The Allen Expedition, 1885: Evolution of Geographic Knowledge and Indigenous-Military Relations along Alaska’s Copper River

Authors: Russell Vander Lugt*, University of Alaska - Fairbanks, Michael Letzring*, University of Alaska - Fairbanks
Topics: Historical Geography
Keywords: History, Alaska, Indigenous, Canada, Cartography, Geography, U.S. Army
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Popularly known as the Lewis and Clark of Alaska, Lieutenant Allen’s Expedition of 1885 provides a unique storybook of humankind, illustrating the evolution of geographic knowledge in Alaska’s interior through interactions between Indigenous inhabitants and Army personnel. Allen’s map is the first accurate representation of the Copper River. Along his route, Allen records Native placenames, trails, villages and cultural encounters. This project examines the geographic and historical significance of Allen’s expedition and proposes a National Historic Trail that traces the route through dozens of Alaska Native settlement sites.

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