ERIC Number: ED441639
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Sheldon Jackson the Collector.
Missionary, educator, humanitarian, and collector, the Reverend Sheldon Jackson came to Alaska in 1877 to assimilate Native populations into the dominant White culture, but his collecting efforts between 1877 and 1902 represent a significant effort to preserve the legacy of Alaska Natives during a period of tumultuous change. A zealous missionary, Jackson established numerous missions, schools, and churches during his early work in Minnesota, the Rocky Mountains, and the Southwest. His interest in collecting things grew during this period, and by the time he went to Alaska, he had the support of the Smithsonian Institution and a display at the Princeton Theological Seminary. His successful fundraising was fueled by his public speaking abilities, his missionary newspaper, and educational tours to Native sites. He believed that American Indians would be better converted to Christianity if they first learned the White man's lifestyle through concrete educational experiences. Jackson hoped to avoid reservations by establishing civil government and an education system in Alaska. In 1885, Jackson was appointed as General Agent of Education for Alaska. Importing reindeer from Siberia and teaching Alaska Natives to herd them tied in with his educational goals for Alaska. He founded a vocational school at Sitka, and the Alaska Museum of Natural History and Ethnology. Jackson did his collecting by acceptable standards of the 19th century and in a relatively sensitive manner. Although his collecting methods would not measure up to today's museum practices, had he not collected, much of the state's material culture would have been irretrievably lost. Appendices present the Society of Alaskan Natural History and Ethnology constitutions and list exhibit catalogs, Jackson's memberships in societies and organizations, world expositions involving Jackson or his collections, and all known repositories of Jackson's collections. (Contains end notes, many photographs, and an index.) (TD)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Alaska Natives, American Indian Culture, American Indian Education, Art, Cultural Maintenance, Eskimos, Federal Indian Relationship, Material Culture, Museums, State History, Vocational Education
Alaska State Museums, 395 Whittier St., Juneau, AK 99801 ($14). Tel: 907-465-4840; e-mail: email@example.com.
Publication Type: Books; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Alaska State Museums, Juneau.
Identifiers - Location: Alaska