter alia, to construct
a military road from Valdes to Fort Egbert on the Yukon. Mr. Oscar Rohn accompanied
the party as topographer and geologist. For Abercrombie's report see the above-cited
compilation, pp. 755-766; also separately printed, with numerous illustrations,
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1900. Rohn's report was published in
1900 in the Twenty-first Annual Report of the Geological Survey, Part 11, pp. 393-440.
Lieut. (now Major) Henry Tureman Allen, U. S. A., who was graduated
from West Point in 1882, made a journey of exploration through central Alaska in 1885.
Leaving Nuchek on March 20, he ascended the Copper river, crossed to and descended the
Tanana to its mouth, thence traveled north to the Koyukuk, ascended it some distance,
and then descended to its mouth and arrived at St. Michael August 29, whence he returned
to San Francisco. His report, with accompanying maps, was published in 1887 as Senate
Ex. Doc. No. 125, Forty-ninth Congress, second session.
Towards the close of the Russian occupation of Alaska, Captain Archimandritof
commanded one of its vessels in the colonies. He made surveys in Kenai peninsula and
around Kodiak in about 1850, but published nothing. It is probable that some of his
results were used in Tebonkof's atlas. Copies of his manuscript maps were in use by the
Russian skippers and others at the time of the purchase, and some fragments reached the
Coast Survey. A survey by him of Graham harbor (Port Graham), in Cook inlet, was published
in the Coast Survey atlas of Harbor Charts, 1869.