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The Naming of Alaska

Explorers: "N"


These biographies are from Marcus Baker's monumental Geographic Dictionary of Alaska, published in 1902 by the United States Geological Survey. It detailed the origin of thousands of geographical place names in the Territory of Alaska, and provided brief biographies of about 120 of the people who had given the names described.
Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I-J | K | L | M | N | P | R | S | T | V | W | Z

Nelson, 1877-1881

    Mr. Edward William Nelson was stationed for about four years (June 1877 to 1881) at St. Michael, Norton sound, in the employment of the United States Signal Service, and as a collector for the Smithsonian Institution. During that period he made sledge journeys in the vicinity, and one, especially noteworthy, of about 1,200 miles through the Yukon delta. This journey, made in December, 1878, and January, 1879, yielded considerable geographic knowledge of the region traversed. The map results were incorporated in the maps of the Tenth Census, and a special map with a description of the journey was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society for 1882, Vol. IV, pp. 660 to 670.


Nichols, 1881-1883

    Lieut. Commander Henry E. Nichols, U. S. N., in command of the Coast and Geodetic Survey steamer Hassler, made surveys in Alexander archipelago during three seasons, 1881-1883. In 1881 he made surveys in Kaigani and Wrangell straits and magnetic observations at various places. In 1882, from July 6 to November 20, his work was in and about Revillagigedo channel and northward to Wrangell. In 1883, from May 16 to October 13, he surveyed several harbors just north of Dixon entrance. He was relieved of his command by Lieut. Commander A. S. Snow on March 6, 1884.
    In 1888-1890 he again served in the Coast Survey and wrote a revised edition of the Alaska Coast Pilot, which was published in 1891.
    For an account of his work see Coast and Geodetic Survey Reports, 1882, pp. 52-53; 1883, pp. 59-60; 1884, pp. 70-71; also Coast Survey charts 707, 709, 710, 713, 8072, 8074'.


North Pacific Exploring Expedition, 1854-1855

    Exploration and surveys were made in the North Pacific, Aleutian islands, Bering sea, and on the Siberian coast by United States naval officers in 1854 and 1855. The expedition was under the command of Capt. Cadwalader Ringgold, U. S. N. Owing to ill health be gave up the command to Capt. John Rodgers, who commanded the U. S. S. Vincennes, while Lieuts. William Gibson and Beverly Kennon were on the U. S. schooner Fenimore Cooper. The expedition is referred to as the North Pacific Exploring Expedition and also as the Ringgold and Rodgers Exploring Expedition. The resulting maps were published by the United States Hydrographic Office, but the journals exist only in manuscript and no general account or report, so far as the writer knows, has ever been published. See United States Hydrographic Office charts 8, 54, 55, 60, and 68.